• October 24, 2014

Colleges Are Urged to Defend Free Speech Against Threats of Violence

Citing Yale University Press's recent decision to remove all images of Muhammad from a scholarly book in response to fears their publication would trigger violence, a long list of academic and free-speech groups today called on colleges and universities "to exercise moral and intellectual leadership" and stand up for free expression.

A joint statement issued by the groups, which include the American Association of University Professors and the College Art Association, characterizes Yale's decision as one of several recent developments that "suggest that our longstanding commitment to the free exchange of ideas is in peril of falling victim to a spreading fear of violence."

Among other incidents the statement cites are a 2005 decision by Hamilton College, in New York, to cancel a speech by Ward Churchill, then a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, in response to threats of violence, and a decision last year by the San Francisco Art Institute to close a controversial video exhibition in response to threats of violence by animal-rights activists.

"The failure to stand up for free expression emboldens those who would attack and undermine it," the statement says. It calls on higher-education institutions "to stand up for certain basic principles: that the free exchange of ideas is essential to liberal democracy; that each person is entitled to hold and express his or her own views without fear of bodily harm; and that the suppression of ideas is a form of repression used by authoritarian regimes around the world to control and dehumanize their citizens and squelch opposition."

Among the other organizations that signed the statement is the National Coalition Against Censorship, an alliance of 50 national organizations that previously had joined other groups in sending Yale officials a letter protesting the university's decision to remove the cartoons from the book The Cartoons That Shook the World, by Jytte Klausen. Other signatories to the statement include the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, the International Publishers Association, the Modern Language Association, and both the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.

Comments

1. schristie - November 30, 2009 at 03:50 pm

Has the American Association of University Professors come out against censorship of those researching intelligent design or those that view embryonic stem cell research as killing human life? If not, how can they have it both ways? How can they come out and say that the free exchange of ideas is essential to liberal democracy and that the suppression of ideas is a form of represssion used by authoritarian regimes around the world to control and dehumanize their citizens and squelch opposition." I know for a fact that several universities around the nation have actually said that intelligent design has no place in higher education. Sounds like having your cake and eating it too.

2. macphaidin - November 30, 2009 at 04:34 pm

Of course intelligent design has a place in higher education--in theology, religious studies or possibly philosophy. I suspect your complaint is that it's not in the science curriculum. Here's a question: what would you consider evidence against intelligent design? What test or experiment might disprove it? What predictions are based on it that can be used as evidence to support or question it?

Ed

3. frankschmidt - November 30, 2009 at 04:42 pm

schristie confuses the right to personal belief with the right to be taken seriously.

People "research" (sic) intelligent design at my university. They are well-regarded colleagues in the Departments of Religious Studies and Philosophy, but not in Biology. The chemists don't Phlogiston Theory, either.


4. rpexport2 - November 30, 2009 at 05:07 pm

Is it really necessary to place research in quotations AND use (sic). Isn' that redundant?

Notwithstanding that syntax error, the science vs. theology debate will, I belive find common ground in the future. There are many examples where pure scientific theories were initially advanced outside of observable evidence: theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, the recent membrane theories in macro-physics are a few examples. Until the tools and procedures "catch up" with science, we've relied on simple inductive reasoning.

5. amnirov - November 30, 2009 at 05:07 pm

Universities have to stop bowing and scraping to ignorant superstitions. If religious people feel threatened or insulted or offended by parody, ridicule or reason, tough luck for them. It is about time that we shed the influence of silly belief. Religion poisons everything.

6. jffoster - November 30, 2009 at 05:09 pm

Schristie, (1), do you want Geography departments to have to give equal time to the Flat Earth theory? Or would you have Linguistics departments take seriously the Tower of Babel "theory" as an explanation for linguistic divergence?

7. schristie - November 30, 2009 at 05:36 pm

Another example of where researchers have been locked out is in the global warming theory. Researchers who say global warming is not created by man are called nuts. When one side takes away funding and threatens researchers that they will not be published in prestigious journals, then we stop the free flow of thinking.

The flat earth people stopped pushing their side when the physical evidence showed that the earth was round. I say let us debate the facts until the facts prove one side or the other. The simple fact is there is no factual evidence that the universe was not designed by a higher intelligence. Until you can prove otherwise, then by your standards the origin of the universe belongs in the religion classes - whether you belive in the big bang or otherwise.

