Monday, June 15, 2009

The Discovery institute tries its hand at censorship, is anyone surprised?

As reported in a number of other places, those less-than-stalwart fellows over at the DI is illegally attempting to stile critics of themselves, their policies, and even their spokespeople on YouTube. Pharynugla, Dispatches from the Culture Wars, and the Thoughts from Kansas blogs all wrote about it.

Now you all know what I think of the Discovery Institute, but I do have to ask, is anyone surprised? The DI will use any tactic to silence or intimidate their critics. They respond and put their spin on anything critical to them and even when they lose on an issue, they try and make it sound like a victory. So is anyone surprised they will try and remove videos critical of them on YouTube? I certainly hope not.

As I was reading about the issue on Ed Brayton's "Dispatches from the Culture Wars" one comment caught my eye. Sadie Morrison wrote

"Oh, come on, guys. They're just trying to "teach both sides." Everyone knows the only way to do that is by attempting to silence the other side completely."
I thought Ms. Morrison summed it up pretty well. Look at the tactics they have used. How much more time have they spent trying to denigrate or at least marginalize the teaching of Evolution. They spend more on that than they do promoting their own pet concept Intelligent Design. They are attempting to make a connecting between Darwin and the Nazi's not because they believe it to be true, it's to make people think that Evolution is evil. They push for representation on the Texas board reviewing the science curriculum not because they give a damn about childrens' education, but because they are trying to control what gets presented to those students. And they are trying to silence criticism, even though they are not the owners of the videos in question! Gee is anyong with two or more working braincells surprised?

That is all they care about, not free speech, not education, not academic freedom, but they want to be the arbitrator of all things scientific in order to achieve their ends of a 'more theistic' viewpoint. I am proud to say that they will fail! Such censorship has been attempted many times in the past and even if it wins a small victory (Dayton TN in 1925, Kansas and Ohio in 2002, Louisiana in 2008) calmer and much more intelligent heads will prevail. Already the ACLU is calling for Louisiana to better clarify the rules for implementing their new law about the introduction of supplementary materials to exclude Creation, Creation Science, and Intelligent Design because they would fail the law's section on religion. Kansas and Ohio actually tossed out the more rapid Creationists on their school boards. Plus the well documented victory in Dover!

The foes of actual Free Speech and Academic Freedom, currently epitomized by the Discovery Institute, will continue to be targets and will continue to be exposed to the light of day.

One small note ... Where is FoxNews? Has anyone seen anything about FoxNews complaining that the DI is usurping their ownership rights of the videos? Interesting, they are usually pretty vocal about protecting their rights. Shouldn't they be up in arms? Or do they agree with the DI? More food for thought on a news channel that still features Ben Stein talking about the economy. Haven't they learned?

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