WorldNetDaily Supports Creationist John Oller

We’ve started to track the lawsuit filed by John Oller, a professor of cognitive disorders, against his colleagues at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He’s claiming that his colleagues have urged him to leave, reduced his class size, forbidden him from participating in policy committees, banned his textbook, denied him opportunities to lecture or instruct students, and marginalized his status at the university because of “viewpoint discrimination.”

Oller is not only a creationist whose articles are posted at the Institute for Creation Research and Answers in Genesis, but he also seems to be an anti-vaxer. Our first two posts were Louisiana Creationist Professor Sues University and then Creationist John Oller Has Popular Support.

Now it appears that the Oller case is being supported byWorldNetDaily (WND) — the flamingly creationist, absolutely execrable, moronic, and incurably crazed journalistic organ that believes in and enthusiastically promotes every conspiracy theory that ever existed.

Oller is in good company. We’ve written before that WND thinks Kent Hovind Is A Martyr, and they also champion Ray Comfort — see WorldNetDaily, Ray Comfort, and Brain Death.

WND’s article is ‘Marketplace of ideas’ sued for censorship, and it’s sub-titled: “Professor alleges fellow faculty members target his views on intelligent design.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us and their links omitted:

A discrimination lawsuit has been launched on behalf of Dr. John Oller Jr., a professor at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette who has gained global recognition as a speaker and has authored hundreds of articles, because he has been targeted by fellow faculty members over his views on creation and intelligent design.

Egad — the “globally recognized” professor is being persecuted just like Coppedge and the unfortunate victims in Expelled! What else are we told? Well, they provide a link to the complaint Oller filed, and then there’s this:

The case is being brought by the Alliance Defense Fund, which explained that Oller repeatedly has been damaged because of the views expressed in his public lectures and published works on communicative disorders, autism causation and intelligent design.

Oller is in good hands with Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) — an outfit we’ve encountered before. You may recall that they’re involved in the David Coppedge case, which is being publicized by the Discovery Institute. But for the best possible information about ADF, you’ve got to see Barbara Forrest‘s new article: The Gutting of BESE’s LSEA Implementation Policy: The Untold Story of Alliance Defense Fund Involvement.

Then WND spends a few paragraphs summarizing Oller’s allegations in his complaint. Do they have anything else? Ah, they say:

Despite his stellar academic record, this professor has found himself exiled from participating in the instruction of any department students simply because he holds views that some university officials don’t favor,” says ADF Attorney David Hacker.

Oller has a “stellar academic record,” but he’s been “exiled.” Let’s read on:

Professors don’t have academic freedom if they are forced to parrot the politically correct party line,” Hacker says.

It’s not about goofball theories; it’s all about “academic freedom.” We continue:

“Universities, which are supposed to be a ‘marketplace of ideas,’ are increasingly censoring views that challenge campus orthodoxy,” said Hacker.

It’s our hope that this lawsuit will vindicate Dr. Oller’s academic freedom while demonstrating the right of professors to pursue the truth without censorship when their academic conclusions don’t match the fashionable consensus,” the ADF statement said.

Yes, The Truth is what Oller dares to teach. Okay. Now we’re skipping over a bit of fluff, which you can read for yourself if you like. The article ends with this:

Reached by phone, a representative of UL [University of Louisiana] told WND, “If we make a statement regarding the lawsuit, it will be through the court.”

That’s the proper way to proceed, but it means all the “news” we’re likely to find will come from the creationist side. We’re used to that. It’s more entertaining that way.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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7 responses to “WorldNetDaily Supports Creationist John Oller

  1. Ceteris Paribus

    I’m willing to bet a shiny quarter that Oller’s lawsuit will be settled between the parties with very little court intervention. On the face of the wording of his complaint, Oller is not a Young Turk whose ideas are being suppressed by the Empire; in fact Oller’s own frame for his case reveals just another sad example of an aging academic evidencing his approaching dotage by no longer respecting the notion that education entails the passing of the torch to a newer generation. Oller needs to go for the good of UL just as much as Oller’s departure would be good for the creationists to open a door for a much younger creationist. They almost had one in astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez at Iowa State University a few years back, but the Wedge document persists unabated.

    So if there were court hearings, the ADF would happily argue Oller’s case and make some nice items for WND to print. But UL Lafayette would likely have a rather easy case to make that Oller is over the hill academically; does not fit into the strategic plan his department established in 2009; and currently holds an endowed chair that when empty will be filled with a bright new mind with a view to the future of the institution.

    Given that the creationists and the university may have something of the same end point in mind, there is motivation for some kind of settlement that gets them both what they want, outside of court, so there is no paper trail. But I surely hope not.

    The rest of this post is dicta you can ignore. It is not any more relevant than Oller himself. His is a sad but too common story told by Oller’s own CV web page.

    First we are greeted with Oller’s self selected photo of himself in academic garb. Most active academics only drag this stuff out of the back of the closet for graduation ceremonies, and usually then only at the very last minute when it is again too late to freshen it with the dry cleaning it already desperately needed before it was previously put away and forgotten after its last wearing.

    The remainder of Oller’s CV is just so sad. For examples:
    A list of the names of his offspring and their birth dates. (What? no cute baby photos?)
    A recitation of his personal education history, including even his junior college education “[c]oncentrations in Spanish and wrestling, 1963! (I wonder that maybe he left out mentioning a gold star some 3rd grade teacher likely awarded for putting his crayons all back in the box unbroken?)
    After that Oller heads off on a downhill ego trip in high gear, not stopping until citing no less than 605 individually enumerated accomplishments, accolades, and encomiums dating back more than 40 years.

    What really hurts is that way down the list, all the way to the very bottom, almost a footnote, is Oller’s list of twenty of his former students who have gone on to successes on their own path. The earliest on the list was a student in 1969 who is likely close to retirement; the newest on Oller’s list was a student in 1994. Many of the incoming freshman class of students Oller will see this year were not even born by 1994. This is the guy WND is supporting as a mistreated academic.

  2. Ceteris Paribus

    OOps. This is the correct link to Oller’s own CV web page.
    Maybe Curm will make a fix for this?

    [Done, but I’ll leave this comment up for a while so there’s a duplicate link.]

  3. Ceteris Paribus says:

    I’m willing to bet a shiny quarter that Oller’s lawsuit will be settled between the parties with very little court intervention.

    He’s asking for a jury trial, and it’s likely the university would prefer to settle if the amount is reasonable. I guess it depends on his contract. He’s tenured, so they have to keep him on the payroll. I don’t know if they have to let him teach and do the other things he’s complaining were taken away from him. If all the university needs to do is pay him, which they seem to be doing, I don’t know what his case would be worth.

  4. Many of the professors I had would’ve welcomed not being on committees, a reduction in class sizes, and a general reduction in teaching responsibilities.
    Creos continue to ‘not get’ academic freedom. Here’s a clue, guys – its about what you research, not what you teach. Even private univesities tend to balk at professors who ‘decide’ they don’t want to teach (example) psych 101 material in the psych 101 course they’ve been assigned to teach.

  5. Many of the professors I had would’ve welcomed not being on committees, a reduction in class sizes, and a general reduction in teaching responsibilities.

    If they don’t want to be promoted and they already have tenure, they might, but even in academia it is hard to advance by doing less work than other people.

  6. @SC – You probably meant to say that Oller is a professor of “communicative disorders” rather than “cognative disorders”. A Freudian slip?

  7. Ed, I copied that description from an earlier news article. It wasn’t my slip.