8. bluesfiddle - November 30, 2009 at 05:51 pm

"Later that year, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln canceled a speech by former Weatherman and education theorist William Ayers citing security concerns."

Concerns were not so much for the safety of Professor Ayers as for the safety of our students.

9. everett2 - November 30, 2009 at 06:28 pm

schristie seriously diverted us from Yale University Press censoring an academic publication. That is the issue. One should either agree with them (YUP) or, as I do, support the AAUP and the NCAC in their protest of this blatant restriction of academic freedom.

10. schristie - November 30, 2009 at 06:33 pm

everett2: I'm just pointing out the hypocrisy of higher education wanting it their way, and only their way. It's not good for our society to have a gestapo style restriction on the exchange of ideas.

11. 22228715 - November 30, 2009 at 06:51 pm

But ah, schristie, that you anthropomorphize higher education as a single entitity with feelings suggests that you've missed the whole point of academe as a bounded space for multiple (although necessarily unequal) ideas. Indeed, that space might be larger than academe - Thomas Jefferson said "We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it."

Even more interestingly, he also wrote: "Shake off all the fears and servile prejudices under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear."

12. schristie - November 30, 2009 at 06:56 pm

22228715 - YES! So let's not fear academe being a bounded space for multiple ideas and not be afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead. We just have not had that opportunity yet. Let's question the existence of a God, but at the same time question the non-existence of a God. I think I agree with you!

13. amnirov - December 01, 2009 at 05:38 am

God is not about to pass peer review and every single thinking member of the academy knows it. We absolutely do not have to question God's non-existence. We don't even need to question its existence. We need to move on with our lives, and safeguard free speech from the forces that would suppress it. EG religion.

14. tvusrfch - December 01, 2009 at 06:04 am

The article did not mention students interfering with invited speeches in universities and colleges, the latter sometimes canceling the speeches for fear of violence (excuse me for returning to the original theme of the article...).

15. dogood1776 - December 01, 2009 at 07:39 am

The "original theme of the article" is that the AAUP and others "called on colleges and universities "to exercise moral and intellectual leadership" and stand up for free expression'" I think this discussion has been about just that. Your attempt to suppress this thread is evidence of the pervasive attitude among many that those of us who believe as schristie does must be put down. You are, in effect, trying to suppress our free expression.

16. roxbury86 - December 01, 2009 at 08:43 am

bluesfiddle,

Exactly! When they say, "each person is entitled to hold and express his or her own views without fear of bodily harm", they don't consider the colleges' responsibility to protect the safety of the students and other members of the college community.

17. 12080243 - December 01, 2009 at 09:10 am

Consider speaking out about misrepresentations in your university's/college's accreditation documents. You'll be punished so quickly it'll make your head spin. You will know, then, what your university/college means by words, however stated in their handbooks, like free exchange of ideas, academic freedom, integrity, etc.

Chauncey M. DePree, Jr., DBA
Professor
School of Accountancy
College of Business
University of Southern Mississippi
marcdepree@gmail.com

18. 12052592 - December 01, 2009 at 09:17 am

schristie, The creationist SCIENTISTS stopped pushing their side when the physical evidence showed that organisms evolved. Sure, there are some creation scientists today, but guess what? Their ideas are as rediculous, outdated, and disproved as Flat Earth scientists and Tower of Babel linguists are today. I sure hope you don't teach biology.

19. bluesfiddle - December 01, 2009 at 09:59 am

roxbury86
You seem to understand that "threats of violence" can include statements such as "I'm meet Ayers with my AR-15. Our small-scale student research conference, to whom Ayers was invited, was held during the height of a talk-show frenzy about Ayers and candidate Obama. Our university police said we would have to move the conference from our college location and install security systems, screen visitors, etc. The entire concept of the student conference would have been overshadowed by the tension induced by the threats.

We all know of violence in public places, and that it often does come after a threat. So I think that in this case, the university made the right decision.

Recently Ayers did speak at a different location, without incident. Perhaps "Defending Free Speech" requires more nuanced judgement than it used to.

20. bluesfiddle - December 01, 2009 at 10:00 am

edit: "I'll meet Ayers with my AR-15."

