I ate my wafer...


Edited *AGAIN* to include links to the HBC ID discussion from this fall

-Since this post is apparently drawing a bit more new traffic than most; for backround, here is what I think about ID (from our discussion this fall.)

So, this week's collegian has an "interesting" op-ed piece on the relationship between science and Christianity. Even in corners of the Hillsdale blogging community that are relatively ID friendly, I would think there would be some pretty harsh words for Ms. Grandy (whoever the hell she is). Not only does she imply that there is a simple dichotomy between Darwin and Christianity, with an absolute church-science conflict model, she implies that rejecting evolution automatically makes a simple genesis based creationism THE logical choice. (That would really make some Buddhists and Moonies, including strong ID advocates I know pissed off.)

I have substantial issues with her attempt to cast ID theory as an issue of academic freedom...is not academic freedom the freedom of PROFESSORS to teach what they chose with some justification? (Along with an institution's right to select classes, and for a student to pick a course schedule...). So, if Hillsdale professors want to teach the generally accepted theory, how is that an issue of academic freedom?

Anyway, I'm toying with a letter to the editor, knowing the ~200 word limit, this is what I have so far: (Note, I want suggestions, and frankly would consider some sort of joint piece especially if it was along the lines of “look both ID people and evolution people think you’re a moron”. )

Dear Editor,

I read Ms. Grandy’s April 14, 2005 op-ed piece, Evolutionary Indoctrination, with great disappointment. Not only does Ms. Grandy seem quite ignorant of the modern evolutionary biology, her views on academic freedom and the inter-relationship between religion and science are at best amusing ignorance. To briefly address a handful of the issues she raised:

Modern evolutionary biology is a very big tent that has moved a beyond Darwin’s original work, and covers a vast amount of ground from DNA genetics to modeling endangered specie populations. A good place to start researching what evolution actually includes is http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-evolution.html .

I disagree very strongly that there is an inherent, inevitable conflict between evolutionary theory and Christianity. I resent the implication that scientists such as myself cannot practice a functional Methodological Naturalism just like any good doctor or CAR mechanic does. (I'd love to give them a link to our ID discussion here, or something?)

On the academic freedom issue, it would grossly violate the real academic freedom of the biology department to require them to teach a theory that is not accepted in the scientific community. (It would also have the side effect of reducing Hillsdale’s status in the hard sciences to that of pitiful institutions such as Bob Jones University.)


  • I hope you do send it. I think you should leave out the Bob Jones reference as a matter of form, but please . . . want our degrees to mean more than what a degree from Bob Jones does.


    By Anonymous Jake Allen, at 9:27 PM  

  • I like it. When Lee first told me about it I told Lee that she should go read the ID debate on The Ockhamist and while her head is spinning poke her with a stick. But I'm mean ...

    By Blogger TheAmber, at 10:11 PM  

  • Stick it to here. As a Hillsdale student, I am afraid of these crazy religious zealots.

    By Blogger Ryan Thompson, at 11:15 PM  

  • Whoa, whoa. Just because a few Christians are acting badly does not warrant the group-think "crazy religous zealots" and the us-vs-them mentality.

    Many religious persons are clear-thinking and science-supporting. Creation-science is divisive enough already without the name calling.


    By Anonymous Jake Allen, at 8:11 AM  

  • check my blog... we ripped 'em a new one. ;-) http://heidicorinne.blogspot.com

    By Blogger Heidi C. Morris, at 4:13 PM  

  • Bob, you posted a reply-to-a-reply to something I wrote on Ryan's xanga. Thank you very much for being so clear with your response. I'll be sure to check out the website you reccommend in this post.

    By Blogger Red, at 9:34 AM  

  • Jake:
    In the letter I send there IS a Bob Jones reference, but it is a different one.

    Usually I, and most of the science people I know use ID to refere to the more rational arguments, and creations science as almost an insult towards total zealots. I thought even the ID proponents were trying to sperate themselves from the creation science folks.

    Jules + unknown lurkers: Welcome to the discussion. If you want more information about something, don't hesitate to ask.

    By Blogger Bob, at 12:41 AM  

  • Bob,

    Bad doctors practice medicine in the detached manner that car mechanics practice car repair.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:59 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home