Home » academic freedom, Intelligent Design » CONTEST! Best Response to Professor Pompous Gets Free Copy of “The Nature of Nature”

CONTEST! Best Response to Professor Pompous Gets Free Copy of “The Nature of Nature”

UPDATE:  WE HAVE HAD SEVERAL FANTASTIC ENTRIES ALREADY.  BUT THERE IS STILL TIME TO POST AN ENTRY.  I WILL JUDGE THE CONTEST ON 7-26-11

A couple of  months ago a young university student contacted my law office seeking help in a dispute she was having with a university here in Colorado. [To protect my client’s privacy, I am using neither her name nor the name of the university. ] The previous week she had voiced opposition to Darwinism to her biology professor, who proceeded to scream at her, denigrate her religious views, and generally demean and humiliate her in front of the rest of the class.  After hearing her story I sent a demand letter to the university seeking redress.  Good news.  We resolved the matter on very favorable terms.

One of the terms we insisted on was a letter of apology from the professor. This is the full text of that letter:

Ms. _____________:

With regard to our conversation about your belief that evolution is not true, I apologize to you for appearing to denigrate your obviously strongly held beliefs. I had not intended to offend you in any way regarding your faith or your world view. That this was so perceived by you, I again offer my sincerest apology.

In making this apology to you, I am reminded of what happened to Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) – considered by many to be the father of modern science. In 1610 Galileo determined through his telescope and various mathematical calculations, that the Earth moved around the sun, rather than the other way around which was, according to the Catholic Church ‘false and contrary to Scripture.’

In 1632, he was tried by the Inquisition, found ‘vehemently suspect of heresy’, forced to recant heliocentrism, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. As he was led away to begin his confinement, he said (to no one in particular) ‘and yet it still moves’.

NOW TO THE CONTEST: Even though the legal matter has been resolved, I will not allow the last two paragraphs of the letter, which, in my view, are equal parts smug and pompous, go un-rebutted. And I have decided to let UD readers participate in the fun! Readers are invited to propose responses to the professor in the comment section below. On July 26 I will judge the responses, and the best response will receive a free copy of The Nature of Nature edited by our very own William Dembski.

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88 Responses to CONTEST! Best Response to Professor Pompous Gets Free Copy of “The Nature of Nature”

  1. 1
    material.infantacy

    No need for a rewrite if, in the context of the last two paragraphs, Ms. _______ is understood to be Galileo, and the professor is cast as a zealot of the church. It fits quite well.

  2. Would someone get that worked up over Atomic theory? Clear there is more than science at stake here.

  3. 3

    I’m quite puzzled how the professor is “reminded of what happened to Galileo Galilei”.

    I doubt the professor could be viewing himself as Galileo here: It wouldn’t merely be “smug and pompous”, but incredibly bizarre – after all, he’s the authority figure here.

    The only sense I can make of it is to conclude that he’s comparing “Ms.” to Galileo – which is how material.infantacy in the first response is also reading it.

  4. Dear Professor,

    Thank you very much for your apology.

    I hope that these events will encourage you to engage more graciously in the exchange of ideas in the future. The next time you feel tempted to use your position of power to force your strongly held beliefs on students, please ask yourself – what would Galileo do?

  5. What a beautifully written non apology!

  6. 6

    Prof:

    In making this apology to you, I am reminded of what happened to Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) – considered by many to be the father of modern science. In 1610 Galileo determined through his telescope and various mathematical
    calculations, that the Earth moved around the sun. But unlike Galileo, I am regretfully reminded that Neo-Darwinsim can make no claim to direct evidence in the spirit and rigor of Galileo, nor does it exist in any reasonable mathematical framework.

    Thus the quest for understanding how life on Earth originated and blossomed into the diverse complexity that the fossil record and our own eyes display for us, remains a mystery. A work however, in progress. Whereas an open an honest discussion of the evidence
    is not only welcome, but mandatory. Thank you.

  7. Not to enter the contest, but only to note that Galileo, being a believer in God, would be very pleased, if he were around today, to realize that modern discoveries, such as the Privileged Planet Principle, have overturned the Copernican Principle (Principle of Mediocrity) which came about by the removal of the Earth from centrality in the universe:

    ,,,There are many independent characteristics required to be fulfilled for any planet to host advanced carbon-based life. Two popular books have been written, ‘The Privileged Planet’ by Guillermo Gonzalez and ‘Rare Earth’ by Donald Brownlee, indicating the earth is extremely unique in its ability to host advanced life in this universe. Privileged Planet, which also holds that any life supporting planet in the universe will also be ‘privileged’ for observation of the universe, has now been made into a excellent video.

    The Privileged Planet – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV5zkifLSbc

    Privileged Planet – Observability Correlation – Gonzalez and Richards – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5424431

    The very conditions that make Earth hospitable to intelligent life also make it well suited to viewing and analyzing the universe as a whole.
    – Jay Richards

    ================

    There is also a well researched statistical analysis of the many independent ‘life-enabling characteristics’ that gives strong mathematical indication that the earth is extremely unique in its ability to support complex life in this universe and shows, from a naturalistic perspective, that a life permitting planet is extremely unlikely to ‘accidentally emerge’ in the universe. The statistical analysis, which is actually a refinement of the Drake equation, is dealt with by astro-physicist Dr. Hugh Ross (1945-present) in his paper ‘Probability for Life on Earth’.

    Does the Probability for ETI = 1?
    Excerpt; On the Reasons To Believe website we document that the probability a randomly selected planet would possess all the characteristics intelligent life requires is less than 10^-304. A recent update that will be published with my next book, Hidden Purposes: Why the Universe Is the Way It Is, puts that probability at 10^-1054.
    http://www.reasons.org/does-probability-eti-1

    Linked from “Appendix C” in Why the Universe Is the Way It Is
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters ? 10^-1333
    dependency factors estimate ? 10^324
    longevity requirements estimate ? 10^45
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters ? 10^-1054
    Maximum possible number of life support bodies in observable universe ? 10^22

    Thus, less than 1 chance in 10^1032 exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracles.
    http://www.reasons.org/files/c....._part3.pdf

    Hugh Ross – Evidence For Intelligent Design Is Everywhere (10^-1054) – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4347236

    ====================

    As well, I think Galileo would be very pleased by this video:

    The Known Universe – Dec. 2009 – a very cool video (please note the centrality of the earth in the universe)
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4240304/

    Of technical note;

    4-D space-time cannot adequately explain the centrality we witness for the earth in the universe, yet universal quantum wave collapse to each unique point of observation does:

    This following experiment extended the double slit experiment to show that the ‘spooky actions’, for instantaneous quantum wave collapse, happen regardless of any considerations for time or distance i.e. The following experiment shows that quantum actions are ‘universal and instantaneous’:

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

    more technical notes:

    Intelligent Design – The Anthropic Hypothesis
    http://lettherebelight-77.blog.....is_19.html

  8. Hi material.infantacy,

    You write:

    -”No need for a rewrite if, in the context of the last two paragraphs, Ms. _______ is understood to be Galileo, and the professor is cast as a zealot of the church. It fits quite well.”

    I’m not sure I agree with you here – especially in context of this professors alleged behavior.

    I think the professor feels that by apologizing to her for speaking his mind on what he believes to be the truth, he is effectively being forced to recant his position by the school system – which would lead him to equate himself with Galileo and the school as the catholic church. The girl being Galileo wouldn’t fit, as he would be admitting that she has evidence against his beliefs.

    As for the contest, I vote for junkdnaforlife’s rebuttal. :-)

    - Sonfaro

  9. But, Sir,

    Galileo was right.

    : )

  10. 10
    material.infantacy

    Hi Sonfaro,

    If you take what I wrote as a sort of irony, you’ll understand it as I intended. Ms._______ is looking through the telescope, and interpreting the world according to what she observes, rather than acquiescing to the imposed dogma. The professor, intentionally or not, describes her situation when he invokes Galileo, and unwittingly (or not) casts himself in the role of an enforcer instead of a teacher.

    (Of course, one could interpret the apology as sincere, understanding the roles just as I specified.)

    Ms._______ may do well to publicly thank the professor for his sincere apology and his keen insight into the academic oppression of dissenters — those who wish to follow the evidence where it leads, but come under ritual abuse of the Darwinist goose-steppers.

    Ironically, the apology can be almost perfectly understood in that light.

  11. OT: Stephen Curtis Chapman has a new song out :)

    Steven Curtis Chapman – Do Everything (Lyrics)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEqdDdvFXZ0

  12. You might want to double-check my facts JUST TO BE ABSOLUTELY SURE; the following information was pulled from (a) Wikipedia (b) http://www.christiananswers.ne.....lileo.html (c) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39.....e-science/

    That being said, what follows does fit what I recall reading/hearing elsewhere.

    - – - – - – - – - – - -

    Dear ____,

    Contrary to popular wisdom, Galileo wasn’t punished for giving arguments for heliocentrism (in fact, Pope Urban VIII personally asked Galileo to give arguments for and against heliocentrism in his upcoming book. He only reminded Galileo to refrain from representing it as more than a hypothesis, which was something Galileo already agreed to do in court). Instead, Galileo was punished for violating his agreement and ostensibly insulting those he disagreed with. (In that book, Galileo seems to represent the proponent of the geocentric view as a fool, going so far as to name him “Simplicio” [which in italian has the connotation of "simpleton"], and even put the words of the Pope into Simplicio’s mouth!) This is an excerpt from the science section of msnbcnews:
    “The notion that Galileo’s trial was a conflict between science and religion should be dead,” Mayer told LiveScience. “Anyone who works seriously on Galileo doesn’t accept that interpretation anymore.”

