Home » Education, Evolution, Intelligent Design » University of Kansas Chancellor Speaks Out!

University of Kansas Chancellor Speaks Out!

From today’s Chronicle of Higher Education. And just remember, those are our tax dollars with which he is going to indoctrinate our kids and oppose intelligent design. Here’s a novel thought: Let chancellor Hemenway and his colleagues come up with their own support that does not require the government establishing a secular religion based on evolution. Here is his letter:

Dear Colleagues:

Six years ago The Chronicle of Higher Education published a column I
wrote on the evolution controversy. My point of view then, and remarks I
have made publicly many times since, should surprise no one: Evolution
is the central unifying principle of modern biology, and it must be
taught in our high schools, universities, and colleges. On a personal
level, I see no contradiction in being a person of faith who believes in
God and evolution, and I’m sure many others at this university agree.

But the attack on evolution continues across America and compels me to
again state the obvious: The University of Kansas is a major public
research university, a scientific community. We are committed to
fact-based research and teaching. As an academic, scientific community,
we must affirm scientific principles.

The university’s position is not an attack on anyone. We respect the
right of the individual to his or her beliefs, including faith-based
beliefs about creation. However, creationism and intelligent design are
most appropriately taught in a religion, philosophy, or sociology class,
rather than a science class.

I encourage students, faculty, and staff to take the opportunity to see
the “Explore Evolution” exhibit that will open November 1 at the KU
Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Center at Dyche Hall. The
exhibit focuses on seven contemporary research projects that contribute
to our knowledge of evolution in creatures large and small, from a study
of farmer ants to an analysis of the fossils of whales. A grant from the
National Science Foundation funded six museums to create the exhibit. I
applaud our Natural History Museum for partnering in this project along
with the Science Museum of Minnesota and the natural-history museums at
the universities of Michigan, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas.

The United States cannot accept efforts to undermine the teaching of
science. Our focus should be to raise the level of scientific literacy
among our citizenry because we face a critical shortage of scientists in
the next two decades. As a public research university, we have a special
mission to educate tomorrow’s scientists and to support the science
teachers who will inspire young people to become chemists, geologists,
biologists, and physicists. Let us use the evolution controversy to
intensify our efforts to provide a world-class education to our students
and to support the faculty who engage in the important research and
teaching missions of our schools and universities.

Sincerely,
Bob Hemenway
Chancellor

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9 Responses to University of Kansas Chancellor Speaks Out!

  1. one thing is for sure- when someone thinks there is no debate about the issue, they dont concern themselves with even speaking on the issue of those wanting a debate. funny how they keep saying theres no controversy and that ID is religion, yet they keep talking about it ALL of the time.

    you know theyre not being honest when they constantly keep issuing statements and such. thats the biggest sign that the other side does, INDEED, have a good case to make.

  2. Hey jboze131, did you answer my previous question about reptile-mammal evolution?

  3. Benjii: Stay on topic. This is a warning. –WmAD

  4. Dear Bob,

    While you are certainly entitled to an opinion, you aren’t entitled to dictate what parents wish to have their children taught in schools their tax dollars finance.

    I suspect you know as well as I the difference between theoretical and experimental sciences. Modern biology is the study of living tissues. It is an experimental science. Historical biology (evolution) is the study of imprints in rocks. It is a theoretical science. Stop trying to confuse the two.

    Sincerely,

    David Springer

  5. Chancellor “Evolution is the central unifying principle of modern biology, and it must be taught in our high schools, universities, and colleges. ”

    Allen Orr wrote:

    “Although many science, and all biology, students are required to endure molecular courses, evolution – even introductory evolution—is often an elective. The reason is simple: biochemistry and cell biology get Junior into med school, evolution doesn’t. Consequently, many professional scientists know surprisingly little about evolution.”

    So much for the most important theory in biology, it’s optional!

    Jerry Coyne wrote:
    “In science’s pecking order, evolutionary biology lurks somewhere near the bottom, far closer to phrenology than to physics.”

    So much for the most important theory in biology, right down near the bottom of sciences pecking order!

    Salvador Cordova

  6. The chancellor says:
    “The University of Kansas is a major public research university, a scientific community. We are committed to fact-based research and teaching. As an academic, scientific community, we must affirm scientific principles. ”

    But a professor at University of Kansas Professor confirmed my suspicion about the real state of affairs:

    “I’ve learned that it is possible to get a Ph.D. in biology at the University of Kansas without having a course in evolutionary biology.”

    – Professor Adrian Melott, University of Kansas,
    February 2005

    see: http://tinyurl.com/bvpbx

  7. Let’s fund (or get the feds to fund) a research grant to UofK to study ID theories as a possible solution to the inadequacies of Darwinian Evolution – with special emphasis on the origins of irreducibly complex living systems and subsystems. The grant should be significant enough to be attractive to the university but specific enough in focus to yield meaningful results to the general scientific community relative to ID theory. If ID is really not science, then Bob should have no problem declining the benefits of a multi-million dollar grant to his university along with the notariety of being the first university to confront the ID theories head on with a bonafied scientific research program. Better yet, let’s ask for proposals from the academic community and award a grant or two to the universities offering the best proposals. Let’s see if any step up and take the ID-Pepsi challenge.

  8. Addition to my previous post: Change “…first university to confront…” to “…first secular or public university to confront…”.

    For obvious reasons.

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