What's your point ???????Ridiculed science mavericks vindicated
Stamping out dissent
Too often, unconventional or unpopular scientific views are simply suppressed
Published in Newsweek, 26 April 1993, pp. 49-50.
Reprinted in New Concepts of Global Tectonics Newsletter, No. 38, March 2006, pp. 19-21.
Textbooks present science as a noble search for truth, in which progress depends on questioning established ideas. But for many scientists, this is a cruel myth. They know from bitter experience that disagreeing with the dominant view is dangerous -- especially when that view is backed by powerful interest groups. Call it suppression of intellectual dissent. The usual pattern is that someone does research or speaks out in a way that threatens a powerful interest group, typically a government, industry or professional body. As a result, representatives of that group attack the critic's ideas or the critic personally--by censoring writing, blocking publications, denying appointments or promotions, withdrawing research grants, taking legal actions, harassing, blacklisting, spreading rumors.Stamping out dissent, by Brian Martin
"Theories have four stages of acceptance:
i) this is worthless nonsense;
ii) this is an interesting, but perverse, point of view.
iii) this is true but quite unimportant.
iv) I always said so."
- J.B.S. Haldane, 1963
When human beings encounter ideas which threaten their fundamental worldviews, the typical response is to thoughtlessly and instantly crush the new ideas; to eliminate them. The searing discomfort engendered by new ideas is called "Cognitive Dissonance." The feeling is almost painful, and it's even more painful for scientists whose salaries or sometimes their very careers depend on correct mental models. When we feel this type of pain, most of us will take immediate steps to stop it. Researchers are not immune to this, although the historical evidence is so shameful that it is not widely acknowledged outside the fields of Science History/Sociology. Professional scientists who pursue unpopular research tend to encounter not only the expected passive disbelief and dismissal. They also suffer active suppression: ridicule, loss of funding (even loss of funding for their conventional work,) attempts to revoke honors, and myriad subtle attacks by colleagues, with the attacks often performed behind the scenes. In fact, one common attack is exactly the one above. It goes like this:
"Scientists never attack each other, so if you think colleagues are trying to hurt your career, you must have mental problems and therefore need professional help."
And so, when someone complains about scientific suppression, we must never automatically dismiss them as conspiracy-theorists. Instead we should take an unbiased view of the evidence. Yes, in many cases we will find that the hated "suppressors" are simply the thoughtful skeptics who are debunking some pseudoscience beliefs. But in a few rare cases we'll find that the "supressors" are scientists whose entire world would be turned upside-down by any evidence which supports the new ideas. These scientists are individually taking action to silence those who bring forth that evidence.
When someone says "They laughed at Galileo", we must take care not to automatically assume paranoia on their part. We should instead hear it as a plea to examine their evidence, just as Galileo pleaded with his contemporaries. Remember, it was not the religious authorities who ignored Galileo's evidence. Instead it was his fellow scientists who refused to actually come and look through that darned telescope! Closeminded Science: They laughed at the Wright Brothers
The Urantia Book
The Urantia Book was purportedly written by extraterrestrials and published in 1955. It has been freely available on the internet since 2001. Several scientific developments, unexpected in 1955, reported in 2005 in Science and Nature, and referenced below, were somehow, described rather precisely already in the Urantia Book. I have documented three cases here, but there are many contemporary scientific discoveries which were first posited as far as I can tell, in this rather large tome. There is much in here, the truth of which cannot be judged from the apparent truth of these several instances. The book claims a large number of authors. Much of it would be considered "politically incorrect" and might infuriate some people. I suggest that you not be shooting at the messenger; I am just reporting what I have observed.
Striking Coincidences Between The Urantia Book (Copyright 1955) three articles in Science: 309 (2005), and one in Nature, (2005)
Nobel-Laureate Kary MullisKary Mullis website
The Urantia Book's story of Adam and Even compared with the University of Chicago Study titled: Evidence that the adaptive allele of the brain size gene microcephalin introgressed into Homo sapiens from an archaic Homo lineage.
According to The Urantia Book, Adam and Eve, along with their progeny, are responsible for a genetic upgrade that has had a lasting effect on the human population. Specific details are provided about when and how this occurred. The Urantia Book also describes the degree to which this genetic upgrade has spread throughout the world. Additionally, it reveals information about the nature of this genetic upgrade. In regard to all of these aspects of our genetic history, research done out of the University of Chicago (the "Study") is in harmony with the information provided in The Urantia Book about Adam, Eve, and their progeny.1 This Study was first published online on November 7, 2006 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.Urantia News - Verifying Science and History in The Urantia Book
Assuming for the moment that space voyagers are not responsible for life’s origin and history on this planet,
one wonders how the Urantia Book authors arrived at the concept of a Proterozoic supercontinent, and the
link between breakup of this supercontinent and the emergence of complex life in the ensuing rift oceans,
30 years before most geologists accepted continental drift and nearly four decades before scientists had any
inkling that Rodinia existed. The anonymous authors responsible for the critical part of section 3 evidently
possessed a high level of geological training, and while writing in the 1930s must have known of
Wegener’s ideas on continental drift. Perhaps he or she was, or had contact with, an expatriate from Nazi
Germany. Whatever the identity of the author, this person proceeded to speculate about the relationship
between evolutionary change and the breakup of a Proterozoic supercontinent in an exceptionally fruitful
way. Perhaps this was because the thought and the writing of this person were not fettered by the normal
constraints of the (too often highly politicized) scientific review process. (McMenamin 1998: 175-176
McMenamin, Mark A. S. (1998) Discovering the First Complex Life: The Garden of Ediacara. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.