Skip to comments.Museum Officials Oust Research Associate Open to Intelligent Design Theory (Smithsonian)
Posted on 03/18/2007 11:10:07 AM PDT by wagglebee
The vaunted Smithsonian Institution, highly regarded for promoting knowledge and science, is embroiled in a scandal for censoring scientific inquiry. It would be amusing when the mouthpieces of political correctness abandoned their mantra of freedom and tolerance to squash a threat to their power, if so much were not at stake. Consider the case of the squashing of Dr. Richard Sternberg, a former research associate at the Smithsonians National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) and a distinguished evolutionary biologist with two doctorates in biology.
Dr. Sternbergs sin was to allow a scientific article critical of neo-Darwinism to be published in a biology journal, an offense that stoked the ire of his colleagues and supervisors. In an act reminiscent of despots purging their territory of ideological opposition, Smithsonian officials conducted a smear campaign to defame and demote the renegade scientist. Investigations since have uncovered the Smithsonians history of allowing scientists critical of Darwinian theory to be harassed and demoted by museum officials.
In August of 2005, the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources began an investigation into the alleged mistreatment of Dr. Sternberg, picking up where the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) had left off. The OSC had uncovered evidence substantiating Dr. Sternbergs complaints of discrimination, but the investigation was cut short due to a question of jurisdiction.
In December 2006, the subcommittee published a report with disturbing evidence of bigotry among Smithsonian officials, along with a recommendation to Congress that it adopt statutory language protecting the free speech and civil rights of scientists who hold unpopular views relating to biological evolution. Subcommittee staff found that top Smithsonian officials refused to address the wrongs uncovered by the investigation and had little concern for the basic rights of scientists who were open to aspects of intelligent design theory.
The report highlights emails sent by officials at the NMNH revealing a clear intent to drive Dr. Sternberg from his job. This is discrimination, plain and simple, reads the report. The abject failure of the Secretary and Deputy Secretary to protect the basic rights of Dr. Sternberg to a civil work environment is indefensible.
Given the attitudes expressed in these emails, scientists who are known to be skeptical of Darwinian theory, whatever their qualifications or research record, cannot expect to receive equal treatment or consideration by NMNH officials.
The hypocrisy demonstrated by the Smithsonians self-professed representatives of intellectual freedom and tolerance of dissent is not limited to the sphere of biological evolutionary research. It can also be seen in the stem cell research arena, where politicians and scientists furiously push policies involving the destruction of human embryos, garnering support by tagging those who oppose the procedure as anti-science. (This, of course, is their most effective method since the use of embryonic stem cells in research has yielded no effective treatments).
The new Congress threatens to force taxpayers to fund destructive embryonic stem cell research over fruitful, ethically sound alternatives. Non-embryonic stem cell research has delivered countless clinical trials and effective treatments. Embryonic stem cell research never has. Why must taxpayers be forced to fund morally objectionable and fruitless research when an alternative exists? Such decidedly biased behavior is hard to bear when the bias comes from the so-called scientific objectivist crowd.
Americans usually trust the servants of science because of their image of commitment to objectivity. But scientists and their servants are losing credibility as it is being revealed that too many of them put ideology and politics above their reputed goals, said Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America. This abuse of trust not only harms individual scientists but the cause of science itself.
Scientists at the Smithsonian have created an environment of fear, where well-published biologists who disagree with the establishment may face demotion and harassment if they voice their views. Politically-driven scientists who claim to work on behalf of intellectual freedom would do well to grant their opposition a right to be heard, and to attack arguments instead of persons. In the meantime, Congress would do well to heed the warnings of the subcommittees report by establishing legal protections for scientists who espouse views and arguments contrary to those advanced by the majority. At stake are freedom of thought and the integrity of the scientific profession.
The left's main desire is to destroy America's Judeo-Christian heritage.
I have seen that same thing right here in Free Republic. Just cast any shadow on Darwinism and feel their wrath.
And now we understand why those scientists that argued the world wasn't flat and the sun didn't revolve around the earth were persecuted.
Why? The "rights" for commercial uses were sold to the Showtime Network.
This nothing to do with liberals. It about a non-scientific nut-job of an idea trying to pose as science.
Or simply questions why members of a conservative forum are supporting a liberal for the Republican presidential nomination.
Good thing he didn't mention doubts about Gorebal warming. He'd have death threats to worry about, too.
Okay, then why did the Smithsonian hire this "undistinguished" biologist in the first place? Keep in mind that they have their choice of most of the top researchers in the world, they obviously thought he was worth hiring then.
It would be interesting to know if this journal was in anyway associated with the Smithsonian.
If not I do not see where the Smithsonian officials have any gripe.
Loosing? They lost it long ago, and are underlining that fact with this latest global warming nonsense.
"It about a non-scientific nut-job of an idea trying to pose as science."
Scientists once said the earth was flat.
The same goes for "global warming".
The liberals are harboring a bunch of what I call "protected theories" that will not stand up to scientific scrutiny and so, no one is allowed to submit them to scientific scrutiny.
The politically correct gag rule has been invoked and the range of our "blinders" is again narrowed.
As if "wikipedia" is a reliable source of information.
"He did post-doctoral work between 1999 and 2001 at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution and in 2001 became an unpaid research associate there."-from that same wiki article on him.