    So, perhaps the allusion to Galilo is apropos. Like you, I’m sure IF Galileo treated his interlocutors with respect and calmly stuck with the arguments, he would have been much better off.

  13. Well, now we know why science teachers aren’t history teachers.

  14. Ms. _________

    Apology accepted. You’re only human despite our disagreement on how that came to be.

  15. Dear Professor,

    Thank you for your apology. I was deeply flattered that you would compare me to Galileo.

    Truly, I do feel a deep connection with his predicament. In biology, we observe all the elements of real and true design. Design is so integral to life yet the prevailing consensus is that there is no design, no teleology, no irreducible complexity.

    When you harangued me for stating the obvious and logical conclusions of our observations, I was like ‘but it is right there in front of you, professor!?’

    Thank you for that and I look forward to you lecture on how intelligent design is a more productive and insightful conceptualization of biologly than chance and necessity.

  16. It would all make a little more sense if we had some more details of just what was said (on both sides).

    The student ‘voiced opposition’ and the teacher ‘screamed, denigrated etc’. This is your wording.

    Lynch mobs are fun, but any chance we could have a little more info ?

  17. Galileo Galilei “Professor, I knew Galileo Galilei, Galileo Galilei was a friend of mine, and Professor, you’re no Galileo Galilei”.

  18. Dear Professor,

    Your last two paragraphs warrant a two-fold response. First, your reference to Galileo conjures up some very bad history. Alluding to Galileo, you suggest implicitly that you feel yourself to be the persecuted victim here, championing the cause of scientific truth in the face of relgious opposition. The problem is your account renders a version of the Galileo story that harkens back to the outdated “religion vs. science” thesis presented more than a century ago by John William Draper and Andrew Dickson White.

    If you would read the latest scholarship on this, you’ll find that Galileo’s trial before the Inquisition was based more on politics than either religion or science. The issue is too complex to be recounted here, but I recommend John Hannam’s The Genesis of Science (2011). As Hannam points out, Galileo drew much of his thinking from medieval natural philosophy. Galileo triumphed because he had solved the problems against which his deeply religious precedessors had long struggled and boldly challenged the erroneous ideas not of the Bible but of Aristotle.

    Indeed Galileo and the science upon which he stood owes Christianity a great debt. As Hannam points out, the natural philosophers of the Middle Ages would “make modern science even conceivable. They made science safe in a Christian context, showed it could be useful, and constructed a wordview where it made sense. Their central belief that nature was created by God and so worthy of their attention was one that Galileo endorsed. Without that awareness, modern science simply would not have happened.”

    So Galileo should remind you, as indeed this student has, that relgion far from being an impediment to science has been rather a catalyst for it.

    But this raises a second and perhaps more disturbing issue. It is hoped this misplaced reference to Galileo doesn’t find its way into your classroom. Science based upon bad history is never good because it clouds the context for all that is to follow. If this is a sampling of what students get in your class, maybe a little post-tenure review is in order.

  19. Flannery,

    “Without that awareness, modern science simply would not have happened. So Galileo should remind you, as indeed this student has, that religion far from being an impediment to science has been rather a catalyst for it.”

    Could not be better phrased!

  20. Momorandum

    To: Dr. Richard Pompous, Department of Evolutionary Biology

    From: Dr Hugh Miliated, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

    Dear Dick,

    While it would be easier to simply censure you and be done with all this business, because the mission of Anonymous University emphasizes education and not mere reprimand, the initial draft of your letter is being returned to you for extensive revision.

    Your first attempt failed to meet the requirements outlined in our previous correspondence on multiple levels. The department therefore requires that each of these be addressed according to established university standards before your essay is resubmitted.

    The Assignment. First and foremost, you were required to apologize to Ms. Unnamed, not provide her with a pedantic and irrelevant lecture, nor to blame her for her failure to correctly perceive the intent of your in-class rant (off the record, you and I both know her perceptions were spot on). Should this notion be too challenging for you to grasp independently, you are encouraged to consult the Department of Early Childhood Development on our campus, as the faculty there have extensive experience in the understanding and mitigation of emotionally immature and inappropriately arrogant tantrums, and in the subsequent coaching of actual apologies.

    Galileo. Because the references in your initial draft demonstrate an utter failure to grasp the significance of this figure from history, I offer the following questions to assist you: Who represents the entrenched authority structure in the conflict between you and Ms. Unnamed? Who held the minority dissenting view? Who was willing to challenge the entrenched authority at significant personal risk to herself? You are encouraged to think this issue through carefully before resubmission, as you initial draft demonstrated very little evidence of this.

    Inappropriate Religious Instruction. The department has noted with some consternation the increasing frequency with which biology faculty respond with a knee-jerk “denigration [of the questioning student's] religious views” when some aspect of evolutionary theory is honestly questioned. We therefore feel the need to remind you of our policy that religion and religious topics are inappropriate for science classes. It is distressing that we can all agree on this course of action in faculty luncheons, but then our faculty–all of whom are dyed-in-the-wool naturalists–consistently defend evolutionary biology with religious arguments. On this score, we encourage you to seek the counsel of the faculty in the Physics department, who seem to feel no need to resort to personal attacks on students’ religious views when they are asked about, for example, general relativity.

    Finally, this episode has cost Anonymous University enough–both financially and in terms of bad press. Get your act together. Draft #2 is due on my desk before noon tomorrow.

    Sincerely,

    Hugh

  21. “With regard to our conversation about your belief that evolution is not true, I apologize to you for appearing to denigrate your obviously strongly held beliefs. I had not intended to offend you in any way regarding your faith or your world view. That this was so perceived by you, I again offer my sincerest apology.”

    What a pile of …

  22. Dear Professor Candypants,

    Thank you for your warm and heartfelt apology. It’s encouraging to see someone who is willing to stand up and frankly admit he is wrong without having to be compelled or coerced, and without trying to, you know, weasel out of it or anything. It takes a real man to do that, and you certainly have shown me something!

    I completely agree with you that the whole situation is reminiscent of dear, old Galileo, may his sainted bones rest in peace, fixed in space or otherwise. Before I came to our esteemed university, I read lots of peer-reviewed articles showing quite clearly that life is based on information, is very complicated, and is quite unlikely to have popped up from nothing, of its own accord, as it were.

    These facts, on which everyone fully agrees, seem to suggest a role for some sort of creative intelligence in the origin of life. I was excited about coming here because I knew that universities are great places for learning new things and exchanging ideas. Imagine my surprise when I found myself violently berated and even shunned for pointing out the obvious—that life appears gives every appearance of having been designed!

    You are right—Galileo must have felt very much the same way! He came to Rome full of excitement about the new heliocentric theory and all the evidence supporting it, and all he got was a cold shoulder and a hot poker! Of course no one has put me under house arrest, but I have been treated like someone who is “vehemently suspect of heresy.” What could be more vehement than the way you yourself denounced me in front of my fellow students?

    I can see from your letter, however, that you are truly sorry about having fallen into the Inquisitorial mood. I know—it had nothing to do with me personally. It was just your tender concern for orthodoxy, very much like those earnest Jesuits of old. Now that you’ve had a change of heart and happily issued the apology that Galileo never got from the Church, I am looking forward to seeing you again and talking with you about design.

    I know you’re only here on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I wouldn’t want to impose on your busy schedule or interrupt your important work. Should I make an appointment, or just drop by?

    Sincerely yours,
    Curious

  23. allanius,

    Bravo.

    -sb

  24. I humbly withdraw my submission.

  25. Dear Professor,

    In your letter of apology, you mentioned Galileo. Evidently you consider him to be your friend. You are sadly mistaken – both in your account of Galileo’s life and in your interpretation of his views.

    Let’s begin with the trial of Galileo. It is a complete myth that as Galileo was led away to begin his confinement after being found suspect of heresy, he said, “And yet it still moves” (E pur si muove!), as you falsely claim. There is no evidence that Galileo actually said this or anything similar at his trial. The earliest biography of Galileo, written by his disciple Vincenzio Viviani, does not mention the phrase, and depicts Galileo as having sincerely recanted. The first account of the E pur si muove! legend dates to more than a century after Galileo’s death. The first record of the legend can be found in the Italian Library, a literary work composed by the Italian-born English literary critic Giuseppe Baretti, 124 years after Galileo’s supposed utterance.

    I note in passing that Galileo’s trial by the Inquisition took place in 1633, not 1632 as you incorrectly assert. 1632 was the year in which Galileo published his Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. You also assert that after being sentenced, Galileo “spent the rest of his life under house arrest.” You omit to mention that he was allowed to use as his places of confinement the houses of friends, which were always comfortable and usually luxurious.

