Custom Search

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Intellectual freedom in Canada: ... Look out, PC bigots! The True North strong and free is shaking off your chains ...

Some encouraging recent developments ...

1. Canadian-Pakistani Muslim novelist (and exile, but so what else is new?) Tahir Aslam Gora (top right) explains (to those who haven't got it yet),

Liberal Muslims are not only silenced by literalist Muslims, but also by those non-Muslims who have developed the hollow pattern of being 'fair' and 'tolerant' to every religion. The existence of 'political fairness' among large circles of non-Muslim activists is actually a much bigger obstacle than extremist Muslims because those non-Muslim activists dominate the media outlets across the world and often ignore genuinely liberal Muslim voices.
Gora! Brother! Hello! We must do a TV show together!
Update news:

Friends fear the comedians won't dare be funny ...

Charged comedian Guy Earle responds - and "Human Rights" is watching!

2. I have realized what Gora is telling me, ever since I shared a spot on a TV program with our valiant political scientist Salim Mansur (middle), who has said,

For every Muslim the CIC and its head Mohamed Elmasry presume to represent in complaining to the HRC of offence caused by Maclean's publishing of Mark Steyn's essay on the future of Islam, there are countless Muslims dismissive of such a complaint as frivolous and false.

Muslims are not monolithic in their views on any matter, including faith and politics. In treating Muslims as of having one mind on most issues most of the time would be for me, as a Muslim, more offensive than the complaint of the CIC against Maclean's.
Well, it is no surprise. The "human rights" commissions are only interested in increasing their own power, not anyone else's. They will turn on Muslims as soon as on Christians, once they get people to come forward and whine in such a way as to give them an opportunity of increasing their power over mosques as well as churches.

3. Canadian Cartoonists Association invites "hater" (= civil rights lawyer) Ezra Levant (left or below) to speak. He still faces "human rights" charges. The toonies were probably scared by the Halifax Chronicle-Herald "Battle of Khartoon" case, but - quite frankly - we will accept action wherever we can get it.

Meanwhile, 40 comics are getting together to diss Canada's social engineers on July 19 in Toronto. Details here. Never mind the bad language. If you have better jokes, try to grab a mike, will you?

4. AND, unfortunately, this story ends on a down note, Civil rights lawyer Ezra Levant has been invited to speak to "caucus" on the collapse of civil rights in Canada. Why a down note? Because it is not the Parliamentary caucus of our own (Conservative) government. It is the caucus of a foreign government.

This Friday at 10 a.m. I have been invited to make a presentation to caucus on the use of "lawfare" by foreign Islamic radicals and their domestic enablers.

My thesis is simple: foreign-born jihadis have teamed up with politically-correct busy-bodies to use our own laws to undermine our freedoms -- especially our freedom to criticize them. It's a "soft jihad", and it's been a more effective strategy than the "hard jihad" of terrorism, in terms of undermining our way of life. I've been invited as an expert witness in the subject -- an expertise I regret having earned the hard way, as the target of a half-dozen such nuisance suits, both in defamation and "human rights" law.

The caucus I'm speaking to, however, isn't the Conservative Parliamentary caucus in Ottawa. It's the bi-partisan Congressional Human Rights Caucus in Washington, D.C. The office of Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) has invited me to make a presentation to that caucus's Task Force on International Religious Freedom. Rep. Franks co-chairs the caucus with Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO).
Some might find this hard to believe but it is true. The government of Canada supports the junta against civil rights! In the Steyn-Maclean's case, government lawyers appeared to defend the "human rights" prosecution of Mark Steyn and Maclean's Magazine.

Foreign readers, please listen: It is not over. It is only just beginnng. Ordinary citizens of Canada are uniting to oppose all this. Wish us well. We have no one in Ottawa (our national capital) who supports us, except a few brave individual members of Parliament, like Keith Martin and a few brave Parliamentary journalists like Deborah Gyapong.

Many politicians hope to farm us for our tax money, to spend as they choose, telling us we have no choice. And unfortunately, many legacy media journalists are happy to be told by officials what they can and can't print, as long as their bills are paid, and that is why you hear so little from them.

They would be lapdogs but they are not cute enough.

Why I have hope nonetheless: The social engineers do not reckon on one simple fact: Most of our parents, grandparents or ancestors came here to get away from the very thing they would impose on us! And many of us are not willing to simply break faith with them.

And our First Nations (Aboriginal Canadians) have always been free.>

Reader, you wondered about the title, True North strong and free? Oh, go here for an explanation.

Be warned: You will hear the words "God keep our land glorious and free!" Go complain to your nearest Canadian "human rights" commission about that.
Maybe you can get it removed from our Canadian national anthem ... Ottawa might be supine enough for that.

Labels: ,

What happens if Darwinism is subjected to natural selection in the Louisiana bayou?

In "Louisiana Confounds the Science Thought Police" at National Review Online, John West of the Discovery Institute* comments on the new Louisiana "it's okay to question what they tell you" law:

Students need to know about the current scientific consensus on a given issue, but they also need to be able to evaluate critically the evidence on which that consensus rests. They need to learn about competing interpretations of the evidence offered by scientists, as well as anomalies that aren’t well explained by existing theories.

Yet in many schools today, instruction about controversial scientific issues is closer to propaganda than education. Teaching about global warming is about as nuanced as Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Discussions about human sexuality recycle the junk science of biologist Alfred Kinsey and other ideologically driven researchers. And lessons about evolution present a caricature of modern evolutionary theory that papers over problems and fails to distinguish between fact and speculation. In these areas, the “scientific” view is increasingly offered to students as a neat package of dogmatic assertions that just happens to parallel the political and cultural agenda of the Left.

