Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution, including breaking news about scientific research.

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Should Dr. James Watson Enjoy Free Speech?

The furor over Dr. James Watson's comments on the supposed racial inferiority of black people--resulting from evolution--caused cancellation of at least one of the Nobel scientist's speeches in England this week. He may even have lost his job at Cold Spring Harbor. This brings a new element into the story.

John West has explained that Watson's science is in thrall to his materialist philosophy and is wrong as science. Further, West points out that this is how we got to eugenics in the first place. It is a didactic history he tells with concussive force in his book out next month from ISI, Darwin Day in America. If you want to know why appalling views like Dr. Watson's enjoy such covert scientific support, read West. Race theory and eugenics are not accidents, but the logical product of Darwinian thought--going back to Darwin's work itself. Perhaps your local church pastor might like to read about it before he declares St. Darwin's birthday a holiday in February, as has been happening at some of the more gullible and latitudinarian chapels of the land. Watson's candor actually helps illuminate the radical ideological content of Darwinism when unadorned by political fig leaves.

But cancellation of Dr. Watson's speech in England raises a separate issue, one of a serious procedural nature. Surely, Darwinists will deplore the loss of a venue for Dr. Watson to speak, however much his scientific views may give offense. Popularity, not to mention political correctness, cannot be the test of a scientific proposition. So let him make his argument as cogently as possible. That would be the truly liberal way and the scientific way.

I happen to sympathize with that view completely. Let him speak and treat him politely. Then use evidence and reason to demolish his thesis.

I hold to that position, indeed, even though Dr. Watson and other Darwinists refuse to accord such courtesy and civility, let alone curiosity, to scientific critics of Darwin's theory of evolution. Free speech for them is, well, free speech for them.