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Museum Officials Oust Research Associate Open to Intelligent Design Theory (Smithsonian)
Concerned Women for America ^ | 3/13/07 | Cara Cook

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 Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) and a distinguished evolutionary biologist with two doctorates in biology.

Dr. Sternberg’s 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 Smithsonian’s 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. Sternberg’s 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 Smithsonian’s 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 subcommittee’s 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.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ac; antisciencecranks; censorship; creationisminadress; crevo; crevolist; darwinism; fsmdidit; idjunkscience; intelligentdesign; moralabsolutes; smithsonian
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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.

The left's main desire is to destroy America's Judeo-Christian heritage.

1 posted on 03/18/2007 11:10:10 AM PDT by wagglebee
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To: 230FMJ; 49th; 50mm; 69ConvertibleFirebird; Alexander Rubin; An American In Dairyland; Antoninus; ...
Moral Absolutes Ping!

Freepmail wagglebee or little jeremiah to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.

FreeRepublic moral absolutes keyword search
[ Add keyword moral absolutes to flag FR articles to this ping list ]


2 posted on 03/18/2007 11:10:49 AM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: wagglebee

I have seen that same thing right here in Free Republic. Just cast any shadow on Darwinism and feel their wrath.


3 posted on 03/18/2007 11:13:00 AM PDT by sgtbono2002 (I will forgive Jane Fonda, when the Jews forgive Hitler.)
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To: wagglebee
The left's main desire is to destroy America's Judeo-Christian heritage.

Agree 100%.

4 posted on 03/18/2007 11:13:13 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Enoch Powell was right.)
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To: wagglebee

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.


5 posted on 03/18/2007 11:13:21 AM PDT by driftdiver
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To: wagglebee; editor-surveyor; DaveLoneRanger

ping.


6 posted on 03/18/2007 11:16:06 AM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: wagglebee
This is the same tax payer institution who would NOT let Ollie North's "War Stories" film crew photograph the Enola Gay.

Why? The "rights" for commercial uses were sold to the Showtime Network.

7 posted on 03/18/2007 11:16:55 AM PDT by llevrok (When illegals are the majority, can we citizens open up casinos ?)
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To: wagglebee

This nothing to do with liberals. It about a non-scientific nut-job of an idea trying to pose as science.


8 posted on 03/18/2007 11:16:57 AM PDT by Rudder
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To: sgtbono2002
I have seen that same thing right here in Free Republic. Just cast any shadow on Darwinism and feel their wrath.

Or simply questions why members of a conservative forum are supporting a liberal for the Republican presidential nomination.

9 posted on 03/18/2007 11:22:32 AM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: wagglebee
"a distinguished evolutionary biologist with two doctorates in biology."
"Sternberg has two PhDs; the first from 1995 in molecular evolution from Florida International University, and a second in systems science from Binghamton University."[Google to wikipedia]
Neither of these are scientific powerhouses, the last time I checked. And the description of his career, as provided there, does not make him sound anything like "distinguished". Just another behe.
10 posted on 03/18/2007 11:25:37 AM PDT by GSlob
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To: wagglebee

Good thing he didn't mention doubts about Gorebal warming. He'd have death threats to worry about, too.


11 posted on 03/18/2007 11:27:39 AM PDT by magslinger (Submission? That's a bit of a problem!)
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To: GSlob

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.


12 posted on 03/18/2007 11:29:19 AM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: Rudder; wagglebee
Dr. Sternberg’s sin was to allow a scientific article critical of neo-Darwinism to be published in a biology journal

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.

13 posted on 03/18/2007 11:30:02 AM PDT by Pontiac (Patriotism is the natural consequence of having a free mind in a free society.)
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To: wagglebee
"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,”

Loosing? They lost it long ago, and are underlining that fact with this latest global warming nonsense.

14 posted on 03/18/2007 11:30:06 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: Rudder

"It about a non-scientific nut-job of an idea trying to pose as science."

Scientists once said the earth was flat.


15 posted on 03/18/2007 11:32:01 AM PDT by driftdiver
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To: sgtbono2002
I have seen that same thing right here in Free Republic. Just cast any shadow on Darwinism and feel their wrath.

But FReepers don't fire you from your job or make your life unlivable. We may however be a bit "spirited" in discourse, but that is what debate is for. We come and go from this forum freely.
16 posted on 03/18/2007 11:34:26 AM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: sgtbono2002
I have seen that same thing right here in Free Republic. Just cast any shadow on Darwinism and feel their wrath

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.

17 posted on 03/18/2007 11:34:51 AM PDT by capt. norm (Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.)
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To: GSlob

As if "wikipedia" is a reliable source of information.


18 posted on 03/18/2007 11:35:36 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: wagglebee

"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.[1]"-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.


19 posted on 03/18/2007 11:36:16 AM PDT by GSlob
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To: Nathan Zachary

"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.


20 posted on 03/18/2007 11:37:45 AM PDT by GSlob
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To: GSlob
"- 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.

21 posted on 03/18/2007 11:39:49 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: wagglebee

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.


