spiked article

Thomas Boyce thomasb at SPIDER.ENTO.CSIRO.AU
Sun Apr 2 03:00:04 EST 1995


>On Wed, 22 Mar 1995, Richard Milton wrote:
>
>>  
>> In article <9503292308.AA14532 at spider.ento.csiro.au>,
>>  Thomas Boyce (thomasb at SPIDER.ENTO.CSIRO.AU) writes:
>> 
>> >
>> >I sympathise with your objections to censorship, and I do not think
>> >irrepairable harm would have been done by the publication of the article.  
>
>The problem with publishing stuff like this is that there are people
>around with a political agenda (i.e., your friendly neighbourhood
>creationist group) who pounce on this kind of stuff, especially because it
>is written by a non-creationist. Headline: "Leading evolution expert 
>dismisses Darwinism in respected Publication".

I am not ignorant of the nature and history of this issue.  I also still
think its true that no great harm would've been done.

>
>Censorship must never get in the way of publishing new ideas or 
>criticisms of old ideas IF THEY ARE BASED ON SOUND SCIENCE.

Ergo, if its bad logic and mistakes we are not only entitled to keep it out
of our professional journals but we are entitled to clense the popular
press as well??  MY!  What wonderful powers we have!

Sorry, my concept of freedom of the press is just that.  While Milton's
stuff may be vacuous and sophomoric, censorship is a sure way to fuel the
fires, not put them out.  THES may not choose to publish it, (and for
reasons that do not amount to censorship). But when someone cries
censorship, you have to look carefully at the facts.

With a little thought, the most startling aspect of this is that NO ONE at
the THES had the appropriate knowledge to flag it as frass without having
to ask some big gun in the field.  What DO we teach people these days?

>
>> >

Much whinging deleted...


>I hope that after the comments your article has elicited from a variety of
>sources, you will understand that, even if the reason given was perhaps
>unsatisfactory, your article should still not have been published by the
>THES. 
>
>I hope you will also understand that those working to improve our
>understanding of biology get rather irritated at constantly being
>subjected to a barrage of uninformed criticism, which is used by others to
>further a political agenda determined to ridicule and undermine this line
>of research, and therefore has to be addressed at the expense of our time.
>

I agree there's no need to post Milton's stuff to the mol.evol group. 

But generally we really have to put effort into making the facts of
evolution known and accepted throughout most of society, or else we're
doomed to these continual skirmishes.  You may want to spend all of your
time uncovering wonderful details of evolution, but if the rest of the
populace doesn't believe you, so what?

-TMB


__________________________________________________________________________
Dr. Thomas M. Boyce     	       	   FAX: 61-6-2464173
Entomology, CSIRO	      	       	   Telephone: 61-6-2464159
GPO Box 1700	   	       	           Internet:  thomasb at spider.ento.csiro.au
Canberra, ACT  2601	
AUSTRALIA
__________________________________________________________________________





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