Scientific Fundamentalism

The 21st century is called the “Information Age.” We all want to know more. And there are many who would want you to hear. However, not all are worthy of lending our ear to. But, when someone like Jerry Bergman voices his opinion, one will be all ears. After all, Jerry is 62, and member of the Mensa group, a body of intellectuals with an IQ of more than 130. Their IQ’s are among those of the top 2% of the world’s population. This time, he is out with his new book titled Slaughter of the Dissidents: The Shocking Truth about Killing the Careers of Darwin Doubters.

Bergman, for the last 30 years, has interviewed hundreds of people in academia and documented cases in which he contends that many careers were derailed because of their doubts about evolution.

The book documents tales of people whose careers were jeopardized because of harboring doubts regarding the mainstream theory of Evolution of Life, proposed by Charles Darwin. Mr. Bergman, himself has nine academic degrees, including a doctorate in education from Wayne State University, and currently teaches at Northwest State Community College in Archbold, Ohio, USA and the University of Toledo’s Health Science campus. In 35 years as an educator, Mr. Bergman has taught college-level courses in biology, microbiology, chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, pathology, anthropology, geology, and statistics, among other subjects, and has published more than 800 academic papers.

While speaking with reporters, he says, “It’s unlikely today that an out-of-the-closet Darwin doubter will survive in academia.” According to him, there’s much at stake because a Ph.D requires a huge investment in time and money, averaging nine years of school and $300,000 to $500,000 in costs. Rather than risk losing everything over one’s personal beliefs, Mr. Bergman said he now advises people to “stay in the closet until things change” and to seek change through legislation. A few “Darwinian fundamentalists” rule and stifle out any free speech and scholarly debate in academia as per Bergman.

When he tells people that doubting Darwinism can lead to discrimination in universities, Mr. Bergman said he gets two responses, neither sympathetic to his cause: “First, it’s not happening. Second, yes it’s happening and it should be happening.”

Irreducible  Anger

Scientific Fundamentalism

And findings match with the opinions of Bergman. One scientist who has seen the dark side of the pro-Darwinian establishment of scientists and academia is Prof. Michael Behe. Owing to his pro-ID inclinations and writings, his own department of biological sciences at Lehigh University, has publicly disowned him, by the disclaimer on its web site: “While we respect Prof. Behe’s right to express his views, they are his alone and are in no way endorsed by the department. It is our collective position that intelligent design has no basis in science, has not been tested experimentally and should not be regarded as scientific.” Nevertheless, Behe continues to teach and propagate his views which are “his alone” in the form of scientific books, which are well-received by the scientific readers.

In 1996 Behe published Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. The main thesis of the book was that science has discovered in the cell biochemical systems that are what he called “irreducibly complex,” where the removal of one of the components of the system causes it to lose its function, and that such systems are very difficult to explain in Darwinian terms. He argued that irreducibly complex biochemical systems are better explained as the product of deliberate intelligent design. The book was quite controversial and has been vehemently criticized by Darwinists.

In his second book “The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism” Behe takes the argument further. As it turns out, we now have more powerful microscopes and have found that there are irreducibly complex systems regulating the irreducibly complex systems! Behe points out that there are little trucks that build the irreducibly complex cilium(a hairlike projection from the surface of a cell; provides locomotion in free-swimming unicellular organisms). These “trucks” bring in parts and take them away. The trucks even have forward and reverse motors! And they know when to stop work and conserve energy if there is damage. Moreover, these machines assemble via a complex set of assembly instructions that represent far greater complexity than the final irreducibly complex machine itself. Thus Behe says that biology contains not just irreducible complexity but “irreducible complexity squared.”

So much for Peer Review

Against those who wage a solemn battle against evolution, one of the often-repeated allegations is that they do not have published research papers supporting their positions in “peer-reviewed” scientific journals. For instance, when Prof. Michael Behe published his second book The Edge of Evolution,  arch-rival pro-evolution Darwinist Richard Dawkins wrote the following in a critical review in the New York Times on July 1 2007, “…The best way to find out is for Behe to submit a mathematical paper to The Journal of Theoretical Biology, say, or The American Naturalist, whose editors would send it to qualified referees…[Behe has] bypassed the peer-review procedure altogether, gone over the heads of the scientists he once aspired to number among his peers …” In fact, Dawkins, famous for his frequent ad hominem attacks starts off his review not by any scientific arguments, but by saying that the book is by a man “who has given up.” He also very wisely puts in his review, the entire disclaimer put up on the website dishonoring Behe as an argument that “real science … has publicly disowned him.”

This insistence of getting everything “peer-reviewed” reminds me of something. Seemingly a diversion, this one example could help us understand the situation at hand in a better way.