    You write that “In 1610 Galileo determined through his telescope and various mathematical calculations, that the Earth moved around the sun.” Nonsense. Galileo’s observations of the phases of Venus in 1610 merely proved that Ptolemy’s geocentric model of the cosmos, according to which all celestial bodies revolved around the Earth, was wrong. However, they did not prove that Galileo’s heliocentric model was right. There were several alternative models to Galileo’s at the time: various geo-heliocentric planetary models, in which some or all of the planets went around the Sun, which in turn went around a stationary Earth. Now, one of the predictions of Galileo’s heliocentric model was that the stars should vary in size as the Earth moved around the Sun, but unfortunately, Galileo was unable to observe this “stellar parallax” effect through his telescopes. Because of Galileo’s failure to observe stellar parallax, the great majority of astronomers in Galileo’s time supported one of the various geo-heliocentric planetary models. The best science of the day was on their side, not Galileo’s. The first successful measurement of stellar parallax did not take place until 1838, nearly 200 years after Galileo’s death, when Friedrich Bessel verified it for the star 61 Cygni, using a Fraunhofer heliometer at Konigsberg Observatory.

    You, a professor of biology, scorn the invocation of the supernatural, and you look to Galileo, whom you revere as “the father of modern science,” in support of your naturalistic approach to science. Galileo is not your friend, Professor. Galileo rises from his grave to condemn you, and to vindicate the young student whom you belittled in class.

    First, it might interest you to know that Galileo remained a devout Catholic all his life. His famous aphorism, “The Bible was written to show us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go,” was not intended as a criticism of the Church, but was actually a citation from the writings of a cardinal of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Baronius, who made this statement in 1598, long before Galileo ever looked through a telescope (Stillman Drake, Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo, Doubleday Anchor Books, 1957, p. 136). Indeed, Pope Urban VIII sent his special blessing to Galileo as he was dying. After his death, Galileo was interred not only in consecrated ground, but within the church of Santa Croce at Florence.

    “Even if Galileo was Catholic, those were his personal views,” you may object. “They have absolutely no relevance to his work as a scientist.”

    But wait, there’s more! Galileo believed in miracles, too. Want proof? Take a look at his Letter to Madame Christina of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany: Concerning the Use of Biblical Quotations in Matters of Science (1615). In his letter, Galileo discusses the Biblical miracle in which Joshua commanded the Sun to stand still. What is interesting is that Galileo, the father of modern science, expressly affirms the reality of this miracle. The only point on which he differs from his Christian contemporaries is in his explanation of the mechanics of the miracle:

    The sun, then, being the font of light and the source of motion, when God willed that at Joshua’s command the whole system of the world should rest and should remain for many hours in the same state, it sufficed to make the sun stand still. Upon its stopping all the other revolutions ceased; the earth, the moon, and the sun remained in the same arrangement as before, as did all the planets; nor in all that time did day decline towards night, for day was miraculously prolonged. And in this manner, by the stopping of the sun, without altering or in the least disturbing the other aspects and mutual positions of the stars, the day could be lengthened on earth — which agrees exquisitely with the literal sense of the sacred text. (Emphases mine – VT.)

    So the father of modern science believed in miracles – and not just private little miracles, but big, public spectacles that everyone could see, and whose occurrence was a matter of public record (Joshua 10:12-14). So much for Galileo’s alleged methodological naturalism!

    It gets worse. It turns out that Galileo was something of an Intelligent Design theorist. I am deeply indebted to Michael Caputo for the following quotes, and I would like to express my sincere thanks to him, for his valuable research.

    Galileo’s observations and meditations on God’s wonders led him to conclude: “To me the works of nature and of God are miraculous.” (Brunetti, F. Opere di Galileo Galilei. Torino: Unione Tipografico-Editrice Torinese, 1964, p. 506.)

    Poetic license, you say? I haven’t finished yet; there’s more. Galileo often mused on what he saw as the stunning manifestations of God’s creative wisdom. He was particularly impressed with birds and their ideal design for flight, and with fish and their perfect design for swimming in water:

    “God could have made birds with bones of massive gold, with veins full of molten silver, with flesh heavier than lead and with tiny wings… He could have made fish heavier than lead, and thus twelve times heavier than water, but He has wished to make the former of bone, flesh, and feathers that are light enough, and the latter as heavier than water, to teach us that He rejoices in simplicity and facility.” (Sobel, Dava, Galileo’s Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love. Toronto: Viking Press, 1999, p. 99.)

    So according to Galileo, God not only personally designed fish, but He also designed the bones, veins, flesh and feathers of birds, in exquisite detail.

    To add insult to injury, it appears that Galileo,”the father of modern science,” was what the Darwinian philosopher Daniel Dennett disparagingly describes as a “mind-creationist”: he believed that the human mind was not the product of Nature, but must have been specially created by God. The human mind was, according to Galileo, one the greatest of God’s achievements: “When I consider what marvellous things men have understood, what he has inquired into and contrived, I know only too clearly that the human mind is a work of God, and one of the most excellent.” Yet the potential of the human mind “… is separated from the Divine knowledge by an infinite interval.” (Poupard, Cardinal Paul. Galileo Galilei. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1983, p. 101.)

    Galileo saw himself as a man privileged by God. He believed that God, in His mercy, occasionally deigns to reveal a new insight to some chosen individual, thus augmenting the stock of knowledge revealed to humanity: “One must not doubt the possibility that the Divine Goodness at times may choose to inspire a ray of His immense knowledge in low and high intellects, when they are adorned with sincere and holy zeal.” (Chiari, A. Galileo Galilei, Scritti Letterari. Florence: Felice Le Monnier, 1970, p. 545.) Galileo saw himself as the recipient of great truths that were previously known only to God, and he expressed his gratitude to God for being the first to experience these revelations: “I render infinite thanks to God, for being so kind as to make me alone the first observer of marvels kept hidden in obscurity for all previous centuries.” (Sobel, Dava, Galileo’s Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love. Toronto: Viking Press, 1999, p. 6.)

    Seer. Supernaturalist. Miracle believer. Intelligent Design theorist. Mind creationist. This is your hero, Galileo Galilei. And he was a great scientist, too. I hope that you will be gracious enough to allow your student to freely hold and publicly defend the same views as those held by the father of modern science.

    I remain, Sir, Yours sincerely,

    Vincent Torley

  26. Vincent, I was going to submit an entry myself, but there’s no way I could follow that. Fantastic post, well done sir.

  27. Vincent, I was going to submit an entry myself, but there’s no way I could follow that. Fantastic post, well done sir.

  28. Thank you, Chris. Glad you liked it.

  29. Dear Professor Pompous:

    Thank you for your apology. I am writing to let you know that it has been accepted with all the sincerity with which it was offered.

    However, I am curious as to why this affair should remind you of what happened to Galileo. As I recall, Galileo was not tried for averring heliocentricism, but for violating his 1616 agreement not to discuss heliocentricism as literally true. You were not tried for heresy, but were merely asked to issue an apology for behaving like a jerk.

    Further, if you’re trying to imply that you are in some way the Galileo figure in this affair, I should remind you that when Galileo met with Urban VIII, he at least refrained from having a public snit-fit about it. If anything, you’re more like the Inquisition (or, rather, the monstrous, cowled figures you’ve conjured in your anti-religious mind to represent the Inquisition), attacking the heretic who doubts Our Lord Darwin. What you did to me was the academic analog of an ape flinging his poop.

    Lastly, I believe the phrase that Galileo was rumored to have muttered was “Eppur si muove”–“and yet it moves.” It was also rumored that immediately after he uttered these words, fellow Italian Leonardo da Vinci suddenly appeared in a water-powered time machine, and the pair boldly zipped off into space to prove that there was no Heaven. I say rumored because neither of these events is supported by factual evidence. However, it comes as no real surprise that you would believe in something for which there is no evidence, hence your adherence to Darwinism. The only surprise is that you call yourself a scientist.

    By the way, did you see the headline in today’s paper? “Missing Link Still Missing!” Say it ain’t so, Joe!

  30. Dear Professor,
    Thank you for the attempted apology concerning the matter of your behavior in class when the issue of evolution came up.

    Many view Galileo’s conflict with the church as a great triumph of science over religion and, by extension, over the Bible. However, as we shall see in the next article, this simplistic conclusion ignores many facts.

    Galileo unnecessarily made powerful enemies for himself by his quick wit and cutting sarcasm. Also, by arguing that the heliocentric concept harmonized with Scripture, he presented himself as an authority on religion, which further provoked the church.

    Let’s put aside our differences for the moment and discuss scientific history. The seeds of the clash between Galileo and the Catholic Church were sown centuries before Copernicus and Galileo were born. The earth-centered, or geocentric, view of the universe was adopted by the ancient Greeks and made famous by the philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.E.) and the astronomer-astrologer Ptolemy (second century C.E.). By the time of Galileo, says Wade Rowland in his book Galileo’s Mistake, “the hybridized Aristotle in the theology of Thomas Aquinas had become bedrock dogma of the Church of Rome.”

    Keep in mind, too, that in those days there was no scientific community as such. Education was largely in the hands of the church. The authority on religion and science was often one and the same.

    The foregoing should not discourage an interest in science; really, the Bible makes statements that harmonize with proven science. Galileo himself said: “Both the Holy Scriptures and nature proceed from the Divine Word . . . Two truths can never contradict one another.”

