Just a short note about what’s going on with the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Inquisition. As you may recall seven professors at the University of Auckland wrote a letter to a magazine called The Listener objecting to the government’s and universities’ plans to teach mātauranga Māori , or “Maori ways of knowing” as coequal to science in science classes. Although there’s some knowledge in mātauranga Māori, there’s also a lot of myth, untruth, and other stuff that is not science by anyone’s lights—including morality and philosophy. You can see the Listener letter signed by the group I call “The Satanic Seven” here, and it’s pretty innocuous—simply a defense of science against myth.
But you can’t in any way go up against the Māori in New Zealand because, as an oppressed and indigenous people, they are considered by the Woke to be sacrosanct in every way. Denying that their “body of knowledge” is coequal to and in no way inferior to modern science just cannot be done unless you want to be called a racist.
Further, the Royal Society of New Zealand (RSNZ) launched an investigation of two of its members who signed the letter (Robert Nola and Garth Cooper; another, Michael Corballis, recently died). An investigation! I guess members of the RSNZ don’t have freedom of speech. In fact, the RSNZ, which is supposed to defend science, issued a statement criticizing modern science as “outmoded”. The statement, below, is one I discussed here.
Note that it disses the “group of Auckland academics” for daring to assert that mātauranga Māori is not a “valid” truth, and the RSNZ upholds the whole Māori “way of knowing” as worthy of support as science, supplementing “the narrow and outmoded definition of science” by the Satanic Seven—which is simply modern science.
While many Kiwis (and academics, even scientists) agreed with the RSNZ statement, it was derided and mocked by those overseas, including Richard Dawkins (mātauranga Māori is explicitly creationist):
Creationism is still bollocks even if it is “Indigenous Ways of Knowing” bollocks. Doubtless of great anthropological and aesthetic interest but not science and not true.
SHAME on the NZ Royal Society.
Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org://t.co/e88enDLV1c
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) December 4, 2021
Dawkins also published a letter in The Listener originally called “Dear New Zealand friends of science and reason,” later changed to “Science is science.”
My guess is that all this negative attention from overseas, including the RSNZ launching its own Inquisition, embarrassed the organization, for when you click on the screenshot of its statement above, it’s gone. It’s vanished, extinct, singing with the Choir Invisible. It is an Ex-Statement. Clicking on it now (try it) redirects you to a more recent statement by Paul Atkins, Chief Executive of the RSNZ—a statement that I wrote about before. It’s not as inflammatory as the first statement, but it’s still weaselly.
So the RSNZ has made its words vanish, and there’s no record of them online except in screenshots saved by people like me. I suppose this is good news, for it shows that they know they screwed up by taking the stand that mātauranga Māori is “valid truth” (yes, bits of it do constitute knowledge). But, as far as I know, the RSNZ Inquisition continues. Another letter I wrote them urging them to put away the instruments of torture has gone unanswered.
As I’ve said before, I love New Zealand and its people, but I have to take a second look at whether I love its academics. I’ve met many real scientists in New Zealand, all of whom I respected, but there are too many other people in academia whose wokeness and sympathy for the oppressed, while well-meant, has clouded their judgement to the point of blindness. I have, however, received many emails from Kiwis, including scientists, who agree with me, but are afraid to publicly express their opinion. That’s what the RSNZ intended with its original statement—to chill the speech of dissenters.