A scientist friend writes to say,
I am a part of an email list of scientists—another is just beginning an “enquiry” because he committed the crime of loaning DVDs on ID to colleagues who wanted them. No one complained of being harassed, but the person’s views are “incorrect.”
Well, that wouldn’t be any news to a Canadian, believe me.
Pardon me a digression. If you are an American, you will need to learn to deal with this problem, because some people will want to ride out the recession by getting a government job bossing you around:
People you don’t know can probably complain on your behalf, and get you in trouble just for wanting to know what is going on.
Think of all the Canadian Muslims who didn’t really care much one way or the other about Mark Steyn’s famous article in Maclean’s Magazine. But the Canadian Islamic Congress (not to be confused with the much bigger and more representative Muslim Canadian Congress) went after him in three different jurisdictions for hate speech (and in an amazing display, lost out on all their cases, while costing the defendants vast sums of money. The defendants must pay but the CIC is funded by government.).
I don’t happen to agree with Steyn’s position on this subject (principally because I have heard the same sort of birth rate fears from Philip Longman about Christian and Mormon populations in North America – and we Christians and Mormons have been around long enough to know that it isn’t true – but that’s a story for another day). But the idea that Steyn would not be allowed to say it is an affront to civilization.
Anyway, my friend goes on to say,
Someone else sent the following.
An item in the September 25/08 issue of Nature had an interesting item relevant to these events.
The item was part of an article entitled “Which science book should the next US president read?” (pp. 464-467)
Several prominent scientists recommended such books as The Blind Watchmaker.
Well known palaeontologist Kevin Padian recommended a book called Undermining Science by Seth Shulman.
In this context Padian remarked: “Democratic candidate Barack Obama might use Shulman’s book to discover which recent science-agency appointees passed the test of right-wing fealty rather than of scientific objectivity…. the present administration [Bush] has sown loyalists of questionable competence into science bodies — from NASA to the US Weights and Measures division — that it will take a considerable effort to root them out.” (p. 467)
It seems as if these events are all part of a very large agenda.
Well, yes, it is a large agenda, friend. It’s an agenda to enshrine science as an updated form of nonsense, equivalent to mediaeval saint’s legends. We are required to believe that
1. The history of life follows Darwin’s beliefs, when it obviously doesn’t Everyone who has studied the subject realizes that.
2. Human embryonic stem cells are absolutely necessary for research. But that is almost certainly not true. (These cells may be easy to acquire from fertility clinics, but that doesn’t make them absolutely necessary – only easy to acquire, like cats at an animal shelter. No doubt the cosmetics industry is glad.)
3. Global warming is definitely happening. (Not if you got through this winter in Toronto, it wasn’t.)
I don’t always know what is going on, but I tend to know what isn’t going on. And lots of pet “science” causes are just not going on.
Also, at the Post-Darwinist:
Podcasts in the intelligent design controversy
Intellectual freedom in Canada roundup