Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Slaughter of the Dissidents, by Jerry Bergman

(reviewed by Kitty Foth-Regner)

The average Westerner is constantly reminded of the ideas put forth by people like evolutionary atheist Richard Dawkins: “One thing all real scientists agree upon is the fact of evolution itself. It is a fact that we are cousins of gorillas, kangaroos, starfish, and bacteria. Evolution is as much a fact as the heat of the sun” (Dawkins, 2005, p. 2).

Sadly, the average Westerner is becoming convinced: “Well, then, it’s settled. All real scientists agree, after all. It must be so.” The trouble is, they never seem to hear the other side of the story. They are not informed that there are literally thousands of scientists who have publicly proclaimed their doubts about Darwinian evolution. Nor do they realize that there are many thousands more who keep their doubts under their hats—for good reason, it turns out.

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That reason is revealed in horrifying detail in Jerry Bergman’s eye-opening book, Slaughter of the Dissidents: The Shocking Truth about Killing the Careers of Darwin Doubters. In it, Dr. Bergman describes the discrimination experienced by more than a dozen Darwin-doubting scientists, primarily in academia. And we are not talking insults at the water cooler. These men and women have been denied tenure and awards, forced out, fired, blackballed, even subjected to death threats—not because of what they did or said but because of what they believe.

Jerry Bergman.
Jerry Bergman experienced this sort of Orwellian discrimination himself in the late 1970s; he became disillusioned with Darwinism and lost his job at Bowling Green State University for saying so. Professor Dawkins would no doubt try to slap the “not a real scientist” label on him. But it would not stick, because Dr. Bergman has earned nine college degrees—two of them Ph.D.s—from the Medical College of Ohio, Wayne State University, The University of Toledo, and Bowling Green State University.

He has spent more than 30 years teaching college-level biology, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, anthropology, geology, and microbiology. He is currently adjunct associate professor and research associate at the Medical University of Ohio, and professor of biology and chemistry at Northwest State Community College. Dr. Bergman has 800 publications appearing in 12 languages, including 30 books and monographs, and has contributed to dozens of textbooks. He has presented over 100 scientific papers in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

Caroline Crocker.
In fact, the “not a real scientist” label doesn’t fit any of the Darwin doubters whose cases are presented in Slaughter of the Dissidents. Some of these scientists have already gained recognition through the amazing film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Dr. Bergman picks up where Ben Stein left off, delving more deeply into the cases of Caroline Crocker and Guillermo Gonzalez. He also introduces his readers to many other highly qualified scientists who saw their careers derailed when their doubts about Darwinism came to the attention of their superiors.

Guillermo Gonzalez.
So aside from their personal sacrifices, what’s the harm? Dr. Bergman points out that so far, the majority of Americans side with the Darwin doubters. Surveys indicate that at least 44% believe God created the earth and all the basic kinds of life, another 38% fall somewhere along the continuum between creationism and theistic evolution, and only 9% are pure evolutionists.

But as the product of public education myself, including a journalism curriculum that taught, as far back as the 1970s, that what we cannot see is a figment of our imaginations, I worry about my own exhaustively educated generation and those of the future. Now that atheistic Darwinism is the only subject that can be safely taught in our schools and universities. Now that even a whiff of sympathy for intelligent design is punishable by immediate dismissal. And now that the God of the Bible has been booted clear out of public life, what will become of our Biblically ignorant citizenry not only in this life but, far more importantly, in the life to come?

Dr. Bergman provides suggestions for supporting the fight to restore academic freedom in this country, but it
seems like an uphill battle. The politically correct evolutionary worldview is championed by groups like the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State; such groups are always standing by, ready to snuff out any suggestion of a Designer with lawsuits that few schools can afford to fight.

Rod LeVake.
Darwinism is also part of the mainstream news media’s dogma, as readers of most daily newspapers can attest, and as Dr. Bergman demonstrates again and again. Take, for example, the case of Rod LeVake, a Minnesota biology teacher who was removed from his high school biology class because he dared to criticize Darwinism. Incredibly, at least one national news magazine felt compelled to weigh in on his case. “Time portrayed creation-believing scientists as an almost non-existent minority,” Bergman reports, “claiming ‘reputable scientists who agree with LeVake can be counted on one hand’ … Time went so far as to portray
Mr. LeVake (in a full-page article) as a hillbilly” (p. 213).

No wonder creationists and intelligent design advocates are so often mocked by the highly educated, who greet any suggestion of an alternative to Darwinism with some version of “Real scientists believe in evolution!” Now, thanks to Bergman’s efforts, we can at last explain why that may seem to be the case: Darwinism appears to be the prevailing worldview because it is the only one that is allowed in our classrooms, on our campuses, on the pages of our mainstream newspapers and on the lips of mainstream broadcast reporters.

I finished Slaughter of the Dissidents more convinced than ever that it is time for those of us who care about academic freedom—and about proclaiming the truth of the Bible—to fight this unconscionable censorship. Read this outstanding book, and you will no doubt agree.

Dawkins, Richard. 2005. The illusion of design. Natural History, November 1.

(published in Creation Research Society Quarterly Journal, Volume 47, Number 3, Winter 2011, to appear at

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