RE: [asa] Sternberg quote

From: Donald F Calbreath <>
Date: Mon Mar 26 2007 - 15:21:44 EDT

Take a look at the groups represented on this web site and tell me that the blog is reliable. All the groups represent a single point of view that is very pro-evolution. The NCSE has been on the forefront of attacking people who disagree with them (not debating, but attacking). You're going to have to offer a more reliable source before your argument that the Congressional report is biased.
Don Calbreath


From: []
Sent: Mon 3/26/07 10:42 AM
To: Donald F Calbreath;
Subject: Re: [asa] Sternberg quote

Honestly, the point you make here is the reason that I
initiated this thread.

But after some responses to this thread, and a little
further investigation, I think now that Sternberg's claim
of discrimination is not justified, and the Government
Reform Subcommittee report is biased.

For example, here is a blog with a good summary of the

On Mon, 26 Mar 2007 11:03:44 -0700
  "Donald F Calbreath" <> wrote:
> If we are going to discuss the Sternberg controversy,
>let's include al the data. In December, 2006 the House
>Government Reform Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug
>Policy, and Human Resources issued a report that detailed
>their investigation of Dr. Sternberg and his treatment by
>the Smithsonian. The committee found significant
>discrimination against Dr. Sternberg (see excerpt below)
> The full section of the congressional report dealing
>with the violation of Dr. Sternberg's free speech rights
>is reprinted below:
> In the emails exchanged during August and September of
>2004, NMNH officials revealed their intent to use their
>government jobs to discriminate against scientists based
>on their outside activities regarding evolution.
> In a series of emails on August 30, Dr. Ferrari and Dr.
>Sues discussed the Smithsonian's procedures for hiring
>and firing a Research Associate and how Dr. Sternberg was
>approved for his RA position. Sues lamented that "The
>Sternberg situation could not have been prevented by
>senior management because his CV looks credible and does
>not reveal his interactions with the creationist
>movement." Dr. Sues seemed to be suggesting that if
>Sternberg's supposed interactions with the "creationist
>movement" were known, he would not have been approved as
>an RA, and the "situation" would have been prevented.
> Dr. Ferrari's comments also suggested a very real bias
>in the selection process: "I wonder, however, if we might
>consider a more open process of vetting nominees? For
>example, while a post doc here Sternberg was listed in an
>advertisement in the NY Times as a scientist at the
>Smithsonian Institution who did not believe in evolution.
>I saw that page and certainly would have spoken up had I
>known he was a prospective research associate." Ferrari
>seemed to be suggesting that questioning evolution would
>disqualify a candidate for a position.
> Similarly, in an email on September 9, Dr. Sues blamed
>the scientist who nominated Sternberg as a Research
>Associate for not adequately investigating his
>background. "Sternberg is a well-established figure in
>anti-evolution circles, and a simple Google search would
>have exposed these connections." The clear implication
>was that had a background check been conducted on
>Sternberg's non-governmental activities, he would have
>been barred from being a Research Associate.
> Given the attitudes expressed in these emails,
>scientists who are known to be skeptical of Darwinian
>theory, whatever their qualifications or research record,
>cannot expect to receive equal treatment or consideration
>by NMNH officials. As a taxpayer-funded institution, such
>blatant discrimination against otherwise qualified
>individuals based on their outside activities raises
>serious free speech and civil rights concerns. Some NMNH
>officials apparently believe that they have the right to
>use their official positions to punish scientists who in
>their outside activities express skepticism toward
>Darwinian theory. The unwillingness of top Smithsonian
>officials to take proactive measures to correct this
>discriminatory environment is shameful. Imagine a
>parallel situation in which government officials
>expressed their intent to prohibit the appointment of
>anyone who is found to have participated (on their own
>time) in a gay or lesbian group, or in an abortion-rights
>group. Action !
> to stop such an expression of discriminatory intent
>would be swift and certain. But in the present case,
>Smithsonian officials seem indifferent to ensuring that
>NMNH comply with the basic requirements of the
>Constitution, Title V civil service law, and the
>Smithsonian's own antidiscrimination policy.
> end of excerpt
> I would think that the members of ASA (ostensibly all
>Christians) would want to protest this blatant misuse of
>government power to silence someone who does not go along
>with the prevailing view of evolution. The Meyer paper
>went through appropriate peer-review. The persecution of
>Dr. Sternberg was based on a political and philosophical
>belief that "anything goes" when you disagree with
>someone (a practice I have been very disturbed to see on
>recent posts to this listserv). Or has ASA made
>acceptance of Darwinian evolution a part of the faith
> Donald F. Calbreath, Ph.D
> Emeritus Associate Professor of Chemistry
> Whitworth College,
> Spokane WA
> ________________________________
>From: on behalf of David
> Sent: Mon 3/26/07 10:10 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [asa] Sternberg quote
> There's nothing wrong with focusing on some other area
> disregarding the question of origins in biology; in
>fact, the vast
> majority of biologists do this.
> There is other evidence suggesting that Sternberg might
>be a
> creationist. He signed the Discovery Institute
>petition, though the
> wording of it was so open-ended as to not actually
>require having any
> objections to evolution. The DI petition called for
> investigation of evolution, which I would like to see as
>well, because
> it might involve more funding for evolutionary studies
>and perhaps
> even a few jobs for systematists. Sternberg also
>authored a paper on
> baraminology a little while ago, suggesting that he is
>associated in
> some fashion with creation science s.l.
> My father, who is not especially up on ID, etc. spotted
>the Meyer
> paper and asked me what it was about, as it sticks out
> from the normal fare for the journal.
> --
> Dr. David Campbell
> 425 Scientific Collections
> University of Alabama
> "I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of
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Received on Mon Mar 26 15:25:34 2007

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