We are being insulted, dear reader. Take a look at this thing Klinghoffer posted a couple of days ago at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog: Evolution’s Online Mob. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Megan McArdle at Bloomberg, reflecting on the James Damore story that’s already receding from memory, points out that “We Live in Fear of the Online Mobs.” Yes, we do:
Damore is the Google guy whose memo went viral and he got fired. Klinghoffer quotes extensively from that article. Here’s a wee bit of it:
I find myself in more and more conversations that sound as if we’re living in one of the later-stage Communist regimes. Not the ones that shot people, but the ones that discovered you didn’t need to shoot dissidents, as long as you could make them pariahs — no job, no apartment, no one willing to be seen talking to them in public.
The people I have these conversations with are terrified that something they say will inadvertently offend the self-appointed powers-that-be. They’re afraid that their email will be hacked, and stray snippets will make them the next one in the internet stocks. They’re worried that some opinion they hold now will unexpectedly be declared anathema, forcing them to issue a humiliating public recantation, or risk losing their friends and their livelihood.
Klinghoffer is clever enough to find something useful in that. He tells us:
She doesn’t mention self-censorship in biology and certain other design-relevant science fields. But the study of evolution obviously comes to mind. Because we’re in touch with some of them, we know how scientists who are skeptics on Darwinian theory maintain a studious, indeed fearful public silence to avoid coming to the attention of evolution’s online mob.
You are part of “evolution’s online mob,” dear reader. Klinghoffer continues:
As a friend points out, ID advocates and Darwin doubters were the canary in the coal mine. They were the first to experience the brunt of today’s version of informal yet highly effective free speech suppression in liberal academia. In theory, there’s perfect freedom of thought and research in biology. But take one step in the direction of heresy on evolution, and you are instantly rendered a “pariah,” with all that implies about your future career and other prospects.
We’re not sure, but the Time Cube may have been first. No, that appeared on the internet in 1997, a few years after the Discoveroids. And unlike the Time Cube, the Discoveroids were actually making some progress getting their nonsense into public schools — until the Kitzmiller case. Anyway, let’s read on:
As McArdle understands well, our precious online existence is key to the censor’s power to shame. Email, social media, and the Internet furnish amazing tools for keeping expressed opinions in line.
So why don’t creationists use the internet to do the same thing to those who understand and defend science? Actually, they do. There are probably more creationist websites than those defending science. And some of them — e.g., the Discoveroids and Hambo — have all the funds and staff they need at their disposal. Klinghoffer never addresses that issue. His post ends with this:
We must never stop reminding people that this is how evolution’s scientific “consensus” is maintained.
So that’s the Discoveroids’ latest excuse to their generous patrons. They’d be much further along, were it not for “evolution’s online mob.”
History tells us that an anti-science consensus was once maintained by institutions like the Inquisition, who tortured and killed anyone who dared to stray from approved religious teachings. In a few cases, like the Galileo affair, the heretic was “merely” forced to recant his scientific work and then kept under house arrest — for life — and his books were banned. Surely the internet is preferable.
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