22 posted on 03/18/2007 11:40:22 AM PDT by Old Landmarks (No fear of man, none!)
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To: Nathan Zachary

Well, so where is sternberg's defamation case against them?


23 posted on 03/18/2007 11:41:45 AM PDT by GSlob
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To: GSlob
Just another behe.

Ouch.

24 posted on 03/18/2007 11:45:39 AM PDT by Hoplite
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To: GSlob; Nathan Zachary

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?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sternberg_peer_review_controversy


25 posted on 03/18/2007 11:48:34 AM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: GSlob
Neither of these are scientific powerhouses, the last time I checked. And the description of his career, as provided there, does not make him sound anything like "distinguished". Just another behe.

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.

26 posted on 03/18/2007 11:50:05 AM PDT by Hacksaw (Appalachian by the grace of God!)
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To: wagglebee

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.


27 posted on 03/18/2007 11:53:24 AM PDT by GSlob
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To: wagglebee

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.)

Oldplayer


28 posted on 03/18/2007 11:54:01 AM PDT by oldplayer
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To: GSlob

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?


29 posted on 03/18/2007 11:57:59 AM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: Hacksaw
"LOL - "he has 2 doctorates, but they don't matter"."
My dear, I am a PhD myself, and from experience I could tell you that there are PhDs and then there are PhDs. Doing a blind choice, without knowing anything else, between an MIT PhD and an Outhouse University PhD, I'd go with MIT and I will not be sorry for that. And if we are talking about U of Florida in Gainesville, then the PhD better come from Alan Katritzky's lab and have an extremely good recommendation letter.
30 posted on 03/18/2007 11:59:00 AM PDT by GSlob
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To: oldplayer
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.

You must have missed the memo, FACTS don't matter when it comes to the leftist causes.

31 posted on 03/18/2007 12:01:00 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: wagglebee

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.


32 posted on 03/18/2007 12:01:25 PM PDT by GSlob
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To: wagglebee

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.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/18/AR2005081801680.html


33 posted on 03/18/2007 12:12:42 PM PDT by Vn_survivor_67-68
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To: wagglebee

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".


34 posted on 03/18/2007 12:16:02 PM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: driftdiver

"Scientists once said the earth was flat."

Exactly; the bad scientists.


35 posted on 03/18/2007 12:19:11 PM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: GSlob
My dear, I am a PhD myself, and from experience I could tell you that there are PhDs and then there are PhDs. Doing a blind choice, without knowing anything else, between an MIT PhD and an Outhouse University PhD, I'd go with MIT and I will not be sorry for that. And if we are talking about U of Florida in Gainesville, then the PhD better come from Alan Katritzky's lab and have an extremely good recommendation letter.

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.

36 posted on 03/18/2007 12:27:24 PM PDT by Hacksaw (Appalachian by the grace of God!)
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To: Born to Conserve

""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.


37 posted on 03/18/2007 12:29:06 PM PDT by driftdiver
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To: Hacksaw

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.


38 posted on 03/18/2007 12:31:02 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: driftdiver

As I pointed out previously, the suppression methods that the Darwinists support are the same ones they themselves were subjected to a century ago.


39 posted on 03/18/2007 12:33:23 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: Hacksaw

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)

http://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&channel=s&hl=en&q=%22fast+track+PhD%22+doctorate&btnG=Google+Search


40 posted on 03/18/2007 12:36:08 PM PDT by Vn_survivor_67-68
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To: Hacksaw
Your price argument is irrelevant: graduate school in hard sciences is usually tuition free - there are teaching and research assistantship stipends covering it. It is a hamburger, and not a fillet mignon, existence, but one need not to go above one's ears in debt for it.
If I go for diploma mills, I could have doctorates by a dozen, and they would not be worth the toilet paper the diplomas would be printed on. You chose to overlook the words "from experience" - I have worked with Ivy leaguers [am one myself], and I have worked with the graduates of lesser schools. The lesser schools are not called "lesser" for nothing. Indeed, you'd be amazed at the quality differential, especially at the extremes. 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.
41 posted on 03/18/2007 12:49:50 PM PDT by GSlob
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To: GSlob

"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?


42 posted on 03/18/2007 12:54:28 PM PDT by driftdiver
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To: driftdiver

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.


43 posted on 03/18/2007 12:58:57 PM PDT by GSlob
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To: GSlob

"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.


44 posted on 03/18/2007 1:01:32 PM PDT by driftdiver
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To: driftdiver

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".


45 posted on 03/18/2007 1:12:48 PM PDT by GSlob
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To: wagglebee
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.”

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.

46 posted on 03/18/2007 1:15:48 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: GSlob; wagglebee

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.


47 posted on 03/18/2007 1:22:43 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom

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?


48 posted on 03/18/2007 1:25:57 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: wagglebee

"The left's main desire is to destroy America's Judeo-Christian heritage."

Not surprising, considering that all leftism is of and from Satan.


49 posted on 03/18/2007 1:26:40 PM PDT by dsc (There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men. Edmund Burke)
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To: dsc

You're absolutely right!


50 posted on 03/18/2007 1:27:21 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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