|Slaughter of the Dissidents-The Shocking Truth About Killing the Careers of Darwin Doubters written by Jerry Bergman, Ph.D. and published by Leafcutter Press in 2008. Reviewed by E. Norbert Smith, Ph.D. I have been interested in the origins debate since high school and was denied tenure for rejecting evolution, yet was unprepared for this groundbreaking four volume tome. Religious persecution has returned to the twenty-first century with a vengeance. It is rampant in the United States where we are guaranteed free speech and religious freedom by the constitution and live in a culture openly espousing tolerance. The coliseum of the first century has been replaced by the ivory towers of academia; the lions by university administrators. This is a must read book for anyone following the current Creation/ID/evolution controversy. Even more importantly, it has a great deal to say about the future of science. As Dr. Bergman clearly shows in this powerful essay, we are on the threshold of forever losing science as we know it.
In Dr. Bergman’s unique style, the topic of modern religious persecution is thoroughly researched and documented with hundreds of references; yet the reader is kept spellbound. He interviewed thousands of scientists, teachers and others who have been denied tenure, fired or failed to be promoted, not just for doubting Darwin, but for simply espousing a Christian worldview. Christianity in the United States has been replaced by atheistic secular humanism. Evolution is the foundation on which this dangerous religion firmly rests. Darwin supporters are the missionaries for this state sponsored religion; their Bible the Origin of Species.
Central to the book are hundreds of case studies of people losing their jobs and careers for simply espousing a belief in God or Intelligent Design. Some have been terminated for nothing more than being a Christian and attending church. Job interviews often include illegal questions about one’s personal religious beliefs. Teachers at universities and public schools are increasingly at risk discussing doubts about evolution or even their Christian views after class, in the hallways or on school property. Where will it end? The local and national media often gets it wrong and compares any criticism of evolution to teaching Bible based Creation. They fail to recognize literally thousands of scientists today have rejected evolution for scientific and not religious reasons. Anyone doubting evolution is considered ignorant and no different from those who once believed the earth was flat and the sun was carried on the back of a giant turtle. Openly espousing a Christian world view can terminate one’s job and career.
Perhaps most revealing in the book is case after case where the persecuted professors began their education as non-believers or marginal Christians and upon exposure to evolution dogma became evolution supporters and atheists. Only after years of additional scientific research did they discover not only is the scientific evidence supporting evolution extremely weak, but biology textbooks are filled with erroneous and even fraudulent information. Also missing from such textbooks is any mention of recent discoveries and arguments from Intelligent Design about the complexity of cells and improbability it could have arisen by random mutation.
The most egregious case is the failure of Raymond Damadian to get the Nobel Prize for his invention of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Instead it went to two other scientists that made improvements on his invention. As Dr. Bergman points out, this would be like Glenn Curtiss getting credit for the invention of the airplane instead of the Wright brothers. Certainly Curtiss made significant improvements like the addition of ailerons, but it was the Wright brothers who made and flew the first airplane. It was Damadian who thought of and built the first functional MRI machine. He holds sixty patents on the MRI, yet was denied the coveted Nobel Prize because he is a Christian and a Creationist. He has published numerous creation science papers and serves as a technical advisor for the Institute of Creation Research and for Dr. Ken Ham’s Answer’s in Genesis Creation Museum. It is now widely recognized he was denied the Nobel Prize because of his religious beliefs. What is particularly surprising is Isaac Newton is considered the greatest scientist of all times and had the same Creationist worldview. In a similar way, astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle was thought by many to be on his way to being nominated for the Nobel Prize, yet after publishing some his doubts about the mathematical improbability of evolution he disappeared from the radar. Indeed, as Bible believing Christians we are living in dangerous times.
Perhaps the best known of all those whose careers were ruined for seeing design in nature is that of accomplished astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez. Born in Havana, Cuba, but the age of 19 he was recognized as an outstanding science student and graduated with honors from the University of Arizona and published his first peer reviewed paper the same year. He earned his doctorate in astronomy from the University of Washington and published numerous astronomy papers in leading journals including the discovery of two new planets. He was well respected and had a promising career…until he wrote The Privileged Planet which was soon made into a movie by the same name. He did not mention Creation or Intelligent Design, but simply documented the conditions necessary to make life and astronomical exploration possible on earth. Even before the Smithsonian museum showed his film a firestorm erupted. Evolutionists were outraged. One even offered the museum $20,000 NOT to show the film. Like so many others, he was denied tenure and lost his research position at Iowa State University merely for suggesting evidence for design in nature. This occurred in spite of excellent student evaluations and an outstanding publication record. Once again, Darwin Doubters are sacrificed on the alter of atheism without mercy. Christians beware!
Dr. Bergman concludes his book with several suggestions for what can be done about this rampant injustice. Our religious freedom is at risk, but there is more. The future of science as we know it is at risk. Scientists MUST be given the freedom to follow the evidence no matter where it leads. We must be informed and inform others. We must also become involved in these important issues. Christians who believe the Bible are openly ridiculed and often excluded from careers in science and teaching…merely for professing Christ. Our battle is real; the enemy unscrupulous. Jesus himself warned us: If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. (John 15:18-19, NIV)