Friday, August 02, 2013

What Would Jerry Coyne, Daniel Dennett, and Richard Dawkins Do at Ball State University?

I'm trying to understand how the rules announced by President Jo Ann Gora would work in practice.

Let's think about how they might affect three prominent atheists. Jerry Coyne is an evolutionary biology professor at the University of Chicago. He is a prominent atheist and he defends the position that science and religion are not compatible. He does not have to adhere to the Ball State University rules because the University of Chicago is a private school.

Daniel Dennett is a philosopher at Tufts University (private). He is a prominent atheist and no friend of religion.

Richard Dawkins was a professor and evolutionary biologist at Oxford University in the UK. He did not have to worry about following the Ball State University rules because they don't apply outside of the USA.

Let's imagine that all three became professors at Ball State University. They would have to pay attention to the rules outlined by President Jo Ann Gora. Here are the relevant passages from her recent message.
Creation science, intelligent design, and other worldviews that focus on speculation regarding the origins of life represent another important and relevant form of human inquiry that is appropriately studied in literature and social science courses. Such study, however, must include a diversity of worldviews representing a variety of religious and philosophical perspectives and must avoid privileging one view as more legitimate than others.

As a public university, we have a constitutional obligation to maintain a clear separation between church and state. It is imperative that even when religious ideas are appropriately taught in humanities and social science courses, they must be discussed in comparison to each other, with no endorsement of one perspective over another.
All three professors have written extensively about religion and their views are widely known. They attend conferences and give public lectures. They do not pull any punches when they talk about the evils of religion. Nobody would ever say that they go out of their way to avoid endorsing one perspective over another. Academics have opinions and they are not afraid to express them.

Most professors have graduate students. They do not hide their opinions from their graduate students. Nor do they hide them from their colleagues or the administrators in their university.

These professors aren't shy about expressing their points of view on blogs, twitter, Facebook, newspapers and just any other means of communication.

Now let's imagine that they are teaching an undergraduate course about atheism and religion in a humanities department at Ball State University. How is that supposed to work? Are they supposed to go out of their way to avoid "privileging one view as more legitimate than others"? And if so, are any of the students going to be fooled? They can all access the internet.

It's clearly a ridiculous rule unless it also applies outside of the classroom. Does it mean that professors at a public university must avoid criticizing religion at all times?


60 comments :

  1. If I have read Coyne's arguments correctly, he would be bound by the BSU rules. He is clear about the use of tax payer dollars (such as for student aid) allowing the general public to control what is taught in colleges, even private universities.
    He would probably disagree with my use of 'control' but that is how I see his and FFRF approach to the issue working out. Anyone with a vocal contingent or lawyers can expect to influence what is taught and by who, or at least they can expect university resources be devoted to dealing with their complaints.

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  2. My interpretation of the president's ukase is that teaching intelligent design in science classes is a no no. This is Jerry Coyne's position and has always been his position. I fail to see what the problem that Prof. Moran has with that position. ID is not science because it is unbounded because the designer, which is the Christian god to all except David Berlinski, is unbounded. Therefore, it cannot be falsified and any finding can be said to be in agreement with it(e.g. it can't make predictions). Contrary to the ongoing brouhaha over junk DNA, if the designer wants there to be junk DNA, there is junk DNA.

    Before pontificating on the situation in the US, which is totally different then the situation in Canada, I suggest that Prof. Moran read the attached link concerning the situation in Texas, which I explained in a comment on an earlier post here has the whip hand over textbook publishers because it purchases textbooks statewide and is the second largest school system in the US (I daresay that the textbook market in Texas isn't too much smaller then the textbook market in all of Canada).

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2013/08/02/texas-here-we-go-again/

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    1. You seem to have misunderstood the arguments for ID...your example of junk DNA, e.g. Is actually an example of an ID prediction; if there is a designer, then most DNA should have function.

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    2. Texas does NOT purchase textbooks statewide. It makes a list of acceptable textbooks and I believe it has never censored a single high school biology textbook. Its influence over the content of biology textbooks has been greatly exaggerated. None of the major biology textbook authors and publishers have ever inserted.creationism into their textbooks because of Texas and they never would. Even if they published a special edition just for Texas the book would be shunned in other states and the reputation of the authors would be destroyed.

      Now, instead of making irrelevant and incorrect comments, why not answer the question? What should Coyne, Dennett,and Dawkins do if they were to teach a course about atheism and religion?