    In his defense, Galileo affirmed his strong faith in the Bible as the inspired Word of God. He also argued that the Scriptures were written for ordinary people and that Biblical references to the apparent movement of the sun were not to be interpreted literally. His arguments were futile. Because Galileo rejected an interpretation of Scripture based on Greek philosophy, he stood condemned! Not until 1992 did the Catholic Church officially admit to error in its judgment of Galileo.

    I am certainly glad I didn’t have to wait 500 years for an apology!

    Yours,

    Anonymous Student

  31. Dear Professor Pompous:

    Thank you for your recent letter to Mary. We appreciate the fact that you are sorry for “appearing” to denigrate her strongly held beliefs as opposed to being sorry for really doing it. Under the circumstances, it is uncommonly noble of you to apologize for something that you are not sure really happened. Perhaps that would explain why you indulged in the comfort of writing a private memo to atone for the trauma of a public humiliation.

    Still, we recognize that you did not, as you say, “intend to offend her.” You simply meant to demean her, intimidate her into silence, and curb her natural desire for self expression. That she would feel hurt by the experience or perceive it as an assault on her personal dignity was, no doubt, a mere unfortunate and unintended side effect.

    We also note the significance of your historical references and their relationship to your own attitudes. Just as Galileo sulked because he was forced to recant against his will, you sulked because you were forced to apologize against your will. We get it. Fear, it would seem, was your dominant motive. Thanks to your colorful analogy, Mary now understands that neither compassion nor remorse played any role at all in your decision to apologize.

    Finally, we are impressed that you would end with the words of Galileo’s famous protest, “and yet it still moves.” So much so, that we hesitate to inform you that he never said them. Alas, politically correct myths have ruined more sign offs than misplaced prepositions. It may further surprise you to know that Galileo was, of all things, a design thinker. Surely you can appreciate the irony in the fact that the person you claim to esteem so highly would not have been welcome in your own classroom. Such a distasteful idea would likely be as appealing to you as the prospect of apologizing to Mary in front of everyone who witnessed and shared her humiliation.

  32. If you ask me, what happened with Galileo was just an early form of peer review.

    Is this guy objecting to peer review?

  33. That she would feel hurt by the experience or perceive it as an assault on her personal dignity was, no doubt, a mere unfortunate and unintended side effect.

    No doubt it’s merely an emergent property.

  34. I would like to make specific mention to the uncontested disparaging comments, however, as they are not provided in the original post; I shall use “placeholders” to be filled in by the plaintiff.

    “Response Contest” Entry:
    ————————————

    RE: Apology Letter

    Prof. Pompous,

    I have both received and read the letter of formal apology you have submitted to me per the requirement of the resolution reached between myself and Anonymous University. Unfortunately, I am unable to accept this letter as an apology. The reason being both the tone and content of the letter indicate a lack of sincerity.

    You should know that such insincerity only compounds the offense. Such responses, apologies in name only, indicate to me that you most likely will repeat the unacceptable verbal assault in the future; if not against me (your current object of scorn) then against some other individual. It provides further proof that you are unable to conduct yourself with civility and composure in the face of disagreement.

    I do not believe you need any references as to what would qualify this apology as insincere. As you most likely wrote how you truly felt concerning the situation. However, for posterity and an understanding of my perception of the document. I shall illuminate some of the offending statements.

    “I apologize to you for appearing to denigrate your obviously strongly held beliefs.”

    There was no “appearance” of denigration. Your speech was clearly denigrating. [cite specific examples] As it was directed towards me, your speech served to denigrate me.

    I had not intended to offend you in any way regarding your faith or your world view. That this was so perceived by you, I again offer my sincerest apology.

    I expected an apology for your offensive speech [cite specific examples]. It would be illogical for you to apologize for my perceptions. However, one could interpret this as an additional insult, implying a deficit in cognitive faculties to derive an “appropriate perception”.

    In making this apology to you, I am reminded of what happened to Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) – considered by many to be the father of modern science.

    Let us set aside, for the time being, the inaccurate historical narrative you provided for Galileo. As the details of Galileo’s circumstances and sentencing aren’t the important element as to why I find this reference an example of your insincerity. Rather, the “idea” you attempt to convey by invoking reference to Galileo and the Inquisition is perhaps the most “damning” of evidence as proof of your insincerity.

    I realize that it is most likely embarrassing to you that you must make an apology. Indeed, you are entitled to think how you so choose. However, the fact that your speech offended, humiliated, and denigrated me and occurred within full view of my classmates cannot be disputed. It should be known that the apology is only partially for my sake. The humiliation and denigration has already occurred. It cannot be undone. In truth, I have already forgiven you for what you have done to me. The act of apology is therefore an “antonement” for a transgression you have committed. The humiliation and embarrassement you endure while making a public apology are part and parsel. It is when you knowingly subject yourself to humiliation and embarrassement without having to be told to do so in order to effect the apology; that the recipient of the apology can have confidence in the sincerity of the apology. This condition is known as penitence. Your apology, therefore, can only be acceptable when it stems from a penitent heart.

    In closing, I will leave you with a quote. You should know that my worldview, which you similarly denigrated [cite specific example] clearly instructs in a method as to how we can identify those with penitent hearts. It (the method) is the source of this quote. Ironically, it stems from warnings to beware against false “prophets”

    Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. — Matthew 7:20 (ESV)

    When I examine this apology in light of that lense, I do not see any “good fruit”. Do you Professor?

    Sincerly,

    Ms. _____________

  35. I think you should go the straight up route. Appeal to the heart. Any humble response would almost certaily begin reconcilliation. I have to admit, I started with the whole “thank you for you usefull analogy” bit. But in the end, we want him on our team.

    Submission:
    ————-

    Dear Sir,

    I’m sorry that they forced you to apologize to me against your will. I respect and understand that you don’t want to and that you maintain your position. But could you at least tell the rest of the class that you are not angry at me. I do want to learn about biology, and I would like to hold my head up in class so I can at least see the board. I’m sorry for openly questioning you. I’ll try not to ask disruptive questions.

    Love,

    Ms. _______

  36. CT:

    Well said.

    This was indeed an adding of insult to injury, carrying the implication that the prof figured the young miss would miss the substance in the form.

    That is, he thinks she is stupid, as in “ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked.”

    GEM of TKI

    PS: (And with those who imagine that by making false and vile accusations against me they can justify implicitly threatening my family mafioso style: we know you, we know where you are and we know those you care for . . . in mind)

    My suggestion:

    _______

    Professor Pompous:

    I am in receipt of your “apology” of dddd, which is your response to the administrative demand that you apologise for publicly insulting me, your student, in front of my peers; for daring to actually express sincerely held questions regarding your shibboleths.

    Even as I had sincerely hoped that you would have treated me with some measure of civility and respect as your student, only to be deeply disappointed, so also it now seems that I unfortunately have reason for further disappointment.

    Your letter is in the general form of an apology, but its substance is that of adding insult to injury.

    So, not just on my own behalf but that of others you may similarly abuse in future, I must refuse this “apology,” copying to the University Administration and the Senate that hired you.

    For, you did not merely “appear” to insult and humiliate me in the presence of my peers; that is what you patently, publicly, willfully and gleefully did, exploiting your prestigious status and position of power over me. Nor did you merely denigrate my beliefs, you denigrated me, showing a want of basic professionalism and even common courtesy.

    Perhaps, I need to remind you of what transpired:

    [list, by bullet points]

    In what wise was your worldviews harrassment by public humiliation through hate speech, as just described, materially different from sexual harassment?

    Sir, you publicly raped my dignity as a person.

    That is what you needed to apologise for, and utterly failed to do.

    Now, the letter you have communicated further tells me you are trying to compound the first offense by twisting the circumstances and pretending that you are an innocent Galileo being pounced on by a wicked and theocratic inquisition.

    You have your facts wrong about Galileo — who BTW was a design thinker who held the Christian Scriptures in high esteem — but that is not the main issue.

    That main issue, sadly, sir, is that you are patently an unrepentant, publicly abusive bigot; one who has now repeatedly abused the privilege of being a professor.

    Your remarks were deeply disrespectful and were plainly intended to create a climate of hostility and intimidation; i.e. they are a case of bullying. Bullying by a perpetrator holding a position of prestige, trust and power, who now wishes to imagine and portray himself as instead the “real” victim.

    The opportunity of the requested letter of apology was an occasion for you to reflect and amend your ways.

    This is — as I know from my own experience as a fellow finite, fallible, morally fallen human being, quite hard to do. But, for our own good and the good of the community, it is a struggle we must take up.

    But, you, sir, have not taken opportunity of correction — not even by instruction of your employer (much less the reasonable expectation of those who pay your salary through fees and/or taxes) — to change for the better.

    Accordingly, I must now act in defence of civility in the university as a part of the wider community.

    I therefore must require a proper apology, one to be read out by you to the class in front of which you bullied me. And, this in the presence of a representative of the University Senate as well as my attorney.

    If you refuse to do so, that will be further proof of bad intent on your part, and will leave me no option but to initiate action.

    SGD:

    Ms XXXXX

  37. Dr. Prof. limp####,

    Surely your Darwinian beliefs require that you pass on your genes at every available opportunity.

    So how do you explain your actions in my presence, an attractive fertile female?

    Was it some exotic mating ritual?

    Why didn’t you just rape me in front of the class? Or is that precisely what you tried to do?

