How the Fallen Have Fallen. Jerry Bergman Stoops to Kevin Wirth.

From my library.

Our old buddy, crackpot creatard Kevin Wirth is publishing a book! But don’t worry. He didn’t write it. He’s only the publisher. I don’t need the type of book Kevin could write. I already have several books of quotations.

The book that Kevin is bringing to market is written by some clown named Dr. Jerry Bergman, and it’s called Slaughter of the Dissidents: The Shocking Truth about Killing the Careers of Darwin Doubters. I’m sure it’s a good book. We can rely on Kevin to bring us nothing but the highest caliber of ideas. Kevin is, after all, the guy who told us that Ben Stein is the modern Rosa Parks.

Before checking out Kevin’s book, let’s find out some more about the clown who wrote it. Jerry Bergman’s Wikipedia entry says:

Dr. Bergman is an adjunct associate professor at Medical University of Ohio and also teaches biochemistry, biology, chemistry and physics at Northwest State Community College in Ohio. He has taught at the college level for 35 years including seven years at Bowling Green State University, 6 years at the University of Toledo, and 20 years at Northwest State.

It then goes on to list a buttload of legitimate degrees this guy has. The one blemish is that his Ph.D. comes from the (now defunct) unaccredited Columbia Pacific University. This is the same esteemed pillar of higher learning that gave a Ph.D. to pop-quack John Gray (Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, his Degree is from Neptune). In Bergman’s case, it really doesn’t matter how good the Ph.D. is. He has enough other credentials that we can agree that the guy is a good scholar, even if we disagree with his opinions. In fact, he apparently has a good track record of getting published. Wikipedia says:

He now has over 700 publications in a variety of scientific and popular journals….

That statement doesn’t tell us which publications, the subject matter, and how many were peer-reviewed, but I’m happy to concede that a large chunk of that 700 could be real science.

OK then. The guy seems legitimate. He’s not some drooling ignoramus that Kevin Wirth pulled out of the audience at The 700 Club. Let’s see what else Wikipedia says:

Bergman’s opinions on creationism are often published by Answers In Genesis.

We’ve seen this pattern before. Otherwise-intelligent people are blinded by their religion. Well, if you’re going to be a creationist, you might as well go whole hog. Don’t be one of those wimpy Discovery Institute (“OK, we’ll give you microevolution but not macro!”) Old-Earth Creationists! No siree! You want to be the worst of the worst: An Answers in Genesis (“T-Rex ate coconuts in the Garden of Eden!”) Young-Earth Creationist! Accept no substitutes! (Except for logic. You’ll need to use substitute logic. And evidence. You’ll need to substitute fake evidence for real evidence. And persecution. You won’t really get persecuted, so you’ll just have to pretend you are.)

In the 1990s he was also known for his Usenet postings to the talk.origins newsgroup. Many of his views are highly controversial, such as implying a causal relationship between Darwinism, Nazism, and the Holocaust.

Oh. He’s a Steinist.

Bergman was involved in a tenure controversy early in his career. Wikipedia says that he was originally hired by Bowling Green State University. He did not receive his Ph.D. on the expected timetable, so his employment at BGSU became tenuous. Ultimately:

In 1978 Bergman was denied tenure. Bergman believed this was due to his involvement in the creation movement and his religious beliefs and subsequently filed with both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission on the grounds that he had been discriminated against on the basis of religion, with both agencies ultimately ruling that he was not let go due to his religious beliefs, but because his peers voted to terminate him.

Like the typical creationist who won’t let go of his beliefs even when presented with clear evidence to the contrary, he wouldn’t accept the ruling:

Bergman filed suit against Bowling Green State University in federal district court in 1980, alleging that his due process rights had been violated and that he had been denied tenure on the basis of his religious views.… The case was dismissed in 1985. Bergman appealed but the appeal was turned down in 1987. The court ruled that the reason he was let go was because of ethics, namely that he claimed to have credentials in psychology when, in fact, he “had no psychological credentials.”

Bergman apparently is still convinced that he was discriminated against, or else he wouldn’t have written this book that Kevin Wirth is shilling. Isn’t it interesting that somebody with over 700 publications to his credit couldn’t find a legitimate publisher for his book? The fact that he had to stoop to using the services of somebody as unqualified in logic as Kevin Wirth suggests that Bergman’s book is, like his discrimination lawsuits, wholly without merit.

Tomorrow: Kevin Wirth tries to sell us some tripe.

75 Responses to “How the Fallen Have Fallen. Jerry Bergman Stoops to Kevin Wirth.”

  1. Bunkie Says:

    Yes. Some of your copy/pastes also came from
    http://www.seanet.com/~raines/Firpo.html

    I would have thought that an abstract would have been MUCH shorter. At least all of the abstracts that I have seen, even on very large papers, are.