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    3. Re Larry Moran

      Sorry Prof. Moran, you are thinking of the situation in California. In Texas, the state Board of Education selects the school textbooks and provides the funds for their purchase. By the way, the Hoover Institute is not noted as a left wing organization.

      http://media.hoover.org/sites/default/files/documents/Koret_15_ch10.pdf

      Money quote from the attached link:

      For years, the state has told
      publishers what they must include and exclude if they want to
      get their textbooks purchased and distributed to students in
      Texas


      As to what Messrs Coyne, Dennett, and Dawkins would do if they were professors at Ball State Un., I think you would have to ask them. If you wanted to ask me what I would do if I were teaching a course in physics at Ball State Un., I would not be discussing religious ideas at all. In fairness, in a discussion of Newtonian mechanics as applied to the motion of the planets in the Solar System, I might mention in passing Newton's notion was that god was responsible for maintaining the long term stability of the system and Laplace's calculations which showed that god's intervention was not necessary. I would probably not bring up Laplace's comment to Napoleon that he had no need of the god hypothesis.

      By the way, it is my understanding that Dennett is a philosopher; would he have the credentials to teach biology at the university level?

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    4. Re Prof. Moran

      By the way, in his book on the Dover Trial, Matthew Chapman, a descendant of Darwin by the way, claims that the high school textbook authored by Miller and Levine, Biology, had considerable material on evolution excised from the chapter on evolution submitted by the authors in response to creationist complaints.

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  3. I believe Dr. P.Z. Myers has stated on his blog in the past (I have not read him recently) that he scrupulously refrains from criticizing religion in his science classes, and has a disclaimer (similar in nature to Dr. Moran's although not as funny) on his website that his opinions there are personal and not representative of his school. I expect Dr. Coyne does the same.

    In the highly unlikely event that a public university ever offered a course on the merits of atheism (probably about the same millennium that there are all-atheist/all-the-time cable TV channels to match the several religious ones), it would probably require the instructor (if an atheist) to cover religious counter-arguments and perhaps bring in guest lecturers to argue them. (Had Professor Hedin included books by Ken Miller, Stengler, Dawkins, etc. in his syllabus and billed it honestly - not as the frontiers of modern science, in other words - he could have had an acceptable course.)

    Going to Sunday School, Church, Youth Service, etc. for 19 years and comparing the things taught there to reality was enough to make an atheist out of me, so such a course seems unnecessary as well as unlikely, to me.

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    1. I teach a course on the conflict between science and intelligent design creationism. I tell the students right from the beginning that I am an atheist and I have a strong opinion on the subject. They are encouraged to read my blog and engage in the debate.

      They have to write an essay on Jonathan Wells' book "Icons of Evolution." We discuss what science is all about and how to make rational arguments. It's pretty clear that creationism does not have a very strong case.

      Would I be fired if I taught this course at an American public university?

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    2. Larry wrote,

      "They have to write an essay on Jonathan Wells' book "Icons of Evolution." We discuss what science is all about and how to make rational arguments."

      This is very interesting and impressive!

      Are you able to publish on your blog some of those essays? I think it would be interesting.

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    3. I would never, under an circumstances, consider publishing a student essay on my blog.

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    4. Larry:

      I teach a course on the conflict between science and intelligent design creationism.

      Good. Now, do you in any way restrict the course material to only anti-ID material? If you had a student who knew the material but disagreed with your assessment of ID (much less your assessment of atheism) would you give that student a failing grade for disagreeing with your personal view? If so, do you think you are merely exercising your "academic freedom"?

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    5. (Sorry for the belated reply to Dr. Moran's question.) My legally-uninformed guess is no, you could not legally be fired for that. I take it you compare the scientific merits of the Theory of Evolution to the Intelligent Design hypothesis, similar to comparing oxidation to phlogiston. The Discovery Institute could not sue you for religious infringement without blowing their cover (such as it is), in any case.

      (Of course no one I know of - not Dr. Coyne, anyway - is calling for Professor Hedin to be fired, either.)

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  4. Larry, Professor Jerry Coyne does not discuss religious beliefs or atheism with his students when teaching, he only teaches biology. Heiden utilized his science curriculum course for the unrelated purpose of defending his religious beliefs over competing religious beliefs, which is unethical. No one is demanding that professors at government universities not have, and not publicly express, their own opinions and beliefs on any topic, on their own blogs, or in any other media, or when speaking before audiences, outside of the context of teaching for college credit to obtain a college degree. If Heiden disputed Coyne in a blog instead of misusing his science course to advocate for his own religious beliefs then there would have been no possibility of a lawsuit.

