Riffing, of course, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn. He explains how he got involved with ID:
First, I was aghast at the treatment of ID theorists and other skeptics by Darwinists. I believed in Darwinism, but goodness gracious Darwinists were nasty. It didn’t seem to me like good science: my beloved mentor, biologist Bob Pollack with whom I did research in college, said: “A good scientist is always his own most exacting critic.” Darwinists spent their time excoriating IDers, and seemed to care little for genuine critiques of their own science. I thought: if Darwinism is good science (as I thought it was), Darwinists should welcome public debate and engage honest discussion. After all, if they had the facts, what is there to fear? But instead, they Expelled anyone who questioned Darwinism. They insulted people, intimidated them, used the courts to silence them, and callously ruined their careers. This was Lysenkoism, not science.
Second, I had the good fortune to read ID pioneers: Phillip Johnson, Michael Denton, Richard Sternberg, Jonathan Wells, Michael Behe, William Dembski, among others. They made sense. A lot of sense. So, over time, I embraced ID. I even used ID in my own research, applying engineering principles to understand blood flow in the brain. It is good science, honest science. Real science.Michael Egnor, “Live Not by Lies: Alexandr Solzhenitsyn and Intelligent Design” at Mind Matters News
Sure, he tells us, people tried to get him fired and he received death threats. But his bosses had to think twice about driving out a fine neurosurgeon because Darwinists don’t like what he says about their theories. Serious brain disorders are not a theory and the number of people who can tackle them successfully is not large.
Egnor addresses what to do about the increasingly despicable Cancel Culture that infests so many institutions today:
Solzhenitsyn recommends a series of acts of non-participation: we refuse to write or endorse or speak any statement in science or ethics or politics that is untrue. We refuse to be compelled to attend meetings or activities if they are contrary to truth. We will walk out of meetings in which lies are promulgated. We will only read and endorse literature that advances truth.
Solzhenitsyn has no illusions about the difficulty and potential consequences of non-participation in lies.
“Some, at first, will lose their jobs. For young people who want to live with truth, this will, in the beginning, complicate their young lives very much, because the required recitations are stuffed with lies, and it is necessary to make a choice. But there are no loopholes for anybody who wants to be honest. On any given day any one of us will be confronted with at least one of the above-mentioned choices even in the most secure of the technical sciences. Either truth or falsehood: Toward spiritual independence or toward spiritual servitude… It will not be an easy choice for a body, but it is the only one for a soul.
“Even this non-participation in lies will be very difficult, but it is a powerful kind of resistance.” …
The censors depend on active personal destruction not to silence us, but to get us (out of fear) to lie and thus silence ourselves. Their power is not in their violence but in our complicity. So you will not be the first to take this path, but will join those who have already taken it.Michael Egnor, “Live Not by Lies: Alexandr Solzhenitsyn and Intelligent Design” at Mind Matters News
He offers various strategies to fight Cancel Culture, ending with “Censors of all sorts depend on the cooperation of their victims. Don’t cooperate. Don’t participate. Serve only the truth. Live not by lies. ”.
I (O’Leary for News) would suggest to those who are less vulnerable, start stating some blunt facts whenever relevant:
- People who can’t tolerate opposing opinions on the op-ed pages are not journalists. They are suckups to people they hope to put in power. It doesn’t matter where they got their degree or where they work. That’s just a piece of paper or an address. It’s the life attitude that tells. Theirs stinks.
- People who can’t sit across the table in a university Great Hall from someone who disagrees with them about a public issue without feeling “unsafe” are not scholars and should quit kidding themselves. Sure, they have letters after their names. And they know how to spout academic gobbledygook. But many would not be worthy of a Sokal hoax. They would never “get it.”
Just start saying it and keep saying it. Defend anyone these nasty mediocrities attack, on principle, whether you agree with them or not. For once, make it the nasties’ problem, not everyone else’s.
See also: ID folk know a fair bit about how Cancel Culture works. As more and more normal people are Canceled for doing normal things, it will become progressively clearer that the nasties of Cancel Culture are at direct odds with the welfare of any normal enterprise they attach themselves to, whether it is a newspaper or a science. Finally, one must choose between catering to them and tending to the welfare of the enterprise.