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Stand Up to the Bullies, Emory University: Reaffirm Dr. Ben Carson's Welcome and Defend His Right to Express His Views

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We call uponEmory Universitytopublicly reaffirm that the university community welcomes and honors invited Commencement speakerDr. Ben Carson. We further call upon University officials to make clear that they respect Dr. Carson’s right in a free society toexpress honest doubts about Darwinian evolution.

Dr. Carson, who is also supposed to receive an honorary degree from the University, has been the object of an organized bullying campaign by some Emory faculty and students seeking to discredit him for his critical views on Darwinian evolution. In an attack published in Emory’s student newspaper (the Emory Wheel), professors Gerardo, de Roode, Eisen, and Nemenman distorted Dr. Carson’s position on the moral implications of Darwinian materialism and insinuatingly questioned his grasp of the science behind evolution.

Thoughtful people, whether they support Darwinian theory or doubt it, need to join together in support of Ben Carson. He is not only a brilliantly innovative pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins University, a generous philanthropist and humanitarian with an inspiring personal story. Dr. Carson is now also a symbol of academic freedom.

In the world of academic biology, chemistry, medicine, cosmology and other fields, scholars who ask tough questions about evolutionary theory are intimidated and silenced by the forces of Darwinian orthodoxy. We are aware of a variety of troubling instances of this, at academic institutions including CalTech, the University of Kentucky, Iowa State University, the Smithsonian Institution, and elsewhere.

Many biologists and other scientists who would speak out, voicing their doubts about Darwin, fear to do so because of the consequences for their future career prospects.

Emory University must take this opportunity to recommit itself to the freedom of scholars to follow the scientific and other evidence wherever it leads. Scholarship is a search for the truth, with no holds barred.

So far, Emory’s administration has only equivocated. In conversations with the media, the university’s apologetic spokesman has shown far more deference to Darwin activists than to Dr. Carson.

That is why Emory must reconfirm its warm welcome of this great man.Emory officials should quickly offer a statement emphasizing that they recognize the right of Dr. Carson to hold and express his views, and that the university community continues to be pleased and honored to welcome Dr. Ben Carson to speak at Commencement on May 14.


Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture


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