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    1. Dear Explicit Atheist,

      That's all very interesting. Now please address the hypothetical situation that I decsribed.

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  5. Now let's imagine that they are teaching an undergraduate course about atheism and religion in a humanities department at Ball State University. How is that supposed to work? Are they supposed to go out of their way to avoid "privileging one view as more legitimate than others"?

    How about including course materials including arguments for atheism along with arguments for theism? The complaint about Hedin was, primarily, that the course materials/reading list overwhemingly favored ID.

    Let me ask you, Larry ... if you were teaching a course that included a block on junk DNA, would you think it academically acceptable to include only materials arguing that there are large amounts of junk DNA, or would you include materials arguing that there is little or no junk DNA?

    Your views on the subject are well known. Does that "priviledge" your views or would your students be given arguments for both sides?

    Your known views don't "priviledge" your side of the argument (unless you would mark students wrong simply because they disagreed with you, even if they knew the material). In this context, "privileging" one view over the other is failing to give both sides of the argument and/or grading the students well only if they agree with you (the latter being something Hedin was never accused of, AFAIK).

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  6. > It's clearly a ridiculous rule unless it also applies outside of the classroom.

    What now?

    You should be able to publicly promote the views of, say, the Gun And Hunting Party or of the most fundamentalist branch of the Zoroastrian religion. In your free time, set up a stall at the marketplace and distribute leaflets. Give interviews. Write to the newspaper. Run a blog or, as Jerry Coyne, a website :-).

    You simply don't get to misappropriate government resources and taxpayer money specifically designated for science teaching to achieve your promotion of these ideas. You simply don't get to preach that these ideas to students disguised as science education.

    What is so terribly difficult about this concept?

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    1. I don't find the concept difficult. I just don't agree with that kind of censorship in a university. You are enitled to your opinion on what is science and what isn't science but you don't get to impose it on everyone else even if the vast majority of other scientists agree with you.

      Do you have an opinion on the specific question I asked?

      If not, could you answer another question? Could you tell your students in class that Intelligent Design Creationism isn't science and can't be taught in science classes?

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    2. Personally, I actually think that some ill-defined variant of IDC might be reasonable scientific conclusion. Imagine we find a planet teeming with life but without any evidence for phylogenetic structure, no vestigial organs, no fossil history before 10K years ago at which point all fossils suddenly appear looking pretty much like extant organisms, etc etc, you get the picture. In that case, IDC with some as of yet undiscovered extraterrestrial intelligence as the designer would be a reasonable conclusion.

      But our world does not look like that, as we all agree. Even if IDC is potentially a scientific idea, it is somewhere between luminiferous ether and the four classical elements. Now the point is, if a professor of chemistry says it is their academic freedom to teach students medieval alchemy, not as of historical interest but as fact, would you seriously not see any problems with that?

      That is not censorship, it is telling people to bloody well do the job that they are being paid for. You could just as well argue that a plumber is being censored if they are expected to repair a sink after having entered into a contract to repair the sink. No, they don't get to take the customer's money and then spend all the time lecturing the customer on the awesomeness of Picasso, for example.

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    3. I'm all for allowing teachers to have their own opinion on a subject, I think it only becomes a problem when they misrepresent the opposing views constructing straw men that can easily be dismissed and ridiculed. I've been reading posts on this blog for the last few days and I sure hope nobody builds their opinion on ID from how it's presented here. I think part of academic training is to look at competing ideas and then form your own opinion. Very few things are strait forward and self evident. Studies of the genome is a budding science going on 50 years. Paleontology is laced with intellectual pre-commitment going back 150 years. I'm expecting to see huge devolpments in those fields the next 10 years.

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    4. I've been reading posts on this blog for the last few days and I sure hope nobody builds their opinion on ID from how it's presented here.

      Damn! I was hoping for exactly the opposite effect.

      I think part of academic training is to look at competing ideas and then form your own opinion.

      I do my best. How do I stack up against the IDiots over at Evolution News & Views?

