Topic

academic freedom

UC Irvine students decry evolution-only science, sponsor intelligent design talk

This article, published by The College Fix, mentions Casey Luskin of Discovery Institute: The Center for Science and Culture-Discovery Institute scholar Casey Luskin told the 60 or so students and professors in the audience that the vast complexities of life back intelligent design theories, and likened believing in evolution to believing a computer or car formed itself over billions of years. The rest of Read More ›

Dissent of Man

If someone had predicted a year ago that Oxford University Press would publish a book with the subtitle Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False, I might have wondered what alternate universe he was inhabiting. But Oxford did publish it, and the aftershocks among the intellectual elite have yet to abate.

The book’s author, philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a professor at New York University and the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including an honorary doctorate from Oxford University; fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities; and elections to such august bodies as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. It is a testament to Professor Nagel’s stature that his critique of Darwinian theory was allowed to be published at all. But his stature has not immunized him from a flood of abuse and even suggestions of creeping senility.

It’s not often that a book by a professional philosopher attracts the notice — let alone the ire — of the cultural powers-that-be. One can think of Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind in the 1980s, but other examples are hard to come by. At any rate, Mind and Cosmos is well on its way to becoming a book that can’t be ignored by the thinking public. Thus far, it has been denounced in the Nation and the Huffington Post, dubbed the “most despised science book of 2012” by the London Guardian, defended in the New Republic (where Nagel’s critics were blasted as “Darwinist dittoheads” and a “mob of materialists”), subjected to a feature story in the New York Times, and put on the cover of the Weekly Standard, which depicted Nagel being burned alive, surrounded by a cabal of demonic-looking men in hoods.

The author has attracted special displeasure from the powers-that-be for using Mind and Cosmos to praise intelligent design proponents such as biochemist Michael Behe and philosopher of science Stephen Meyer. As the New York Times explained, many of Nagel’s fellow academics view him unfavorably “not just for the specifics of his arguments but also for what they see as a dangerous sympathy for intelligent design.” Now there is a revealing comment: academics, typically blasé about everything from justifications of infanticide to pedophilia, have concluded that it is “dangerous” to give a hearing to scholars who think nature displays evidence of intelligent design.

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Some Scientific Views Are More Equal Than Others in America

Opinion across a startlingly broad political range has been solidifying lately in favor of discrimination — not discrimination on racial or sexual grounds, but against some controversial ideas and those who hold them. The ideas have to do with evolution. Is this a welcome development? A spate of lawsuits and complaints poses the question of whether, in scientific fields, a Read More ›

‘Science Says’ Is Now Just Another Special Interest Claim

President Obama echoed an often-heard lament when he complained recently that, among Americans, “facts and science and argument do not seem to be winning the day.” According to distressed cultural observers, public ignorance about science is evidenced by failure to accept global warming, “animal rights,” euthanasia and Darwinian evolution. The assumption is that doubting scientists’ claims means you have divorced Read More ›

How NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Punished David Coppedge for His Views on Intelligent Design

Supervisors at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory illegally harassed, demoted and humiliated a computer specialist and high-level system administrator for his beliefs about intelligent design, according to a lawsuit filed in California Superior Court. BACKGROUND: David Coppedge has worked on the Cassini mission since 1997. In 2000 he earned recognition for excellence, receiving the important role of “Team Lead SA” (system Read More ›

BESE Expected to Take Up Controversial Science Instruction Act Today

This article, published by The Times-Picayune, quotes Discovery Institute Senior Fellow John West: That goes further than the Legislature intended, according to John West of the Discovery Institute, which publishes materials that discuss “strengths and weaknesses” of Darwinian theory. “The bill was silent on intelligent design,” West said. The rest of the article can be found here.

Debunking the Scopes ‘Monkey Trial’ Stereotype

Whenever a challenge to the truth of Darwinian evolution arises, the scientific establishment and its allies trot out the Scopes Monkey Trial. It is their position that if the scientific establishment has ratified a science textbook, such as the book from which Scopes taught evolution, the state should not engage in “censoring” the material in that book.

The Scopes Monkey Trial plays such a prominent role in the debate that I purchased a copy of the transcript; a copy of the textbook from which Scopes taught, A Civic Biology; and a copy of the companion lab guide to that textbook. Review of these source materials-very different from the biased picture presented in Inherit the Wind-was a real eye-opener.

In the Scopes trial, there was never any judgment or verdict that Darwinian evolution is true. The prosecution argued and the judge agreed that the Tennessee statute in question barred the teaching of the Darwinian theory even if it were true, so its truth was not an issue in the case. Nor, notably, was the truth of the theory of Darwinian evolution and the supposed evidence for it ever subjected to cross-examination. Scopes’ lawyers presented extensive written statements from seven scientists stating that Darwinian evolution is the correct explanation for the diversity of life on earth. The prosecution sought permission to cross-examine the five pro-Darwinian science experts whose statements had been read in open court, but Clarence Darrow and the other Scopes lawyers objected and the court refused to allow it.

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CSC Promo 2009

The Mission of the Center for Science and Culture: To advance the idea that life and the universe is a product of intelligent design and to challenge the Darwinian view that the world was built from a blind a purposeless process. Our perennial initiatives are on Research & Scholarship, Education & Communication, and Academic Freedom.

Discovery Institute Honors Charles Darwin With Academic Freedom Day

Discovery Institute today announced the launch of Academic Freedom Day in honor of Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday on February 12, 2009. “We’re celebrating Charles Darwin’s birthday by supporting what he supported: academic freedom,” said Robert Crowther, Director of Communications at Discovery Institute. “Like Darwin, we recognize the importance of having an open and honest debate between evolution and intelligent design.” Read More ›