PBS & NAS shield Darwinists from scientific criticism.
Arthur S. Lodge | home
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Up Level (Evolution)
1. The University of Wisconsin
On Thursday, February 19, 2004, Arthur S. Lodge wrote to Terry Devitt
Is there any mechanism which would enable me to post a reply to your recent Intelligent Design article?
Dear Prof. Lodge:
I'm afraid we do not have a mechanism is place for a response. I did pose the question to the brain trust here (it comes up only rarely, apparently), and the consensus was that our publications are not set up for two-way discourse. Not that we aren't interested, just that there is no process in place to accommodate it.
If you have comments about the work that was reflected in the story, you may want to get in touch with the faculty member, Ron Numbers. I'm sure he'd be interested in your observations.
2. Brady's Article on Natural Selection
An article containing a long, detailed, and critical analysis of Selection Theory (R. H. Brady, Systematic Zoology, 1979) was once cut out of a volume in an Ivy League College library. A department head admitted responsibility. He said "Well, of course, I don't believe in censorship in any form, but I just couldn't bear the thought of my students reading that article". (Reported in an interview with Norman Macbeth in Darwinism: a Time for Funerals, Robert Briggs Associates, San Francisco, 1982.)
3. Dawkins Dodges Darwinism Debate
Richard Dawkins (Professor of Public Understanding of Science, University of Oxford), has published several books on Darwinism. In 1996, Professor Michael Behe published a book Darwin's Black Box- the Biochemical Challenge to Evolution (Simon & Schuster, New York). In 1996, Behe and Dawkins were invited to discuss evolution together on a Washington, DC, public television program Think Tank. Behe said Yes. Dawkins said No. Dawkins subsequently appeared on PBS without Behe.
This is censorship. PBS allowed the Darwinist Dawkins to censor the list of participants in a PBS program on Darwinism.
4. Irreducible Complexity and the National Academy of Sciences
Michael Behe's 1996 book (Darwin's Black Box: the Biochemical Challenge to Evolution) has aroused considerable attention. There have been over 100 reviews in published periodicals, and many letters to editors; a single search of the Internet yielded 3,500 items, many of which are further reviews and comments on reviews. In one example, Professor Behe takes 20 pages to summarize the many independent mechanisms involved in blood clotting; these must all switch on and off at the right times if a wound is to be protected without the patient dying. Professor Behe coined the phrase irreducible complexity to describe this and many other examples that involve several independent working mechanisms. He argued that the generation of none of these mechanisms could be accounted for by means of the Neo-Darwinian Theory.
None of the critical publications by non-Darwinists are included in the list of 31 references cited in a recent National Academy of Sciences (NAS) guide to teaching evolution in schools (2nd edition, 1999) or in the NAS web site list on evolution. The guide adopts the unscientific practice of quoting and discussing Behe's phrase "irreducible complexity" without reference to Behe. This is censorship.
Is the NAS afraid of allowing its readers to judge for themselves the validity of Behe's criticisms?
The guide baldly rejects Behe's argument in regard to blood clotting, without offering details or justification for the rejection. My request to the President of NAS and six members of his committee for references justifying this rejection has produced none.
5. PBS series "Evolution": all scientific criticism censored
In September, 2001, PBS showed a 7-part series entitled "Evolution". The program's producers stated in advance:
"Evolution is a scientific concept, and this is a science series.... The Evolution project presents facts and the accumulated results of scientific inquiry.....We have enlisted the top minds in all of the sciences to help us present the best scientific understanding of the explanation of life on Earth. In keeping with solid science journalism we examine empirically-testable explanations for 'what happened,' but don't speak to the ultimate cause of 'who done it' - the religious realm." (quoted from The Evolution Controversy: Use It or Lose It, a document prepared by the Evolution Project/WGBH Boston and distributed to PBS affiliated on June 15, 2001).
