Sunday, May 27, 2007

Where's The Academic Freedom?

Articles of interest:

Academia's Assault on Intelligent Design


What is the state of academic freedom when well qualified candidates are rejected simply because they see God's fingerprints on the cosmos? Isn't the Academy supposed to be a venue for diverse views? Aren't universities supposed to foster an atmosphere that allows for robust discussion and freedom of thought? Dr. Gonzalez's fate suggests that anyone who deigns to challenge conventional orthodoxy is not welcome in the club.

In the future, will scientists who are up for tenure be forced to deny that God could have played any role in the creation or design of the universe? Will Bible-believing astronomers be forced to repudiate Psalm 19, which begins, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands"? Will faithful Catholics be required to reject the teaching of Vatican I, which said that God "can be known with certainty from the consideration of created things, by the natural power of human reason..." Just where will this witch hunt lead?

The amazing fact is that, even as many science departments are working overtime to forbid professors from positing that there is evidence for intelligent design in the universe, more and more scientists are coming to this conclusion. The Discovery Institute has compiled a list of over seven-hundred scientists who signed the following statement: "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged." The list of scientists who find good reason to doubt the strictly materialistic Darwinism that is currently scientific orthodoxy is growing every day.

It seems that many scientists and academicians who hold views contrary to Dr. Gonzalez have concluded that the best way to avoid debate about the evidence for intelligent design is to simply deny jobs to those who will not affirm their atheistic worldview. The fact that these scientists, who are supposedly open to following the evidence wherever it leads, have resorted to blatant discrimination to avoid having this conversation speaks volumes about the weakness of their position. They realize their arguments are not sufficient to defeat the intelligent design movement and they must, therefore, shut their opponents out of the conversation. All the evidence suggests that it is unjust that Dr. Gonzalez was denied tenure and that this ruling should be overturned on appeal. Nevertheless, what happened to Dr. Gonzalez is a reflection of the growing strength of the intelligent design movement, not its weakness.

Darwinism: Still Improvable


The Darwinian account of the origins of life, he insists, does not begin to qualify as scientifically verifiable by the standards that science itself demands. In a recent Pennsylvania case, for example, the National Academy of Sciences spelled out these standards. "In science," it said, "explanations are restricted to those that can be confirmed from the confirmable data – the results obtained through observations and experiments that can be substantiated by other scientists. Anything that can be observed or measured is amendable to scientific investigation. Explanations that cannot be based upon empirical evidence are not part of science."

On these grounds the court ruled out intelligent design as scientific. But on exactly the same grounds, Grose's book contends, Darwinian theory should also be ruled out. "Pray tell," he demands, "where are the specific, observable, testable, confirmable data – obtained through observations and experiments – concerning [Darwin's view of] origins? There are none. And there never will be."
This was the assertion that first vaulted him into the public eye in October 1969, when the California State Board of Education came under fire for refusing to present Darwinian theory as scientific fact. Grose defended the board and in subsequent months found himself denounced by 19 Nobel laureates who signed a petition against him, while the National Academy broke its own rules by plunging into the political affairs of a single state. News media around the world portrayed him as advocating Genesis for public school textbooks. Cartoons ridiculed him as a scientific ignoramus.

The California board backed him nevertheless, empowering him to edit the state's science texts from which he excised 218 statements, many of them sheer myth, to reclassify Darwinian theory from fact to dogma. The Genesis explanation of origins is "a belief, not a fact," Grose reiterates, "and so is Darwin's." In the end, the Board of Education voted unanimously to uphold him, and even the Academy came around. "The search for knowledge must be conducted under conditions of intellectual freedom," it said, "without religious, political or ideological restriction."

This inhibits the religious. It should, and perhaps one day will, inhibit the irreligious as well. Grose's long-suppressed book may be purchased at

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