Quantcast

«

»

Jan 23 2014

Ceterum censeo Creationism esse delendam

Aww, the poor Discovery Institute. They are so oppressed and censored that they are now asking for nominations for Censor of the Year. Because, as you know, criticizing creationism and expecting science teachers to have basic competence in their fields is tantamount to silencing alternative views.

They do admit that the majority — the vast, overwhelming, Jebus-crushing majority — of scientists accept evolutionary theory, but they put a paranoid twist on it.

Yes, a majority of scientists who will speak openly will you tell you, if questioned, that they accept the Darwinian account and reject the scientific alternative of intelligent design. But the statistical fact of such a majority is the result, in no small measure, of rule by fear. For every story of a scientist or teacher silenced that we have covered here, many, many others could be told — but the censored scholars and instructors are careful about keeping safe from further threats and reprisals, which means keeping quiet.

First, we aren’t “Darwinians” any more. Evolution is much bigger than Darwin imagined. Could these goobers someday learn that? I recognize Darwinian processes in evolution, but I also appreciate others.

But more importantly…”rule by fear”? Nonsense. The training of biologists and biology educators involves learning a great deal about the evidence and studying the research that lead to the conclusion that life evolved. The only thing we might be afraid of is looking ridiculous and uninformed if we were to promote the ridiculous and uninformed ideas of Intelligent Design creationist clowns.

But do help them out. Nominate those science educators who have done a great job of informing the public about the absurdity of creationism — because that’s the Discovery Institute’s working definition of “censorship.”

36 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Crimson Clupeidae

    There’s a certain teacher in LA who would be up for this award. I don’t think the Discotute would appreciate that, though, since she’s on their ‘side’.

  2. 2
    scienceavenger

    One has to remember that in ID circles, criticism and mockery = threats and reprisals.

  3. 3
    David Marjanović

    Creationismum, delendum.

  4. 4
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    “…the scientific alternative of intelligent design.”

    I genuinely find that phrasing offensive.

  5. 5
    raven

    Oh c’mon.

    There is no question who the censor of the year is!!! None!!!

    It is reality.

    Reality is always the censor of the year at least where religious ideas trying hard to pretend they are science are presented. You would be better off picking the censor of the last millennia or ten millennia.

    Which is again…reality.

  6. 6
    moarscienceplz

    I nominate Aron Ra and Lilandra.

  7. 7
    raven

    “…the scientific alternative of intelligent design.”

    I genuinely find that phrasing offensive.

    It’s just wrong.

    Intelligent Design is creationism, a religious belief.

  8. 8
    Reginald Selkirk

    For every story of a scientist or teacher silenced that we have covered here, many, many others could be told — but the censored scholars and instructors are careful about keeping safe from further threats and reprisals, which means keeping quiet.

    Karl Giberson could not be reached for comment

  9. 9
    Anthony K

    Creationists are so silly. Don’t they know that as Christians, they’re beyond worrying about censorship on this Earth? “We don’t value creation as though our life depends on it.”

    So sayeth Ray Comfort: Don’t sweat the censorship and persecution, Christians. Keep your eyes on the heavenly prize.

  10. 10
    Eamon Knight

    I guess Dembski’s silencing by the Baptist seminary he works for was longer ago than a year, wasn’t it?

    Also, it was censorship in the opposite direction than what the DI is looking for.

  11. 11
    raven

    Fall From Grace | Inside Higher Ed
    www .insidehighered. com/…/a_professor_s_departure_raises_questions_a…‎

    Aug 15, 2011 – One — John Schneider — has now left the tenured position he held for 25 years, … Evolutionary theory is hardly new, but Schneider said that the … over me” of pressure from religious conservatives to have him fired. …. Calvin College: “the Bible is the authoritative, Spirit-breathed Word of God, fully reliable.”.

    Fundies are huge fans of Joseph Stalin. And also the Catholic Inquisition.

    They have witch hunts to find Darwinists and then fire them. I’m sure they are annoyed no end that they can’t send them to their gulags. Yet.

    One of the latest was at Calvin college, where they pushed out a professor of theology for daring to point out that one day they will have to come to terms with reality. I’m sure Schneider is glad that the xians can no longer burn whoever they want at the stake like they did Giordano Bruno for Heliocentrism.

  12. 12
    busterggi

    ”rule by fear”?

    You mean like threatening people with going to Hell for an eternity of torture for not believing in creationism?

  13. 13
    Jeremy Shaffer

    For every story of a scientist or teacher silenced that we have covered here, many, many others could be told — but the censored scholars and instructors are careful about keeping safe from further threats and reprisals, which means keeping quiet.