  2. Ron Britton Says:

    Note to readers: You’ve no doubt noticed all of the comments I deleted. I’m not censoring Dr. Bergman here. You can read my comment policy here. Dr. Bergman’s 10 comments totalled almost 30,000 words. That’s equivalent to a mid-sized novella. This has the effect of drowning out all other commenters.

    While I doubt that this was Dr. Bergman’s intent, that is nonetheless the effect. I think he was merely trying to set the record straight (as he sees it). The majority of the material he posted seems to have been copied wholesale from two websites:
    His appeal of Bergman v. BGSU
    and
    Response to “Dr. Firpo Carr vs. Dr. Jerry Bergman”

    I refer you all to those websites to read his statements.

  3. Ron Britton Says:

    Dr. Bergman:

    Please be assured that my deletion of your comments is not an attempt to suppress your opinions or hide them from my readers. I occasionally get people posting long tracts that they’ve lifted from other sites, and I always delete them. The comments are for a discussion, not a long reproduction of other web sites.

    Now for the issues you brought up. You have certainly provided us with a lot of support for your claims.

    When I wrote the article, I was trying to determine two things: Were you discriminated against, and is your claim of rampant academic discrimination credible?

    On the issue of widespread discrimination against evolution deniers, you have failed to prove your case, even a little bit. Admittedly, I haven’t read your whole book, just that one chapter. However, people who have studied this matter in more depth have determined that there is no widespread discrimination, and even the well-publicized cases are very weak.

    The matter of whether you were discriminated against is far more interesting. Without first-hand knowledge, I had to rely on the court’s judgement. Yes, courts can and do make bad decisions, but they have all the facts; I don’t. I have to defer to their judgement unless I have enough knowledge in a matter to feel comfortable holding a contrary opinion.

    On its surface, it looks like you have made a strong case. Unfortunately, without seeing the other side, I can’t come to a conclusion. So for the moment, I have to defer to the courts.

    I admit the possibility that you really were discriminated against. People should not be fired for holding fringe beliefs, if those beliefs do not interfere with their job.

    However, even if it is true in your case, that does not make it true in all, most, or even a few of the other cases you cite.

  4. Jerry Bergman Says:

    As I noted in my now removed posts I have 4 file cabinets documenting the cases I included in my book Slaughter of the Dissidents. The evidence is unequivocal. Endorsing Intelligent Design is a career ender in academia. A one-stop shop rebuttal to the NCSE’s “Expelled Exposed” website is at:
    http://www.NCSEExposed.org.

  5. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Endorsing Intelligent Design is a career ender in academia.

    So is endorsing a flat Earth or gravity being caused by magic pixies. As well it should. I see no problem here!

  6. Barbara Says:

    Endorsing Intelligent Design is a career ender in academia.

    Imagine if you were majoring in Holocaust Studies at one of several schools offering that course of study and discovered that your professor did not believe that the Holocaust ever happened, but was some kind of exaggeration or hoax. You’d think (rightly so) that the assumption that the Holocaust is factual history is almost without exception (Mel Gibson’s dad and possibly Mel himself even while sober comes to mind as known non-believers) and any course taught should be based on that premise.

    Science is the same. We assume the study of science is going to be… well, scientific. Fables and fairy tales left out, research and facts left in.

    You can believe in a sky god, water walking trinity, and a huge Jewish coverup if you want, but those things deserves a place separate from history and science.

  7. deadman_932 Says:

    Regarding Bergman’s comment #22, where he’s readying himself to launch his PasteBombs (reams of copy-paste) in response to comment #21 ; Uh, Jerry? Why are you calling the writer of comment #21 “She?”

    The writer gives no clue that I can see that indicating their sex/gender. Are you projecting?

  8. Gary Hurd Says:

    Let us examine Bergman’s academic career. His academic degrees were provided by himself, and are drawn from a post by his publisher. The dates of various hire-fire-lawsuit episodes are drawn from his own testimony and various court filings. Some data were taken from the Wikipedia, but then confirmed by independent (court) sources. My comments are in italics

    1965-1967: Associate of Arts (A.A.), Oakland Community College, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Major area of study was Biology and the Behavioral Sciences.