    Sir, have you heard of memetic rape?

    Papers will be served soon.

    Regards…

  38. Galileo Galilei [ LUCID ]

    Neo-Darwinism [ NOT ]

    Visual reference: http://www.3requisite.com/lucID.jpg

    Main Entry: lu·cid
    Pronunciation: \?lü-s?d\
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: Latin lucidus, from luc?re
    Date: 1591

    - having full use of one’s faculties : sane

    - clear to the understanding : intelligible

    Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lucid

  39. Dear Professor ____,

    I’m sorry that you had to go through this, even though you tried to do the right thing by telling your student the truth about what the data shows.

  40. If the goal is simply to make the professor’s blood boil, all one would need to do is forward a link to this thread.

  41. Here’s something I’m sure you can appreciate: Galileo was not imprisoned by a student in his classroom that happened to hold a divergeant view. Why you would mention this, when you are are representing the authority of the school and the student represents the outsider, escapes me.

    Secondly, Galileo was a victim of a fixed consensus of experts of the time. And those who opposed him were a particularly hardline sect of Aristotelians. He had attacked Aristotelians in his book Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief Systems of the World by naming the Aristotelian Simplicio who lost the various debates in the dialog. Shining some light on the true diagreement is the statment from Jesuit Father Melchior Inchoer, who accused: “The opinion of the earth’s motion is of all heresies the most abominable…the immovability of the earth is thrice sacred; arguments against the immortality of the soul, the existence of God, and the incarnation, should be tolerated sooner than an argument to prove that the earth moves.”

    This is often quoted for its sound of furious zeal, but often without awareness as to the exact object of that zeal. Melchior’s statement expresses that a fixed earth is more “sacred” than the existence of God or His Son (“the incarnation”), or the immortality of the soul, very key in the “Good News” which is center to Christianity. It demonstrates at least a theoretical openness to question fundamental principles of the theology of Christianity, but NOT what was thought to be the bedrock of reality, that the earth was still. One can almost hear the refrain that the “Science was settled.”

    What is often ignored by the people reading history from the end is that there were important theoretical problems in Copernicus’ theory, and the evidence hadn’t been gathered even at the time when Galileo wrote his Dialogue.

    So please, if you’re going to invoke some trembling from an Andrew Dickson White nightmare, when you represent not only the authority but the consensus on your side, it would be more gracious to just apologize for berating a young lady instead of ending with irrelevant hand waving and not a single note on key.

  42. Lynch mobs are fun, but any chance we could have a little more info ?

    I have a little more detail on what is going on here: No one’s getting lynched.

  43. Let us put this in context.

    Someone’s dignity was publicly raped,* and it was not that of prof P. Indeed, it seems he was the rapist, now pretending to victimhood. And he wishes to do it again, by implying — in the teeth of what the example he cites ACTUALLY shows — that his victimised student is party to a theocratic, tyrannical, anti-science conspiracy.

    This is blaming the victim while raping her again, for daring to complain of rape: she asked for it.

    Shameless!

    _______

    * It is sad that I have to use such a strong metaphor. But the key point of what rape does, is seen in an old phrase for it, “hot and forcing VIOLATION.” Forceful and/or fraudulent violation, humiliation and terrorising of a person — not just a body — not in a position to successfully resist is the heart of rape.

  44. Starbuck, I hope you now begin to understand — even a little bit — just how wrong-headed, and wrong-hearted your remark above is.

    Would you spit in the face of a weeping rape victim on the witness stand by implying that “she asked for it”?

    Why then are you doing what you just did?

  45. Speaking as someone who has actually been raped before, I find your “metaphor” despicable.

  46. @Starbuck

    Post # 45

    Speaking as someone who has actually been raped before, I find your “metaphor” despicable.

    Why the offense to the metaphor? Surely kairosfocus wasn’t invoking the legal definition for rape. Most likely he’s using one of the other definitions. Based upon his context, I would say he is using the definition indicating rape as any violation or abuse.

  47. Starbuck,

    Speaking as someone who has actually been raped before, I find your “metaphor” despicable.

    As do I.

    KF, that comment was without question the most ignorant statement you could possibly make. I am utterly stunned that you think there’s even a comparison. I am further stunned at the utter lack of actual awareness displayed not just by your statement, but by the lack of rebuke from any other quarters.

    If this is the type of comment this site feels is “civil” and appropriate, nothing here can ever be taken seriously.

  48. CT:

    First, I trust S understands that I have no wish to put her or him through the memory of a horrible event again.

    However, at the same time, S needs to understand what it is like to be publicly shamed and humiliated through an undeserved tongue-lashing that cuts to the core of one’s worldview and personal values; delivered in front of one’s peers, by an acid tongued high status superior who holds power over you so you have no right of effective reply under the circumstances.

    It is indeed a raping of your dignity [notice the carefully distinguished term I used above], and in fact — on my experience of having to expose brainwashing cultic groups — is a step in the brainwashing process; and not just for the direct victim.

    S too needs to recall the — correct — feminist protest that too often, the way rape trials were formerly conducted was a public verbal raping of the dignity of an already hurt victim, multiplying the victimisation.

    What was done was plainly utterly destructive and inexcusable, an abuse of power and violation of a person. That it was multiplied by adding insult to injury under the form of an UN-apology, shows that much stronger medicine than a letter of apology is needed. And if the prof now refuses to publicly and properly apologise, then he should be removed from his position of trust as an educator, as unfit to be in charge of students.

    That is how serious this is.

    GEM of TKI

  49. Doveton:

    Have you ever had to deal as a counsellor with the wreckage left behind by the sort of public shaming tactics as I just described, on a vulnerable person?

    I have.

    And for what it is worth, I have dealt with incest-rape cases too, and the damage is unfortunately comparable when we deal with sufficiently vulnerable people.

    (There are people who bounce back from incestuous rape, with very little evident damage, though, deep down, there are issues that should be dealt with with a trusted counsellor, especially if death ideation or a tendency to promiscuity or a loss of prudence in behaviour [reflecting a diminished sense of self-worth] begin to manifest. Resort to drink or drugs is also a serious indicator. So would be a felt depressive spiral — but, not all depressions are directly felt as sadness or heaviness of spirit.)

    That’s because in both cases the key mechanism of damage is violation of a powerless person, triggering destructive inner messages and a down-spiral of self-destruction of self-image; with self-blame a common feature.

    If you are lucky, recovery takes months. If not, years, or maybe it’s permanent.

    Do you think the sort of description I gave above is a product of mere imagination?

    It is not.

    The damage done through this sort of unjust public humiliation should not be underestimated, and can in fact be permanent and even suicidally depressive, if the wrong party is picked on like that.

    And unfortunately, the people who are likely to be vulnerable to such abuse, give off subtle cues in their behaviour that often invite the sort of verbal bully we are dealing with to act like that.

    He thinks he is likely to get away with it.

    And so the sadistic tongue comes out like a cracking, cutting, flaying whip, and strikes, again and again, mercilessly wounding the vulnerable soul deeply.

    Deeper than mere blows or scars can.

    ” A man’s spirit bears him up in adversity, but a wounded soul, who can bear?”

    What happened in this case is the young miss wisely went to her pastor, who had a line to Mr Arrington, so it has backfired.

    He never counted on that.

    He’s probably got away with that sort of personalised, warped need for power, sadistic, highly machiavellian thing before.

    So, you are wrong, it is you who plainly do not know what you are talking about, and — worse — you are trying to pile on in a context where it is obvious that you have not been able to deal with the issues on the merits elsewhere.

    Shame on you!

    GEM of TKI

  50. 50
    material.infantacy

    “Dear Professor ____,

    I’m sorry that you had to go through this, even though you tried to do the right thing by telling your student the truth about what the data shows.”

    Translation: Dear victim, you were asking for it.

    “Speaking as someone who has actually been raped before, I find your “metaphor” despicable.”

    Props on invoking victim status in defense of your blame-the-victim mentality. You fished in Doveton! Are there any other takers?

    Hey, what is it called when a person in a position of power victimizes another who is entrusted to their care.

    What do you call the person who offers defense of this exploitation, and all without any apparent concern for the victim.

    I’m laughing, don’t know why. Starbuck praises the abuser, and Doveton mocks offense at a rape metaphor on a thread in which the OP exposes a serious charge of abuse: an older man in a position of power publicly humiliates a young female student who happens to be his charge. Priceless.

  51. MI: Sad really, but sadly revealing. It is clear to me that S and D have not had to deal with the wreckage of an unjust public shaming. I have. It is not pretty nor easy. G

  52. 52
    material.infantacy

    KF,

    Not only so, but the two apparently endorse the professor’s behavior. There is nothing to indicate otherwise.

  53. Ciphertext,

    Why the offense to the metaphor? Surely kairosfocus wasn’t invoking the legal definition for rape. Most likely he’s using one of the other definitions. Based upon his context, I would say he is using the definition indicating rape as any violation or abuse.

    Apparently your assumptions were wrong, Cipher.

  54. kairosfocus, spot on again:

    “you (ie. Doveton and friends) are trying to pile on in a context where it is obvious that you have not been able to deal with the issues on the merits elsewhere.”