The early 17th century is an example of a stronghold of the Church in Europe. A large majority of philosophers and astronomers still subscribed to the geocentric* view (that the Earth remained motionless at the centre of the universe). Galileo’s championing of the heliocentric* view (that the Sun was the centre of the universe) was very controversial. After 1610, when he began supporting heliocentrism* publicly, he met with bitter opposition from some philosophers and clerics, and two of the latter eventually denounced him to the Roman Inquisition early in 1615. Although he was cleared of any offence at that time, the Catholic Church nevertheless condemned heliocentrism* as “false and contrary to Scripture” in February 1616, and Galileo was warned to abandon his support for it which he promised to do. When he later defended his views in his most famous work, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, published in 1632, he was tried by the Inquisition and found “vehemently suspect of heresy.” He had to spend the rest of his life under house arrest.

Scientific Fundamentalism

When Galileo presented his views based on his observations and recordings, there must have been a lot of tension in his mind. Here was the establishment believing in one view. There must have been severe opposition from his peers. If he would have waited for his theory to be approved by his peers and get his thesis “peer-reviewed,” how far could he have gone? We have to answer this fundamental question.

In the case of Behe, by understanding how his own department has ostracized him, we can get a small glimpse of how difficult it must be to get something not conforming to the standard Darwinist model printed in a scientific, “peer-reviewed” journal.

And even if something really gets published in a peer-reviewed journal, the reactions are strikingly different from expectations.

Amongst many who have faced the brunt of the pro-evolution academia in this regard is Dr Richard Sternberg, editor of a peer-reviewed journal “Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington.” On 4 August 2004, an article titled, “The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories” by Stephen C. Meyer was published in this journal. Stephen C. Meyer is the director of the Discovery Institute, a body of scientists that believe in non-evolutionary concepts and are propagators of the Intelligent Design(ID) movement*. He holds a doctorate in ‘History and Philosophy of Science’ The publisher claimed that the Dr Sternberg had disregarded certain review procedures to allow Meyer’s article to be published in the journal. An official statement released by the Council of the Biological Society of Washington on 7 September 2004 stated, “…and the associate editors would have deemed the paper inappropriate for the pages of the Proceedings because the subject matter represents such a significant departure from the nearly purely systematic content for which this journal has been known throughout its 122-year history.”

Needless to say, the publishers of the magazine were very unhappy with the appearance of Meyer’s article. It is also important to note that Dr Sternberg holds two PhDs in the area of evolutionary biology, one in molecular (DNA) evolution and the other in systems theory and theoretical biology, has published more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed scientific books and publications, and his current areas of research and writing are primarily in the areas of evolutionary theory and systematics. In order to avoid making a one-sided, unilateral decision on a potentially controversial paper, he even discussed the paper on at least three occasions with another member of the Council of the Biological Society of Washington (BSW), a scientist at the National Museum of Natural History. Still, Dr Sternberg has faced humiliation till date for allowing a pro-ID article to appear in a “scientific, peer-reviewed” journal.

There are more like Dr Caroline Crocker, who was sacked from her job because of mentioning Intelligent Design in a class.

Crocker had a position as a part-time faculty member of George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. She alleges that, in April 2005, her department barred her from teaching evolution and intelligent design after she mentioned intelligent design while teaching her second-year cell biology course. The dean of the College of Arts and Sciences stated that the university did not have a policy or a rule on whether certain topics should be discussed, but questioned whether a concept with theological underpinnings belonged in a science course. He added “I’m a Buddhist, but I don’t think we should teach reincarnation in biology classes.”

No confrontations please!

Around the world, evolutionists systematically have been anti-creationists. But they willfully try not to meet with any creationists. Posing unilateral arguments and ad hominem attacks, they clearly know that evolution is not a laboratory science and hence is non-testable. They use all kinds of scientific jargon and confuse the minds of the simple. Experimental evidence is minimal. Most reliance is on fossil evidence, about which several have expressed their doubts.

Scientific Fundamentalism

Why do the modern educationists not include any other explanation of life or its appearance in the textbooks of today? In an age when the masses rule by their opinion, when the media is ruled completely by the public taste, it is strange to observe that the educational curriculum is one-sided when it comes to answering questions about life.

They say ‘history repeats itself.’ The very crimes that modern scientific academia accuses religionists of, are being committed by themselves now, albeit with a tag of being scientific. Science, they say, is about finding out the truth. It appears though that not all are welcome in this pursuit. A few who will comply with the conditions laid down are favored while others are put to test. First, it was religious dogmatism and now it is scientific fundamentalism. The world, it appears has hardly changed.

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