Another Attack on Scientific Dissent

From Bruce Chapman and the Discovery Institute.

“The New York Times carries an apparently objective story about gender science controversy and the persecution (I’ll use the word) of a scientist at Northwestern whose views differ from the mainstream of political
correctness.

This is increasingly familiar territory. All sorts of academic pressures and tricks are used to bring non-pc scientists into line, and failing that, to get them fired or demoted or ostracized (e.g., no research grants). We see it on the global warming issue (as the previous Discovery Blog item attests) and, of course, in cosmology (the persecution of Guillermo Gonzalez at Iowa State) and biology (too many cases to mention in regards to Darwin critics and/or supporters of intelligent design). It is also practiced in areas like embryonic stem cell research and anything to do with abortion.

If you have not read C.S. Lewis’ novel, That Hideous Strength, with its description of the superficially benign government research group, “N.I.C.E.” (National Institute for Coordinated Experiments”), this is a good time to enjoy a read. Lewis was ahead of the times on this as well as other moral issues.

And it is a moral issue. It is an issue particularly for the media, most of whom are influenced by the trend in such journals as Columbia Journalism Review that recommend that reporters not bother providing “balance” on science stories where “a consensus of science exists” and not to allow dissenters on scientific issues to appear on op-ed pages.

The results are abundant. The Times itself today carries an oblique reference to Michael Behe’s new analysis of the limits of Darwinian evolution by science reporter Ken Chang. While he critiques his argument, it appears Chang did not consider it seriously enough to interview Behe. And when it came time for publish a review of Behe’s new book, The Edge of Evolution, the Times not only chose a sure-fire hit piece by Richard
Dawkins, but allowed Dawkins to descend into an almost totally ad hominem assault that avoided science. (Dawkins of course would never debate Behe.)

We have seen this before in history, though not on so many subjects at once. The Darwin-inspired eugenics movement is one example, but so are repeated cases in medical history where new cures were spurned for years–and medical innovators tormented or destroyed–before their views ultimately triumphed. Something similar happened with Big Bang Theory.”

To read the full article click here.

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