I’m seeing a disturbing trend in the world of science to muffle dissenting ideas from the public debate. Thanks to the online revelation of emails that resulted in “Climategate,” we’ve seen just how far global warming proponents were willing to go to stifle dissenting debate and discussion from peer reviewed journals and conferences. A year or two ago we saw the documentary film “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” released on the subject of how major university professors are systemically disciplined or silenced when they stray from Darwinian orthodoxy. Now, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that
L.A.’s California Science Center, under pressure from the Smithsonian Institution has cancelled the screening of the film “Darwin’s Dilemma: The Mystery of the Cambrian Fossil Record.” The American Freedom Alliance has filed a lawsuit in LA Superior Court to allow the film to be shown. The filmmakers had contractually rented the center’s IMAX theater for the film showing, but after the Smithsonian’s intervention, plus emailed complaints from USC professors and others, the contract was abruptly cancelled.
From my perspective – in all these cases – it’s not about whether you side with global warming, Darwin, Intelligent Design – whatever. The issue is how we are losing the ability to even have an public discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of each side. In these specific situations we aren’t talking about nut-cases, we’re talking about legitimate professors, scientists, researchers, and filmmakers trying to get their voices heard. I’m especially mystified that college professors – like those at USC – are leading the charge to suppress and censor these types of events. We used to think of the academy as the last bastion of freedom of speech, but now universities and colleges across America have become centers of “politically correct” speech – where you don’t get heard unless you toe the party line.
I’m not sure what can be done, but believe me – if we don’t keep this conversation going, who knows what will be censored next.
Perhaps our ability to follow the religious faith of our choice?