Home » academic freedom, Darwinism, News » Ball State U embarrassment (= asking questions is religion, not science) is U Idaho retro

Ball State U embarrassment (= asking questions is religion, not science) is U Idaho retro

It all happened in Moscow, Idaho (2005), but with different office furniture.

Following up on from DonaldM’s post, “Ball State Takes Stand for Philosophical Naturalism as Science – Embarrassing Us Alums, a similar thing happened to Scott Minnich Associate Professor of Microbiology at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, who was attacked by the same sort of idea-absent admins. Here’s Jonathan Wells’s account in Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design:

In October 2005, just before Minnich was scheduled to testify [at the Dover School Board trial] in Pennsylvania, University of Idaho President Timothy P. White issued an edict prohibiting the teaching of “views that differ from evolution… in our life, earth, and physical science courses.” [1] A week after President White issued his edict, the university hosted a seminar by Darwinist Eugenie Scott, titled “Why Scientists Reject Intelligent Design.” Scientist Scott Minnich was not invited to participate.

Actually, Minnich had never taught his students that Darwinism is wrong or intelligent design is right. Quite reasonably, though, he expected the academic establishment to respect his freedom to encourage students to think critically about this subject — or at least to respond to Eugenie Scott in an open forum.

Apparently, however, academic freedom doesn’t extend to critics of Darwinism. When University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill called victims of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 “little Eichmanns,” the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) defended his academic freedom, reaffirming the AAUP’s commitment “to preserving and advancing principles of academic freedom in this nation¹s colleges and universities. Freedom of faculty members to express views, however unpopular or distasteful, is an essential condition of an institution of higher learning that is truly free.” But when word of President White’s edict reached Jonathan Knight, director of the AAUP’s Office of Academic Freedom, Knight said: “Academic freedom is not a license to teach anything you like.” [2] In the Orwellian thinking of the AAUP, all unpopular views are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Defenders of President White’s edict pointed to a “consensus” of scientists that intelligent design is wrong. But how could there be a “consensus” if qualified scientists such as Minnich and Behe are excluded from voting? This sounds suspiciously like those “unanimous” elections for which the former Soviet Union became notorious. Just as truth could not be decided by the Communist Party in Moscow, Russia, so it cannot be decided by the Darwinist Party in Moscow, Idaho.

[1] University of Idaho President Timothy P. White, “Letter to the University of Idaho Faculty, Staff and Students,” October 5, 2005.

Annapurna Potluri, “Drawing a Line in the Academic Sand,” Inside Higher Ed, October 6, 2005. Available online (2013) at

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/10/06/idaho

“Discovery Institute Denounces University of Idaho’s Ban on Differing Viewson Evolution as Unconstitutional,” October 4, 2005. Available online (2013) at http://www.discovery.org/a/2911

[2] “AAUP Statement on Professor Ward Churchill Controversy,” American Association of University Professors, February 3, 2005.

John Miller, “U of I President: Teach Only Evolution in Science Classes,” Associated Press, October 6, 2005. Available online (2013) at http://www.discovery.org/a/2922

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7 Responses to Ball State U embarrassment (= asking questions is religion, not science) is U Idaho retro

  1. No Darwinist believes that design is not detectable or that the detection of design is not scientific. Right Elizabeth?

  2. In the wake of Ball State’s decision to censor Intelligent Design (July 2013), here is a surprisingly fitting video with Dr. William Dembski that was recently uploaded:

    What Your Science Teacher Got Wrong #1 – Chris Galanos/Dr. William Dembski – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dX8M7YGM1l8

  3. From the OP: “Defenders of President White’s edict pointed to a “consensus” of scientists that intelligent design is wrong. But how could there be a “consensus” if qualified scientists such as Minnich and Behe are excluded from voting?”

    Once again, President White, science is not determined by consensus. Science is determined by data, by facts. If you do not understand this simple point, you have no business being a university president.

  4. Barb @ 3

    From the OP: “Defenders of President White’s edict pointed to a “consensus” of scientists that intelligent design is wrong.

    Did you read President White’s letter? There is absolutely no claim “intelligent design is wrong”. ID is not even mentioned. The letter states evolution will be taught in science classes, in accordance with consensus, and “other views” can be taught in non-science classes.

    What could be fairer than that?

    But how could there be a “consensus” if qualified scientists such as Minnich and Behe are excluded from voting?”

    Do you agree the consensus view of scholars, scientists and scientific associations is that ID is not science? I’m asking you to agree they’re right, just that that’s their view?

  5. Claudius you state:

    “I’m asking you to agree they’re right”

    Should there be a not in that sentence? Moreover do you think Darwinism is ‘science’? If so please give the strict mathematical demarcation for it!

  6. bornagain77 @ 5

    Yes, thanks bornagain77, that was a silly typo.