    If Starbuck is telling the truth, then providing us with TMI purely to make a nasty personal attack (the kind that evolutionists often resort to on all those occasions that they lose the argument) on kairosfocus is particularly low indeed. Shame on them indeed.

    I wonder, can Doveton and friends provide us with equivalent examples of themselves piling on against a fellow evolutionist while leaping to the defence of a victimised ID proponent or creationist? In the absence of such evidence, we can conclude that Doveton and friends are trying to defend the indefensible when it comes to Professor Pompous. Why I wonder…

  55. Doveton:

    Am HD:

    rape 1 (rp) n.1. The crime of forcing another person to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse.
    2. The act of seizing and carrying off by force; abduction.
    3. Abusive or improper treatment; violation: a rape of justice.
    tr.v. raped, rap·ing, rapes
    1. To force (another person) to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse; commit rape on.
    2. To seize and carry off by force.
    3. To plunder or pillage.
    [Middle English, from rapen, to rape, from Old French raper, to abduct, from Latin rapere, to seize; see rep- in Indo-European roots.]

    I am plainly distinguishing the usage (right from the outset), and pointing to its psycho-spiritual effects and mechanisms in the different cases. Violation what is truly damaging, some can rebound relatively well, others are horribly maimed, whatever the means of violation used.

    Show a little respect to and concern for deeply wounded people, please.

    In this case, as in others, some measure of justice and restitution by the guilty party is a major step in the healing process. That is why the compounding of the offense under the name of an apology we see in the OP is so wrong.

    GEM of TKI

  56. 56

    MI,

    You are going to have to make time in your schedule to post on UD more often.

    Sorry for any inconvenience, but thats the way its going to have to be.

    An increase of 50% over the next few weeks seems entirely reasonable.

    ;)

  57. KF,

    So, you are wrong, it is you who plainly do not know what you are talking about, and — worse — you are trying to pile on in a context where it is obvious that you have not been able to deal with the issues on the merits elsewhere.

    While I do have Psychology degree and while I did spend 3 years as a counselor with a medical department at Georgetown Hospital dealing with a variety of patient subjects, including some who where the victims verbal/emotional harassment and abuse, my experience doesn’t much matter given volumes of documented professional assessments, records, and research on rape victims vs harassment victims. So here you go:

    Eby, K; Campbell, JC; Sullivan, CM; Davidson Ws, 2nd (1995). “Health effects of experiences of sexual violence for women with abusive partners”. Health Care for Women International 16 (6): 563–576. doi:10.1080/07399339509516210. PMID 8707690.
    ^ Collett, BJ; Cordle, CJ; Stewart, CR; Jagger, C (1998). “A comparative study of women with chronic pelvic pain, chronic nonpelvic pain and those with no history of pain attending general practitioners”. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 105 (1): 87–92. doi:10.1111/j.1471-0528.1998.tb09356.x. PMID 9442168.
    ^ a b Mulugeta, E; Kassaye, M; Berhane, Y. (1998). “Prevalence and outcomes of sexual violence among high school students”. Ethiopian Medical Journal 36 (3): 167–174. PMID 10214457.
    ^ Evaluacio´n de proyecto para educacio´n, capacitacio´n y atencio´n a mujeres y menores de edad en materia de violencia sexual, enero a diciembre 1990. [An evaluation of a project to provide education, training and care for women and minors affected by sexual violence, January–December 1990.] Mexico City, Asociacio´n Mexicana contra la Violencia a las Mujeres, 1990.
    ^ Carpeta de informacio´n ba´sica para la atencio´n solidaria y feminista a mujeres violadas. [Basic information file for mutually supportive feminist care for women rape victims.] Mexico City, Centro do Apoyo a Mujeres Violadas, 1985.
    ^ Holmes, MM; Resnick, HS; Kilpatrick, DG; Best, CL (1996). “Rape-related pregnancy: estimates and descriptive characteristics from a national sample of women”. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 175 (2): 320–324. doi:10.1016/S0002-9378(96)70141-2. PMID 8765248.
    ^ a b Jewkes, R; Vundule, C; Maforah, F; Jordaan, E (2001). “Relationship dynamics and teenage pregnancy in South Africa.”. Social Science and Medicine 5 (5): 733–744. PMID 11218177.
    ^ Boyer, D; Fine, D. (1992). “Sexual abuse as a factor in adolescent pregnancy”. Family Planning Perspectives 24 (1): 4–11. doi:10.2307/2135718. JSTOR 2135718. PMID 1601126.
    ^ Roosa, MW et al.; Tein, Jenn-Yun; Reinholtz, Cindy; Angelini, Patricia Jo (1997). “The relationship of childhood sexual abuse to teenage pregnancy”. Journal of Marriage and the Family 59 (1): 119–130. doi:10.2307/353666.
    ^ Stock, JL et al.; Bell, Michelle A; Boyer, Debra K; Connell, Frederick A (1997). “Adolescent pregnancy and sexual risk taking among sexually abused girls”. Family Planning Perspectives 29 (5): 200–227. doi:10.2307/2953395.
    ^ Martin, SL; Kilgallen, B; Tsui, AO; Maitra, K; Singh, KK; Kupper, LL (1999). “Sexual behaviour and reproductive health outcomes: associations with wife abuse in India”. Journal of the American Medical Association 282 (20): 1967–1972. doi:10.1001/jama.282.20.1967. PMID 10580466.
    ^ Jenny, C; Hooton, TM; Bowers, A; Copass, MK; Krieger, JN; Hillier, SL; Kiviat, N; Corey, L et al. (1990). “Sexually transmitted diseases in victims of rape”. New England Journal of Medicine 322 (11): 713–716. doi:10.1056/NEJM199003153221101. PMID 2155389.
    ^ Wingood, G; DiClemente, R; Raj, A. (2000). “Adverse consequences of intimate partner abuse among women in non-urban domestic violence shelters”. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 19 (4): 270–275. doi:10.1016/S0749-3797(00)00228-2. PMID 11064231.
    ^ a b Tangney, June Price and Dearing, Ronda L., Shame and Guilt, The Guilford Press, 2002 ISBN 1572309873
    ^ Frazier, Patricia A.; Mortensen, Heather; Steward, Jason (2005). “Coping Strategies as Mediators of the Relations Among Perceived Control and Distress in Sexual Assault Survivors”. Journal of Counseling Psychology 52 (3): 267–278. doi:10.1037/0022-0167.52.3.267.
    ^ Matsushita-Arao, Yoshiko. (1997). Self-blame and depression among forcible rape survivors. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering. 57(9-B). pp. 5925.
    ^ Branscombe, Nyla; Wohl, Michael; Owen, Susan; Allison, Julie; N’gbala, Ahogni (2003). “Counterfactual Thinking, Blame Assignment, and Well-Being in Rape Victims”. Basic & Applied Social Psychology 25 (4): 265–273. doi:10.1207/S15324834BASP2504_1.
    ^ Davidson, JR; Hughes, DC; George, LK; Blazer, DG (1996). “The association of sexual assault and attempted suicide within the community”. Archives of General Psychiatry 53 (6): 550–555. PMID 8639039.

    And Harassment:

    http://books.google.com/books?.....38;f=false

    The key to note in the research on harassment and bullying is that “Although single acts of aggression and harassment occur fairly often in everyday interaction at work they seem to be associated with severe health problems in the target when they occur on a regular basis (Einarsen and Raknes, 1997, Vartia 2001).

    Since this particular incident represents a one-time act, this is not even remotely similar to the effect of a rape.

    It is also interesting to note the difference in the assessment of rape and harassment by criminal psychologists – the professional field does not even consider harassment via verbal abuse as a action motivated by the same level of antisocial behavior, nor consider it even remotely the same level of transgression to warrant legal action.

    Shame on you!

    I feel no shame for pointing out the completely inaccurate, to say nothing of inappropriate, comparison between this one incident of harassment and an act of rape. The metaphor demonstrates a complete disconnect from volumes of documentation on the differences between the effects of both acts.

  58. Show a little respect to and concern for deeply wounded people, please.

    Yes, please do that KF. I’ve found your comments on this thread utterly disgusting and deeply offensive. You are a disgrace to Christianity.
    SHAME ON YOU!

  59. 59

    I expected better from you, Bot. Put aside your issues with KF and tell us what you think of the Professor’s behaviour.

  60. 60
    material.infantacy

    rape ?
    [reyp]
    noun, verb, raped, rap·ing.
    –noun
    1. the unlawful compelling of a woman through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse.
    2. any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.
    3. statutory rape.
    4. an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside.
    5. Archaic . the act of seizing and carrying off by force.
    –verb (used with object)
    6. to force to have sexual intercourse.
    7. to plunder (a place); despoil.
    8. to seize, take, or carry off by force.
    –verb (used without object)
    9.to commit rape.
    Use rape in a Sentence

    Use rape in a sentence. OK.

    The professor, seeking advantage for his ideology instead of putting first his responsibility as a role model and a guide of young minds, verbally raped his student — a woman in the youth of her years whose exuberant spirit was yet unspoiled — publicly, when for the purpose of ridicule, berated her mercilessly in front of her peers — those whose acceptance was nearly as important to her as the acceptance of her teacher — seeking to humiliate her in to silence, in order to save himself the embarrassment of his ignorance and quash any dissent of the views he held in higher regard than his hallowed role as a instructor; he violated the trust not only of the girl, but of any connected to her who put their trust in the professor for the care of their beloved.

