Some recent cases of intolerance against Darwin skeptics are so extreme, they defy all logic or propriety. Yet when Darwinists promote radical ideas, they get a pass.
The Discovery Institute is on a campaign to defend the career and reputation of a Ball State University professor, Eric Hedin, who dared to present both sides of the debate over intelligent design instead of just the pro-Darwin side (see Evolution News & Views). Not only that, he offered the material in an elective class in philosophy – not in a science class. At the same time, Ball State openly promoted another class called “Dangerous Ideas” that claims “Science must destroy religion” and “There is no intelligent designer” (Evolution News & Views). This “selective academic freedom” means professors are only allowed one position on ID: to oppose it. This “Orwellian” view of academic freedom by a university that claims to respect controversial topics was described by John West on Evolution News & Views.
Hedin did not advocate or teach intelligent design (ENV). He only permitted a pro-ID book (along with many anti-ID works) in the suggested reading list for his honors course on the “boundaries of science” (ENV). For that, he was targeted by a radical atheist group, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, that wrote Ball State’s president, Jo Ann Gora, to complain. Unfortunately for Hedin, the president heeded their complaints and ordered that no one on campus was to teach ID in science classes at the university. The atheist propaganda in the other class, however, was not restricted. Ironically, Gora maintained that Ball State’s “commitment to academic freedom is unflinching.”
Earlier in the year, David Coppedge lost his lawsuit against JPL in which he alleged he was demoted, humiliated and ultimately fired for sharing pro-ID DVDs in the workplace (ENV). The judge gave no explanation for ruling against him on 10 counts of discrimination and retaliation. In hindsight, the reaction in the Coppedge case appears part of the same trend in academic and scientific institutions: only the secular, atheist, Darwinian position is permitted, and those who disagree must be silenced. (The Coppedge case will be reviewed in Volume II of Jerry Bergman’s work, Slaughter of the Dissidents, about the persecution of Darwin skeptics.)
It appears the only ones able to stand up successfully against the evolution lobby in a public platform are those with nothing to lose. Retired surgeon Ben Carson, for instance, has no dirty laundry to hide and, with a stellar reputation as one of the world’s finest neurosurgeons, a black man from a poor family who rose to excellence via self-education and determination, has credentials that cannot be impugned (see movie of his life, Gifted Hands). His charitable work for improving education with reading scholarships is another big asset (see CarsonScholars.org). With nothing in his life to assail, and much to commend, he boldly yet graciously presents scientific arguments against evolutionism, as exemplified in a presentation on YouTube. Darwinists cannot destroy the career of this kind of enemy, so they try to ignore him.
Others are not so fortunate. They have careers to maintain, or tenure to earn. They risk losing access to research labs and publications. They have families to feed. Astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, after receiving unfair treatment by colleagues and loss of tenure at Iowa State for his book The Privileged Planet (even though he never taught intelligent design on campus), took years to find another reputable university position (ENV). He recently obtained a position at the same Ball State over the protests of outside evolutionists, but he knows that he must keep silent about ID to avoid a recurrence of persecution.
This past summer, the Michael Medved radio talk show began a “Science and Culture Update” that airs on Tuesdays. The Michael Medved website includes a new page with news and information on the programs. Past episodes can be heard as podcasts on IDtheFuture.com, where the Eric Hedin story and other matters are discussed. Often, the intolerance of some pro-Darwinist callers is displayed when Stephen Meyer and other representatives of the Discovery Institute try to make the scientific case for intelligent design. Medved and his guests from the institute usually have to spend excessive time correcting the misrepresentations of ID by angry callers who clearly have not read Meyer’s books, but are intent only on repeating talking-point accusations from pro-Darwin sources.
The Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture began as a think tank to promote scientific research into intelligent design, a role it continues to fulfill. Increasingly, though, the center finds itself rushing to the defense of victims of extreme intolerance against the ID position – intolerance not just against teaching ID, but even for the “thought crime” of holding to an ID position privately or in outside activities. John G. West at the Center explained the issues on Evolution News & Views. In the wake of a bullying campaign by the press and prominent evolutionists against Eric Hedin (ENV), the Institute has also opened a page under AcademicFreedomPetition.org asking for public response to Ball State for their unfair discrimination.
Here we are, five years after the movie Expelled, and the Darwinists are still on the rampage. If anything, they are worse. At the same time, the scientific evidence has been militating against them: the origin of life troubles, the Cambrian explosion, the collapse of Darwin’s tree of life, and much more (have you been reading our recent articles?). Either this is the last gasp of Darwinists terrified that their world view is imploding, or (more likely), Satan is protecting his masterpiece at all costs. Whether or not you believe in a devil, the Darwin defenders are acting mighty devilish. They cannot allow open debate on their view, because it always gets trounced. Their only hope is to destroy their opponents before they can get a hearing.
DODO! is their chant: Darwin Only! Darwin Only! So terrified are they of intelligent design (and any scholarly critique of Darwinism) they passionately weed out any hint of it creeping into academia, public schools, and scientific institutions. What do they have to fear from debate? If the evidence for their view is so strong, let them defend it in public against legitimate scientific criticisms. Their paranoia would be amusing were it not so damaging to the individuals whose careers are lost, and to the students who are prevented from seeing the house of cards on which Darwinism sits.
How ironic it is that the Darwin dobermans, mostly leftist liberals, are the very ones who have the traditional reputation for academic freedom. Remember them in the free speech protests of the 1960’s? They demanded academic freedom to the point of violence. You cannot trust these people. Like communists, they promote “freedom” just long enough to gain power, then they take away the freedom of their opponents. They promote “democracy” just long enough to win a majority, then they establish tyranny. Knowing their strategy, wise men will act accordingly – not by imitating them, but by being wise as serpents and harmless as doves, as a certain advocate of intelligent design once advised.
You only have till Sept 30 to write Ball State and protest the treatment of Eric Hedin. Do it today.