    1967-1970: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, 48202. Major areas of study included Psychology, Biology, and Sociology. {To claim to have a “major” in an area means that you have a degree in that area. Bergman is here claiming to have 3 bachelor degrees. From what school department did he receive as his B.S. (Obvious puns excluded)? What was the degree major?}

    1969-1970: Teaching certification, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI., both at Primary and Secondary levels. {Nothing wrong here. Many states give a teaching credential for a few extra courses during your undergraduate years.}

    1970-1971: Master of Education (M.Ed.) Degree, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. Major area of study was in Psychology, Education, and Counseling (3.71 GPA). {A M.Ed. in counseling is a credential to be a high school’s guidance councilor. Some people take additional course work in child development, and are taught how to give IQ tests. They are not psychologists, nor are they eligible for licensure as psychologists in most states. Bergman was hired as a professor of Psychology with the promise to complete an appropriate doctorate prior to tenure. This was fairly standard at the time.}

    1971-1976: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. Majored in Evaluation and Research, minored in Psychology (4.0 GPA). {There are no minors in a doctoral degree. A Ph.D. is granted by the University by approving the nomination by a specific member college, or affiliate. For example, my doctorate degree was in anthropology, nominated by the School of Social Science, and awarded by the University of California. It did not matter that I had more course credits in chemistry than anthropology- I did not have a major or minor. Neither could Bergman have had a “minor” in Psychology. So this raises the question of just what a doctorate in “Evaluation and Research” is, what school or department nominated it, and why would Bergman present this as a degree in Psychology? Obviously, the tenure committee at Bowling Green State University determined that “Evaluation and Research” was not a degree in Psychology. This explains why Bergman would apply to a new Ph.D. program in 1977 when faced with a looming tenure decision.}

    1977-1987: Accepted as a Ph.D. student in the department of sociology at Bowing Green State University and have completed almost all of the course work for this degree (so far completed 60 hours of graduate level course work primarily in the Behavioral Sciences (3.5 GPA). {10 years and only 60 units. The minimum graduate load was 36 units per year when I was a graduate student. There is no mention of a thesis proposal, or of advancement to candidacy by Bergman.}

    1978 Bergman was denied tenure at Bowling Green State University. He had been an Assistant Professor in Psychology.

    Bergman filed suit against Bowling Green SU with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission on the grounds that he had been discriminated against on the basis of religion. His case was dismissed in 1985. Bergman appealed he was again denied in 1987. The court ruled he was denied tenure was that he had claimed to be degreed in psychology when “had no psychological credentials.”

    1982-1986: Masters of Arts (M.A.) in Sociology with a major in Social Psychology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio (3.5 GPA). {This is obviously a “terminal masters.” This is a “boobie prize” for graduate students that fail in a doctoral program. I have known students in similar situations to beg not to be given a Masters Degree, as this is an easily recognized flag that they failed. After 5 years in the Ph.D. program 1977 to 1982, Bergman is given a demotion to the M.A. track. He is ultimately dismissed with a “rump” M.A.}

    We could stop right here. Bergman started out with a fairly normal path to a high school councilor job. Instead, he was attracted to a university career as a professor of psychology. Other than a masters in education degree in school counseling, Bergman never finished an advanced degree, and none in psychology prior to being dismissed from Bowling Green. His response was to sue anyone he could and to claim religious persecution. This has nearly become a career in itself.

    But there are some following events that complete the picture. According to Bergman:

    1989-1992: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Columbia Pacific University, San Rafael, CA 94901. Major was human biology (4.0 GPA). {Columbia Pacific University was disaccredited: Denial of Application for Approval in December 1995. The administrative court judge ruled against his appeal on June 10, 1997. Among other items, the administrative appeals judge found that CPU:
    · awarded excessive credit for prior experiential learning to many students;
    · failed to employ duly qualified faculty; and
    · failed to meet various requirements for issuing PhD degrees.

    The California Supreme Court Upholds Denial of Columbia Pacific University’s Approval to Operate December 1, 2000. It takes years even for the State to file a grievance, or schedule an accreditation review. The review itself takes years. Bergman was never in residence. This was a “matchbook cover” degree, AKA “You Pay the Fee, We Print the Degree.”}

    1992-1996: Post graduate study. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin. Studied geology, philosophy, nutrition, chemistry, and meteorology (3.6 GPA). {No mention of school, department, or degree program. I sometimes take a course for fun too. But I never would bother to add them to my CV.}

    1996 to date: Accepted as a Ph.D. student, department of chemistry Miami University in Oxford Ohio. So far have completed 40 graduate quarter hours in chemistry (4.0 GPA). {Over 10 years and only 40 credits. Graduate students with about 1 year’s academic work after 10 years have failed.}

    1996-1999: Masters of Science in Biomedical Science (MSBS), Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, Ohio (3.9 GPA). Thesis was on Tumor Markers in Cancer Treatment.

    1998 to 2001: Masters of Public Health (MPH). Northwest Ohio Consortium for Public Health (Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, Ohio; University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio; Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio). (3.9 GPA).

    1994 to 2000: Graduate student in Molecular Biology Department at the Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, Ohio (102 quarter graduate hours completed; 3.9 GPA).

