April 16, 2010
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Hungarian sceptics were quite delighted to hear that a TED-conference was being organised in Hungary in cooperation with the weekly HVG. They were also quite surprised when they saw that the programme contained István Tasi [ishtvan tashee], whose ideas they know but to well. His book about “biology” is available in English, too (he also claims the book was a finalist at the USA Book News 2009 Best Book Award, though it seems each title paid for being listed becomes a finalist there). As the title of his presentation was identical with the title of his book, the sceptics wrote an open letter to the organisers, suggesting not that they cancel his presentation, but that the topic was changed to something more in line with his career, such as religion (their letter is available also in English http://criticalbiomass.freeblog.hu/files/2010/1/tedx/TED-Open_Letter.pdf). The organisers and Tasi said that this was a misunderstanding and the presentation was going to be about religion, anyway, and everything seemed to be all right.
Now, three months later,
the bosses of those who signed the open letter got a letter from the head of the institution Tasi works for, bad-mouthing them stating that they were violating free speech, and threatening that the college was considering legal action (one of them, in English, is here: http://criticalbiomass.freeblog.hu/files/2010/4/discrimination_Mate_Varga.pdf – I found the bit about Krishna being the fourth biggest denomination particularly funny, since though they are 5th [for 2009] regarding the number of taxpayers who offered them 1% of their income tax, that’s 12039 persons, as compared to half a million Catholics, 164 thousand Calvinists, 45 thousand Lutherans and 300 thousand people making an effort to offer their taxes for a secular purpose). Would you have thought that someone who got a degree as a biology teacher and calls himself biologist becomes head of a Krishna Hinduist Faith College?
Similarly, an other guy, a professor for physics at Eötvös Loránd University was accused on the creationism website at ertem.hu of anonymously attacking the movement – in an article with the title “Is a professor of ELTE behind the attacks?”. The professor is asking for an excuse.
(Thanks to Jocó)