In the event, all scientific criticism of Darwinism was censored. Early efforts to persuade the producers to include scientific critics of Darwinism in the body of the series were rebuffed. Instead, the producers invited some of these critics to come on camera to tell their "personal faith stories" for the last program (Episode Seven): "What About God?" In this way, all critics of Darwinian evolution could be portrayed as religiously motivated. (Quoted from p. 12 of Getting the Facts Straight: A Viewer's Guide to PBS's "Evolution", http://www.discovery.org/).
One of the PBS episodes showed (for about 2 seconds) a set of books written by Darwinism's critics, such as Michael Behe, Phillip Johnson, Jonathan Wells, and Lee Spetner. The PBS commentator said that all the authors were religiously motivated. This was seriously misleading: for example, it completely misrepresented Phillip Johnson's stated purpose. These authors were allowed neither to present their views of Darwinism's difficulties (see Darwinism's Debit Sheet: 23 items) nor to question any of the Darwinists' claims made on the PBS series. It would be difficult to imagine a more one-sided program - except, of course, in a dictatorship.
After a speaker criticized the NDT at a conference in Germany, a distinguished American biologist advised her that, if she made similar remarks in the US, she would be written off as a creationist (Wells, p. 193). The PBS commentary furnished an illustration of this prediction.
Jonathan Wells (2000) Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? (Regnery Publishing, Washington DC)
6. Physics Today
Articles written by opponents of intelligent design ideas have been published (Physics Today, June 2002, pp. 48-51). The editors explicitly refuse to publish anything by intelligent design proponents (Physics Today, September 2002, p. 12).
Of course, I could well understand the editors refusing to publish articles from Flat Earth proponents. I may be being a little unfair, perhaps, in considering such a comparison, for the two cases may not, after all, be quite on an equal footing ; I imagine that it is quite some time since Physics Today published anything from an opponent of Flat Earth ideas.
During the past 20 years or so, I can recall seeing two, and only two, PBS programs in which critics of Darwinism spoke. In one program, mainly on Creationism, an interviewer held separate discussions with people of different views. The interviewer never asked Darwinists any hard questions, and Darwinism's critics were not allowed to question Darwinists. I wrote to the local PBS director, Byron Knight, to protest about the inadequate format of this program; he replied saying that he thought that it was an excellent program. The other program was a Firing Line program in which speakers were allowed two minutes to present their views and a further two minutes to question others. This was a step in the right direction if, perhaps, a bit on the small side.
7. Mississippi University for Women
During a recent honors forum at Mississippi University for Women (MUW), Dr. Nancy Bryson gave a presentation titled "Critical Thinking on Evolution" -- which covered alternate views to evolution such as intelligent design. The next day, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Vagn Hansen asked Bryson to resign from her position as head of the school's Division of Science and Mathematics. University counsel Perry Sansing said MUW will not comment on why Bryson was asked to resign because it is a personnel matter.
Some days later, University President Claudia Limbert said Nancy Bryson's removal had nothing to do with her lecture questioning the Darwinian theory of evolution, but she was concerned the timing created a perception that it was. "Based on this concern, I have decided that Dr. Bryson will remain as division head. I want to reassert MUW's absolute commitment to academic freedom and freedom of speech,'' Limbert said in a statement.
Source: Access Research Network, March 11 & 15, 2003 http://www.arn.org
8. The University of Vermont
Professor John A. Davison
Events from 1984 to 2000:
Professor Davison, a biologist, proposed* an alternative, non-Darwinian, mechanism for certain evolutionary processes - a mechanism that differed from the NDT mechanism. His department held a meeting, from which he was excluded, following which his biology courses were taken from him, his salary was frozen, and he was subjected to various harrassing actions culminating, in 2000, with the University's decision to revoke his tenure. He resigned in the face of this threat.
The Darwinist establishment seems to be acting as the Church acted towards Galileo.
* Davison, J.A. , Semi-meiosis as an Evolutionary Mechanism. J. Theor. Biol. 111: 725-735.