Journal’s apology story here.
It wasn’t like this years ago. I remember Rick Sternberg writing to me mid-decade, about how the Smithsonian honchoes were, at that time, holding meetings to decide his fate. The problem was: They had to get rid of him because he doubted the Darwin lobby’ theories, but had broken no rules. They did, of course, get rid of him, and that time with impunity. When a film, Expelled, was made, pulling a number of such incidents together, some of the very people who helped engineer the witch hunts loudly denied that they had taken place.
I remember the gifted young astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, a specialist in habitable planetary zones, denied tenure at Iowa State. It was probably due in large part to the attacks of an atheist religion prof. Gonzalez just couldn’t believe what had happened to him.
So, when I was talking to Granville Sewell recently, and saw that he was radiantly confident that he would receive an apology, because there was a legal agreement, I was a bit concerned. Having – from years of covering this beat – much more experience than hope, I warned him: The Masters of the Universe are “science,” and as such, are above the law and exempt from common decency.
Well, glad to be wrong on that case!
But is the Darwin lobby’s “maximum suppression” strategy actually starting to fail? Consider some recent events:
Gonzalez got a new observatory at Grove City College and continues to publish in the literature.
Another astronomer, Martin Gaskell, received $100,000 in damages
Despite an online petition and threatened boycott, the Darwin lobby never got the journal Synthese to withdraw its criticism of unscholarly attacks on the reputations of Frank Beckwith and Larry Laudan. Indeed, their continued protests resulted in a none-too-favorable story in, of all venues, the New York Times, as well as a fuller explanation that revealed that – apart from anything else – Barbara Forrest is manifestly not an expert in the ID controversy, as is claimed.
And now this – an apology and damages to mathematician Sewell. It’s almost as if the Darwin lobby can’t get away with destroying a person’s career any more just by broadcasting “He doubts us.” Thoughts?