Real science, however, is a lot more messy — and interesting — than a set of ideological talking points.
Ah yes, brings back memories ...

One of the ways I first became interested in the intelligent design controversy yeas ago was encountering a long-departed science teachers' Web site. A teacher opined that the Monarch and Viceroy butterflies' similarity may not really be due to Darwinian evolution, but it nonetheless made a good illustration of Darwinian evolution.

Huh? Yes, but only if Darwinian evolution isn't true. On the other hand, that's not what the teacher was trying to say ... He was trying to say that Darwinian evolution is so true that the material that illustrates it need not be factual.

In which case ... I sensed a story developing.

I went on to study the Monarch and Viceroy similarity myself and discovered that they probably do not resemble each other due to Darwinian evolution.

A couple of years later, I completed a book about the intelligent design controversy, By Design or by Chance?

(Note: The images are from the Government of Canada's excellent guide to the butterflies of Canada. The left is a Monarch and the right is a Viceroy. Actually, we do not know why they resemble each other, despite not being closely related.

(*Yes, yes, those evil Discos who hide their vast wealth in shipping containers in the basement of a shabby Seattle office building, and tilt the world toward theocracy while keeping "bad boy" Berlinski as one of their key proteges. Now go get more of the "truth" about their global conspiracy from "truther" Barbara Forrest.)

Labels: ,

Darwin's co-founder Wallace accepted intelligent design?

Reader Malcolm Chisholm writes to point out that the systematically eclipsed Alfred Russel Wallace, cofounder of the theory of natural selection, accepted design in nature. Indeed, that was part of what led to his estrangement from Darwin and his circle.

Chisholm notes,
Unlike Darwin, Wallace believed, and believed strongly, in intelligent design, right up to his death in 1913. He is buried about 5 miles from where I grew up in Dorset, England. There are no public memorials to him, although he has an impressive grave with a big fossil tree on top of it.

His final book, "The World of Life", written in 1910, was a response to the atheism of Ernst Haekel which directly criticized Wallace as a religious crank (Wallace was an ardent Spiritualist). Haekel wrote:

"In Germany, A. Zoellner and Fecher are quoted as instances; in England Wallace and Crookes. The regrettable circumstances that physicists and biologists of such distinction have been led astray by such spiritism is accounted for by their excess of imagination and defect of critical faculty, and partly by the powerful influence of dogmas which a religious education imprinted on the brain in early youth" [The Riddle of the Universe, 1899, trans. to English 1905].

A couple of quotes from "The World of Life":

"Darwin himself was quite distressed at my rejection of his own conclusion that even man's highest qualities and powers had been developed out of those of the lower animals by natural or sexual selection"

"This is that beyond all the phenomena of nature and their immediate causes and laws there is Mind and Purpose; and that the ultimate purpose is (so far as we can discern) the development of mankind for an enduring spiritual existence."

This from the co-founder (not co-discoverer) of the Theory of Evolution, the author of Wallace's Law, the discoverer of Wallace's Line, and the founder of the science of biogeography.

Wallace, like many scientists of his day, got caught up in Spiritualism - efforts to explore the immaterial world of the mind without any tools or parameters - efforts that exposed them to cranks and crackpots. This fact was often used to discredit Wallace later.

Indeed, one of the reasons I first became suspicious that Wallace was inappropriately discredited (just as Darwin was inappropriately exalted) was this: I observed that the same people who suppressed or air-brushed Darwin's racism were eager to exploit Wallace's spiritism - essentially to advance their materialist cult.

Darwin's materialist atheist supporters rejected Spiritualism, all right, but for precisely the wrong reasons - not because of fraudulent mediums but because they thought the human mind is an illusion. Fraudulent mediums were a gift to them. Genuine evidence of the reality of the mind was a problem to be suppressed.

Incidentally, the materialist lobby left its mark on twentieth century medicine. Materialism was so influential that, as Mario Beauregard and I note in The Spiritual Brain,
Early in the twentieth century, medicine came down firmly against the idea that the mind influenced the body and sought to trace illness to single, specific sources. Indeed, by the 1930s, the Index Medicus contained not a single reference to the effect of mental states on physiology. However, in the 1940s, “psychosomatic medicine” was introduced to foster better understanding and management of the relationship between mind and body in health. But the tendency to treat the body as a machine and the mind as an irrelevance prevented much advance in this area. In Timeless Medicine (1996), Benson illustrates how deeply this mechanistic approach affected medicine. A woman who suffered recurrent temporary bouts of numbness and weakness in several body parts was at first dismissed as merely imagining her symptoms. However, a new doctor conducted extensive tests and diagnosed multiple sclerosis, an incurable neurological disease that was disabling her and would eventually kill her. Her response? “Oh, I’m so relieved, I thought it was all in my head.” (P. 234)
We go on to trace the slow but sure recovery of medicine from materialism. Not surprisingly, today's doctors are less likely than most people with science training to give much credit to Darwinism and its ideological allies. It's easy to explain why: Unlike paleontologists, they work with live subjects, not dead ones. They tried all that "you're just a pack of evolved neurons" stuff - and it didn't work. (My guess is it doesn't work in paleontology either, but how would we know?)

Note 1: Malcolm Chisholm, by the way, is the inventor of the excellent Mutation Works site. Best Richard Dawkins at his own game!

(Note 2: The image is the cover of Alfred Russel Wallace: A Life by Peter Raby.)

See also:

Sanity moment: Charles Darwin is not a saint

Aussie poli sci prof: Darwin's main claim to fame was his social status


Who links to me?