21. schristie - December 01, 2009 at 10:06 am

12052592, you have no physical evidence for evolution. You have a theory from the known observable to the unknown based on conjecture and hypothesis. Cite me one case where a test and control environment have proven evolution. Basically you only have species variation. When a labrador and poodle mate and make a labrapoodle, they don't make a new species - they make a different type of dog. But it's still a dog - no evolution. Give me one piece of "PHYSICAL" evidence that you have for one species evolving into another that cannot also be explained as two different species.

I think it's so ironic that a belief in something that is unobservable based on the observable to you is science, but when you apply believing in a God based on creation (observable) itself you call that faith. Your faith is in evolution because it requires believing in something that is unobservable.

22. roxbury86 - December 01, 2009 at 10:43 am

bluesfiddle,

Right you are! I was given to understand that at one point, Ward Churchill proposed wearing a bullet proof vest at Hamilton (my alma mater). I think Hamilton made the right decision under the circumstances.

I don't believe that standing up for freedom of expression should mean allowing that expression no matter the cost; indeed, judgment calls of this nature require very great attention to all the circumstances and possible ramifications.

23. fcslchron - December 01, 2009 at 11:20 am

bluesfiddle #16: who, pray tell, are "they"? Varied and various boogy-men?

Schristie: Evidence? I guess fossils are just poop, and carbon dating just another attempt of all those mean old scientists to pull the wool over the eyes of well-meaning folks like yourself you can see everything so clearly you don't really need evidence.

So speak out! No one is stopping you, there is no censorship of your ideas, just rebuttle. Can't you take it that people, scientists and other reasoning beings, do not agree with you? That is so different than censorship -- or do we have to debate that too: is not agreeing "censorship," or is it "not agreeing"? That is a tough one.

What so amazes me is that the question of whether or not god exists or whether intelligent design is what created everything is really of no threat to religious people; their extreme reaction to such ideas leaves me perplexed. If it is ever proved that intelligent design exists then evolution will be shown to be one of the tools of that intelligent design. Why waste your time and get your knickers all in a knot over it? God or no god, ingelligent design or no intelligent design, to promote such ideas when it matters not, really, to god or anybody, seems to me a waste of time. And science will carry on its merry way doing all it can to help us to understand the world we live in.

Believing in god seems to help some people cope better and feel better in the world -- but helping to understand the world it does not. Er, that is my opinion.

As for the original thread, I do think that there is censorship and a curtailing of free speech, usually in reaction to threats of violence -- a good number of which come from religious people. A number of other threats of violence come from nationalistic/patriotic people.

Did I hear or read somewhere that religion and nationalism are what produce the greatest amount of violence in our wonderful world? You know, as in wars, inquisitions, fatwas, and things like that. We have a couple of other sources as well: intolerence and ignorance. Don't want to forget those!
RAL

24. oldcommprof - December 01, 2009 at 11:37 am


amnirov is right. Creation "scientists"/ID supporters (they are the same thing) can't even design a testable hypothesis and so can't be taken seriously. Evolutionists have, and the results have been replicated again, and again and again over the last 150 years -- which constitutes scientific proof. ID is supported only by faith, which is belief based on no evidence -- often called "blind faith." Very similar to voodoo, actually.

25. marktropolis - December 01, 2009 at 11:54 am

This reminds me of an episode of Big Bang Theory (on CBS, happened to be on the repeat last night). For those of you not in the know, show centers around a group of friends who are all physicists at some unnamed university. One of the characters, Sheldon, has a mother who is a fundamentalist Christian (from Texas, no less). Sheldon has a fight with his buddies, and runs home to his mother. And she in turn reminds him of why he left home in the first place. Sheldon mentions something about evolution, which his mom challenges along the lines of "evolution is an opinion. To which Sheldon says something like "an opinion based on facts." And his mom says something like "That fact is your opinion." And then Sheldon goes back to California with his friends.

Granted, I may be mucking up the dialogue a tad, but the issue is this: conservatives continue to whine about not having their academic freedom, and being censored, etc. because their "theories" are being summarily dismissed by academe. schristie (in #12) notes that "we have not had time yet." How much more time does so-called intelligent design need to prove it's worth. It's not like this issue hasn't been debated in academe since Copernicus. And probably before - I'm defintely NOT a historian of the sciences. You (and your I.T colleagues) are just ticked because you lost. When you can come back to the table with something that actually is science, and actually has evidence, then perhaps we can open up that can of worms. But stop griping about getting drummed out - you got drummed out because your stuff is not science, it's religion.

