Prof opposes “infantizing” college students, but…
|August 30, 2015||Posted by News under academic freedom, News, Plants|
… it turns out that he mainly means the ones from religious families:
TPP’s basic philosophy was that while you are entitled to your beliefs you are not entitled to avoid discomforting or contradictory ideas, you are not entitled to a free-pass when it comes to a critical analysis of beliefs like yours (individuals were never picked on). After all this is about education. These days parents and students still want the higher education passport, a degree, to jobs and careers, but the current attitude is that when parents present you with a narrow-minded, anti-science, parochial, self-satisified, entitled little twerp, the twerp is to be returned in the same condition, which seems totally antithetic to higher education. Apparently though business schools are pretty good at doing this; the sciences and humanities not so much. Our administrators, protectors of quality higher education all, give faculty advice about providing trigger warnings and the rules to follow if students want to “opt-out” of discomforting parts of your courses, so religious students can avoid learning about evolution. The only way to do this in TPP’s opinion is to not take biology at all and yes, medical schools may object, at least so far. This is all the more troubling because one of the few things where the old USA was really number one was in the size and affordability of our public education system, and the way basic research and scholarship was encouraged. This system is being dismantled as fast as anti-education people can go; under fund it, restrict research areas and support, destroy shared governance, take away academic freedom, and weaken tenure. Apparently many in our country no longer value the ability to think, the ability to understand that bumper sticker slogans are not thoughtful foreign policy nor good education. More.
We would be happy to extend the opportunity the prof offers to all the little twerps, including the Darwin twerps. In fact, we’ve been doing it for free. See Talk to the fossils: Let’s see what they say back
But would that suit the prof?
Unfortunately, the prof’s “Quote of Note” at the page is
Scepticism is an essential part of scientific endeavour. It demands all claims are treated as unproven until evidence and experience either confirm or falsify them. Denialism, by contrast, is the stubborn and persistent refusal to acknowledge what the evidence shows beyond all reasonable doubt.” – Ophelia Benson
Trouble is, one wonders whether these fightin’ words apply to an opinion to which the prof himself is strongly attached.
Or possibly, whatever theories he holds have evidence and experience to “either confirm or falsify them,” but the doubts that some of us less committed ones experience are mere “denialism” … Hey, it happens, especially in the vicinity of bully pulpits.
Maybe someone who knows The Phyto Phactor (Joseph Armstrong, Professor of Botany, Illinois State University), and has studied with him can say whether this is a fair assessment. We sure hope it’s not. The war on the mind is well advanced in many areas. We need serious proponents of evidence-based thinking.
Perhaps he will clarify the point.
We also wish that he would discover the hard return key [ENTER, middle row, far right on QWERTIOUP].
And that the university’s English Department hadn’t collapsed in a heap of self-absorbed nittery. There he could learn that the correct word is “infantilizing,” not “infantizing.” It’s a small point, we know, but one can’t “infantize” a human being without reversing the arrow of time. One can however, as he says, “infantilize” the person, that is, make him functionally equivalent to an infant without reversing the arrow. That’s the preferred approach because the physics is less complex…
See also: How trigger warnings are hurting mental health on campus
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Hat tip: Pos-Darwinista