In Free to Think: Why Scientific Integrity Matters (2010), Expelled’s Caroline Crocker recalls a conversation with a tutoring student’s mother, after a session teaching the textbook Darwin sludge:
“I want her to learn the truth!” Felicita exclaimed …Here I hesitated, “Listen, being vocal about this issue probably lost me three jobs and resulted in my being blacklisted from getting many others. Students are also being intimidated into following the party line. If I teach Maria both sides of the issue, I strongly advise that you instruct her not to challenge her teacher.
“But the teacher should also know the truth. After all, it’s a Catholic school and committed to excellence in teaching.”
“What you tell Maria to do is your decision, obviously, but please consider carefully. The thought police are hot on this issue. I know she’s only in seventh grade, but you definitely need to carefully consider if it’s worth the risk. Is she up to the possible consequences of being outspoken on this issue?”
After due consideration and more conversation, Felicita asked me to teach Maria the truth, but to instruct her to keep it to herself.” (p. 188)
And high overhead, one almost heard the cackle from yet another of Darwin’s broomsticks* subside into confused curses, the warm scent of a fungible mind lost for the present.
Immunopharmacologist Crocker was Expelled from George Mason University, and is now executive director of AITSE, a think tank on integrity in science.
*Darwin’s broomsticks: See here for a use of this term.