The Penalty For DissentAppeals to constitutional rights are becoming quaint ideas as the call for persecution of dissent continues to rise. This month is was leading academic Michael Kraft and none other than the Science Guy, Bill Nye, issuing their opinions that those not going along with AGW (man-made, or anthropomorphic global warming) should face persecution. Kraft writes that “Those who intentionally misled the public about climate change should be held accountable,” and Nye states that “there is a chilling effect [from the threat of persecution] on scientists who are in extreme doubt about climate change, I think that is good.”
Nye is quite correct. Persecution will have a chilling effect, though it is at the extreme of the spectrum. Less aggressive, yet nonetheless effective, tools include the withholding of passing grades, diplomas, letters of recommendations, peer-reviewed publications, academic positions, employment, funding grants, tenure, and legitimization in general—all tools that have been used quite successfully by evolutionists for decades to stamp out dissent.
There is a very real selection process in academia enforcing evolutionary thought. The reason dissent is not tolerated is that once one is allowed even a tiny ray of light the entire edifice comes crashing down. Once one genuinely considers even the mere possibility that evolution may not be true, then the lie is suddenly exposed. Like those optical illusions, suddenly you can see the scientific evidence plainly.
AGW may or may not be accurate, I have no idea. But I know McCarthyism when I see it. A metaphysically-driven idea with failed predictions that is enforced by political and social tactics is not a good sign. The leaked emails revealed the underside of what was already fairly obvious from the outside.
Publications are controlled, journals and careers are threatened, data are manipulated to produce dramatic results, and failed predictions are ignored.
Yes Nye is correct that persecution, or even the threat of persecution, would have a chilling effect. But to be clear, there already is a chilling effect. Kraft and Nye think they are doing a good service by raising the specter of persecution, but that is merely one more tactic, after a long series of less aggressive, yet effective, tactics. McCarthyism didn’t end with McCarthy.