It appears that New Scientist
has caved to legal threats by some unknown entity that was ostensibly upset that they ran an article on how to spot hidden religious agendas in science text books.
The article by Amanda Geftner was at this URL
, but the message there says "New Scientist has received a legal complaint about the contents of this story. At the advice of our lawyer it has temporarily been removed while we investigate."
The question on the blogosphere among science bloggers is who
would threaten such legal action? Obvious culprits are the wackos at Discovery Institute and Denyse O'Leary, a Canadian writer and blogger who defended Intelligent Design in her 2004 book By Design or Chance
. O'Leary is a nutjob extraordinaire and goes on many anti-science, pro-superstition tirades on various science and pseudoscience blogs alike. Mostly the latter.
So what was in the article that was so controversial? Take a look for yourself
. The internet, and skeptics blogs in particular, make such censorship and restriction of free speech near impossible.
This is clearly an example of conservative-religious extremists making every effort to oppress free speech where it is critical of their superstitions or daring to question their irrational claims. Ironically, these people are not above lying to scientists to get interviews for films like Expelled
, where evolution is grossly mischaracterized as the cause of the Holocaust and where the claim is made that academic freedom is being oppressed.
So how do you spot religious agenda in science textbooks. If you didn't click the link to the article copy (and you should copy it to your hard drive for future reference), here's an excerpt:
When you come across the terms "Darwinism" or "Darwinists", take heed. True scientists rarely use these terms, and instead opt for "evolution" and "biologists", respectively. When evolution is described as a "blind, random, undirected process", be warned. While genetic mutations may be random, natural selection is not. When cells are described as "astonishingly complex molecular machines", it is generally by breathless supporters of ID who take the metaphor literally and assume that such a "machine" requires an "engineer". If an author wishes for "academic freedom", it is usually ID code for "the acceptance of creationism".
Clearly, what is objected to by the miscreant(s) that threatened legal action is the fact that someone is educating the public. Hopefully, New Scientist
will have the article back online soon. If not, the internet will pick up the slack. In fact, I'll probably repost it on my blog.