Wednesday, April 06, 2005

More on Horowitz

Krugman had an editorial, which I somehow missed -- but dr. b didn't. I love that dr. b.

Anyway, I'm linking to her, b/c she does better links than I do, and you should read the whole thing, but here's my favorite bit of the editorial:

Consider the statements of Dennis Baxley, a Florida legislator who has sponsored a bill that - like similar bills introduced in almost a dozen states - would give students who think that their conservative views aren't respected the right to sue their professors. Mr. Baxley says that he is taking on "leftists" struggling against "mainstream society," professors who act as "dictators" and turn the classroom into a "totalitarian niche." His prime example of academic totalitarianism? When professors say that evolution is a fact.

In its April Fools' Day issue, Scientific American published a spoof editorial in which it apologized for endorsing the theory of evolution just because it's "the unifying concept for all of biology and one of the greatest scientific ideas of all time," saying that "as editors, we had no business being persuaded by mountains of evidence." And it conceded that it had succumbed "to the easy mistake of thinking that scientists understand their fields better than, say, U.S. senators or best-selling novelists do."

The editorial was titled "O.K., We Give Up." But it could just as well have been called "Why So Few Scientists Are Republicans These Days." Thirty years ago, attacks on science came mostly from the left; these days, they come overwhelmingly from the right, and have the backing of leading Republicans.

Scientific American may think that evolution is supported by mountains of evidence, but President Bush declares that "the jury is still out." Senator James Inhofe dismisses the vast body of research supporting the scientific consensus on climate change as a "gigantic hoax." And conservative pundits like George Will write approvingly about Michael Crichton's anti-environmentalist fantasies.

Think of the message this sends: today's Republican Party - increasingly dominated by people who believe truth should be determined by revelation, not research - doesn't respect science, or scholarship in general. It shouldn't be surprising that scholars have returned the favor by losing respect for the Republican Party.

1 comment:

zelda1 said...

Okay, I had a teacher, who was a Mr. but passed himself off for a Dr. and he taught speech and while we were allowed a limited free range in our speech topics, he had the final say. He was a right wing as they come and was forever trying to force his students to see his pov, to go see the passion, to listen to his racists and fat women jokes, and on and on. He also was a sexual harrarers but that is another story for another time but back to his being a total control freak in his class. He wouldn't know allow me to do a speech about using warning signs on the lawns of sexual predators. His reasoning was that a man who has one or two little indiscretions with say a little five year old loose girl of the neighborhood should not have his reputation tarnished because of this little indiscretion. He also refused to believe that little girls and women were completely innocent in these indiscretions. My point, his right wing spouting and his control of our free speech left me hating his class and more than once I should have reported him to the dean, but I am liberal and I allow for the teacher to teach what he or she deems useful and while I hated his religious and political and ethical views, I still had to admit that it was his class. I did, however, tell all the females that I know not to take his class. I also eventually did tell about the fat jokes, the racial jokes, and the sexual harrassment. But his teaching his right winged propaganda, well I left that one alone.