One, Two, Three Galileos: The Google Inquisition purges a free-thinking employee.

One, Two, Three Galileos:The Google Inquisition purges a free-thinking employee. By Laurence Jarvik.

Google’s recent firing of James Damore for circulating a memorandum questioning the corporation’s diversity policies reminded me of a recent a production of James Reston, Jr.’s play Galileo’s Torch. Once again, it appears a lone man speaking Truth to Power has been persecuted, once again Skepticism crushed by Dogma, once more the Scientific Method attacked by Inquisitors. …

It turned out that the author of the Google Memo is a scientist who knows a great deal about biology, because he holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and has published scientific research papers in his field. By any normal standard, that alone would entitle his stated position to respectful consideration and discussion — especially in a company of scientists and engineers, dedicated to “Search,” where the company motto still is “Don’t Be Evil.”

Instead, the response has been positively medieval. Google VP Danielle Brown officially condemned Damore’s expression of his views, in a memo quoting another Google VP, Ari Balogh. The statement essentially declares company policy to be Holy Writ not subject to doubt or refutation: “Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate. We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul.”

Thus, an official statement of Google puts the issue of Diversity beyond the scope of scientific inquiry — which makes it into religious dogma, in a philosophical sense. So has a company founded by skeptical scientists and engineers, heirs to Galileo, been converted into a Church of Political Correctness by a corporate commitment to unscientific concepts such as “Diversity and inclusion.” …

It is obvious from the Google Memo affair that today’s corporate management is no less evil than the Grand Inquisitor was in the time of Galileo, suppressing scientific truth to preserve religious dogma.

Reality will win eventually, just as it did for Galileo’s point of view.