The other day, I wrote about this unfortunate case of a cancer researcher at UC Davis who was abused by his university for criticizing another department’s poor health advice. I said that that’s one of the things you have to protect with academic freedom: the right of scientists to make informed criticisms of others’ work.
Now I’m getting squeaked at by Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute, who protests that I don’t give that same freedom to creationists.
So Myers doesn’t really believe in academic freedom — he only defends the freedom of scholars to agree with him. But without the liberty to dissent, the whole idea of “academic freedom” is pretty meaningless.
Scientists are supposed to use their intelligence, expertise, and knowledge to make evidence-based criticisms of claims. Since creationists lack all three characters, as well as having a dearth of evidence, it doesn’t apply. Academic freedom does not mean you are given carte blanche to make wild claims without an expectation that you’ll provide scientific reasoning behind them, and the thing is, in the UC Davis case, the cancer researcher was knowledgeable and discussed the best evidence.
There’s more to being an academic than having unfettered freedom, you know.