Skip to comments.The Intolerance Of Academia Creating Modern-Day "Galileos"
Posted on 02/09/2009 7:43:02 AM PST by Michael Eden
Let me begin by reproducing a short-but-powerful article:
University of Vermont President Engages in Double-Speak and Double-Standards When It Comes to Disavowing Pro-Intelligent Design Commencement Speaker Ben Stein
In todays academic double-speak, invitations to far-left revolutionaries and race-baiting Congressmen are apparently inclusive, while inviting a speaker who favors free speech on the issue of evolution is beyond the pale, says Discovery Institutes John West. todays academic double-speak, invitations to far-left revolutionaries and race-baiting Congressmen are apparently inclusive, while inviting a speaker who favors free speech on the issue of evolution is beyond the pale, says Discovery Institutes John West.
Simply follow the links to see just how blatantly intellectually hypocritical "academia" has become.
Apologizing for inviting gifted actor and writer Ben Stein to be commencement speaker at the University of Vermont, University President Daniel Fogel has highlighted what he called Steins highly controversial views about evolutionary theory, intelligent design, and the role of science in the Holocaust. Fogel went on to express penance for inviting Stein by claiming that Commencement should be a time when our community gathers inclusively, not divisively.
I guess inclusivity is why in 2007 Fogel chose as commencement speaker Democratic congressman John Lewis, who in 1995 compared Republicans to Nazis (last year Lewis compared John McCain and Sarah Palin to segregationist George Wallace and racist church bombers). Or perhaps President Fogels concern for inclusivity is better demonstrated by his 2006 commencement speaker, Gustavo Esteva, a far-left activist and advisor to the radical Zapatista National Liberation Army in Mexico.
Of course, its being reported that Stein withdrew as the universitys commencement speaker voluntarily. Voluntarily, that is, after he received a phone call from Dr. Fogel likely making clear he was no longer welcome. Given Fogels subsequent disavowal of inviting Stein in the first place, its pretty obvious that his phone call was designed to elicit Steins withdrawal. Fogels spinelessness in the face of the Darwinist thought-police is equaled only by his tone-deafness to his own rhetoric. After disowning Stein, Fogel has continued to insist: I am firm in my beliefprofoundly heldthat, as a university, UVM is and must remain a marketplace of ideas. Fogel's ideal marketplace must have a lot of empty shelves.
It is perfectly okay to feature a bigot like John Lewis, who has repeatedly used racist inflammatory propaganda against Republicans to bring down his opponents with rhetoric over reason.
It's okay to feature the spokesman of a violent terrorist organization which is responsible for countless murders and terrorist kidnappings.
It's okay for a prestigious university such as Columbia to feature holocaust-denying totalitarian Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who calls Jews a "cancer" and who has repeatedly vowed to destroy Israel.
All in the name of "diversity" and "freedom of expression."
But someone like Ben Stein, who came out with a documentary film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, can literally BE expelled (thus validating the whole point of the movie) by the very same self-righteous hypocrites who invite speakers who openly espouse bigotry and even the most unimaginable violence.
And what is the thoughtcrime that Ben Stein is guilty of? He presented and defended in his movie the views and situations of scientists who have been relentlessly persecuted by university administrators for having anything whatsoever to do with the Intelligent Design movement (which presents the possibility that a higher intelligence is necessary to explain the complexity of the universe).
Which, by the way, people overwhelmingly believe. Fully 85% believe that an Intelligent Designer - specifically God - was directly involved in the process of creating human beings.
As a child, I read, "The Emperor's New Clothes," a tale about believing foolishness just because the privileged and powerful were gullible enough to believe foolishness. A mischievous pair of weavers convince the emperor and the ruling elite that they have thread so magnificent that it has the power of being visible only to those who are wise enough to see it. No one sees the alleged garments, of course, but everyone is afraid to admit that they aren't "wise" enough to see.
Finally, in the dramatic conclusion, the emperor parades his new clothes for all his subjects to see. Everyone marvels at the spectacular design - until a child points and laughs at the sight of the emperor parading around in his underwear.
In the story, the people begin to murmur to one another, "He really isn't wearing any clothes!" And the whole farce immediately begins to unravel.
But in the modern version, the child is immediately silenced and thrown into a hole somewhere, and the parade continues on and on and on. And anyone in the future who speaks out gets to join that kid.
This isn't a matter of whether intelligent design (which Americans overwhelmingly believe in, by the way) is "true" or not. If that is the standard by which Ben Stein is being "expelled," then we must conclude that American academia must therefore embrace as "true" the views of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (you know, denying the Holocaust, favoring a religious-fascist totalitarian state, working toward the extermination of Israel, and so on). This is a matter of freedom of expression, of allowing and tolerating ideas in the name of diversity, of freedom of thought, of engaging in open and honest debate, and of basic intellectual honesty.
Are universities so terrified by Intelligent Design that they must single out and persecute every academic who has any connection to the position? Or even more terrifying, have our universities - once celebrated for their diversity of thought - themselves become fascist organizations devoted to ideological propaganda and groupthink?
106 of the first 108 colleges in America were founded as religious Christian institutions. It was these colleges that shaped the minds of our founding fathers, who in turn produced the foundational principles and values that enabled this country to become the greatest nation in the history of the world. And in a similar but even earlier vein, the first universities in Western Europe were founded under the aegis of the Church, and emerged from the monasteries. The scientific method itself emerged from the mind of a publicly-confessed Christian: Roger Bacon joined the Franciscan Order in 1247, and argued that a more accurate experimental knowledge of nature would be of great value in confirming the Christian faith. Sir Isaac Newton - almost universally regarded as the greatest scientist who ever lived - actually wrote more on Christian theology than he did on science. And the founders of every single major branch of science were confessing Christians.
The fact is that science arose only once in human history - and it arose in Europe under the civilization then called "Christendom." Christianity provided the essential worldview foundations necessary and essential for the birth of science: The earth was not the illusion of Eastern religion and philosophy, but a physical, tangible place. And the material world was not the corrupt and lower realm of Greek religion and philosophy, but God created it and called it "good." And God endowed the capstone of His creation, man - as the bearer of His divine image - with the reason, the curiosity, and the desire to know the truth. And God - who made the universe and the earth for man - made man the caretaker of His creation. And thus the great astronomer Johannes Kepler described his project as "thinking God's thoughts after Him."
And yet today, amazingly, against all history and against all truth, we are assured that science must be officially and completely atheist in order to have any legitimacy, and that God - or even the possibility of God (or even a far more intellectually neutral "Intelligent Designer" - must be purged from every element and aspect of "science."
Tragically, genuine science has been perverted and undermined by ideologues who are attempting to impose their atheistic worldviews upon society and remake the scientific enterprise in their own image. And in their efforts, they are using the very worst and most oppressive of tactics to destroy, intimidate, and silence their opposition. Such academics cite Galileo (another confessing Christian, by the way) and the largely propagandized tale of his persecution by the Church as an example of religion being hostile to science. But how is their own behavior any different from the worst intellectual intolerance exhibited by the Church? In their overarching zeal to persecute and expunge any meaningful sign of God from the ranks of academia, they have themselves become even worse than their caricature of religion which they so despise.
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