December 28, 2008 | David F. Coppedge

History Debunks Scientism

Science is not an honest quest for truth, said a scientist.  In a letter to the editor of Nature,1 William Burns of the University of Queensland dished out some dirt he shoveled up in new online archives of scientific journals.  It wasn’t pretty.
    Burns found 100 abstracts of articles written by Trofim Lysenko, the discredited Russian geneticist responsible for millions of deaths by starvation when his ill-advised Lamarckian theories made crops fail.  In a 1947 article Burns found Lysenko saying, “the opposition of bourgeois geneticists to this theory is attributed to their desire to justify capitalist exploitation, which is essentially a struggle within the human species.”  He found hundreds of articles by Chinese scientists praising Mao Zhedong.  He found 70 articles by Claus Schilling, a Nazi war criminal who conducted medical experiments on Dachau prisoners.  Then Burns made these comments:

These examples stand in contrast with the high-minded official version of science history that we read in textbooks.  As Thomas Kuhn remarked in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Univ. Chicago Press, 1962), science is like Big Brother’s society in George Orwell’s 1984constantly rewriting history to show itself in the best light.

History may have the last word, though, he said:

But will this censorship be possible when every politically motivated, unethical and demonstrably incorrect scientific article breaks out from dusty library storerooms to appear online?  How will anyone be able to believe that science is an honest quest for truth, when its inglorious past is a mouse click away?


1.  William Burns, Correspondence, “Online archives are revealing uncensored history of science,” Nature 456, 870 (18 December 2008) | doi:10.1038/456870b.

The answer, my dear Burns, is that online versions can be tampered with without anyone knowing.  Text can be altered, and digital images can be photoshopped.  The result could be even more dangerous: readers tricked into thinking they are reading unaltered documents.
    The Ministry of Truth can still rewrite history to achieve its ends.  If you don’t think this can happen, go ahead and trust the objective authors at Wikipedia.  The Darwinist MOT has already set up shop there (see Evolution News).
    It’s also possible that powerful interests will be able to filter errant mouse clicks from accessing sensitive information on the internet (see subversion).  You need to read our fierce, independent reporting on CEH while you can.
    One can only hope that some curious scientist someday will be combing through the wreckage of some dusty library storeroom, and discover something that might rescue honest science from groupthink during the reign of King Charles.  Maybe he will uncover an unburnt, uncensored, unaltered copy of Evolution: A Theory in Crisis.  Maybe this will lead to the discovery of the whole ARN catalog, and start a neo-ID movement after the last one was crushed by the DODO Tyranny and its memory was demonized.
    But like Doc reassured Marty in Back to the Future III, your future hasn’t been written yet.  Make it a good one.

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Categories: Politics and Ethics

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