Working without pay is not being "hired". He did his post-doc'ing there, and then was kept around without pay, probably as a charity gesture till they could unload him on somebody else. I have seen a load of such situations.
"As if "wikipedia" is a reliable source of information." - it is good enough for the biographies of living persons - too high a risk to be caught with a lie.
Bull. They've been caught many times, and are currently embroiled in another case of defamation.
You do understand the left. They are the most intolerant of all people, even as the waste good air blathering about how tolerant they are.
Well, so where is sternberg's defamation case against them?
So, if Sternberg is such an "undistinguished" scientist, why was he the editor of "Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington" which has been published for more than 120 years?
LOL - "he has 2 doctorates, but they don't matter".
I guess this is the new talking point after denials of what the Smithsonian did fell apart.
For the same reason the few of my equally [in]distinguished co-workers are on the editorial boards of some other peer-review journals: it is a thankless job, having to read and review all the garbage floating in, and interferes with the work one is supposed to do. But it is a function, and is good for padding one's resume, especially when there is not much else to pad it with.
The Smithonian is the same bunch that denied that the Wright brothers had flown. Not just their first flight, but their more substantial flights. Then, they insisted on putting their guy (Langley) in the center of the gallery for years instead of the Wrights.
I wouldn't worry about what these guys do. After all, they thought it was the Enola Gay that started WW!! (Sarc.)
Just out of curiousity, are you aware that the methods that you and your ilk support in your quest to discredit intelligent design are identical to the methods that the Darwinists fought against a century ago?
You must have missed the memo, FACTS don't matter when it comes to the leftist causes.
I am a professional scientist. To me, ID belongs in seminaries, not in universities. And if I need a biochemistry lab assistant, then BS'es in ID need not apply.
the answer to your question is in this old WaPo article from 2005, along with a bunch more details about this case.....it's really a dirty mess.......you'll be amazed, but not surprised, I promise!
Editor Explains Reasons for 'Intelligent Design' Article
By Michael Powell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 19, 2005; Page A19
Evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg made a fateful decision a year ago.
So? I hope any scientists at NASA who push Velikovsky's ideas are banished from there. It is easy to tell "bad science" from "good science".
"Scientists once said the earth was flat."
Exactly; the bad scientists.
In other words, he has 2 doctorates, but they don't matter - because you don't like his school or agree with his views. Because what the Smithsonian is doing can not be denied, you are attacking his academic credentials. Having earned a PhD yourself doesn't make you the authority on the value of other peoples degrees, or the work they had to do to earn them. This might surprise you, but PhD's are not handed out like candy, even at schools you dismiss because they don't cost several mortgages to attend. Running down his education is a rather cheap attempt at distraction.
""Scientists once said the earth was flat."
Exactly; the bad scientists."
At the time they were the 'good' scientists. Just like those persecuting this guy are today.
If his credentials are so flimsy, then why was he hired by the Smithsonian and appointed as an editor of a 122 year old scientific journal? These people want to have it both ways.
As I pointed out previously, the suppression methods that the Darwinists support are the same ones they themselves were subjected to a century ago.
This might surprise you, but PhD's are not handed out like candy,
Perhaps not, but in recent years Doctoral programs can and have been dumbed down, just like other levels of education have......
(pointing this out only as a matter of fact, NOT to diminish this guy)
"Positive exceptions occur - and that's where the Ivy league comes in, to vacuum them up into Ivy graduate programs and post-docs. This, of course, only exacerbates the quality differential."
Careful your head doesn't explode.
Have you read about the grade inflation at Harvard?
You are talking undergrads. Graduate students [doctorals] are "graded" mostly on research work, as the course requirements for them are much less rigid. And there are ways to get rid of academically underperforming grads as well - why, I myself have seen it in action, in Princeton. As a charity gesture, they were usually given terminal Master's and pushed out.
"As a charity gesture, they were usually given terminal Master's and pushed out."
The mentality I've seen from the North East in the political and educational system is that if you aren't in the NE then you are a second rater.
Elitism has deep roots in the NE.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with elitism per se, as long as it is meritocratic. Indeed, meritocratic elitism is probably among the most conservative ideas around. As far as academic "pedigree" is concerned, one needs not to be in NE, or even in the Ivies- the word "Ivy" I used loosely, as in "major, highly selective school". For example, U of Chicago is not on the formal "Ivy" list [neither is MIT or Caltech]. But with the late Milton Friedman his students in economics department would easily rank as "Ivy".
The same mantra invoked around here for those who dare to disagree with the self-proclaimed elite. They fail to see that people are opposed to the abuse of science.
Knee jerk reaction by an evo.
If someone doesn't toe the party line, his degree is worth toilet paper no matter what it's in (as in this case).
If someone doesn't have a degree in evo or even science of any kind, and supports it, then they're right because they have the preponderance of evidence behind them (an actual response from an evo to me on FR to a question of why, if he didn't have a degree even in science, he had the authority to speak on evo when other PhD's allegedly don't).
In evoland, it clearly does not matter what ones qualifications are.
Which brings me back to my original question, if this scientist's credentials were worthless, then why did the Smithsonian hire him in the first place?
"The left's main desire is to destroy America's Judeo-Christian heritage."
Not surprising, considering that all leftism is of and from Satan.
You're absolutely right!