Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Secret of the Evolution Establishment

Why does evolution remain the unchallenged theory within the university community? Could threat, intimidation, and even outright persecution against any who break ranks with the Darwin-Establishment explain it?

I know that I wouldn’t do this research, so I couldn’t help but publish this list of the “numerous well-documented examples of scientists who have faced persecution and discrimination for disagreeing with Darwinian evolution in just the last few years” assembled by Casey Luskin:

  •  In 2005, Smithsonian spokesman Randall Kremer objected to a private screening of the pro-ID film The Privileged Planet because it drew a "philosophical conclusion." The Smithsonian made no complaints when Sagan's original Cosmos in 1980 argued that "The cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be."
  • A congressional subcommittee staff investigation found that biologist Richard Sternberg experienced retaliation by his co-workers and superiors at the Smithsonian, including transfer to a hostile supervisor, removal of his name placard from his door, deprivation of workspace, subjection to work requirements not imposed on others, restriction of specimen access, and loss of his keys, because he allowed a pro-ID article to be published in a biology journal. The Congressional staff investigation concluded that the "Smithsonian's top officials permit[ed] the demotion and harassment of [a] scientist skeptical of Darwinian evolution" and "officials explicitly acknowledged in emails their intent to pressure Sternberg to resign because of his role in the publication of the [pro-ID] Meyer paper and his views on evolution."
  • In 2009 the state-funded California Science Center (CSC) museum cancelled the contract of a pro-ID group, American Freedom Alliance (AFA), to show a pro-ID film. The lawsuit was settled in August 2011, with the CSC agreeing to pay AFA $110,000 to avoid a public trial. However, documents disclosed during the course of litigation showed that employees of the CSC, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, joined with other LA-area academics to suppress the expression of ID, most egregiously by pressing CSC decision-makers to hastily cancel AFA's event.
  • In 2005, over 120 faculty members at Iowa State University (ISU) signed a petition denouncing ID and calling on "all faculty members to ... reject efforts to portray Intelligent Design as science." These efforts were significant not just because they opposed academic freedom by demanding conformity among faculty to reject ID, but because they focused on creating a hostile environment for pro-ID astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, co-author of The Privileged Planet, who was denied tenure at ISU in 2006 due to his support for ID. Both public and private statements exposed through public records requests revealed that members of ISU's department in physics and astronomy voted against Gonzalez's tenure due to his support for ID.
  • In 1993, San Francisco State University biology professor Dean Kenyon was forced to stop teaching introductory biology because he was informing students that scientists had doubts about materialist theories of the origin of life.
  • In a similar case five years later, Minnesota high school teacher Rodney LeVake was removed from teaching biology after expressing skepticism about Darwin's theory. LeVake, who holds a master's degree in biology, agreed to teach evolution as required in the district's curriculum, but said he wanted to "accompany that treatment of evolution with an honest look at the difficulties and inconsistencies of the theory."
  • Rogert DeHart, a public high school biology teacher in Washington State, was denied the right to have his students read articles from mainstream science publications that made scientific criticisms of certain pieces of evidence typically offered to support Darwinian theory. One of the forbidden articles was written by noted evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould. Although DeHart complied with this ban, he was later removed from teaching biology.
  • In Mississippi, chemistry professor Nancy Bryson was asked by Mississippi University for Women to resign as head of the Division of Science and Mathematics after she gave a lecture to honors students called "Critical Thinking on Evolution." She remarked, "Students at my college got the message very clearly[;] do not ask any questions about Darwinism."
  • In 1999, ID theorist William Dembski founded the Polanyi Center at Baylor University to allow scientists and scholars to conduct scientific research into intelligent design. The Center was later shut down largely due to intolerance of ID among Baylor faculty.
  • In 2005, the president of the University of Idaho instituted a campus-wide classroom speech-code, where "evolution" was "the only curriculum that is appropriate" for science classes. This was done in retaliation towards a professor at the university, Scott Minnich, who at the time was testifying in favor of intelligent design as an expert witness at the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial.
  • Also in 2005, Cornell's former interim president Hunter Rawlings devoted a State of the University Address "to denounce 'intelligent design,' arguing that it has no place in science classrooms and calling on faculty members in a range of disciplines" to similarly attack ID.
  • In 2005, top biology professors at Ohio State University derailed a doctoral student's thesis defense by writing a letter claiming "there are no valid scientific data challenging macroevolution" and therefore the student's teaching about problems with neo-Darwinism was "unethical" and "deliberate miseducation."
  • In 2005, pro-ID adjunct biology professor Caroline Crocker lost her job at George Mason University after teaching students about both the evidence for and against evolution in the classroom, and mentioning ID as a possible alternative to Darwinism. While her former employer maintains that it simply chose not to renew her contract, she was specifically told she would be "disciplined" for teaching students about the scientific controversy over evolution.
  • In 2007, Robert Marks, Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Baylor, had established an Evolutionary Informatics Lab at Baylor University to study the ability of Darwinian processes to generate new information using computer simulations and evolutionary algorithms. However, after Dr. Marks was interviewed by ID the Future in 2007, he subsequently received a letter from his dean warning that the website was "associated" with "ID," and he was forced to take the lab's site down and move the lab itself off campus.
  • In 2006, a professor of biochemistry and leading biochemistry textbook author at the University of Toronto, Laurence A. Moran, stated that a major public research university "should never have admitted" students who support ID, and should "just flunk the lot of them and make room for smart students."
  • In 2011, a biology professor at the University of Waikato stated that "If, for example, a student were to use examples such as the bacterial flagellum to advance an ID view then they should expect to be marked down"
  • Likewise, that same year Jerry Coyne, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago, stated that "adherence to ID (which, after all, claims to be a nonreligious theory) should be absolute grounds for not hiring a science professor."
  • In January 2011, the University of Kentucky (UK) paid over $100,000 to settle astronomer Martin Gaskell's lawsuit claiming that he was wrongfully denied employment for doubting Darwinism. UK faculty admitted that Gaskell was the most qualified applicant for the position, but they hired a much less qualified candidate out of concerns about statements Gaskell had made that were critical of Darwinian evolution.
  • In June 2011, the journal Applied Mathematics Letters paid $10,000 and publicly apologized to avoid litigation after it wrongfully withdrew mathematician Granville Sewell's paper critiquing neo-Darwinism.
  • In 2009, David Coppedge was demoted and punished for sharing pro-ID videos with co-workers at Jet Propulsion Lab. Later, his employment was terminated.
  • In 2012, Springer-Verlag illegally breached a contract to publish the proceedings of an ID-friendly research conference at Cornell University after a pressure campaign was mounted by pro-Darwin activists to have the book scuttled.
  • In 2013, Ball State University (BSU) President Jo Ann Gora issued a speech code declaring that "intelligent design is not appropriate content for science courses" at BSU, after atheist activists from the Freedom from Religion Foundation charged that a "Boundaries of Science" course taught by a well-liked physics professor (Eric Hedin) was violating the Constitution by favorably discussing intelligent design.
  • Also in 2013, atheist activists forced Amarillo College to cancel an intelligent design course after they threatened disruption if it went forward.

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