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Quote of the day

“You measure a democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.” — Who said it and how does it apply to the ID-evolution controversy?

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29 Responses to Quote of the day

  1. Abbie Hoffman,

    Because, without giving dissidents a legitimate hearing the conformist win every time even if they’re wrong. And without freedom of expression in legitimate venues, the nation, and the world loses.

    Dogmatic bullying of ideas prevails only in the loss of information, not in gain of information.

    The carnage leftover from such group think conformist ideology is of historic proportions in lives lost.

    As an example, when a professor starts demanding people not be allowed an education because they do not accept evolution, whether in part or whole, then we live under a dictatorship, not a free society.

  2. What he said (Michaels7)

    …couldn’t have put it better myself

  3. By in biology there is no democracy, nor do the darwinian totalists hide that fact.The “avarage people cannot understand these complex issues” however, only the “ignorant, stupid, supersticious or possibly wicked” deny the truth of unguided evolutionism,

  4. “As an example, when a professor starts demanding people not be allowed an education because they do not accept evolution, whether in part or whole, then we live under a dictatorship, not a free society. ”

    Er, no. Only if said professor had the power to enforce that would this be true.

  5. Science isn’t democracy. If it were, then everyone would have to be given a chance to speak – including the total nutcases who claim to have invented a time machine from pieces in a scrapyard, or a bracelet that makes its wearer immortal, or a medicine of pure water that can protect against disease as well as any vaccine, or… well, you should get the idea.

    Those are all real nutcases by the way.

  6. “Legitimate hearing” doesn’t mean “any philosophy can be taught in science clasrooms”. ‘Darwinists’ have been saying all along, it’s perfectly fine to present intelligent design in a philosophy course or a social science course. And this is what legitimate hearing requires for ID.

  7. Perhaps the Materialist scientists are not interested in ascribing to democratic principles. Instead they are busy forming a Guild. Oh yes, the form of a scorned institution from back in the dreaded Middle Ages where superstition reigned supreme!!

    How so? For starters, they limit entry to only those individuals they deem “worthy” according to their own standards. Those with the wrong views or beliefs, or those denying the Materialist tenets of the faith, need not apply.

    Second, they create a monopoly. Interested in publishing peer-reviewed materials? Got to go through them, and they will apply the stringent Guild filter, ceaselessly searching for heretical material. Want funding? Ditto.

    Third, they establish their own semi-arbitrary standards that all must pay homage to. And how do they enforce such standards? More of the same — you want tenure, do as we say. You want to speak at our conference, do as we say.

    Yep, an island of non-democracy in a sea of democracy. Is it time to submerge?

  8. If IDers are dissidents then America is a healthy democracy indeed. The highest office in the land has come out in support of teaching ID.

    Science is not and should not be a democracy. Yes the dominant few can be wrong, and believers in that dominant view will be hostile to challengers. But when a new paradigm comes along that is superior to the old, scientists will gradually be won over to that new paradigm as they find their old position indefensible.

  9. pwe,

    Most of our institutions reflect democratic principles and processes. For example, our legal system has an established process for minority or dissenting views to receive a fair “hearing” and documentation. Corporate Board of Directors and other Boards follow Roberts Rules of Order to accommodate the airing of a diversity of views. The reason? Fairness and equity.

    But also, progress and breakthroughs in any human endeavor invariably starts as a minority view. This is as true in Science as in any other field, perhaps more so. That is why it is imperative that we not allow it to become an oligarchy, a limited group that maintains a deathgrip on exclusive power, either in terms of form or substance.

  10. PWE is no longer with us. –WmAD

  11. Hmmm.
    The site is not letting me post a comment on the platypus thread.
    Too many unpopular opinions?

  12. dacook
    I had the same problem

  13. I just tried again; it let me type but not paste text, and wouldn’t copy a link.

  14. flawrex

    “Legitimate hearing” doesn’t mean “any philosophy can be taught in science clasrooms”.

    Let’s say I agree with that. Who gets to decide what is and isn’t taught? My feeling is that local school boards ought to be able to choose the curricula.

    ‘Darwinists’ have been saying all along, it’s perfectly fine to present intelligent design in a philosophy course or a social science course.

    And they’ve been lying all along because when a public school teacher actually tried in California to teach ID in a non-science class the school was slapped with a 1st amendment lawsuit by the usual suspects.

  15. Pretty ironic for the 1st amendment to be used to silence someone.
    Similarly, the Sherman antitrust act is used to keep mega-insurance companies’ power over doctors intact.

  16. jmcd

    Science is not and should not be a democracy.

    It shouldn’t be fascist either but that’s exactly what it is when it comes to challenging sacred cows like evolution.

  17. I was able to paste text into a comment and post it in the platypus thread. You guys must be putting a blacklisted word into the comment.