26. schristie - December 01, 2009 at 11:59 am

fcslchron: You say speakout, but that was my original point. Censorship is happening in academe in many sorts of ways including not letting other theories discussed, pulling research funding, and threatening editors of journals. So people are being stopped from speaking out! There is censorship! I'd love to have rebuttle take place, but it is not being allowed in higher education.

27. schristie - December 01, 2009 at 12:04 pm

oldcommprof: Please cite your lab testing that you were able to turn one species into another. You cannot. And so your faith is your belief based on no evidence.

28. minnesotan - December 01, 2009 at 01:18 pm

"The simple fact is there is no factual evidence that the universe was not designed by a higher intelligence. Until you can prove otherwise, then by your standards the origin of the universe belongs in the religion classes - whether you belive in the big bang or otherwise."


There's no proof aginst the argumet that a giant purple unicorn lives at the center of the universe, directing our daily affairs, but really does there need to be? The burden of proof is not on the science establishment, it's on the people making ridiculous claims in spite of logic and reason! (Who want to join the establishment, no less.)

29. reptar - December 01, 2009 at 02:23 pm

Everyone knows that man created god in his own image, and refined god through the years.

Scientific theories provide a basis for experiments to determine their accuracy.

Faith makes pronouncements and is usually antagonistic to close questioning.

30. imjustsayin - December 01, 2009 at 02:38 pm

To Number 4:

1) Is it necessary to use "really" to modify "necessary"? Isn't that redundant?

2) Is it not pompous to point out such inconsequential minutiae?

31. schristie - December 01, 2009 at 03:10 pm

By your standards, if a science space alien came down and looked at the evolution of watches from their invention to today, he would have to conclude (based on his observations) that the watches evolved on their own without a designer. The physical evidence (as you call it) would force him to this conclusion.

32. fcslchron - December 01, 2009 at 05:00 pm

schristie: You are not being censored, just asked to use evidence to support what are otherwise beliefs rather than theories or facts. Tell me, what exactly does Intelligent design mean to you? What is it exactly?

33. 12052592 - December 01, 2009 at 05:11 pm

schristie,

Species don't arise overnight by evolution. It's a process that happens over time that varies from population to population from environment to environment. There is plenty of evidence that shows gene and trait frequencies in populations change over time (within our observable human lifetime too). This is called natural selection. Determining the exact "moment" of speciation is unnecessary (as determining the exact particle of sand that makes a mound turn into a heap). We know how erosion works. We know it is happening today. It doesn't require a fantastic leap of logic to determine that canyons are formed by water over many years of erosion and the process is still happening today (because we can measure it). Likewise, it doesn't take a fantastic leap of logic that species formed over many generations from the everyday observable process of natural selection and is still happening today (because we can measure it). Add to that, the EVIDENCE that confirms this hypothesis found in the fossil record. AND the EVIDENCE found in all living organisms' genes that indicate common ancestry. I can have faith in my wife's assertion that my children are genetically related to me. I can also get confirming evidence by comparing their DNA to mine. This is a fantastic time for biology in that relationships that were once hypothesized solely by anatomy and fossils, are now being strengthened by the edition of DNA evidence.

This is called historical science. Geology and biology regularly apply observable natural phenomenon demonstrated to be happening today (like erosion and natural selection) and apply these principles to piece together what is the best natural explanation for events that happened in the past. It's like being at the scene of a crime. Nobody saw the event, but that can't stop us from hypothesizing what happened by the evidence left behind. Now you must understand that even if evidence is scant or nonexistant, a scientist does not conclude that this is evidence of the supernatural. While scientists have plenty of evidence to piece together what happened on this planet in the past, creationists have nothing AND they ignore the evidence that indicates life evolved on this planet. Even if a scientist concludes to reject the theory of evolution, it is the responsibility of the scientist to come up with an alternative natural explanation for the history of life on this planet. Creationism or Intelligent Design do not offer an alternative natural explanation. They are supernatural explanations.

