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December 18, 2006

The Smithsonian Imposition

It isn't news that publicly funded science establishments have, by and large, a bias toward Darwinian evolution. But a report produced for Congress suggests that great lengths may be taken to keep it that way, including denigrating scientists who criticize or question evolutionary biology. A Discovery Institute press release notes:

The report details the persecution of Dr. Richard Sternberg, whose civil and constitutional rights were violated by Smithsonian officials when he published a peer-reviewed article by Dr. Stephen Meyer criticizing Darwinian evolution and supporting intelligent design.

“After two years of denials and stonewalling by Smithsonian bureaucrats, a congressional investigation now confirms a campaign of harassment and smears against evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg, whose only ‘crime’ was his honest skepticism of Darwinian dogma,” said John West, vice president of public policy and legal affairs at the Center for Science & Culture. “It’s outrageous that the federal government would sanction such blatant discrimination. This is clearly an infringement of Dr. Sternberg’s free speech rights.”

If the hostility toward Dr. Sternberg was truly this severe, the threat to free speech is not so worrisome as the threat to scientific inquiry itself. Sternberg seems to be an abundantly qualified scientist, as does Dr. Meyer, whose work he allowed into discussion. To cast them aside so quickly would suggest that any counterpoint to the fundamentals of Darwinism cannot be considered serious science.

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