  18. Well, of course…part of the discussion was on SEX chromosome systems. ;)

    EDIT: I just cleared out the filter. Multiple valid comments were in there.

  19. I think the problem does not necessarily lie in the fact that every communitty has the right to define itself the way it sees fit (to a degree). I think the problem is the power that science has and its ability to shape and mold culture in a way that is beneficial or destructive. The question then is, “who is deciding these things and with what criteria?” The worry could be analogous to the geo-centric model of the universe in which everyone who agreed was rational, while those that did not were irrational and were persecuted by the church for following the evidence where it led. The dogma that was apparent at that time seems to be apparent now. Some might have issues with the previous analogy but I think the point is clear that dogmatic claims in science should be avoided for the sole reason of avoiding the arrogance of the Church in the 1500′s. The vast majority of scientists (or whatever you want to call them) believed in geo-centricism because it was the prodominant view in the universities and world leaving virtually no room for dissent.

    History, I believe, has a sense of humor!!!

  20. does this website blacklist words? I suggest that this website could do better in not editing out dissent.

  21. Besides,
    What if a friendly blogger wanted to ask about one of the blacklisted words or offered a counterargument to a blacklisted idea. Is that automatically blacklisted? I understand the need of some kind of filter, but too much encourages the kind of group think IDers are trying to fight.

  22. Collin

    Blacklisted words are used to help weed out spam. For instance, people peddling online prescription drugs and weight loss plans are partially weeded out by blacklisting the words diet and pill. For every innocent comment containing those words a hundred spam comments are blocked.

    I’ll have to go dig this comment out of the spam bucket because I used some blacklisted words in it. No words unrelated to common spam categories are blacklisted.

    Here’s a sample of such a list:

    http://codex.wordpress.org/Spam_Words

  23. flawex writes

    ” ‘Darwinists’ have been saying all along, it’s perfectly fine to present intelligent design in a philosophy course or a social science course. And this is what legitimate hearing requires for ID. ”

    Darwinists are not saying that. They are not happy for ID to be taught or discussed anywhere. They are very scared.

    They want to block ID from the media, they say it can’t be taught in any school because they say it is religion. The Dover decision was against the teaching of religion in classes. Now they have defined ID as religion, they block it out of US public education.

    Have a listen to Beyondbelief 2006 if you don’t believe me.

  24. “I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”- V

  25. trystero57,

    “Er, no. Only if said professor had the power to enforce that would this be true.”

    I agree. Glad someone caught my unintended hyperbole. But how far from the truth is it?

    Have you looked at the rants of PZ Meyers regarding tenure? Anyone have a link?

    Or, have you read about the Richard Sternberg case at the Smithsonian? Talk about a “witch-hunt” mentality by “searchers of truth” and “professors.” In fact, the NCSE was involved in the hunt.

    Or, maybe you’re OK with the forced requirement of one-sided views on evolution and anti-ID propaganda being force on freshmen by the dominant side? It is amazing what lengths the side in power goes to in order to retain power. Instead of opening up a debate and discussion with ID proponents to show incoming students how a free flow of ideas and search for truth actually spurs progress at the highest levels, they squash it. They employed Stalinesque type tactics reminiscent of Lysenkoism. All dissent is crushed by subterfuge thru a required freshmen event without any opposing viewpoint. No one is going to the gulags, but the taste of atheistic dogmatism still taste just as bitter.

    Likewise, the atheist leaders of the Darwinian evolution movement want to start imposing similar classes upon all freshmen.

    This is called indoctrination, not education. Many scientist have already intimated to the public at large that evolution did not contribute at all to their research or daily work. Some of the highest quality scientist in the world, who have tenure and do not have to worry about job security.

    Yet, evolutionist will have you believe the world is coming to an end in the USA? America will fall?

    Talk about hyperbole.

    Maybe they should look at the current mess and question their own techniques before casting such wide aspersions of blind hatred onto another view.

    The ID scientific view will not cause America to fall, nor will long overdue and valid criticism of evolution. The narcissistic culture currently edging towards Roman lifestyles however will.

    Now, let me correct my original statement.

    “As an example, when a professor starts demanding people not be allowed an education because they do not accept evolution, whether in part or whole, then we are marching toward academic dictatorship, where it is acceptable to ostracize fellow scientist and qualifying grad students with different scientific views, not reflective, of a free society.”

    I welcome Professor MacNeill’s review of ID class. He is the exception. But he teaches it from an opposing viewpoint, not as a proponent.

  26. DaveScot,
    Thanks for the explanation. Sorry to be harsh.

  27. 27

    Mats

    You make an excellent comment. Imitating Darwinian academe, you mock, “the average people cannot understand these complex issues”.

    How true, and how truly the marks of a failed professor.

