Re: [asa] Sternberg quote

From: <>
Date: Tue Mar 27 2007 - 13:19:32 EDT

You like olfactory metaphors dont you? At first I was
going to say this was a mixed metaphor, because what does
a witch hunt smell like? But then I figured maybe it is
referring to them burning at the stakes.

I am not trying to defend the behavior of the scientists.
 I am sure some of them are atheists, and are hostile to
religion. And it is clear that they have expressed this
view in some emails.

But what was the real result of their opinions? As far as
you or I, or anyone else knows, there was no hostility
towards Sternberg until after the publication. I think
there is fair ground for them to question his motives in
publishing this paper, if it is clearly below the
standards of the journal, especially if there is an agenda
that can be advanced by publishing it, which there clearly
is in this case.

But David in court cases like this doesnt there have to be
some proof that some kind of harm came to Sternberg as a
result of these emails, comments, etc? As far as we can
tell nothing happened to him. There are other
explanations for some of the changes going on at the
Smithsonian at the time, not the least of which was the
death of Sternbergs sponsor. Given the circumstances he
was treated like any other RA. I am sure that Sternberg
felt hostility, but does that really reach the level of

By the way in medicine we dont say "If it stinks like a
fish, its a fish." We say, "If it walks like a duck and
quacks like a duck, its a duck." Just wanted to point
that out.

On Tue, 27 Mar 2007 11:55:55 -0400
  "David Opderbeck" <> wrote:
> *In my opinion, the burden of proof is on you to show
> the scientists at the Smithsonian have an axe to grind
> against religion.*
> I don't know about all "the scienists at the
>Smithsonian," but the odor of a
> witch hunt unmistakably wafts from the internal emails
>relating to this
> particular incident. The emails alone more than carry
>the burden of proof.
> Of course, a real case also depends heavily on the
>credibility of witnesses
> as they appear on the stand, and we can only speculate
>about that. My
> experience suggests that no one looks good on the stand
>when they have to
> explain that email references to the plaintiff's
>religious and political
> views were only made out of "curiosity," or that a
>mocking reference to "one
> nation under *dog*" in the Pledge of Allegiance suggests
>no bias against
> religion -- which are a few of the comments in the
>relevant emails. The
> "one nation under dog" email reference alone would blow
>these witness'
> credibility out of the water with any jury of ordinary
>people, and rightly
> so.
> All of which is not to say Sternberg was an angel or was
>beyond criticism.
> But then, almost no discrimination case is that clear
>cut. In my
> experience, it is not at all unusual that a person
>complaining of
> discrimination happened also to be a difficult person
>and not a stellar
> employee. At my old law firm, we had a little saying:
> "nice people don't
> sue." But that doesn't justify the surfacing of
>religious / race / sex
> biases against that person -- which is what happened
>here with regard to
> religion.

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Received on Tue Mar 27 13:18:55 2007

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