Sunday, December 11, 2005

Free Speech

Regarding free speech - I wonder how many people would agree with these actions

The first is Darwin and his friends and how they maintained their stranglehold on academic journals and thus on "authority".
Randal Keynes writes

[Darwin] collected every review; he did all he could to identify each author; and he then wrote letter after letter in a ceaseless private effort to influence opinion. Browne's account of Victorian science is an enthralling story of intellectual gang warfare, of clashes in the 'Reviews', of cliques and stitch-ups, in which victory went eventually not to truth but to a new power wielded by Darwin's supporters. Their 'X Club' which met privately for thirty years, was a palpable force in the history of ideas.

Were they right to do so because they were right?

If you oppose that then how about our second theory.

A century ago and continuing today serious research into racial superiority was purged from much of academia and thus the credible academic record. It periodically pops its head up again for example in regards to :the bell curve" but each time it is beaten back by a barrage of criticism which is often very loosely based on facts even in academia (this is just what happens when people attack something because they hate it not just because they think it is wrong).

Now neither of these things are created just by the government but in reality does it matter whether it is the academic comunity controling society (and thus the democratic government) or the government controling academia and thus society.

Both were probably, on the whole, good things (even if not 100% successful) but the methods by which they were achieved were the opression of free speach. There is a danger here that I might be misinterpreted here so I note that I am just observing a dilemma rather than arguing against free speech or, egad, arguing for creationism or racism). It is just that I learnt long ago that the world is not entirely fair.

It is possible for someone to dispute my definition of free speach. And there is certainly an issue here afterall they did not throw the creationists in jail. But I will wait for the comments to see what you think.


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