  28. “Or, maybe you’re OK with the forced requirement of one-sided views on evolution and anti-ID propaganda being force on freshmen by the dominant side? ”

    I take your point, I think. Following on from this:

    1. ID could not, surely, be taught in a science class without evolution being taught alongside it, given much of it is a criticism of evolution. The students would need the background in evolution to even understand ID. Doesn’t ID belong more in a philosophy of science course than a biology class? (I say this as a lay person, greatful to be corrected on this point if necessary.)

    2. More importantly, and again correct me if I’m wrong, but are these professors *really* teaching evolution and then saying “so, as I’m sure you can see, class, this is proof that there was no designer, and God doesn’t exist”? Or do they, as I suspect, teach it and not worry about the philosophical implications (which are not even necessary to think about in order to study evolution).

    3. I’m not familiar with those references to the academy – be greatful for links explaining this story.

  29. trystero57,

    Neither am I a scientist, but an enthusiast and avid reader.

    I am not aware any leading proponents of ID today are pushing for ID in public classrooms.

    Personally, I think elective classes could be taught fairly soon which compare and contrast the competing theories for advanced students who selectively choose to do so. To learn the conjectures and relevant material in today’s adult world. And offer a full and open critique of weakness and strengths of each approach.

    I took an advanced biology class in high school as an elective as well as chemistry. Why not allow students to take electives in the future that review the transitions taking place in genetics today and the trends and thoughts of leading scientist? Some kids need bleeding edge science to keep them interested. We need to promote interaction of competing ideas, not squash them.

    This will only improve the students ability to think at a higher level with creative and original insights. In fact, I think it would spur growth and interest in scientific fields if you open it up more.

    In reality, I understand this kind of thinking in a public school system is years into the future. But as Engineering, Math and Physics come more into the core of processes for understanding life. As these hard sciences enter more deeply into the fabric of genetic and molecular research, this will leak into the public curriculum. As a nation we must compete, and eventually it must be taught that the “mechanisms” are not merely random events, and that many are predictive, can be designed, switched on/off, transformed, translocated, transferred literally across Kingdoms and phyla from plants to animals and back again.

    None of that requires evolution. It requires intelligence and design.

    As a result, bright minds will question why this cannot be considered Common Design. Or at least bright minds will wonder why Common Design will not be part of the future processes of science. And they will increasingly grow bored with public school academics.

    Afterall, our entire society is rooted in the efficient design concept of modularity and speed from the industrial revolution to manufacturing at all levels. Common Design is being recognized across all levels of life forms.

    Often, this comes down to semantics.

    Truth be told, I don’t think a Design Paradigm can be kept out of our schools in the future the more that life unfolds before our students eyes on a detailed level never seen before by much of the public.

    ———————————————————–

    As for references, Yahoo or Google Richard Sternberg. Here, his personal page explaining the attacks on him as a result of publishing an ID sympathetic paper;
    http://www.rsternberg.net/, and more importantly the findings of Special Counsel, http://www.rsternberg.net/OSC_ltr.htm

    It is truly sad when America is supposed to stand for the free exchange of ideas that the likes of NCSE gets involved with the Smithsonian at such coercive levels. It is dirty politics. It is beneath science and immoral behavior at all levels. The treatment Sternberg received from his fellow scientist and from NCSE operatives is to put it bluntly, disgusting and on par with Communist tactics under Lysenko, with the exception of the Gulags, he was severely mistreated and ostracized.

    It was a lynch mob mentality by supposedly open minded people in search of truth.

    As to PZ Meyers, search his comments on tenure and ID. It was talked about here, Telic Thoughts and at his own blog.

    People like PZ are in positions of power and can decide a person’s immediate destiny.

    Completely irresponsible again. He is allowed his opinion, but it is bigoted and not relevant to ability of someone’s actual work.

    It has been admitted that Big E Evolution is not required for operational genetic research on this very blog by Jack Krebs.

    Dr. Sanford, a Creationist and world renown for his research breakthrus in genetics at Cornell University has stated evolution was a waste of his time and was not required for the accomplishments he made. In fact, his view of life changed the more research he accomplished in genetics. He once was an evolutionist.

    The question then becomes what is evolution indoctrination required for if not just a worldview?

    Understand, I’m not advocating against the teaching of evolution. I am advocating that our children are not being served well by forced coercive methods utilized by a few Judges and the atheist zealots of the ACLU.

    The fact that leading evolutionist are now accepting EvoDevo and in fact twisting history, words and time into their worldview that EvoDevo is the “Cornerstone” of “More” Modern Evolutionary Synthesis should cause anyone to pause and wonder if this is about science at all.

    It shows that the current theory’s supporters are in wide dissarray and flailing about looking for a quick way to move the goal post farther away.

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