To Intimidate Scientists, No Stalin Is Required

first_imgJane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Medicine To Intimidate Scientists, No Stalin Is RequiredSarah ChaffeeMarch 28, 2019, 12:11 PM Free Speech Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Sharecenter_img Sarah ChaffeeNow a teacher, Sarah Chaffee served as Program Officer in Education and Public Policy at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. She earned her B.A. in Government. During college she interned at Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler’s office and for Prison Fellowship Ministries. Before coming to Discovery, she worked for a private land trust with holdings in the Southwest. Share Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Recommended Lysenkoism, anyone? As Jonathan Wells has summarized the Lysenko story here:Stalin’s favorite scientist was agronomist Trofim Lysenko (1898-1976). In the 1930s and 1940s, Lysenko gained Stalin’s favor with various ill-founded ideas about heredity, and he used his political power ruthlessly to suppress his critics, many of whom lost their jobs and some of whom suffered imprisonment or even death.Seeking a Biological BasisFast forward to 2019. An article from Reuters reports, “Online activists are silencing us, scientists say.” It highlights the severe reaction faced by researchers trying to find psychological rather than medical solutions to chronic fatigue syndrome. Many scientists face abuse and threats from an outraged minority who want there to be a biological basis for symptoms. Michael Sharpe, an Oxford University professor, discovered this outrage for himself when he published the results of a study. Reuters notes: Sharpe no longer conducts research into CFS/ME treatments, focusing instead on helping severely ill cancer patients. “It’s just too toxic,” he explained. Of more than 20 leading research groups who were publishing treatment studies in high-quality journals 10 years ago, Sharpe said, only one or two continue to do so.This is crazy. (I mean that metaphorically, not as a psychological or medical diagnosis!)The campaign to have evidence-backed treatments discredited was “doing a terrible disservice to sufferers from this condition,” said [Simon] Wessely [professor of psychological medicine at King’s College London, former president of Britain’s Royal College of Psychiatrists]. “Patients are the losers here.”Yes, It Sounds FamiliarCritics of materialistic evolutionary theory will be all too familiar with this way of silencing unwanted opinions. It doesn’t require the power of a Stalin. Censors can make the atmosphere “toxic” in other ways, with no need for the intervention of a political dictator. All it takes is a certain level of professional abuse or intimidation. Prudent researchers will seek safer ways to exercise their curiosity.It’s crazy, and a terrible shame. No one wins by preventing scientists from exploring and pursuing the evidence where it leads. Research should not be stifled — whether that’s in the study of biological origins, or in medicine and psychiatry.Photo: Joseph Stalin, via Wikimedia Commons. Tagsbiologychronic fatigue syndromeJoseph StalinKing’s College LondonLysenkoismmedicineOxford UniversitypsychologySimon WesselyTrofim Lysenko,Trending Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Manlast_img

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