    So there’s totally all this evidence that what they claim is happening is happening but they don’t actually have it on them, or even know where it is, otherwise they’d show it. But, still, it’s totally happening, like, all over the place. For reals, though!

  14. 14
    stanton

    I guess Dembski’s silencing by the Baptist seminary he works for was longer ago than a year, wasn’t it?

    Also, it was censorship in the opposite direction than what the DI is looking for.

    Censorship on behalf of Jesus does not count as “censorship.”

    ”rule by fear”?

    You mean like threatening people with going to Hell for an eternity of torture for not believing in creationism?

    Trying to silence people with the threat of Hell, or using political manipulation to silence them through intimidation or by dishonestly quotemining them as being alleged terrorists doesn’t count as “rule by fear” as it’s done on Jesus’ behalf, of course.

  15. 15
    raven

    Posted on the last thread but it goes here just as well. Now just who is being persecuted and by who?

    I’ve seen this before from people in Europe who live in post-xian societies. They really are ignorant about what it is like living with tens of millions of crazed fundie xians who are very good at hating, lying, and are occasionally violent. Ones that have their own political party, the GOP/Tea Party that is powerful enough to control half the government.

    Below is an old post summarizing some of the persecution faced by scientists and science supporters. You never, ever want to turn you back on Oogedy Boogedy religious kooks.

    FWIW, fundie xians can and occasionally are violent. This vandalism in Florida is just more xian terrorism.

    Below is an old list of their other victims. It is long and getting longer all the time.

    The real story is the persecution of scientists by Fundie Xian Death cultists, who have fired, harassed, beaten up, and killed evolutionary biologists and their supporters whenever they can.
    http://www.sunclipse.org/?p=626 [link goes to Blake Stacey's blog which has a must read essay with documentation of the cases below.]

    Posting the list of who is really being beaten up, threatened, fired, attempted to be fired, and killed. Not surprisingly, it is scientists and science supporters by Death Cultists.

    If anyone has more info add it. Also feel free to borrow or steal the list.

    I thought I’d post all the firings of professors and state officials for teaching or accepting evolution.

    2 professors fired, Bitterman (SW CC Iowa) and Bolyanatz (Wheaton)

    1 persecuted unmercifully Richard Colling (Olivet) Now resigned under pressure.

    1 persecuted unmercifully for 4 years Van Till (Calvin)

    1 attempted firing Murphy (Fuller Theological by Phillip Johnson IDist)

    1 successful death threats, assaults harrasment Gwen Pearson (UT Permian)

    1 state official fired Chris Comer (Texas)

    1 assault, fired from dept. Chair Paul Mirecki (U. of Kansas)

    1 killed, Rudi Boa, Biomedical Student (Scotland)

    1 fired Brucke Waltke noted biblical scholar

    Biology Department fired, La Sierra SDA University

    1 attempted persecution Richard Dawkins by the Oklahoma state legislature

    Vandalism Florida Museum of Natural History

    Death Threats Eric Pianka UT Austin and the Texas
    Academy of Science engineered by a hostile, bizarre IDist named Bill Dembski

    Death Threats Michael Korn, fugitive from justice, towards the UC Boulder biology department and miscellaneous evolutionary biologists.

    Death Threats Judge Jones Dover trial. He was under federal marshall protection for a while

    Up to 16 with little effort. Probably there are more. I turned up a new one with a simple internet search. Haven’t even gotten to the secondary science school teachers.

    And the Liars of Expelled, the movie have the nerve to scream persecution. On body counts the creos are way ahead.

    These days, fundie xian is synonymous with liar, ignorant, stupid, and sometimes killer.

  16. 16
    peterh

    “scientific alternative of intelligent design”

    It falls down right there and will never be able to get up.

  17. 17
    Paul

    …the censored scholars and instructors are careful about keeping safe from further threats and reprisals, which means keeping quiet.

    Wow! I know that there are closet atheists, and closeted LGBT, but to accuse any intelligent person of being a closet creationist is just. plain. stupid.

  18. 18
    Doubting Thomas

    Duh, anyone nominated PZ yet?

  19. 19
    magistramarla

    This Latin nerd read the title, translated it immediately and felt very, very pleased that PZ would show off his knowledge of my favorite field of study.

  20. 20
    skeptico

    Doesn’t the Discovery Institute have all comments turned off on its blog? I’m pretty sure no comments are allowed on its site.

    I nominate the Discovery Institute then for censoring opposing views.

