Richard Dawkins The Darwinian Evolution Hoax
The Open Society and its Enemies
by Richard Milton
I experienced the witch-hunting activity of the Darwinist police at first hand when I published Shattering the Myths of Darwinism and found myself subjected to a campaign of vilification. I had expected controversy and heated debate, because that is in the nature of Darwinism. But it was deeply disappointing to find myself being described by a prominent academic, Oxford zoologist Richard Dawkins, as 'loony', 'stupid' and 'in need of psychiatric help' in response to purely scientific reporting.
It was equally unpleasant to discover that, behind my back, Dawkins was writing letters to newspaper editors alleging that I am a secret creationist and hence not to be believed. This kind of behavior culminated in March 1995 when a British weekly newspaper, the Times Higher Education Supplement commissioned me as a freelance journalist to write a critique of Darwinism and trailered the article in one of its editions, by saying 'Next Week: Darwinism - Richard Milton goes on the attack'.
Dawkins contacted the editor, Auriol Stevens, falsely alleged that I am a secret creationist, and covertly lobbied against the publication of my article, although he had not seen it.
I wrote the following letter to the editor, appealing to her not to give in to this kind of unscientific bullying:-
Times Higher Education Supplement
66-68 East Smithfield
London E1 9XY
16 March 1995
Dear Ms Stevens,
I know that my article on the decline of the neo-Darwinist theory
of evolution has caused some controversy and is bound, if
published, to cause even more. May I draw your attention to two
points that I believe are important?
The first is that it has been said, by some scientists, that I am
a secret creationist opposed to neo-Darwinism for religious
reasons. I am not a creationist and my criticisms of the neo-
Darwinist mechanism are purely scientific objections -- as any
reading of the article itself clearly shows.
The second point is far more important. I believe that the great
strength of science and the scientific method is its openness to
debate. Science is strong because errors are exposed through the
process of open argument and counter-argument. Science does not
need vigilante scientists to guard the gates against heretics.
If the heresy is true it will become accepted. If false, it will
be shown to be false, by rational discourse.
In his "The Open Society and its Enemies" Sir Karl Popper says
that the great value of the scientific method is that it saves us
from "The tyranny of opinion". If neo-Darwinists can counter the
evidence I present, let them do so. If they seek to prevent my
writing being published because they don't like it, then it is
not just I that fall victim to the "tyranny of opinion", it is
all of us.
If this article were about any other subject -- finance,
politics, the economy -- I know it would be welcomed as well-
written and thought-provoking even if its claims were
controversial. It is only because it is about neo-Darwinism, a
subject on which some biologists feel insecure and ultra-
sensitive, that doubts have been raised about it.
As a former newspaper editor myself, I am ashamed to say that the editor of the paper gave in to this bullying and suppressed my article.
The attempted censorship failed because I published the article widely on the Internet, putting it into the public domain and making many in the academic world aware of the extreme lengths to which some of their colleagues are prepared to go to censor free discussion. (Click here to read the text of Darwinism -- time to reconsider)
Not long after, in 1996, an American geologist, David Leveson of New York University, attacked me in the Journal of Geoscience Education alleging that I am a 'creationist ally'.
I found this kind of bullying, bad faith and intellectual dishonesty in prominent academics both depressing and a little disturbing. It is like lifting a corner of the veil of civilized behavior and finding something very much like intellectual fascism hiding underneath. Most liberal-minded people who have not themselves experienced this kind of thing will find it hard to believe such behavior takes place in civilized society, since there is little sign of it on the surface unless, like me, you begin to ask controversial questions.
Let me make it unambiguously clear that I am not a creationist, nor do I have any religious beliefs of any kind. I am a professional writer and journalist who specializes in writing about science and technology and who writes about matters that I believe are of public interest.
For anyone, anywhere, to say that I am a creationist, a secret creationist, a 'creationist ally', or any other such weasel-word formulation, is an act of intellectual dishonesty by those who have no other answer to the scientific objections I have raised publicly.
Most scientists privately accept that there are serious objections to Darwinism such as those cited in these pages and privately they will admit to the objections. However, they have become reluctant to discuss them in public (and in a forum like the Internet they will deny them altogether) because they fear that they will aid their critics and unwittingly discredit their own profession. In some cases, they feel it is better to be discreet, pretend that there is nothing wrong, or even to tell a 'little white lie' in the interests of the greater good of science.
I cannot criticize anyone who feels this way about the profession they love
-- I would be tempted to do the same myself if I were a scientist.
It would be encouraging to think that the forces of academic censorship and the suppression of dissent were a thing of the past in today's open, multi-media communications-linked world. Sadly, the malign influence of those who appoint themselves scientific vigilantes is becoming, if anything, even more widespread. Richard Dawkins, for instance, has now been appointed professor of the public understanding of science at Oxford University.
Dawkins has already shown the kind of methods he uses to foster the 'public understanding of science' when he covertly campaigned to have my article for the Times Higher Education Supplement suppressed. It is depressing to find that a professor of the public understanding of science interprets his role as meaning he must supervise the information that the public and academic community are allowed to see and hear, and hence prevent them from gaining access to evidence that contradicts the accepted Darwinian doctrines.