By pronouncing an end to debate -- just because they say so -- they betray the very principles they claim to uphold: an adherence to scientific inquiry and a commitment to facts and reason in favor of ideologically and politically driven conclusions.
Tom Bethell, in his "Politically Incorrect Guide to Science," quotes author Michael Crichton as saying that consensus science "is an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had."We are witnessing a similar phenomenon on the subject of evolution versus intelligent design. Evolutionist Richard Dawkins, explains Bethel, believes that evolution is not a debatable topic. "I'm concerned about implying that there is some sort of scientific argument going on," said Dawkins. "There's not." Meanwhile the Intelligent Design movement is gathering courageous and impressive adherents who would debate the notion that no debate is going on.
But when these recalcitrant upstarts refuse to toe the line, they sometimes pay the price. Bethell tells of the publication by the peer-reviewed "Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington" of an article on the Cambrian Explosion by the Discovery Institute's Steven Meyer. Though Meyer relied on the work of respected scientists in the article, its subject matter did not sit well with the "consensus" gods. Richard Stenberg, the editor of the journal, was virtually accused of being a religious fundamentalist and a right-winger for publishing the piece. He was required to "surrender his office and keys to the department floor, denying him access to the specimen collections he needed." And, according to Bethel, "A senior Smithsonian scientist complained that publication of the article 'made us into the laughing stock of the world, even is this kind of rubbish sells well in backwoods USA.' Notice," wrote Bethel, "it was not the substantive claims about the Cambrian Explosion that caused such fury, it was their publication in a peer-reviewed journal."
If this trend continues, it's hard to imagine what we'll see in next decade. How the left can consider itself fair and open-minded in view of such developments is beyond comprehension.