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Evolution's Glass Ceiling

Discovery senior fellow David Klinghoffer has an interesting piece just out in the new Townhall Magazine, in which he looks at whether or not scientists really are free to research intelligent design. Of course, ID-critics claim that academic freedom reigns supreme:

I asked leading ID-critics whether Darwin-doubters face any hurdles, beyond the strength or weakness of ID itself, to researching and testing their ideas. Kenneth Miller, a Brown University biologist, emailed me with a withering reply: "The conclusion of 'Design' should follow from well-done research on comparative genomics, molecular biology, gene expression, and biochemistry. There is, as you surely know, no barrier to such research."

Francisco Ayala, a biologist at the University of California, Irvine, was emphatic: "I cannot imagine any serious scientist or academic administrator trying to dissuade anybody else from carrying out any well-designed research project."

But scientists who've suffered the consequences of challenging Darwinian dogma tell a much different story.

The untenured will, as a rule, speak only on the condition that neither they nor their institution be named. I asked one such scientist if he felt free to pursue his ID-related research interests. He said, "No, absolutely not. It presents a problem for me."
Another biologist told of how, immediately after his interest in intelligent design became known, he had his lab space withdrawn. The assistant to the director of the facility emailed him that, due to an unexpected "space crunch," he had to be out in two weeks.

Asked about the statements of ID-critics that research critical of Darwin may be conducted freely, the biologist looked amused. "That's a huge joke," he said. He explained that professional science is "prestige driven and [scientists] don't want a knock to their prestige. You do well by impressing your peers, so you are reluctant to jeopardize that."

You can read the whole piece here.

And if you want to do something to help, you can sign the Academic Freedom Petition.