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    5. I think you have some interesting posts Laurence...I may give it another few days if don't get blocked before :-)

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  7. Dr. Coyne would have to toe a pretty careful line if he was teaching an undergraduate course about atheism and religion in a humanities department at Ball State University. I think he would realize that. The Hedin case was about teaching an ID-laced course within the science curriculum of the astronomy department. Coyne teaches an evolution course, and he has said many times that despite his well publicized outspoken atheist views he is careful to never disparage religion in his evolution course. He keeps away from it.

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    1. Dr. Coyne would have to toe a pretty careful line ...

      Would he have to lie to his students by pretending that religious beliefs were just as valid as atheism?

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    2. This scenario is very interesting. I would question whether Coyne, or Dawkins for that matter are qualified by training to teach such a course. Dennett probably is.

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    3. @slchonda9

      That's a cop-out. Answer the question.

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    4. Re Moran

      I answered the question at 9:01 AM above. I can't speak as to what Coyne, Dennett, and Dawkins would do, I can only speak to what I would do.

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  8. Another way to put it, Larry, is ... are you incapable of teaching the junk DNA controversy objectively, giving room to opposing views, simply because you have your own position on the issue?

    If so, just who are you condemning academically?

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  9. "Now let's imagine that they are teaching an undergraduate course about atheism and religion in a humanities department at Ball State University. "
    Except that, you know, it didn't happen.

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  10. The problem with Heidin/BSU was not that professor expressed his opinions, but he was teaching discredited theories as science, and did not provide counter balance.
    The case was about teaching students and not expressing opinions.
    Jerry Coyne (as he claims himself) does not teach atheism, but biology. Unless he is asked they he can answer and express his opinion on the subject of existence of supernatural. But this is nowhere in his class.
    Nobody is preventing professors to express their opinions or pursue their ideas. Yet teaching is just different business and should have certain standards of the quality.

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    1. Why are so many intelligent people having such a problem with this issue? It's about academic freedom and the restrictions established by the President of Ball State University.

      I understand your point of view. Now let's move on and discuss the implications of this restriction on academic freedom to see if they make sense. One way to do that is to propose a thought experiment.

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    2. Prof. Moran seems to be having difficulty in understanding that Prof. Coyne's concept of academic freedom differs from his. As I understand Coyne's position, academic freedom applies to research and scholarly activities performed outside the classroom. It does not apply to what is taught inside the classroom. I believe I cited the examples of Arthur Butz and the late William Shockley on the other thread on this subject.

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    3. I don't have the least bit of difficulty understanding where Jerry and I disagree.

      I'm just exploring this difference to see if it makes sense to separate scholarship from teaching.

      Please try harder to keep up. I know this is complicated.

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    4. Re Larry Moran

      OK, fair enough. So let me pose this question. Would Prof. Moran have any objection to Arthur Butz teaching Holocaust denial in his engineering courses?

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    5. Yes.

      You haven't been paying attention, have you?

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    6. To make it perfectly clear so that there be no misunderstanding then, Prof. Moran would not raise any objection based on Prof. Butz's academic freedom if the administration at Northwestern forbade him from raising the issue in his engineering courses.

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    7. You have completely misunderstood my position. I would raise bloody hell if administrators tried to prevent him from teaching while his closest colleagues and his department supported him.

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    8. Aside from everything else, the issue of the Holocaust has nothing to do with engineering, which is what Prof. Butz has been hired to teach. If he is taking class time to discuss irrelevant issues and other members of the engineering faculty are supporting him, then there is something very wrong with that department. The students unlucky enough to be stuck in Prof. Butz' classes are being cheated.

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    9. We agree that there would be something very wrong with the engineering faculty in that scenario.

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    10. The idea of a Faculty of Engineering dominated by Holocaust denialists who obsessively raise the issue with their students and cover up for each other sounds like an interesting thought experiment. What, if anything, would you do about it if you were the president of the university? Let's imagine you ask the Dean's opinion and she tells you that the faculty just love the situation, and that undergrad paper topics like "Why gas chambers cannot be used effectively for mass extermination" qualify as engineering and so can't be considered irrelevant. Who's entitled to decide that there's something very bad going on?

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    11. Who's entitled to decide that there's something very bad going on?

      I think every one of us is entitled to decide that there's something bad going on but that's not really the question. The question is what could we do about it?

