Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Commentary on Academic Freedom

Commentary by Caroline Crocker can be found in the Wichita Examiner.

From the article:

Our embracing of divergent peoples and viewpoints marks us as unique and we are rightly proud of being broad-minded, a “melting pot,” welcoming people of different nationalities, cultures and races. This has enabled us to be world leaders in innovative ideas, in marked contrast to what is produced by totalitarian regimes where citizens are only allowed to think one way.

Alarmingly, the current denial of academic freedom rights for those who are judged politically incorrect has put this in jeopardy. The freedom to teach, and learn about, both sides of many issues is noticeably lacking on most college campuses.

A study published in Forum (2005) by Lichter, Rothman, and Nevitte reported that 72 percent of university faculty are liberal (87 percent in elite universities). That this is reflected in the teaching is easily seen in the prolific displays of left-wing propaganda displayed on campuses. The University of Colorado at Boulder has such a preponderance of liberal faculty (96 percent) that, according to a Wall Street Journal article (5/13/08), Chancellor G.P. Peterson intends to support intellectual diversity by establishing an endowed chair for a professor of conservative thought and policy.

There were vociferous faculty objections. Ironically, Mr. Peterson responded to these by the welcome assurance that the new professor would not have to be an actual conservative, just someone who can teach that viewpoint.

The movie, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” has convincingly documented the persecution of scientists who suggest the products of intelligence can be detected by application of certain aspects of information theory (detection of specified complexity) and that these products may be found in biological systems.