  21. 21
    jnorris

    [begin creepy organ music]

    The Discovery Institute doesn’t tell the half of it. They don’t know about the jack boot graduate student thugs who roam the university biology department hallways and classrooms forcing students to believe in evolution. Dr Myers dares not expose the biology conferences’ death squads that ‘disappear’ the Darwin blaspheming creationists who register. [insert evil laughter]

    [close creepy organ music]

  22. 22
    Menyambal

    Censorship is condemning one book. Creationism is worshipping one book, and condemning all others.

  23. 23
  24. 24
    MetzO'Magic

    The most frustrating aspect of this whole contemporary creationism saga, that has been transpiring for… well, ever since we knew better courtesy of science, is that the creationist ringleaders are guaranteed to be, almost to a one, right-wing authoritarian leaders. They *know* creationism is a crock. They really are just in it for the power and the money. There are probably quite a few of them that manage to hang in there solely through cognitive dissonance, but most of them just have to be self-serving, sadistic, megalomaniacs.

    How long will it take for their ‘flock’. i.e. the right-wing authoritarian *followers* to cop on? Probably another couple of hundred years (but not if we can do our best to accelerate that timescale, perhaps). But I think something really bad will happen before the next enlightenment that will render that whole line of thought moot.

  25. 25
    twas brillig (stevem)

    “scientific alternative of intelligent design”

    Alternative to science: intelligent design FTFY, Dumbski!

  26. 26
    Jacob Schmidt

    But the statistical fact of such a majority is the result, in no small measure, of rule by fear.

    I tried, you know. I tried telling people the truth. I tried bringing up the controversies. I just wanted kids to be able to choose for themselves. I JUST WANTED TO CHOOSE FOR MYSELF! They came for me. It was subtle, at first: some pointed looks; some muffled laughter; some rolled eyes. I was determined to fight through it. The subtlety stopped. They became persistent. When I tried to speak, they’d shout me down with evidence. They’d point out the flaws of my reasoning. Phrases like “special pleading,” or “ad hoc nonsense,” or “Your claims are completely unsubstantiated, and you’ve yet to construct a testable model” were thrown at me. It was terrifying. I began to hide my views from my peers for fear of being told why I am wrong. To this day, I carry that fear with me.

    God help me.

    God help us all.

  27. 27
    lpetrich

    I corrected the grammar:

    Ceterum censeo creationismum esse delendum.

    The original is at Carthago delenda est – Wikipedia

  28. 28
    Xanthë, Amy of my threads

    Presumably you missed comment 3? (It’s a fairly safe bet that on any given comment thread, the pedants will strike earlier than comment 27.)

  29. 29
    nrdo

    @ Jacob Schmidt – I remember the evil scientist who introduced me to evolutionary biology the cult of fear in college. She was about 5’3″, grey hair, a plant geneticist, loved growing flowers and helping students in her free time . . .

  30. 30
    paulhands

    I think we should mass email the editor and nominate….

    Ken Ham
    Stephen C. Meyer
    Michael Behe
    William Dembski

    Or your most hated creotard.

  31. 31
    prfesser

    This sort of suppression happens with all science faculty. Chemistry profs live in constant fear of Atomic Theorists who constantly force THAT agenda upon us. We all know at heart that there are only four elements, and that matter is infinitely divisible. After all, Aristotle said so. But no one is willing to speak out.

  32. 32
    skeptifem

    I am kind of afraid for you PZ. This seems like the kind of thing that could end in violence. You might wanna read ‘the gift of fear’ for professional tactics to avoid violence. Humiliating an unstable person in public might not be such a good idea. One of the necessary conditions for violence is the perp feeling that there is no alternative way to address the issue, and a lack of dignity contributes strongly to that perception. I am sorry you’ve been handed a bunch of bullshit, but I do hope you consult someone with security experience to tell you how to proceed.

  33. 33
    BCat70

    Can I nominate Bill Nye, in at last a semi-ironic way (considering his upcoming “debate”)?

  34. 34
    Azuma Hazuki

    @15/Raven

    Wait, wait, waitwaitwait…someone named Van Till at Calvin College was being persecuted? Is this guy any relation to Cornelius van Til, the guy who’s single-handedly responsible for that gawd-awful presuppositionalist apologetic method?

    Because if so, the irony is deliciously pungent, like salted licorice.

  35. 35
    lordshipmayhem

    I’m with Raven @ #5: Reality.

  36. 36
    David Marjanović

    Presumably you missed comment 3? (It’s a fairly safe bet that on any given comment thread, the pedants will strike earlier than comment 27.)

    =8-)

Comments have been disabled.