Academic Freedom, Indeed

The ID movement has issued a great deal of rhetoric about “academic freedom” and “censorship” and how they allegedly can’t get research grants, even though they never seem to actually come up with specific research proposals.

Well, the shoe is now on the other foot. Nature today reports on a grant review received by Brian Alters, an education professor at McGill who specializes on evolution education, and who was an expert witness in the Kitzmiller case, much-cited by Judge Jones:

Doubts over evolution block funding by Canadian agency Study to measure ‘popularization of Intelligent Design’ refused funds. Hannah Hoag

A Canadian federal agency has denied funding to a science-education researcher partly because of its doubts about the theory of evolution.

Brian Alters, director of the Evolution Education Research Centre at McGill University in Montreal, had proposed a study of the effects of the popularization of intelligent design — the idea that an intelligent creator shaped life — on Canadian students, teachers, parents, administrators and policy-makers.

At a public lecture on 29 March, Alters revealed excerpts from the rejection letter he received from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The letter stated that, among its reasons for rejection, the committee felt there was inadequate “justification for the assumption in the proposal that the theory of evolution, and not intelligent-design theory, was correct.”

But there is a silver lining:

Philip Sadler, a board member of the centre and director of science education at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is more philosophical. “If he was trying to answer the question as to whether all this popularization had had an impact, he just saved the government $40,000,” says Sadler. “He found the evidence without doing the study.”