Whether it's ID or global warming, a wall has been erected that forbids study of a whole line of hypotheses. That means no grants, no support and no access to the best scientific journals. Jonathan Wells, another scientist interviewed, asserted the obvious: "Science isn't settled by orthodox pronouncements, but by evidence."
After all, what are responsible scientists afraid of? If their theories are true, they will withstand whatever evidence critical scientists can produce. Truth in science must continually be tested. Scientists don't want to be silenced; they just want the freedom to follow the evidence wherever it leads. This isn't science versus religion; it's scientific evidence versus scientific evidence.
When research by paleontologist Meave Leakey showed last August that two species of early human ancestors lived at the same time in Kenya, this didn't work well with the pictures of the hunched-over ape evolving across a page to the man in a business suit. When Homo erectus is waving to Homo habilis, Darwin has some explaining to do.
Seth Borenstein reported that scientists didn't feel that the discovery repudiated evolutionary theory; it just showed the complexity of "good science."
Susan Anton, anthropologist at New York University, commented: "This is not questioning the idea at all of evolution; it is refining some of the specific points. This is a great example of what science does and religion doesn't do. It's a continuing self-testing process."
Bernard Wood, a surgeon-turned-professor of human origins at George Washington University, added: "This is only a skirmish in the protracted war' between the people who like a bushy interpretation and those who like a more ladder-like interpretation of early human evolution."
Many scientists seem to only welcome "skirmishes" with colleagues who support their orthodoxy, whether that's Darwinian evolutionary theory or man-made global warming. Do you hear the sound of one hand clapping?
As Stein suggests, there's a wall imposed in the world of science that destroys freedom of inquiry. If you don't play on the right side of the wall, you're not science.
It's time to resurrect Ronald Reagan's classic challenge, "Tear down this wall!"
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