Scientists With Controversial Views Speak of Blacklisting: How Free Is Science?
Scientists With Controversial Views Speak of Blacklisting: How Free Is Science?
'Emotional reaction' from peers when a scientist breaks from conventional thinking

In Beyond Science, Epoch Times explores research and accounts related to phenomena and theories that challenge our current knowledge. We delve into ideas that stimulate the imagination and open up new possibilities. Share your thoughts with us on these sometimes controversial topics in the comments section below.

1. Richard von Sternberg

Richard von Sternberg was an editor at the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. He published an article written by Stephen C. Meyer, which had been reviewed by three other scientists. The article mentioned intelligent design might be possible, Von Sternberg explained in the documentary “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.”

He said he was fired when his superiors “had a physical, emotional reaction.”

Meyer said: “I was viewed as an intellectual terrorist.”


2. Bill Donato, Archaeologist

Image of Bimini Wall via Shutterstock

Donato has been working for many years to prove that Bimini Wall, a structure off the coast of the Bahamas, was built by a prehistoric civilization, one that far out-dates any civilization thought capable of building the structure.

“I do not fear any professional repercussions, because I know what I’m talking about and they [skeptics] have typically done no investigations of any kind,” Donato wrote in an email to Epoch Times. He said his funding comes from like-minded people and he is confident in his findings, confident that truth will prevail.

“Though reductionism is useful, it also has decided limitations; you can’t build an automobile engine from only understanding a bolt,” he said.

Dr. Greg Little, a psychologist who has taken a keen interest in Bimini and has worked closely with Donato, wrote in a 2005 paper: “I have no expectation that any of the skeptics will actually change their views or even consider any alternatives to their beliefs. … All contradictions to their beliefs are probably perceived as a direct threat to them professionally and psychologically.”

“Skeptics invoke emotion-laden, ridiculing terms,” Little wrote. “For obvious reasons, mainstream archaeologists have avoided Bimini as if it was infected with a deadly virus. They have been convinced by reading others’ summaries of the early research—not by digesting the actual facts—that Bimini has to be nothing but natural beachrock and that a harbor cannot be there—therefore it is not there.”


3. Caroline Crocker, George Mason University

Crocker mentioned intelligent design in a couple of slides while lecturing at the university, she said in “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.” She said she was nonetheless disciplined for teaching creationism and fired at the end of the semester. She said she was essentially blacklisted in the academic community for what she called her “science sin.”


4. Michael Egnor, Stony Brook University

Egnor is a neuroscientist at Stony Brook University who completed his medical degree at Columbia University. 

He expected criticism for his support of intelligent design theories, but “what has amazed me is the viciousness and the sort of baseness of it,” he said in the documentary. He has, however, retained his position at the university.

Prof. Robert J. Marks II at Baylor University had tenure before expressing a belief in intelligent design. He said “I’m academically safe, but the young people, what has happened to them right now in America because of this scientific gulag is really terrible.”


5. Klaus Dona, Researcher, Exhibit Curator

Klaus Dona says advanced civilizations existed 100 million years ago. Conventional science holds that civilization only emerged some 6,000 or 7,000 years ago.

Dona has traveled the world to research artifacts that don’t seem to have any proper place in history. He toured with a collection of such artifacts to draw attention to what he says are pieces of evidence that our current understanding of history may be incorrect—pieces usually stuffed away in museum basements.

In an interview with Russell Scott on “West Coast Truth,” Dona spoke about his findings and also about researchers who have held similar views and have been penalized.

“They face real problems in their universities or in their communities.” He gave the example of William Brown, a theoretical biophysicist whose DNA research related to the human consciousness got him fired from his university position. He now works for the Resonance Project Foundation and Hawai’i Institute for Unified Physics.

“Scientists are scared to lose their jobs or … [have] problems if they give out some very, very unbelievable—but real—facts,” he said. “It’s not easy for a scientist to deal with these unbelievable things.”


6. Astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, Iowa State University

When you say “intelligent design” in a room of academics “them is fighting words,” Gonzalez said in “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.”

“People really get emotional about this.”

He feels certain that if he hadn’t spoken of intelligent design, he would have tenure. He says of scientists who hold controversial views: “If they value their careers, they should keep quiet.”


See Epoch Times article “10 Scientific Blunders That Could Shake Your Faith in Science” to read about scientists in history who have been shunned, but whose theories were later vindicated. 

*Image of a scientist via Shutterstock

  • Abe Forstenzer

    I am sorry, but most these are not examples of intolerance, but proper gatekeeping. Intelligent design generates NO testable hypotheses. So EVEN if it is correct, it has been set up to be untestable. That is not science. Just read a dictionary definition of ‘science’, or even better, Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn. THAT is what offends about “ID”, not the content. Alse check the Dover School Board decision from the USDC SD PA, written by a deeply believing Christian judge (and W appointee). He said the same thing – not science because it can never be tested, let alone disproven.

    Also some of the data here is just wrong. Since the Gobekli Tepe dig in Turkey, the date for the birth of civilization has been pushed back by over 5,000 years, and is being pushed back further – the head of the dig has theorized the site could have parts over 15,000 years old. Nobody in archeology objected, because the data was right there. Ditto with the Norte Chico in Peru, sections of which are significantly older than Sumer and Egypt. Provide the data, with your theories in a testable form (i.e., testable hypotheses), and the vast majority of scientists will have no objection. Especially those trained post-Kuhn, who know about paradigm shifts.

    I also find it interesting that this same publication, claiming here to be defending science, has supported the Robert’s Court in its gutting of science as a standard of proof in Federal courts – see Walmart v Dukes. That is also what gets scientists with this sort of argument – most people (though certainly not all) expressing these opinions ignore all the science they do not like, and are only pro-science at all when it suits their agenda.

    BTW – I am trained as a historian of post-Enlightenment science. 7 years of grad and post-grad in it. And I LOVE ‘fringe’ science that violates all expectations – that is how whole new areas of research emerge. If scientists were as close-minded as this depicts, how did Einstein displace NEWTON for all work on gravity? Can’t say Newton wasn’t dominant in extremis. Or quantum theory, which then messed with both Newton and Einstein (who never liked it). Or Hoyle’s at-the-time radical ira that most elements are created in the hearts of stars. I could go on and on.

    • chezmoi

      Thanks for your comment, Abe. Real science demands to be tested. Ideas related to ID andd creationism have been found wanting because they are based on the premise that magic exists, and as you point out, that is manifestly untestable. There should be no whining from those who advocate magic.

      On the other hand, those who wish to stretch the limits of what we already know (or think we know) are welcome as long as they are able to back up their propositions with proofs. Of course there is resistance, but if a new idea can be tested and demonstrated satisfactorily, there will be eventual acceptance.

      There are so many things to learn about the universe, its workings, and its history. We should look forward to each step forward, rather than fearing that it will contradict some dogma or doctrine.

      • sabelmouse

        we can only test what we can test of course. not being able to test something might be our limitation not a way of disproving anything.

  • chenelope

    Scientist who are employed to research smart meters are blacklisted, fired, etc, if their research shows the smart meters to be dangerous in any way

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