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the limits of academic freedom

By Diogenes (articles ) | Feb 12, 2007

In a front-page story on Darwinism in academe, the New York Times asks the question:

May a secular university deny otherwise qualified students a degree because of their religion?

The answer looks obvious: No.

But wait: After adding a few more rhetorical questions, the Times turns to a reliable professor:

Those are “darned near imponderable issues,” said John W. Geissman..

The student in question, you see, is a Christian. You certainly couldn't deny a degree to a student of any other faith on religious grounds. But if it's a Christian? Hmmm. Imponderable.

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  • Posted by: - Feb. 14, 2007 8:01 PM ET USA

    The former student does seem to be adept at advancing contradictory views, one of which -- that the world was created 10,000 years ago -- is, to phrase it politely, unsupported by the available evidence. Dr. Geissman's statement makes me wonder if knows what "imponderable" means. Di is right, though, that the story's undercurrent is, as always, anti-Christian.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 13, 2007 6:13 PM ET USA

    So it doesn't matter whether the student has done the work, what matters is how he might use his degree after he graduates. It reminds me a little of the movie "Minority Report." We're going to punish you "before" you commit a "thought crime."

  • Posted by: - Feb. 13, 2007 12:17 PM ET USA

    You can't teach if you don't believe in the gospel of Marx. * Abortion * Pre-born stem cell harvesting * Human made climate change * Global government * Anti-theist evolution. I am surprised that they would not want to indoctrinate inform a young mind.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 13, 2007 1:20 AM ET USA

    Diogenes, I have to disagree with your perspective on this one. The student in question, a Christian fundamentalist/creationist, believes the Bible to be literally true and abides in the conviction that the earth is only 10,000 years old. That's not orthodox Christianity. It's a profound misunderstanding of the literary genre of the Book of Genesis. What the NYT has done (in my opinion) is attempt to paint all Christians as similarly unreasonable and scientifically naive.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 12, 2007 10:57 PM ET USA

    Do I sense that atheistic Marxism might have found new life after its Eastern European collapse right in the heart of American academia and media? Time to get the garlic out, the cross and the stake as soon as the dawn starts to break.

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