  61. Doveton:

    It is utterly telling that to date you have yet to utter a word of concern for the victim of abuse on several levels.

    And, sorry, you have simply not adequately factored in the context of public humiliation by a trusted authority figure, with all sorts of implied threats of further abuse. (Nor, the impact of the likely “permission” to others of similar inclination given by that cruel example.)

    I am simply not impressed with your medicalised presentations above, as you seem to want to be seeing fern seed at a mile while missing the elephant in front of you.

    In not only my observation but on abundant history — think about Mao’s Red Guards as just one instance — it does not take more than one such public shredding of one’s dignity to do a LOT of damage to a vulnerable person; and I would not at all be surprised to see that the person in this case had the “aura” that so often signals to bullies that this is a likely target.

    Sorry, I simply do not buy your suggestion that it takes much repetition to do real damage.

    I was not born yesterday, and I have seen the sort of person this sort of bullying can hurt badly, hurt badly indeed. (You will note that I also pointed out that I have known incest-rape cases that have weathered the storm pretty well, considering. But deep inside even these people were damaged, wounded deeply. Those are the “strong” women. There are those who are not like that at all, and are far more easily crushed. That is why I take a very dim view of abuse, one incident or multiple.)

    This was a violation, an unprovoked and intentionally wounding violation of an innocent person’s dignity as a human being; one pregnant with all sorts of implications, and an apology was a minimal corrective.

    The perpetrator then took advantage of the apology to subtly compound the assault on the victim, playing off precisely the sort of blame the victim card that is so well known to dig the wounds in deeper. This already strongly suggests a highly machiavellian character trait compounding a twisted, personalised socially acquired need for power; i.e. the sort of persona commonly termed a “bully.” (Notice, here, my reference above to the feminists and their correct observation that such tactics in the courtrooms of former days was a second rape, of the victim’s dignity as a person.)

    So, for justice and for healing, a much more serious intervention is now appropriate.

    And, one who is a serial abuser like the OP outlines, if unrepentant, should be removed from a position where he could do damage to this young miss or other vulnerable people.

    Period.

    And you, sir, if you cannot see this, that is telling, absolutely telling.

    GEM of TKI

  62. 62
    material.infantacy

    UB, I was just thinking the same about you. Get busy. xp

  63. @Doveton / Starbuck

    So you are convinced his metaphor is one of “a forced sexual act”, rather than “an abuse or violation”?

  64. Dr Bot

    No, it is your response that is patently regrettable.

    You — by shifting the subject to let’s shoot the messenger — are in effect enabling public violation of someone’s dignity as a person (which as repeated dictionary citations have shown is a precisely correct use of the term, rape . . . and, for sadly good reason).

    CD has rightly called you on it. Thank you CD.

    Good day, sir.

    GEM of TKI

  65. 65
    material.infantacy

    I just wanted to take a moment and thank KF for putting an appropriate metaphor to the situation here.

    The red-faced, fist-shaking objections from the otherwise silent protesters convinced me about the efficacy of that term to describe what is probably a not-infrequent abuse of our up-and-coming youth at the hands of tenured idealogues.

    Also, UB had asked for more content. Thanks to him, I’m now neglecting my responsibilities, not unlike the professor did (in kind, not degree, of course).

  66. CT,

    the matter should have been plain from the beginning — notice my actual phrasing in 36 above:

    Sir, you publicly raped my dignity as a person.

    That is what you needed to apologise for, and utterly failed to do.

    Now, the letter you have communicated further tells me you are trying to compound the first offense by twisting the circumstances and pretending that you are an innocent Galileo being pounced on by a wicked and theocratic inquisition . . . .

    That main issue, sadly, sir, is that you are patently an unrepentant, publicly abusive bigot; one who has now repeatedly abused the privilege of being a professor.

    Your remarks were deeply disrespectful and were plainly intended to create a climate of hostility and intimidation; i.e. they are a case of bullying. Bullying by a perpetrator holding a position of prestige, trust and power, who now wishes to imagine and portray himself as instead the “real” victim

    . . . backed up by the modicum or research needed to look up the key word in a good dictionary.

    Sadly, that was not done and a game of pile on is being played to divert attention from the substantive issue: yet another case of abusive amoral factionism by evolutionary materialist power wielders, here in the form of the abusive professor.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: And, on Christian ethics [a point I briefly mentioned by some allusive words in 36], turn the other cheek is a response to a personal insult. Rom 13:1 – 10 deals with the more serious context of violation of the civil peace of justice. In that context, instruments and agents of government and governance are required to defend the innocent from harm. It is the citizen’s duty to act in concert with such magistrates in that course. or else civil society itself will eventually break down.

  67. KF,

    It is utterly telling that to date you have yet to utter a word of concern for the victim of abuse on several levels.

    It tells you nothing other than I haven’t commented on this topic. Honestly, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of topics here on which a number of folks have not commented either – what does that tell you about them?

    And, sorry, you have simply not adequately factored in the context of public humiliation by a trusted authority figure, with all sorts of implied threats of further abuse. (Nor, the impact of the likely “permission” to others of similar inclination given by that cruel example.)

    The article I provided as reference deals with that. You are welcome to read it and regard the conclusions as you wish.

    I am simply not impressed with your medicalised presentations above, as you seem to want to be seeing fern seed at a mile while missing the elephant in front of you.

    In not only my observation but on abundant history — think about Mao’s Red Guards as just one instance — it does not take more than one such public shredding of one’s dignity to do a LOT of damage to a vulnerable person; and I would not at all be surprised to see that the person in this case had the “aura” that so often signals to bullies that this is a likely target.

    My presentation of research on the subject that contradicts your claims aside, are you seriously suggesting that this incident of public harassment in the form of a verbal reprimand is similar in context and magnitude to the physical and psychological abuse that Mao’s Red Guards were shown to have engaged in? Such as this:

    http://www.fortunecity.com/vic.....tural.html

    and this:

    http://donlehmanjr.com/China/c.....hina58.htm

    Do you really have no sense of proportion, KF? It’s beyond stunning to me that you think there’s even a remote comparison between the two?

    Sorry, I simply do not buy your suggestion that it takes much repetition to do real damage.

    It’s not a suggestion; that’s the conclusion drawn from multiple research studies. You’re welcome to ignore or argue against them, but I really don’t see how that helps your argument.

    All I can surmise is that you were profoundly affected by some behavior at some point that has clouded your sense of perspective on such issues. The facts of the differences speak for themselves however, and while I do find the professor’s behavior reprehensible, I can find no justification to condemn him for the level of atrocities you seem to think his actions reflect.

  68. Doveton:

    You are now caricaturing yourself, by way of reductio.

    Good evening.

    GEM of TKI

  69. F/N: D et al, sadly, are inadvertently telling us that Plato was right.

  70. 70
    material.infantacy

    “…and while I do find the professor’s behavior reprehensible…”

    Yes, even if this behavior doesn’t rise to the offence of using an uncomfortable metaphor in an appropriate context.

    After all, the professor was merely guilty of forceful, abusive violation of his student’s dignity and trust.

    Folks, you’ve been given front row seats to a show where metaphorical language is uncannily more offensive than the public humiliation and verbal abuse of a young woman by her guardian.

  71. 71
    material.infantacy

    “All I can surmise is that you were profoundly affected by some behavior at some point that has clouded your sense of perspective on such issues.”

    No, I think he slaughtered a sacred cow of yours by comparing something you don’t find offensive to something you apparently take quite personally.

    Allow me to apologize to you on behalf of KF with the professor’s own words:

    “…I apologize to you for appearing to denigrate your obviously strongly held beliefs.”

    Going forward, it took several goading posts to get you to admit that the professor’s behavior was reprehensible.

    Exactly how reprehensible was it?

    Since the OP is about institutional violations of dignity and trust, perhaps you could elaborate on that subject instead of misdirecting the discussion to address your personal offense to the rape metaphor.

    That would be redeeming.

  72. Onward comment.

  73. First off, if I go by the OP then the student ought to complain about Mr Arrington:

    The previous week she had voiced opposition to Darwinism to her biology professor, who proceeded to scream at her, denigrate her religious views, and generally demean and humiliate her in front of the rest of the class.

    And the Professor apologizes:

    With regard to our conversation about your belief that evolution is not true, I apologize to you for appearing to denigrate your obviously strongly held beliefs. I had not intended to offend you in any way regarding your faith or your world view. That this was so perceived by you, I again offer my sincerest apology.

    Mr Arrington seems to accept the first paragraph – where the Professor apologizes for the conversation. what about apologizing for the screaming at her part? If this Professor has screamed at her in front of a class he should not only apologize for that but face severe penalties from his University. Why accept an apology for having a conversation when the OP suggests there was no such conversation?

    Perhaps because there was no screaming involved? Perhaps the Professor merely challenged the student to look at the evidence? Without a recording of the conversation we don’t know.

    Unfortunately I’m biased by my own experience. I once gave a talk to a group of school children about robotics, AI and engineering in which I discussed how genetic algorithms are used to solve problems. Afterwards I received a complaint from one set of parents that I had grossly offended their child’s religion and subjected them to personal abuse and humiliation. All I did was talk about GA’s in engineering, with only a brief mention of Biology, and had no direct conversation with the pupil about religion, and didn’t mention religion in my talk. My university wanted me to apologize at first, but the talk had been filmed and they eventually backed my refusal when they saw the tape. Lucky for me!

