Skip to comments.Texas Bill Would Protect College Professors Who Question Evolution
Posted on 03/20/2011 5:26:33 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
A new Texas bill would make it illegal for colleges to fire or refuse jobs to professors based on their research on intelligent design or other theories on the origin of life that question evolution.
The measure from Republican state Rep. Bill Zedler would prohibit public institutions of higher education from discriminating against or penalizing faculty members or students, in regard to employment or academic support, based on their "conduct of research relating to the theory of intelligent design or other alternate theories of the origination and development of organisms."
The bill, HB 2454, was received by the Higher Education Committee earlier this week.
Researchers who study intelligent design deserve the same academic freedom as those who support evolution, said a spokesman for Discovery Institute, an intelligent design think tank based in Seattle, Wash.
"Without academic freedom to follow the evidence where it leads, science cannot progress," Casey Luskin, program officer in Public Policy and Legal Affairs at Discovery Institute, told The Christian Post.
Luskin said there is a "widespread pattern of discrimination" against intelligent design proponents, pointing to several cases in Texas.
In 2007, Baylor University shut down an evolutionary informatics lab by professor Robert Marks after administrators learned he was doing pro-ID research. The lab was forced to move from the university server to a third-party server. The incident was documented in Ben Stein's "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed."
Another incident at Baylor a few years ago involved the Michael Polanyi Center, considered to be the first intelligent design think tank at a major research university. Headed by leading ID-theorist William Dembski, a senior fellow of Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture, the center was also shut down due to intolerance of the pro-ID viewpoint.
The cases of discrimination aren't just limited to college teachers, according to Luskin. Students could be counted as committing academic suicide for not subscribing to a neo-Darwinian evolution viewpoint.
Michael Dini, a biology professor at Texas Tech University, states on his website that he does not write letters of recommendation for students applying to medical or graduate school if they did not accept neo-Darwinian evolution.
Dini explains the reason for this criteria: The central, unifying principle of biology is the theory of evolution, which includes both micro- and macroevolution, and which extends to ALL species."
"Someone who ignores the most important theory in biology cannot expect to properly practice in a field that is now so heavily based on biology," he writes.
The professor adds that the criteria for a letter of recommendation are not meant to discriminate against anyone's personal beliefs but are to "help insure that a student who wishes my recommendation uses scientific thinking to answer scientific questions."
Luskin disagreed with Dini's policy.
"His policy is patently discriminatory because it refuses to treat students on an equal basis if they scientifically disagree with Darwinian macroevolution," stated Luskin.
The intelligent design proponent said scientists fight antibiotic resistance by observing that there are limits to Darwinian evolution.
"We use drug cocktails to combat antibiotic or antiviral drug resistance because there are limits to the amount of evolution that can take place in a bacteria or virus," he said.
"One can be a good physician and disagree with Darwinian macroevolution."
HB 2454 requires a two-thirds vote to pass in the House.
When I was a kid, we didn’t need a bill like this. You were free to question anything you liked. Things have really changed under the communists. The Bill of Rights just ain’t working these days. We now need the politicians to pass bills to guarantee our rights. Piss poor excuse for a country if you ask me.
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Do I understand Intelligent Design to be the idea that God may have used evolutionary mechanisms as a part of creation? That is, the Earth and life was created at one level, and then evolved to another.
Are there Intelligent Design advocates who reject evolution?
I think (personally and I was scientifically trained) that the theory of evolution within species is fairly well demonstrated. However, it cannot explain how sentient beings arose. I believe that it is possible our animal species may have evolved to a point at which it was created as a human; i.e., GIVEN a soul.
I cannot yet prove that, but I think it worthy of investigation. Nor can strict evolutionists yet demonstrate our eventual descent from some primordial chemical soup, or answer the question, "Who made the soup?"
The real question becomes, "Why is not my theory worthy of investigation (which is to say academic support,) but that other guy's is?"
“Do I understand Intelligent Design to be the idea that God may have used evolutionary mechanisms as a part of creation? That is, the Earth and life was created at one level, and then evolved to another.”
As I understand it, what you have described here is the “theistic evolution” position.
“Are there Intelligent Design advocates who reject evolution?”
Yes. I believe the difference between “Intelligent Design” and standard creationism is that the ID people are silent about who the designer is (in public, anyway.)
This will cause the militant evoluntionists heads to explode. How dare any other premise for the origin of the human species be mentioned, afterall good science is to reject anything that doesn’t agree with your well established widely accepted fully agreed upon premise or theory (just like global warming). Funny thing is, everytime someone says the argument is over, it is really just beginning. Just think, because of the educational desire to keep everything intellectually pure, they actually have to come up with a law to allow debate. No wonder our country has an army of lawyers thriving while the rest of society grinds to a halt.
Advocating scientific freedom will cause riots.
Science has become a well funded propaganda outlet controlled by Big Government. Its used for all manner of political agendas.
Being able to question things will not be tolerated !!!
For anyone thinking this isn’t necessary, watch the movie Expelled. For even mentioning in the classroom that there are people that don’t believe in evolution, the careers of brilliant academics have been destroyed.
I think it is available on Netflix and Amazon.
Protect them from what, I’m afraid to ask?
Good post. See our we site www.faithfacts.org for a summary of the scientific evidence against Darwinism.
What a SAD, SAD state of affairs this is indicative of.
Boy, that’s a relief! I know there were a coupe of folks in the Astronomy department that were kind of laying low because of their belief that the Earth was flat. And a few of the boys up in Geology were thinking that the it’s pretty hard not to climb on the “world is 6,000 years old” bandwagon, but they were afraid their jobs might be a stake if rather than teaching the predominant paradigm, they started pushing the idea that the constants that everyone else has to work with - you know, isomeric decay, that sort of thing - was just a bunch of hooey. Good thing a bunch of politicians who probably never got through sophomore biology know better...
Aren't you giving away the store by using the term, "human species" ?
Employers ought to be able to hire those who best further the goals of the organization and fire those who don't.
Oh, as to this article— if science can't question anything and everything, including evolution, is it truly science?
I really like your post and agree with it 100%!
This is an old problem. The formation of the Royal Society was basically an attempt to allow like minded savants to exchange views without being harassed by the cacophony of philosophical anarchists, such as for example Hobbes.
This is all recounted in the Pomo mainstay, Leviathan and the Air pump, which concludes succinctly, "Hobbes was right".
OK fine. Just butt out.
Yes. I believe the difference between Intelligent Design and standard creationism is that the ID people are silent about who the designer is (in public, anyway.)
So as nfn says, I guess I must cop to PERSONALLY being a
That is, I could be an Intelligent Designer on a campus, as long as I were to remain officially non-committal as to who the Designer is?
For purpose of getting on with the debate on an even playing field, that actually seems as adequate a compromise ... as far as compromise is ever going to be adequate. The big "IF" is getting the other side to compromise as well.
You shouldn't question evolutionists; they always tell the truth. Like, for example, Darwin Medalist Reginald Punnett.
"The one instance of eugenlc importance that could be brought under immediate control is that of feeble-mindedness. Speaking generally, the available evidence suggests that it is a case of simple Mendelian inheritance. Occasional exceptions occur, but there is every reason to expect that a policy of strict segregation would rapidly bring about the elimination of this character."He wrote that in a scientific paper, so you just have to accept it and anyone who questions it should get canned.
So it would be OK if my employer fired me because of my association, belief, and willingness to share the conservative principles of FreeRepublic.com since they run contrary to his ideology and therefor cause stress in his organization?
IMO, yeah. People get fired for their politics all the time. Juan Williams and Rush Limbaugh to name two.