University President Bans Consideration of Alternatives to Evolution
In a strangely worded letter, Timothy P. White, the President of the University of Idaho has forbidden consideration of any theory but evolution in the school's "life, earth, and physical science courses." He said, in part:
I write to articulate the University of Idaho’s position with respect to evolution: This is the only curriculum that is appropriate to be taught in our bio-physical sciences. . . . At the University of Idaho, teaching of views that differ from evolution . . . is inappropriate in our life, earth, and physical science courses or curricula.
Taken at face value, this would seem to forbid teaching the theory of relativity, string theory or number theory (since "evolution" is the "only curriculum that is appropriate to be taught"), but I do not think that is what he meant. What he means is therefore unclear, but very scary. What is clear is that he has thrown academic freedom out the window. What in the world are "views that differ from evolution"? Can you teach, for example, about the Cambrian Explosion since that poses serious problems for evolutionary theory and tends to support "views that differ from evolution"? Can you mention that biological systems appear designed, as long as you clarify each time that you believe they are not designed in the same breath?
He does assure us that in religion classes, professors can still teach "views that differ from evolution," but only if they are "in faculty-approved curricula." He does not explain what is faculty-approved curricula. Perhaps he will set up a committee to police the appropriate limits of academic thought in those areas as well.
He did not articulate the penalty for violating this policy, but I am sure he knows what to do with people that cross the line. But who knows where the line is?
I wonder if he will come out with a statement soon forbidding teaching anything but Stalinism in poly sci classes. Students at the university may want to read the resources at this link, before President White blocks access. I guess when your ideas cannot prevail in a free marketplace of ideas, drastic measures are needed.
President White, you are hereby inducted into the Darwinian Fundamentalism Hall of Fame.
This info comes thanks to the Discovery Institute, whose statement is here.