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Council of Europe’s Intolerance of Darwin-Dissenters Shared by some Ohio State University Faculty

I recently discussed how the Council of Europe’s “Committee on Culture, Science and Education” proposed “banning” intelligent design (ID) from science classrooms on the grounds that teaching ID may represent a “threat to human rights.” Sadly, that mindset does not exist in Europe alone. In 2005, three Ohio State University (OSU) faculty wrote a letter claiming that a doctoral thesis project by an OSU graduate student, Bryan Leonard, engaged in “unethical human subject experimentation” simply because Leonard taught students about scientific problems with Neo-Darwinism. (See “Professors Defend Ohio Grad Student Under Attack by Darwinists” for details.) Jonathan Wells dicusses this case:

Although Leonard had gone through normal procedures and received proper approval to conduct research, OSU professors Brian McEnnis, Steve Rissing, and Jeffrey McKee accused Leonard of “unethical” conduct, primarily on the grounds that his research was predicated on “a fundamental flaw: there was no valid scientific data challenging macroevolution.” So Leonard’s research (they claimed) involved “deliberate miseducation of these students, a practice we regard as unethical.” The OSU Darwinists then invoked some procedural technicalities–widely ignored in the case of other Ph.D. candidates–to demand that Leonard’s dissertation defense be postponed. McKee subsequently compared two biologists who were members of Leonard’s dissertation committee to “parasitic ticks hiding in the university’s scalp.” McKee wrote that he had learned as a boy “to twist the ticks when taking them out, so their heads don’t get embedded in the skin. Others prefer burning them off. What fate awaits OSU’s ticks remains to be seen.”

(Jonathan Wells, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, pgs. 189-190 (Regnery, 2006).)

As I noted, “[a] hallmark of tyranny is when leaders believe they are so correct that they have the right to criminalize dissent.” These claims that teaching about scientific dissent from Darwinism represents a “threat to human rights” or “unethical human subject experimentation” demonstrate that such tyranny could become reality. Such claims also demonstrate the lengths to which some Darwinists must go to insulate their theory from scrutiny.


Casey Luskin

Associate Director, Center for Science and Culture
Casey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.



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