      In an extraordinary situation like that you would probably have to do extraordinary things. The first thing you would do as President, is remove the Dean and the Chairs of all the engineering departments. (Fire them from their administrative jobs.) The second thing you would do is open negotiations with the faculty union to make sure they're on side. The third thing you would do is schedule meetings between the engineering professors and leading professors in other disciplines within the university. You'd probably want to have a few rabbis there. Press and cameras would be helpful.

      If this doesn't work I don't know what else you could do. You could certainly arrange to deny tenure to any engineering professor who didn't have it but that wouldn't affect the majority of faculty who were already tenured.

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    12. I think that the issue here is about the reasonable latitude or scope of the course one is teaching. For example: Larry teaches evolutionary biology. Within the reasonable latitude of his course, it would be reasonable (to some open minded people)to present the most common objections to the theory of evolution (I don’t think creationists are the only ones who present the objections to the theory of evolution. If they were, God help us!!!) That teaching, in my view, is within the scope of the course, which Larry has been doing all along (If I had known this, I would have signed up for some of his courses. Too late now.
      Now, if Larry decided to teach the evolution of toilet paper; the first six-pack, the first double ply etc. that would not be within the reasonable latitude of the course he teaches, just because the word “evolution” just happens to be used within the same scope of those two separate, and totally unrelated issues of his teaching.
      That is why I believe Larry’s approach is reasonable, though not fully understood; possibly totally misunderstood either by choice or by prejudice, often veiled.

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  11. Amen to the host of this forum.
    It comes down to a equation.
    Telling the truth about things which are subjects dealing with truth.
    to be equal where equality is not true is to be dishonest or inaccurate.
    If one self censors or obeys censorship then one is not puuting truth as the priority in education where this the priority.
    If you teach a subject on origins and creationism is censored then its offical policy either that its false doctrine or the objective of the subject is not teaching options for truth or the truth.
    An equation.
    One can't have ones cake and eat it too.

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    1. Booby, we're not talking about origins here, if you mean the origin of life. Just for the edification of Booby, the origin of the universe is a problem in physics, the origin of life is a problem in chemistry, specifically organic and biochemistry. The evolution of life is a problem in biology. It would be nice if the cretinists came to understand this.

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  12. Richard Dawkins could possibly teach a course on a subject:

    "Evidence of a Signature of a (Intelligent) Designer in Details of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology."

    I don't think they could stop him from teaching it, as his views on the subject involve an "atheistic kind of religion".

    What do you think Larry?

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    1. I don't understand your question. I would not have a problem with such a course, would you?

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    2. Larry,

      The theme of this blog is, "What Would Jerry Coyne, Daniel Dennett, and Richard Dawkins Do at Ball State University?"

      Therefore, I have given you an example of a course that Dawkins could probably teach, even though it would technically be a course on Intelligent Design.

      To me personally, the issue here is not about ID per say. It is just an issue with certain kind of ID, which some people seem to be so afraid of. Why are they so afraid of certain kind of ID? I don't know, but I have more than few hunches.

      Therefore, the issue here is not about whether I would have a problem with such a course. It seems that even you wouldn't have a problem with such a course as long as Dawkins stays within the boundaries of that particular course. Here is different scenario.

      However, what would happen to Dawkins, if one day he changed his mind about ID, just as Antony Flew did, and decided to incorporate that "other" kind of ID ideology?

      What would you think of Dawkins, if he decided to teach that the evidence of a signature of an Intelligent Designer in the details of biochemistry and molecular biology could only be attributed to one thing; some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature; a Supernatural, Intelligent Designer with miraculous powers?

      Would you also be ok with that kind of course?

      If yes, please explain why you would still be ok with that kind teaching of ID.

      If not, explain why not, and what would be the difference between these two scenarios.



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    3. What would you think of Dawkins, if he decided to teach that the evidence of a signature of an Intelligent Designer in the details of biochemistry and molecular biology could only be attributed to one thing; some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature; a Supernatural, Intelligent Designer with miraculous powers?

      Would you also be ok with that kind of course?


      Yes, I would be okay with that kind of course if it were acceptable to his colleagues and his department.

      That's not the issue. The issue is whether the rules established by President Gora would or could be obeyed by people like Coyne, Dawkins, and Dennett.

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    4. That's impressive Larry!!! I don't know what to say. Somebody must have been praying on your behalf.