Belief even in the absence of evidence or evidence to the contrary is the definition of faith. If you are faithful, you don't NEED any proof or evidence. So why the big obsession with having to prove your faith with evidence? Isn't this what Jesus of Nazereth told His disciples in the story about "doubting" Thomas? Thomas said he would only believe Jesus rose from the dead if he actually saw and felt Jesus alive before him. Jesus then knew that not everyone would be so lucky as Thomas so Jesus blessed all those who believed in His reserrection without seeing Him alive. Perhaps your demand for evidence of God (by analyzing living organisms) is more of a testiment to your lack of faith in God.

34. schristie - December 01, 2009 at 06:03 pm

12052592: Why is it so unreasonable to conclude from the fossil records and genes that species did vary over time (species variation but not evolution) but that an intelligent designer used something perfectly made (like genes for different traits, or flagella for movement) in the various species (but not evoluation).

It's like the watch maker using a spring in the evolving improvement of watches. The spring is used in German watches and used in English watches, but since the spring was such a perfect part of the watch it was used in both types of watches.

35. hbarwood - December 01, 2009 at 06:51 pm

schristie has hijacked this thread with a continuing anti-evolution rant; however, I'm really surprised no one challenged her/his assertion:

"Basically you only have species variation. When a labrador and poodle mate and make a labrapoodle, they don't make a new species - they make a different type of dog. But it's still a dog - no evolution."

Am I the only one who understands that there would be no possibility of a new species since they are both dogs? Past experience with ID'ers has shown that even if a fully grown elephant leaped from a Poodle's placenta, there would be no room for the possibility of evolution in their mindset.

36. 12052592 - December 01, 2009 at 06:57 pm

schristie,

Since the the process of fossilization doesn't preserve every individual, we are left with snap shots in time of life in the past. When looking at life forms in geologic strata estimated to be 55 million years old, one does not find modern horses. Instead, one finds organisms that are considerably smaller, have more than one toe on each foot, and teeth adapted for eating shoots and leaves. The rest of the anatomy most closely resembles horses than any other living organism alive today. In progressively younger geologic layers, organisms appear that more closely resemble modern horses with still no modern representatives. If I understand you right, are you suggesting that these are all representatives of modern horses that are alive today?

The problem with genes is that organisms carry genes that are no longer functional. Birds, for example, don't have teeth, but they carry genes for the development of teeth. One could conclude that they have the genes for teeth because "God wanted it that way" or one could conclude that they have the genes for the development of teeth because they are descended from ancestors that once had them (which supports the anatomical and fossil evidence that birds evolved from reptiles). This is just one example of many arising from recent studies.

I also suggest you read up on your creation literature (or is literature outside of the Bible acceptable? By the way, just who reviews this literature anyway? God? Vishnu? The Great Spirit? the spaghetti monster?). the bacteria flagella motor has been shown to be evidence FOR evolution.

Lastly, although Creationsist and IDers LOVE to use analogies because they can be argued without evidence, I'll respond to your watch analogy regardless. What does a watch maker do with parts that no longer provide a function when something else has been made to make it better? They get cut it out of the design. They eliminate it. Watches used to be powered by springs. Most watches are now powered by batteries or solor power. Would a watch maker KEEP the springs even though they are no longer functional or redundant. This is seen in anatamy time and time again. Genes and traits are kept in organisms even though they no longer serve the function in which they occured in the ancient ancestor. They have them in their anatomy and their genes because they inherited them from an ancestor that used them for a different function. I gotta go. Thanks for enganging. However, until Creationists come up with evidence, that is all they will be: consversationists that divert the subject of a string in a blog that has NOTHING TO DO WITH CREATIONISM. Now go out there and do some RESEARCH to provide actual evidence tht explains biology without injecting the supernatural.

37. roxbury86 - December 01, 2009 at 08:32 pm

fcslchron (#23),

"They" refers to the 'long list of academic and free-speech groups today called on colleges and universities "to exercise moral and intellectual leadership" and stand up for free expression.' I thought that was pretty obvious, and certainly not provocative.

38. jsch0602 - December 01, 2009 at 08:42 pm

Does this mean that John Yoo will be able to safely walk to his office in Berkeley?

39. bluesfiddle - December 01, 2009 at 09:27 pm

fcslchron wrote

23. fcslchron - December 01, 2009 at 11:20 am

wrote
bluesfiddle #16: who, pray tell, are "they"? Varied and various boogy-men?

"they" in my post is linked to the quote from the original story at the beginning of the thread.

I think quite of few of the people posting here did not read the original story.

