Surviving Intolerance in Academia
    
Gerald Bergman

(Investigator 175, 2017 July)


The fact of ghettoizing and outright persecution of persons who have scientific concerns about Darwinism, and are out-of-the-closet, has been well-documented in the United States and other countries (Bergman, 2016).

Former Assistant Secretary of State, Kim Holmes, in a study of American Universities, wrote that college administrators “impose limits against Christian and conservative groups, enforcing a double standard of scrutiny” compared to non-Christians and liberals (Holmes, 1996, p. 164). For example, University of Michigan Ph.D., Professor Marvin Olasky, advises students to face the fact that some

Marxists, feminists, and other “-ists” are totalitarians who get pleasure out of making omelets by cracking student eggs. As a student, you’re in a position of weakness, so discretion in this instance may be valorous: Don’t take the course. If you have no alternative, hold on to all your papers and essay tests, and—when confronting totalitarians—tape what goes on in the classroom or in professor/student conferences. If you can’t win internally, you might be able to apply external pressure through conservative journalists (Olasky, 2016b, p. 64).

Olasky adds that Christians and conservatives have been saying for decades that “the leftism of most college professors doesn’t matter: Students weren’t paying attention. This year we’ve found that many have paid attention. The evidence: Socialist Bernie Sanders overwhelmingly won the votes of millennial college graduates” (Olasky, 2016a, p. 64). Olasky also quoted the new book Passing on the Right: Conservative Professors in the Progressive University in support of his conclusion. This book, published by Oxford University Press, carefully documents

a sad picture of academic bias and conservative cowardice at major universities … quotations from numerous closeted right-of-center professors tell the story. Here are some: “I just bite my tongue. …I just deliberately lie. …I learned I should keep my mouth shut. …It is dangerous to even think [a conservative thought] when I’m on campus, because it might come out of my mouth. …[It’s] exhausting. …You’re not greeted, your greeting isn’t returned in the hall, graduate students are urged not to work with you” (Olasky, 2016a, p. 64).

Aside from Darwin Doubters, the

rare pro-life professors seem to have it the worst: “If some people saw me coming, they’d walk the other way.” A pro-life literature professor at a large state university had to do some quick thinking when a colleague spotted the bumper sticker on a car he drove: “Abortion Stops a Beating Heart.” News of the heresy spread through the department, but the professor partially saved himself by saying: “It’s my wife’s car. I would never in a moment think that as a male I could tell my wife what [to do]” (Olasky, 2016a, p. 64).

The fact is “Among academics, the pressure to conform is insidious… a 2015 report of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) organization finds that policies severely restrict students’ right to free speech at over half of the 437 universities it surveyed.” (Holmes, 2016, p. 164) The same is true of professors’ freedom of speech. Although exceptions occur, “conservatives who publish still perish.” If they manage to survive, they

often receive lower wages than their liberal counterparts. Even nice guys finish last: One professor said, “I really thought that if one spoke in a civil way [and] introduced points of view that were underrepresented in the academy, that you would get some credit for that. You don’t get any credit for that.” What’s a conservative or Christian professor to do? One solution is to hide as a graduate student to get a job, hide as an assistant professor to get tenure, hide as an associate professor to get a full professorship, and hide as a full professor to get an endowed chair. But that’s no way to live—and once you start it’s hard to stop (Olasky, 2016a, p. 64).

In another case, Professors Shields and Dunn quote a literature professor who observed that professors

who hide on the road to a full professorship have “fifteen years of acculturation into cowardice and furtiveness. Suddenly you’re 38 years old and now you’re going to be bold? It doesn’t happen. People are tired. They have kids. They’ve got bills to pay. They want life to be nice.” The authors offer modest suggestions. They say “liberal professors and the administrators of universities should make it clear that they welcome conservative perspectives.” But many don’t welcome conservative perspectives, and if they did, their socialist colleagues would harass them. Organizations with self-perpetuating boards of directors can readily become corrupt. Most university faculties are self-perpetuating. Many are rancid (Olasky, 2016a, p. 64).

The antagonism is also shown in the following section of an article titled “The Twenty Greatest Blunders in Science in the Last Twenty Years.” One blunder the author lists is not to teach Darwinism as an undisputed fact. He defined evolution as progressing from molecules to man by natural selection selecting variations in life forms caused by damage to the genome called mutations. The article starts out by noting that, in 1995 Colorado students would no longer

be tested on evolution, Charles Darwin’s theory that, through an endless series of genetic mutations, we all developed from single-celled organisms. “I believe in divine creation,” said Clair Orr, Colorado’s Chairman of the state’s Board of Education (Newman, 2000, p. 83, emphasis added).

Newman added that “Kansas removed evolutionary theory from its tests in 1999. Mississippi and Tennessee do not teach the subject at all, and curricula in Florida and South Carolina touch on it only lightly.” Mocking this fact, she added that, in view of
 
the trend of treating all theories of how we got here [i.e. human origins] as equal, Marc Abrahams, of Annals of Improbability Research, has a suggestion: Why not teach the theory of Chonosuke Okamura, a Japanese paleontologist who became convinced that patterns of water seepage in rocks were “mini-fossils” and that life was descended from mini-horses, mini-cows, and mini-dragons. “It’s kind of like forming an evolutionary theory out of cloud formations,” says Abrahams (Holmes, 2000, p. 83).

My response is that teaching other creation stories is an excellent idea because it will allow students to contrast the Genesis account with the other creation accounts. Students will soon see the enormous contrast between the two accounts of creation and realize that Genesis does not contain mythical stories such as turtles holding up the earth, nor creation by one god tearing another apart and creating the sun, moon and earth from the body parts as do some of the other creation accounts (Bergman, 2016). Genesis is a straight forward list of the creation events, void of turtles, body parts, and other claims common in most creation stories.


References

Bergman, Jerry 2016. Silencing the Darwin Skeptics. Southworth, WA: Leafcutter Press.

Holmes, Kim. 2016. The Closing of the Liberal Mind.  New York: Encounter Books.

Newman, Judith. 2000. “Twenty of the Greatest Blunders in Science in the Last Twenty Years.” Discover, 21(10):78-83, October.

Olasky, Marvin. 2016a. “Hiding in Higher Ed: Christians and Conservatives in the Academic Closet.” World Magazine, July 23, p. 64.

 ______. 2016b. “Survivor’s Guide: Learn from Professors, but be Willing to Talk Back.” World Magazine, September 3, p. 64.

Shields, Jon and Joshua Dunn Sr. 2016. Passing on the Right: Conservative Professors in the Progressive University. Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press.


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