True Spirit of Science
It was not until finishing my article "Professor Zhang Kunlun Demonstrates Great Forbearance at University of Geneva Symposium," did I find out that the man who gave Professor Zhang a hard time in Geneva was a "famous" "anti pseudo-science celebrity" in China. (I would rather not taint my article by mentioning his name.) His conduct was quite beyond my expectations, even though I never had a very high regard of him.
He must have regarded himself as a "guardian of science." Perhaps he overlooked what the true spirit of science is: allowing anyone to have the right to think and rationalize for themselves. Anyone with contrasting viewpoints will be provided an equal opportunity to express his or her own opinions.
One should never put the opposing side in jail and subject them to brain washing, let alone forcing them to "repent" while under complete mental relapse; this was precisely what Professor Zhang Kunlun had to suffer. As we all are aware, even a short TV commercial can generate an enormous influence on audiences. Comparatively, one can easily recognize the power of bombarding indoctrination in jail. Grilling the victim on the result of such coercion was the conduct of this "guardian." Was he really guarding the spirit of science?
The few so called "celebrities" dressed up by the Chinese government's propaganda machine were those without any demonstrable academic accomplishments. Contributions to scientific research require true dedication and ardent sincerity. One must also possess unwavering perseverance in pursuing that one breakthrough following thousands of failures. However, such noble dedication to science was never found among these "smart celebrities" who were used to taking short cuts. The "guardian" who vented his slandering on Professor Zhang was the lowest one of them all. During the press conference, he had to resort to translators since only English and French were spoken. The questions he raised demonstrated no worthwhile scientific values. Worse yet, his questions tarnished the essence of science. Further, his attempt to humiliate a sixty-year-old man showed his lack of self-cultivation. I just could not comprehend how he ever became a dressed up "celebrity" in the eyes of the Chinese Government.
Acting as "dueling ruffians" in ideology fields for a political tyrant, what they have done is no different than the "Court of Inquisition" during the era of Nicolaus Copernicus and Giordano Bruno. Applying the brutal treatment in the style of the "Court of Inquisition" to opposing opinions is completely against the spirit of science. How could it benefit science? On the one hand China produced such "dueling ruffians," on the other hand the Chinese Government kept on proclaiming "Develop Science, and Crack Down on Superstitions," but did the academic level truly rise because of these slogans? Today, when sons and sisters of dictators in power can become the chancellor and vice-chancellor of the Academy of Science and the Academy of Forestry, just who is the archenemy of science?
A famous motto from a Western philosopher states: "I do not agree with what you say, but I will resolutely guard your right to free expression." On the contrary, the "dueling ruffians" bred by the Chinese Government have a different motto: "I do not agree with what you say, therefore I will resolutely strip your right to free expression. Furthermore, I will brainwash you until you are transformed. Accepting this transformation is your own disgrace, but you will never awaken and find the truth." In the present day Chinese society, "safeguarding of science" through relentless persecutions against dissidents is the greatest ridicule to science.
Written on March 22, 2001, at the University of Geneva
(Please refer to http://clearwisdom.net/eng/2001/Mar/22/NMR032201_3.html for article "Professor Zhang Kunlun Demonstrates Great Forbearance at University of Geneva Symposium")