40. dank48 - December 02, 2009 at 12:32 pm

Freedom of speech means simply the right/privilege/freedom (etc.) to speak/write/blog/draw/and otherwise explicate one's beliefs, opinions, etc. It does not, however, confer automatic respect for one's beliefs. Nor does it guarantee that one possess a bully pulpit in the department of one's choice. The one thing more pathetic, and of course this is just my opinion, than the promoters of so-called Intelligent Design, such as schristie, for example, is the people who get sucked into debate with them. Trying to explain the difference between science and religion, much less between evolution and I.D., is like trying to explain ethical vegetarianism to a hungry tiger. The beast doesn't wish to eschew meat, and it doesn't understand English, and it just isn't interested in the subject.

I.D. (or Creationism) is not an alternate answer to the question, as Richard Dawkins has pointed out. It's a refusal to ask the question.

Of course schristie and his (I assume, perhaps incorrectly) fellow-IDiots should be allowed to be heard. It's not the world's fault, or society's, or anyone else's, if they fail to convince anyone. As noted above, chemistry students no longer learn about phlogiston, medical students spend very little time on Galen's humor theory, astronomy students dwell but briefly on Ptolemy, and Genesis is irrelevant to physics.

Freedom of speech means the right to be heard and read and understood. And, if the world decides it's appropriate, to be laughed at, scorned, ridiculed, and ultimately forgotten.

What schristie et al. fail to realize is that science is hard work, and 2500-year-old dogma has no more "right" to acceptance as authority than any other relics of antiquity. Aristotle, for instance, thought heavy objects fall faster than light objects, and his doctrine lasted two thousand years--until someone performed an experiment.

41. schristie - December 03, 2009 at 06:03 pm

test

42. schristie - December 07, 2009 at 04:56 pm

33. 12052592

In my watch example before I should have included that a spring could be used in different watches over time, but a spring can also be used in a car. This doesn't make a watch a car though.

You say that Intelligent Design proponents do not offer an alternative natural explanation. Okay, here is my explanation using natural explanations.

I have no problem with natural selection within a species. Within a species, some have traits that make them more survivable then others and those will pass on their genes and the traits that are not helpful to survival will not be passed on. We can also have genes that are not apparent in a population, but as a population migrates to a different location those recessive genes could provide an advantage (when manifested) to those without the recessive gene. An example would be people in a population with a recessive gene for light skin who move to a more northern area may have an advantage over their dark skin counterparts. But those traits, genes, etc. are still within one species.

In terms of the horses, why couldn't modern horses have changed using natural selection? Maybe there were several types of horses from the beginning: some small, some large, some with one toe on each foot, some with no toes on each foot, some with teeth adapted for eating shoots and leaves, and some with teeth adapted for something else. Then, these horses all progressed through natural selection and cross populating, some died off, the remaining continued through natural selection and cross populating, more died off, etc. etc. until we have the horses we have today? Yet, they were all horses. Nothing that was not a horse evolved into a horse, and they have genes that appear to be useless now but can be traced back to their predecessors.

The same theory could apply to the birds with genes for teeth. Why couldn't there have been many types of birds from the beginning, some with teeth and some with no teeth. Then they changed through natural selection and cross populating, some died off, etc. etc. We don't have the fossil records of the birds with the teeth, but the absence of proof is not the proof they didn't exist. We are left with the current birds we see today, but nothing that was not a bird evolved into a bird.

43. happycamper1212 - December 08, 2009 at 01:18 am

I cannot believe the discussions I'm reading on this article. Free speech doesn't mean that colleges have to give credit courses to please any collective of popular thinking. Credit courses in science carry content that results from testing hypotheses about the physical world. Science understands the physical world by such testing, and liking the results of such testing is not a valid criterion for judging the truth of them.

Philosophizing about the interpretation of scripture is fine as religion. It's just not science. The ultimate reason zealots oppose evolution is because they are uncomfortable when results do not support their particular belief system. Beyond that, they have no testable evidence against evolution that can begin to compete with the preponderance of evidence for it. In the end, they rail against science because they just don't like the results.

As far as crying for "equal time," there's no more extreme disrespect for others' belief systems than missionary efforts to "convert" others. "Equal time" might also involve inviting and welcoming a group of Buddhists to "convert" members of a heavily Catholic, Mormon, or Baptist community. Where is THAT happening?

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