A truly twisted item was just posted at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog: Sexual Harassment in Academic Science Offers an Unexpected Lesson About Censorship on Evolution.
It was written by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. The graphic above this post is in his honor. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis. He begins with a timely reminder:
Tomorrow at close of business we will close nominations for this year’s Censor of the Year (COTY) award — send your nomination today by clicking on the orange Email Us button at the top of this page. The award, to be announced in time for Darwin Day on February 12, is of course intended in a somewhat lighthearted spirit. But serious matters lie behind it.
Klinghoffer mentions that award at the end, but his post is primarily about other things. He says:
Young and vulnerable researchers with iconoclastic ideas about Darwinian evolution can face threats of career devastation if they open their mouths imprudently.
Klinghoffer is reminding us of the horrors revealed in Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Ben Stein’s shabby, anti-evolution and pro-creationism “documentary.” That Wikipedia link discusses a lot of the well-deserved criticism the film received, and its eventual sale by a bankruptcy court. For more information, see Expelled Exposed, a superb source of information maintained by our friends at the National Center for Science Education.
Klinghoffer doesn’t mention that wretched film, but the “evils” he’s talking about are dealt with there, so we had to refer to it to put his post in its proper context. We’re reminded of what Michael Corleone said: “Just when I think I’m out, they drag me back in again!” Anyway, let’s read on:
If you wonder why academia is so perilous for free thinkers on evolution, the answer is complicated. One part of the answer, though, gets short shrift. It has less to do with philosophy or ideology — obvious things — and more to do with power and privilege.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Like theocracies, academia is “perilous for free thinkers.” That’s because, in the Western world, “power and privilege” has passed from preachers to teachers.
Then Klinghoffer talks about some article he found that doesn’t mention the Darwin debate, but it talks about scientists harassing their students. He gives us what he says is a quote from Katie Hinde, an evolutionary biologist at Arizona State University, “whose research usually focuses on lactation biology, but she’s done some work on sexual harassment in the sciences.” She’s clearly unbiased. Klinghoffer says she wrote about “an entire academic culture organized around professional privilege and imbalances of power and multiple harassers and assaulters are navigating these landscapes targeting vulnerable trainees.”
Sounds horrible. Klinghoffer tells us:
Of course this set of circumstances is not unique to science — it may help to account for parallel problems in the clergy, for example.
That was surprisingly even-handed; however, it was only a brief lapse. Klinghoffer continues:
But there is something about entrenched rank, pecking orders, and privilege as you find them in academic life that leads to some very unhealthy results. One side of the coin is sexual, but only one. The “culture of quiet” extends to protecting ideas, the ideas that fueled the careers of the scientists at the top.
Aha — those professors are protecting their ideas and careers. Here’s more:
This is a reality we deal with constantly at the Center for Science & Culture — that enforcers wish to hurt dissenters, who, unless they’re very lucky and somehow protected, are well advised to self-censor at least until they’ve made it to the top themselves. To call the phenomenon sadistic would not, in certain cases, be too far off the mark.
Egad — it’s sadistic! Then he tells a chilling tale, but it’s one that can’t be verified:
Even having reached a seemingly untouchable level of acclaim, many remain quiet. Several years ago I happened to meet a very distinguished scholar in a field relevant to evolution — not biology but still relevant — a man well on in years and heaped up with professional praise. I’ll say no more by way of identifying him. It emerged from the conversation that he was a Darwin doubter and I asked him to give me a statement to that effect that we could publish here. He refused. Even he, a man nobody was going to hurt, was afraid to be candid. It’s that entrenched.
What a ghastly situation! In his final paragraph, Klinghoffer returns to the topic of the Discoveroids’ censorship award:
An irony of our Censor of the Year award is that some egregious censors cannot be publicly identified — precisely because we protect the innocent and their identities. It occurs to me that as a nominee, perhaps, the culture of academic science itself would not to be inappropriate. Just a thought.
So there you are, dear reader. We mentioned before that your Curmudgeon’s nomination is reality. That’s because reality — when properly studied without interference from religious fanatics — always censors nonsensical beliefs. But Klinghoffer says that “science itself” is the problem. That’s why they struggle so heroically to destroy it.
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