    2001 to 2004: Master of Science (M.S.) Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, Ohio. Major area of study was in the health and medicine area. June 2004. Thesis title was “Evaluation to Optical Radiation in Medical Diagnostics and Treatment.” 3.8 GPA

    {8 years and 3 very closely related masters degrees out of 4 applied to, all from a single school is very odd. I wonder why Bergman would bother. I wonder why MCO allowed this to happen?}

  9. Jeff Eyges Says:

    If ID is a career-killer, why is Behe still teaching at a real university (as opposed to a Christian clown college)? They never have an answer for that one.

  10. Ron Britton Says:

    Gary Hurd:

    Thank you for that excellent analysis of Bergman’s record. It puts things in perspective.

  11. Jerry Bergman Says:

    I am amazed at the inaccuracies in Gary Hurd’s so-called analysis. Three examples. On paper I have proof that I have a major and minor for my Wayne State University PhD. You are also totally wrong about CPU. See their website and see my response on http://www.rae.org. Last, in response to the claim “{Over 10 years and only 40 credits. Graduate students with about 1 year’s academic work after 10 years have failed.}” I worked fill time and attended classes during the summer. I live over 3 hours from Miami (6 hours round trip), could not take classes during the year and had to stay in a hotel during the summer (cost me 70.00$ a day). I have a 4.0 HPA there, so your assessment that I failed is wrong. If I had the money, and was single, I could have finished the degree. As they say, if you cannot attack the arguments, you attack the person. And “If ID is a career-killer, why is Behe still teaching at a real university (as opposed to a Christian clown college)? They never have an answer for that one.” The answer is simple: he has tenure so can teach, but his career as an academic researcher is over.

  12. Jeff Eyges Says:

    And “If ID is a career-killer, why is Behe still teaching at a real university (as opposed to a Christian clown college)? They never have an answer for that one.” The answer is simple: he has tenure so can teach, but his career as an academic researcher is over.

    But he’s still teaching. That’s the point. He hasn’t been fired; he hasn’t been forced to resign. No one is preventing him from printing his nonsense.

    As far as his career as an “academic researcher” is concerned – what the hell would he do research in? His answer to the mystery of life is “Goddidit!” What would the research consist of – sitting around waiting for the Almighty to poof something into existence?

    Dr. Bergman, I know this will fall on deaf ears, but, on the off-chance that it doesn’t – seriously, get help.

  13. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I would honestly be very impressed (no, seriously) if ID would present just one research paper that in some way supported their thesis. But they know this is impossible because you can’t prove a negative. And ID is proving a negative. There is simply no way to prove “this did not happen by natural laws.” The only proof of a designer IS the designer. QED. lol. Etc.

  14. NSCC Student Says:

    To all of you against Dr. Bergman. I would have to say that he is one of the best professors at the college. To call him a clown just shows how intelligent all of you actually are. Thanks for the laughs, I see that noone else had the sack to put thier credentials on here.

  15. Ron Britton Says:

    NSCC:

    We aren’t “against” Dr. Bergman. We have merely investigated his claims and his actions and have formed our opinions on the evidence.

    There is no witch hunt here. There wasn’t one this morning, there wasn’t one this evening, and there certainly wasn’t one at “noone”, as you claimed.

  16. J.R. "Bob" Dobbs Says:

    I see that no one else felt their arguments weren’t good enough and had to put their credentials on here to compensate.

    Fixed that for you.

  17. NSCC Student Says:

    What kind of research have all of you clowns performed and had published? How many of you have read his book? Are you all to scared to think outside the box?

  18. Ron Britton Says:

    NSCC:

    You’re entitled to ask that question after you learn and comprehend evolution. You clearly don’t yet.

  19. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Like the ever-knowledgable Mr. Wirth, I’m pretty sure I could self-publish a long list of quote mines too. Internet makes that possible!

  20. Luke Scientiae Says:

    I have found instances where Bergman actually fails to understand the very argument he’s advancing, as for example with atoms (and indeed “everything” being irreducibly complex). To emphasise: it’s not that the argument is wrong (although it would be if he made it), it’s that he doesn’t understand it. I’ve written a blog post about it here.

  21. Ron Britton Says:

    Luke:

    I’m glad to see someone else also tackling that guy’s gibberish. I’ll have to read your article when I get home, though. Tourist traps await!

  22. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I read it yesterday over lunch. It’s a great article. Thanks, Luke.

  23. Luke Scientiae Says:

    I previously linked to an article debunking Bergman’s chemistry claims. I have now expanded that considerably, taking into account his misuse of terminology, a document he sent me personally and a whole bunch of bullshit I discovered when I followed up on his claims about a supposedly peer-reviewed article. Oh, and he also compared me to a pig. Read all about it here.

  24. Ron Britton Says:

    Luke:

    That’s excellent! Thanks for the teardown.

  25. Luke Scientiae Says:

    You might also like this one, which is relates to all cranks, but inspired by my latest email exchanges with Bergman:

    http://goo.gl/Ej2WE