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Michael Egnor on Jeffrey Epstein: “Consensus science” meant not denouncing him

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Listen to this: People’s lives may depend on other people not speaking out:

Some years ago, at a scientific conference, I had a private chat with a colleague from another university. His research was in a rather obscure topic in biology, but he was a scientist of the first rank. He was a superb investigator, and quite senior and widely respected. He told me that he knew that I was involved in intelligent design, and he thanked me for what I was doing. He told me that he was a Christian. He said that a lot of scientists know that Darwinism is a charade, and he was thankful for scientists who were speaking out, but he couldn’t do so, although he desperately wanted to. He said his wife was sick, and that if he spoke out, he “would never get another grant.” A single public statement endorsing ID or critiquing Darwinism in any meaningful way would make him a pariah for the rest of his life. “My career would end the day I spoke out” he told me. He said that his wife’s life depended on her current medical care, and he would be unable to afford her care if he lost his position. He said he felt terrible that he couldn’t speak out publicly, but he had a responsibility to his family and they would suffer if his career went into the abyss.

Michael Egnor, “Jeffrey Epstein and the Silence of the Scientists” at Evolution News and Science Today:

Dr. Egnor goes on to talk about the ID sympathizers who were hounded from their posts but they probably got off light compared to Epstein’s little girls. Anyway, all of them were old enough to fight. But that said:

The profound revelation from the Epstein scandal is that the scientific community is silent in the face of obvious lies, criminality and moral atrocities. Scientists at MIT and Harvard and the coterie of institutions on whom Epstein rained largesse obviously knew enough about Epstein to know that association with him was immoral and his money probably came from child sex trafficking (they could know with a mouse click that Epstein had no college degree and sketchy experience in finance — his primary enterprise seemed to be making little girls available to rich men), but they stuck with the consensus and said nothing. Their scientific careers came first.

Michael Egnor, “Jeffrey Epstein and the Silence of the Scientists” at Evolution News and Science Today:

Does it have anything to do with the idea that the mind is an evolved illusion and morality is just an adaptation that gets us to replicate our selfish genes?

Those could turn out to be expensive beliefs. We can only hope that someday they will mainly be expensive for those who believe them, not for others.

We were also told recently that universities are now grappling with issues around donor behavior:

Almost a month after the jail suicide of the disgraced billionaire financier, the fallout continues for those who had accepted his gifts, especially when they were given after Epstein served time for soliciting sex from a minor in 2008. MIT, for instance, has pledged to hand over the $800,000 it received from Epstein to charity, while two of its academics have resigned in protest of their boss’ relationship with the donor. Harvard University, on the other hand, has so far resisted calls to redirect the $6.5 million or so it received.

The Epstein case is the latest controversy to shine a light on the way that universities solicit and accept money from wealthy individuals, foundations, and companies. Many institutions across the world have found themselves in the firing line over their own links to other controversial individuals or corporations. So, how do they decide whose money to accept and when to reject or return funds? And are they more conscientious now than in the past? David Adam, “Universities Grapple with Donor Behavior” at The Scientist

A real risk in these times is that it will all become politicized. But it is better to try and fail than…

Accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein (1953-2019) and the science world fallout

Science pros reckon with the fallout from Jeffrey Epstein – and it’s grim Rogers asks, “How did these geniuses find themselves cozying up to a child rapist?” and provides us with some of the many answers that will filter in.

Darwinists May Be Paying A Price For Pop Science Celebrity: Jeffrey Epstein

UD Newswatch: Epstein suicide

Now Steve Pinker Is Getting #MeToo’d, At Inside Higher Ed Over Jeffrey Epstein

Alleged Sex Trafficker Jeffrey Epstein Pledged $30 Million For Harvard Evolution Program


Jeff Epstein’s cultural dumpster fire spreads to ID vs. evo controversies. Just because people are in the news doesn’t mean they did anything. It rather shows how a bad actor can change the news picture.

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If scientists want my blind trust, then they have to be examplars in the moral arena. Since they are not that, they cannot have my blind trust. EDTA

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