The tyranny of science

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The Article

As Paul Feyerabend, one of my scientific heroes, wrote in his 1975 essay, How to defend Society against Science: “In society at large the judgement of the scientist is received with the same reverence as the judgement of bishops and cardinals was accepted not too long ago. Science has now become as oppressive as the ideologies it had once to fight. Do not be misled by the fact that today hardly anyone gets killed for joining a scientific heresy. This has nothing to do with science. It has something to do with the general quality of our civilization. Heretics in science are still made to suffer from the most severe sanctions this relatively tolerant civilization has to offer.”

Likewise Freeman Dyson, whose most recent book, Many Coloured Glass, is only the latest fruit of a lifetime of dangerously independent thinking, in which he has shamelessly crossed over from one scientific speciality to another—as all the great scientists of history did. He devotes a robust chapter to cataloguing the marvellous accomplishments of men who refused to be intimidated by the dull, heavy hand of professional authority in his own time. And he adds today:

“My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models.”

A good point, for the global warming scare is (as I have argued previously) the latest power grab from the same academy that preaches a religious atheism through the enforcement of Darwinist cosmology in our schools.

I can thank the enterprising Benny Peiser—another scientist, at Cambridge, England, struggling for light in our encroaching dark age—for reminding me of both of those resources. He is another of those glorious free spirits of science, who follow the evidence where it leads, rather than using the authorities of the past to shut down all fresh inquiries (as the mediaeval scholastics are accused of having done—quite falsely).

Peiser also paraphrases the Roman poet, Lucretius—among the pioneers of the empirical scientific mindset, who filled six books with hexameters in frequent opposition to the received superstitions of ancient Rome:

“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

I bear all such happy thoughts in mind when reading, for instance, the large volume of mail I have received condemning the microbiologist Michael Behe, an exponent of “ID,” or intelligent design, whose recently published critique of received Darwinism I pronounced to be adequate in my column last week. Let me give my reader just one of innumerable examples of how the Darwinists discipline such heretics.

There was a show trial in Dover, Pennsylvania, two years ago, in which a local school board was prosecuted for having permitted the teaching of intelligent design. This was publicized by the liberal media as, “Another Scopes trial in America!” The defence called Michael Behe, so the plaintiffs brought Eric Rothschild, a high-powered attorney, to lure him into verbal traps. Rothschild made tendentious points on the definition of “science.” Behe wouldn’t play, and noted, rather dryly, that if the current official definition of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences were enforced, most major advances in modern science would have to be ruled illegal. Rothschild then paraphrased Behe’s position as, “So you believe astrology is valid science.” Needless to say, Behe demurred.

This was then reported, in the liberal science press, with the triumphalist flavour of, “Behe forced to admit that astrology is valid science according to his definition.”

And now, in letter after letter I receive, the Darwinists have simplified this to, “Behe also believes in astrology.”

You can’t argue with people who ignore what you say, and instead devote their entire effort to slandering and demonizing you. The Church to its credit, over 2,000 years, took the trouble to explain why a heresy was a heresy; why, moreover, it was wrong; and why any individual heretic was worth contradicting. Galileo, for instance, was given exhaustive hearings, and condemned—not to death, mind, but to recantation—not for his scientific assertions, but for his mischievous theological inferences.

How I wish the high priests of Darwinism could restrain themselves in similar ways. They can’t, because Darwinism is a religion, and moreover, a false religion, in fear of free inquiry.

David Warren
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