Not free

My version of Santayana:

Those who don’t know that history repeats are doomed to be ruined by the repeaters.

Those who think academic cancelling is new and abnormal will waste their time fighting a permanent and natural tendency.

Frank Edwards runs down the history of academic censorship on the subject of ET life.

In 1880 a notable geologist and a notable biologist carefully analyzed the innards of a meteorite that fell in Serbia. They found fossils vaguely resembling earthly lifeforms such as mollusks and crinoids. They knew from long experience that these shapes were NOT created by inorganic geology.

Hahn was a man of eminence as was Weinland, but his scientific stature was not enough to protect him from the poisonous barbs of his fellow scientists when he published the results in 1880. The accepted posture in those days was that there was no life elsewhere in space; that life as we know it was an exclusive and unique development on this little planet of ours. To hint, as Hahn did, that somewhere out there another body had once held primitive life forms and might still hold them, was heresy.

The Smithsonian denounced Hahn as “a hapless man who has permitted his imagination to run wild.”

The exact same argument about the exact same type of material is still going, and the establishment is still mocking the OBSERVERS who LOOK ABOUT THEM AND TAKE HOLD OF THE THINGS THAT ARE HERE.

I’ve read a lot of scientific journals from the 1800s. Blackballing heretics out of the guild was just as common then as it is now.

Academia has never been the home of “free debate”. Academia has always served to close down independent thought and banish independent thinkers.