    Unfortunately in my experience there are plenty of people who regard it (correctly) as their right to criticize the beliefs of others, yet take deep offense when others challenge their own beliefs. They seem to feel that the right to critique and question is theirs alone – An increasing number of students these days seem to think that ‘I sincerely believe’ is a good argument and will complain if you don’t give them top marks for simply writing about what they believe, instead of actually doing some research (like reading books) and engaging critically with evidence.

    On to the most offensive part of this – I have a relative who was subject to real rape and sustained abuse by a ‘man of the cloth’, who was subsequently protected by their church whilst the real victim was cast as a perpetrator. Using incendiary language to describe what allegedly happened in the OP is deeply offensive and demeans those who have been subject to the very real and horrific experience of sexual violence.

    Perhaps the student in question did deserve an apology, without hearing what was actually said, as opposed to the claims being made I don’t know, but claiming that the student was verbally raped is a gross and uncivil abuse of language and demands a retraction and apology.

  74. Re the stupid “shame on you for using the word ‘rape’” attempted idstraction — there is no arguing with fools.

  75. DrBot @ 73 “On to the most offensive part of this – I have a relative who was subject to real rape …

    You’re a fool; you’re intellectually dishonest — go away, go find someone who enjoys playing dishonest games.

  76. I’m pretty sure that I was drugged and sexually molested as a college freshman — raped (even if not penetrated) — and I am not freaking out over KF’s correct use of the word.

  77. You’re a fool; you’re intellectually dishonest — go away, go find someone who enjoys playing dishonest games.

    I assume the moderators will uphold the usual high standards of discourse by moderating Ilion?

    Oh, wait I forgot, he’s an ID supporter ;)

  78. No he isn’t.

  79. .. stupid ..
    .. there is no arguing with fools.
    You’re a fool; you’re intellectually dishonest …

    YOU HAVE VERBALLY RAPED ME !!1!!111

  80. And DrBot *is* a fool (which word is just a simpler way of denoting that he chooses to behave in an intellectually dishonest manner) — he was/is attempting to dismiss what KF said *and* was/is attempting to assert that what KF said is immoral even to say, and that it is beneath contempt to have said it, on the grounds that:
    1) the derived more narrow senses of the word ‘rape’ are employed more commonly in present-day usage than are the original broader senses;
    2) someone he knows was raped (in the narrow and derived sense).

    His error on 1) was explained to him, and to all, and so he turned to 2). Thus, it is easily seen that he is uninterested in thinking clearly and thinking true thoughts; which is to say, it is easily seen that he is intellectually dishonest; in short, that he is a fool.

  81. Dr BOT & Ilion:

    Kindly turn down the voltage.

    I think you will both find that you are not the sort of vulnerable person I am speaking of.

    Further to the matter, if you will look carefully at the claimed apology it is not actually an apology even in the first part. And the second part compounds the injury.

    Next, Dr Bot will you kindly take a moment and put yourself in the shoes of a vulnerable person subjected to the sort of screaming tirade by an authority figure, in front of her peers, that is summarised in the description by BA.

    Ask yourself what that sort of thing will do to a vulnerable person, of the ilk of the shy young lady I once knew who was reduced to weeping by trying to simply present her project to a panel in front of her peers; which, BTW, was a good one.

    Betrayal of trust by violent public verbal abuse is a violation of the dignity of the victim, period. In the case of the vulnerable of the ilk of some I have seen, the damage can be devastating. (Remember, I ALSO pointed out that I know incest-rape cases who were able to cope pretty well, though scarred inside. And, please do not forget the second rape, by blame the victim courtroom tactics, as correctly highlighted by the feminists. I am simply asking for consistency in recognising what is done by the sort of verbal violation assault we are describing, not politically incorrect hypocrisy.)

    And if you pick someone of the wrong, face-culture, if they go white faced at that point back off, explain yourself and apologise.

    The case I have in mind here was a negotiation where a Japanese firm presented to a company here in the Caribbean and someone on the other side tried the nasty violently abusive and dismissive trashing the presentation talk-down tactic.

    The young Japanese presenter, who was in front of his silent senior, froze and went dead white in the face.

    Someone senior who suddenly realised what had been unintentionally done, cut off and rebuked the person delivering a torrent of abuse [sending him out of the room], and explained what had happened, restoring calm.

    Otherwise within hours we would have probably had a suicide.

    That is an extreme case, indeed.

    But it should help underscore the force of the point I have been making all along.

    The resort to dismissal by ridicule just above is completely out of order, utterly insensitive and reflects an appalling ignorance of what sort of appalling damage can easily be done to the vulnerable, Dr Bot.

    GEM of TKI

  82. Some persons value somethings more highly than truth.

  83. 83
    material.infantacy

    OP:

    “The previous week she had voiced opposition to Darwinism to her biology professor, who proceeded to scream at her, denigrate her religious views, and generally demean and humiliate her in front of the rest of the class.”

    DrBot:

    Mr Arrington seems to accept the first paragraph – where the Professor apologizes for the conversation.

    As per the agreement, I’m sure.

    DrBot:

    what about apologizing for the screaming at her part?

    Not specifically stipulated, apparently. It’s not that hard to figure.

    DrBot:

    If this Professor has screamed at her in front of a class he should not only apologize for that but face severe penalties from his University.

    OP:

    Good news. We resolved the matter on very favorable terms.

    It would appear from a casual reading that a “favorable” sum of money has changed hands. The university has accepted the penalty on the professor’s behalf via cold, hard cash. The professor’s part was to offer an apology. It would be virtually axiomatic that the terms of the apology were agreed to by all parties. It would be no stretch to figure the professor fulfilled the very minimum of his obligation.

    Now the good part.

    DrBot:

    “Why accept an apology for having a conversation when the OP suggests there was no such conversation?

    And I thought Barry was the lawyer. Yes, there was no “conversation.” That word is apparently the professor’s Orwellian term for what occurred.

    Perhaps because there was no screaming involved? Perhaps the Professor merely challenged the student to look at the evidence?”

    What are you implying here, that the university paid a favorable sum of money and that the professor was made to issue an apology because he simply challenged a student to look at the evidence? From what universe do you hail? This is just bizarre!

    Let’s see what the OP has to say:

    “The previous week she had voiced opposition to Darwinism to her biology professor, who proceeded to scream at her, denigrate her religious views, and generally demean and humiliate her in front of the rest of the class.

    You are suggesting that this didn’t occur, from the content of a forced apology by an unrepentant perpetrator. You are suggesting rather strongly that either Mr. Arrington or the student is lying, or both are.

    DrBot:

    “Without a recording of the conversation we don’t know.”

    Yes we do. What occurred is quite apparent if we extend to the OP the benefit of the doubt. The professor is due no such benefit, having admitted guilt.

    Here’s a recap.

    OP:

    “The previous week she had voiced opposition to Darwinism to her biology professor, who proceeded to scream at her, denigrate her religious views, and generally demean and humiliate her in front of the rest of the class.

    Let’s look at a few facts:

    1) A student made a legal complaint against a university professor for behavior unbecoming.

    2) A settlement was made, deemed here, “very favorable.”

    3) An apology (of sorts) was issued by the offending professor, as part of the settlement.

    4) You’ve chosen to cast aspersions on the OP by challenging its veracity, and instead you issue benefit of the doubt to the perpetrator, who is clearly in the wrong.

    DrBot:

    “…but claiming that the student was verbally raped is a gross and uncivil abuse of language and demands a retraction and apology”

    Only if you’re asserting that the contents of the OP are disingenuous, and that your convoluted interpetation of such is obvious to the casual reader.

    Again, the OP:

    …who proceeded to scream at her, denigrate her religious views, and generally demean and humiliate her in front of the rest of the class.

    This clearly constitutes verbal rape, especially considering the circumstances: an older man in a position of power vs. a young woman under his authority.

    That being the case, you owe both Barry Arrington and KairosFocus an apology and you’re owed nothing in the exchange.

  84. I am prepared to retract my arguments if someone can provide a transcript or recording of the conversation that shows the professor being abusive and screaming at the student.

    Evidence is always preferred to hearsay. Perhaps someone can find out who this Professor was and get his side of the story.

    As I’ve already illustrated, many students like to be challenging but don’t like to be challenged, and a minority unfortunately resort to legal action when they encounter arguments they don’t like.

    I went to university to learn new things, to have my assumptions and ideas – my world view – challenged, and to learn how to defend my own position. I had plenty of robust arguments with Professors, and on a few occasions embarrassed myself in front of the class with naive reasoning and a poor understanding of the facts.

    I never sued them for telling me when I was wrong – that was their job.

  85. “Selective hyperskepticism”

    Is that another way of saying “intellectual dishonesty”? Why, yes it is!

    I think someone needs to cool his jsts.

  86. Only beyond a certain point of willful, stubborn resistance to cogent correction.

  87. I relished the exercise of participating in this stimulating exercise and reading some of the other letters. In the spirit of full disclosure, I note that I already own a copy of “The Nature of Nature.”

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