    Barb: I meant to say “I’m not asking you to agree they’re right…”

    bornagain77: Depends what you mean by Darwinism. If you include an atheistic/materialist philosophical viewpoint as part of your definition of Darwinism, then no, Darwinism is not science.

  7. Claudius you state:

    If you include an atheistic/materialist philosophical viewpoint as part of your definition of Darwinism, then no, Darwinism is not science.

    ,yet when, as DonaldM pointed out in his post, ‘Ball State Takes Stand for Philosophical Naturalism as Science’, Ball State has in fact endorsed atheism as the only legitimate worldview allowed to be taught in science classrooms.,,, But let’s dig a little deeper into all this shall we Claudius? Dr. Craig, in his usual no nonsense style, gets to the bottom of the issue in fairly short order:

    Does Epistemological Naturalism Imply Metaphysical (Philosophical) Naturalism? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yNddAh0Txg

    As to, Epistemological Naturalism, which holds that science is the only source of knowledge, Dr. Craig states, and I strongly agree, it is a false theory of knowledge since,,,

    a). it is overly restrictive
    and
    b) it is self refuting (i.e. you can’t ‘scientifically’ substantiate the philosophical premises)

    Moreover Dr Craig states, epistemological naturalism does not imply metaphysical naturalism.,, In fact a Empistemological Naturalist can and should be a Theist, according to Dr. Craig, because Metaphysical Naturalism is reducto ad absurdum on (at least) eight points. Eight points which Dr. Craig briefly outlines in the following short video::

    Is Metaphysical Naturalism Viable? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzS_CQnmoLQ

    Besides what Dr. Craig has outlined, Alvin Plantinga, using evolution itself, has also shown that naturalism results in epistemological failure:

    Alvin Plantinga – Evolutionary Argument against Naturalism – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r34AIo-xBh8

    In fact so strong is the case against naturalism that Plantiga boldly stated this in the New York Times:

    Philosopher Sticks Up for God
    Excerpt: Theism, with its vision of an orderly universe superintended by a God who created rational-minded creatures in his own image, “is vastly more hospitable to science than naturalism,” with its random process of natural selection, he (Plantinga) writes. “Indeed, it is theism, not naturalism, that deserves to be called ‘the scientific worldview.’”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12.....wanted=all

    Moreover, as I’m sure you are well aware Claudius, methodological naturalism, the bastard child of Philosophical naturalism, says that scientific explanations must be limited to only material, i.e. natural matter/energy space/time, explanations. But this is simply an insane rule to apply when it comes to Quantum Mechanics. There simply is no within space-time, matter/energy, explanation for what has now been found in Quantum Mechanics. Thus are they going to be consistent in this arbitrary rule to teach only Philosophical Naturalism as science and forbid the teaching of quantum mechanics at Ball State now?

    notes on the ‘non-scientific’ quantum world:

    “I’m going to talk about the Bell inequality, and more importantly a new inequality that you might not have heard of called the Leggett inequality, that was recently measured. It was actually formulated almost 30 years ago by Professor Leggett, who is a Nobel Prize winner, but it wasn’t tested until about a year and a half ago (in 2007), when an article appeared in Nature, that the measurement was made by this prominent quantum group in Vienna led by Anton Zeilinger, which they measured the Leggett inequality, which actually goes a step deeper than the Bell inequality and rules out any possible interpretation other than consciousness creates reality when the measurement is made.” – Bernard Haisch, Ph.D., Calphysics Institute, is an astrophysicist and author of over 130 scientific publications.

    Preceding quote taken from this following video;

    Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness – A New Measurement – Bernard Haisch, Ph.D (Shortened version of entire video with notes in description of video)
    http://vimeo.com/37517080

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    Here is a good article which gives a bit of the history, and accuracy, behind the preceding experiment:

    A team of physicists in Vienna has devised experiments that may answer one of the enduring riddles of science: Do we create the world just by looking at it? – 2008
    Excerpt: In mid-2007 Fedrizzi found that the new realism model was violated by 80 orders of magnitude; the group was even more assured that quantum mechanics was correct.
    http://seedmagazine.com/conten....._tests/P3/

    Closing the last Bell-test loophole for photons – June 11, 2013
    Excerpt: The new research, conducted at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Communication in Austria, closes the fair-sampling loophole by using improved photon sources (spontaneous parametric down-conversion in a Sagnac configuration) and ultra-sensitive detectors provided by the Single Photonics and Quantum Information project in PML’s Quantum Electronics and Photonics Division. That combination, the researchers write, was “crucial for achieving a sufficiently high collection efficiency,” resulting in a high-accuracy data set – requiring no assumptions or correction of count rates – that confirmed quantum entanglement to nearly 70 standard deviations.,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2013-06-b.....otons.html

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