Saturday, January 29, 2005

Further thought on Smithsonian witch hunt

There is another problem with this sort of behavior at a premier scientific institution. There are those who allege that this sort of thing is par for the course, that most if not all universities, journals etc. are so firmly committed to Darwinism (whether the term means speciation or philosophical materialism) that any dissenting voice is silenced. Whether true or not, the Smithsonian has just given credence to this fear. It has also called into question the objective, rational nature of the scientific enterprise. Further, it is unlikely today that such imposition of dogma can escape the public's attention.

Polls consistently show that about half of Americans believe that the universe came into being some 10,000 years ago along with all modern and now-extinct species. This single fact is sufficient to demonstrate that the policy of keeping alternatives to evolution out of the classroom and the scientific journals has been an abject failure. It is also contrary to the spirit of scientific enquiry to state at the outset that some conclusions are not just expected but mandatory, while differing conclusions are forbidden and fatal to one's career. It is not those who have facts and reason on their side who must resort to consorship and witch hunts.

Insistence on philosophical materialism in the biological sciences as The Truth is unscientific, hostile to scientific progress and undermines the public's confidence in science as an objective attempt to explain the natural world. It is time that this ideological hijacking be ended. In our postmodern age, there are enough assaults of an irrational nature on science. Scientists shouldn't be providing ammunition for rational assaults as well.