Feb 12, 2008

Galileos of our age

by Will Mayer
Last week Stan Barringer wrote an article in the Champion discussing biology teacher Dr. Nathaniel Abraham, who had been fired from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for his failure to accept evolutionary theory as fact.

Unfortunately, his dismissal is not unique. Scientists and professors of science throughout the country are forced to relive the woes of Galileo — being discriminated against for believing in the validity of the theory outside of the scope of beliefs of mainstream scientific thought.

Premise Media, in association with Motive Entertainment and Rocky Mountain Pictures, is releasing a movie about this very topic this spring. In “Expelled: No Intelligence Required”, Ben Stein “is on a journey to answer one of the biggest questions ever asked: Were we designed or are we simply the end result of an ancient mud puddle struck by lightning?”, according to a Premise press release. Premise’s press release said that, while making the movie, Stein discovered “an elitist scientific establishment that has traded in its skepticism for dogma. But even worse, along the way, Stein uncovers a long line of biologists, astronomers, chemists and philosophers who have had their reputations destroyed and their careers ruined by a scientific establishment that allows absolutely no dissent from Charles Darwin’s theory of random mutation and natural selection.”

Intelligent design is just one topic in a broader series of topics where elitist scientists are attempting to silence colleagues with views contrary to their own. This includes scientists such as climatologist Mark Albright, who was fired for revealing that data about glaciers shrinking was false, according to an article by James Taylor in the Heartland Institute.

Albright’s e-mails to colleagues at the University of Washington concerning the state of the glaciers caused him to be censored by Washington State climatologist Phillip Mote, according to the same article.

“When Albright refused to submit to Mote’s censorship, Mote stripped him of his associate state climatologist title,” reported the article.

This trend of scientists silencing other scientists’ opinions that do not fit into the mainstream is not anything new. It is reminiscent of the times of Galileo, only with the roles reversed. Where it was the church that persecuted Galileo for his science in the past, now it is mainstream science persecuting those who believe theories that are popular within the church.

Whether it is a grudge that stretches back for centuries or just the fact that mainstream science is simply unwilling to address opinions contrary to its own is irrelevant. The point is that both sides of the argument, as in any debate, can benefit by having their own ideas tried and tested by people who have opposing views.

Being able to express those opinions in the open will make science more scientific and less dogmatic. Contact Will Mayer at swmayer@liberty.edu.
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