Casey Luskin on Darwinists and the "Heckler's Veto" - Evolution News & Views

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Casey Luskin on Darwinists and the "Heckler's Veto"

Casey Luskin has a really nice piece over at The College Fix, an online national news source for college students: "Heckler's Veto: Latest Tool to Suppress Dissent from Darwinism on College Campuses." I had not come across that formulation before -- the "heckler's veto" -- but of course it gets the situation exactly right:

Academic freedom is now threatened for credible scientists to teach and publish dissent from neo-Darwinian theory. I'm not talking about Uncle Joe who runs the Bible-science museum out in Montana. And I am not merely complaining about a lack of academic freedom at the high school level. I'm talking about scientists who work at, and hold Ph.D.'s from, the same research establishments as leading evolutionary biologists.

It goes like this. Darwin activists get wind of some professor violating the gag rule on doubts about Darwin's theory, in however minor a way. They kick up a noisy fuss, and then spineless university and college administrators in the role of lackeys do the rest of their work for them. The result: stifling censorship.

The incidents begin when scientific skeptics of Darwinian evolution merely seek to publish or teach their views, but then follow a predictable arc. Darwin defenders demand -- under penalty of threats of making a great fuss -- that ID-friendly viewpoints must be suppressed. Wary of controversy and offending the wrong people, academic institutions quickly cave to the censors.

People who are confident the evidence is on their side don't normally seek to deny academic freedom to those who hold dissenting viewpoints. But students and the public are losing out on important opportunities to investigate the how humans arose:

This has happened so many times and in so many academic venues -- Casey gives Amarillo College as the most recent -- that you can well imagine the atmosphere of intimidation that anyone with nonconformist ideas on Darwinism would feel. A bully like Nick Matzke or Jerry Coyne leverages his influence over countless scholars he's never heard of, because you can be sure that professors around the country hear about what happened to others who crossed a line.

In different contexts, a really obnoxious heckler would be dragged out of the auditorium by security personnel. In the contemporary academic setting, he's the object of deference -- and fear. These people, the Coynes and Matzkes, want to be feared.

The notion that scientists are free to investigate Darwinian theory objectively is a joke. Go read the rest of Casey's outstandingly persuasive article.