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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Academic freedom watch: Here's the real, ugly story behind the claim that "intelligent design isn’t science."

Baylor University: "Twenty-nine members of the J.M. Dawson family have called on Baylor University to remove the associate director of the institute that bears Dawson's name. Beckwith topped the list of candidates for the Dawson Institute during a national search, Jeffrey said. Among Beckwith's credentials, Jeffrey cited his academic accomplishments, including a doctorate from Fordham University and a master's degree in juridical studies from Washington University, as well as publication of articles in numerous scholarly periodicals, including the Dawson Institute's own Journal of Church and State. He has been a research fellow in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, and he is a fellow in the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute. He has held full-time faculty appointments at Trinity International University, Whittier College and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas." Beckwith's sin was that he is associated with the intelligent design hypothesis.

George Mason University Carolyn Crocker of George Mason University was barred from teaching both Darwinian evolution and intelligent design. What blows me away is the belief that students will not soon realize that this is all happening because the Darwinists have not made a good case, and are therefore enforcing their philosophy of origins by authority alone.

Iowa State University: Dr. Gonzalez, a senior fellow of Discovery Institute, is internationally known among astronomers and cosmologists as an expert on the astrophysical requirements for habitability and on habitable zones. He is a co-founder of the concept of Galactic Habitable Zones (GHZ). He and his colleagues captured the cover of Scientific American for their foundational and defining work on the very idea of GHZs. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed science papers, the latest being “Habitable Zones in the Universe” forthcoming in the journal Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres.

He is also a leading scientist who has put forward a testable argument for intelligent design--drawing on research from cosmology, astronomy, chemistry, and physics--and it is this that has spurred attempts to stifle scientific inquiry and academic freedom.

The Des Moines Register reports that faculty members have "accused Gonzalez of having a hidden religious agenda" and "fingering him as an academic fraud." Gonzalez has commented that the incident has made his work environment less than collegial.

"A small group of narrow-minded and intolerant faculty members have started a petition to rule out intelligent design as inherently unscientific; and are seeking to essentially ban it from being researched, taught, even discussed, at ISU," said Chapman. "In so doing they have targeted the only person on the campus who publicly is known to defend intelligent design in his work."

(Note: I will be blogging on Gonzalez in more detail later. I think that the Darwinists have really blown it this time. To get the picture, consider the Patterson campaign at Iowa State. What's this guy wasting his time in the United States for? The Glorious People's Republic of Dungeon beckons.)

Mississippi University for Women: During a recent honors forum at Mississippi University for Women (MUW), Dr. Nancy Bryson gave a presentation titled "Critical Thinking on Evolution" -- which covered alternate views to evolution such as intelligent design. Bryson said that following the presentation, a senior professor of biology told her she was unqualified and not a professional biologist, and said her presentation was "religion masquerading as science.
The next day, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Vagn Hansen asked Bryson to resign from her position as head of the school's Division of Science and Mathematics. "The academy is all about free thought and academic freedom. He hadn't even heard my talk," Bryson told American Family Radio News. "[W]ithout knowing anything about my talk, he makes that decision. I think it's just really an outrage."

Ohio State University: "Discovery Institute has filed a public records request with the Ohio State University (OSU) seeking all documents related to Darwinist attacks on OSU doctoral candidate Bryan Leonard. The request was submitted under the Ohio Public Records Act.

"In June, Leonard's dissertation defense in the area of science education was suddenly postponed after three Darwinist professors at OSU attacked Leonard's dissertation research because it analyzed how teaching students evidence for and against macroevolution impacted student beliefs. According to a news report in The Columbus Dispatch, the professors admitted at the time that they had not read Leonard's dissertation.

"We are concerned that Leonard is being targeted for unfair and possibly illegal treatment because of his viewpoint about evolution, in violation of his First Amendment rights," said Dr. John West, Associate Director of the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute.

"We are further concerned that university officials may have been improperly influenced in their actions by outside Darwinist pressure groups who are trying to destroy Leonard's career because of his support for teaching scientific criticisms of Darwin's theory."

San Francisco State University: "That a man of Mr. Kenyon's stature should now be forced to lobby for the right to teach introductory biology, whatever his current view of origins, is absurdly comic. Mr. Kenyon knows perhaps as much as anyone in the world about a problem that has stymied an entire generation of research scientists. Yet he now finds that he may not report the negative results of research or give students his candid assessment of it."

University of Idaho "The University of Idaho's statement does not simply ban discussions of evolution that are unrelated to the subjects of courses being taught,” explained DeWolf. “Nor does it merely forbid religious-based views of evolution from being taught in science classes. The statement offers a blanket prohibition on any 'views that differ from evolution,' no matter how scientific, and no matter how related to the courses under study."

All these situations have one common factor: Put simply, accumulating or disseminating evidence against Darwinism, the creation story of materialism - or against materialism itself - is an offense. By definition, no amount or type of information can be evidence. So these people have no business being in possession of it.

Years ago, I predicted that the intelligent design controversy was going to explode, principally because the intolerance of any criticism whatever of Darwinism would come ot a head, drawing more and more people in, and eventually drawing the government in.

All of these people need an organization like The Fire (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), an academic freedom movement.

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