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  13. I am not a lawyer, and haven't studied this issue, so my answers are worth what you paid for them, but for the sake of specificity:

    "Let's imagine that they are teaching an undergraduate course about atheism and religion in a humanities department at Ball State University. How is that supposed to work? Are they supposed to go out of their way to avoid "privileging one view as more legitimate than others"?

    Answer: yes.

    "If so, are any of the students going to be fooled?"

    Answer: I hope not, but everyone is fooled some of the time. It should be clear to an objective observer that the professor, while he may be personally biased, is presenting the best available evidence for all sides. In other words, one can be biased but not act on it by dispensing privilege - it is the action that counts.

    "It's clearly a ridiculous rule unless it also applies outside of the classroom. Does it mean that professors at a public university must avoid criticizing religion at all times?"

    Answer: That is not clear to me, and no. (That is to say, not legally, but it may not be helpful in getting tenure, as with other subjects which excite strong passions.)

    It seems to me that you are equating having a personal opinion with privileging that opinion in an unfair way in a classroom. Again, Hedin was criticized for the latter, not the former.

    Also, of course, for dragging religious matters into a science course while being publicly founded to teach science, which makes the issue murkier as it involves USA constitutional law. I think that is where the requirement not to privilege one (religious) view over another comes in.

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    1. "founded to teach" should be "funded to teach" - sorry.

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    2. It seems to me that you are equating having a personal opinion with privileging that opinion in an unfair way in a classroom.

      The key word here is "unfair," President Gora's edict doesn't seem to allow any room for fairness. No privileging is allowed. That would pretty much prevent any serious criticism of religion, wouldn't it? Could we ever say in any class that Young Earth Creationism is wrong? Could a professor ever say in any class that, in his opinion, science and religion are incompatible?

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    3. I think privilege as used by President Gora was meant to connote unfairness, or at least the lack of equal treatment, as in the number-one dictionary definition:

      "a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor".

      Or under legal definitions,

      "A particular benefit, advantage, or Immunity enjoyed by a person or class of people that is not shared with others."

      The expression, "it's not a right (to be allowed to do something or be part of something), it's a privilege" is often used to mean that the thing in question can be withheld or granted arbitrarily, without any reasons or explanations given.

      Anyway, my characterization in my previous comment is what I took President Gora to mean, but I have been known to make mistakes in my English comprehension.

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    4. P.S. I forgot to respond to the follow-up questions, probably conveniently as I am much less qualified to give an opinion on those matters than on English meanings.

      My guess is that a fine line would be involved (in a USA publicly-funded course) between science and theology. I think it would be fair to list a comprehensive set of observations and experimental results and compare whether, for example, "flood geology" or standard geology did a better job explaining the list.

      To give an example of what I think would not be acceptable, according to a student in Professor Hedin's class, when the student asked why the god who fine-tuned the universe could not be Brahma instead of Jehovah, the professor only replied with a disparaging remark about Hindu monkey-gods - privileging Christianity over Hinduism, in my opinion.

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  14. This isn't as hypothetical a situation as Larry Moran seems to think. I took just such an undergraduate course by a prominent philosopher, now emeritus, William Rowe. The course was "The Philosophy of Religion" or something close to that. All the classic arguments and counter arguments and counter-counter arguments were laid out for us and we wrote papers and read passages and discussed during recitations. The last lecture of the semester before the final exams was an informal dialogue between Rowe and the class, a large lecture hall. About midway through he told us he was an atheist. It came as a shock to many because he maintained neutrality throughout the course; he coined the term "friendly atheist" and wrote an essay about it, he also wrote essays defending certain versions of some theological arguments. So while Rowe probably couldn't be described as an enemy of religion, his atheism was a matter of public record for anyone who cared to look into it or simply ask him. The reason he said he didn't announce his position until the end was because he wanted students to arrive at conclusions on their own.

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  15. "Could a professor ever say in any class that, in his opinion, science and religion are incompatible?"

    No, no biology professor who shares Dawkins' conviction that Darwinism makes it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist would be able to mention that in his science class under the present rubric at Ball State, which is absurd.

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  16. Dawkins believes in ID, so where is the problem? In his conviction or the people who need him and made him a multimillionaire?

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  17. One wise man said this: Every idea will "eventually" find its supporters. WHY?

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    1. Why WHAT? No wise man has ever said any such thing, but there is an apocryphal saying attributed to Einstein: Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not yet completely sure about the universe. From this, you could draw the conclusion that no shit is too stupid for sufficiently stupid people.

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