Ball State Imbroglio: Gora Goes Delphic

The Temple of Apollo at Delphi had an oracle who was famed for her ambiguous prophecies. Wikipedia has a List of oracular statements from Delphi.

Why do we start by mentioning that? Because that’s what we thought of when we read this story in the Indianapolis Star: 5 questions with Ball State president Jo Ann Gora on STEM, intelligent design controversy.

The first three questions put to Gora, presumably by the newspaper reporter, don’t interest us, but the last two deal with the intelligent design problem Indiana’s Ball State University has been having, and which is summarized in this earlier post: Ball State Imbroglio Update — 03 Oct 2013. Here are the last two questions, with Jo Ann Gora’s answers. We’d like to know what you make of it:

Question: National attention this year prompted you to write a letter about the university’s decision to bar the teaching of intelligent design in a science class. Does controversial material have a place on college campuses?

Answer: Sure it does. But the issue is academic integrity. It is important that the folks that are presenting the material be educated in those areas, and if you do not have an academic background in that particular area, it is not appropriate for you to be teaching that. Controversial subjects, absolutely they belong in the classroom.

What does that mean? Does she want more faculty members with a background in intelligent design? Or is she just double-talking? Okay, here’s the last question:

Q: Has the issue been put to rest?

A: There are national associations in whose interest it is to continue to stir this pot and who will continue, I think, to beat the drum.

We assume that collection of metaphors means “No, the issue has not been put to rest.” But how does she plan to resolve it? She doesn’t give us a clue. Delphic indeed.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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13 responses to “Ball State Imbroglio: Gora Goes Delphic

  1. It means she knows what’s what. Which side of the bread the butter is on. That the Tute is a bunch of lying scammers. She’s not fooled by their bluster. It would be fun to see the Tute take on Ball State and get burned good.

  2. I love how she didn’t say their name so it wouldn’t feed their egos or show up in google searches.

  3. Based on her first letter, she knows what she’s doing. I think she’s unlikely to be distracted from reality.

  4. ladyatheist says: “I love how she didn’t say their name”

    Yeah. Who are those pot-stirring drum beaters?

  5. Stephen Kennedy

    She is saying that the Physics and Astronomy Department faculty should stick to teaching science and not wander off into areas like ID, which is not science, that they are not qualified to teach.

  6. But doesn’t teaching ID amount to “things are too complicated to have arisen by chance, ergo there must be an intelligent designer.”

    Class dismissed for the remainder of the semester.

  7. Third paragraph: “intelligent problem problem”?

  8. Westie needs to visit the Delphic Oracle and be told, along the lines of what Croesus was told,

    If you make war on science, an entire institution will be destroyed!

  9. Off-topic, but a reminder of what real science can do without any added Oogity-Boogity: Nuclear fusion milestone passed at US lab

  10. retiredsciguy says:

    Third paragraph: “intelligent problem problem”?

    *sigh* That’s how it reads now.

  11. And also off-topic, but perhaps less so: something for the anti-intellectual creationists to be pleased about: Downward mobility haunts US education

    Andreas Schleicher, special adviser on education at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), says the US is now the only major economy in the world where the younger generation is not going to be better educated than the older.

    “It’s something of great significance because much of today’s economic power of the United States rests on a very high degree of adult skills – and that is now at risk,” says Mr Schleicher.

    “These skills are the engine of the US economy and the engine is stuttering,” says Mr Schleicher, one of the world’s most influential experts on international education comparisons.

  12. “Answer: Sure it does. But the issue is academic integrity. It is important that the folks that are presenting the material be educated in those areas, and if you do not have an academic background in that particular area, it is not appropriate for you to be teaching that. Controversial subjects, absolutely they belong in the classroom.”

    I don’t think she is using double speak here.

    She is simply saying that Academic Integrity trumps Academic freedom. If a teacher is going to teach a controversial subject than he had best be fully versed and educated in that topic.

    Yes this does leave it open for an ID biology teacher. However, an ID biology teacher would be easily schooled by his students.

    As opposed to Hedin who was trying to teach ID biology to his Astronomy students.

  13. Another little typo:

    A: There are national associations in whose interest it is to continue to stir this pot and who will continue, I think, to beat the drum dumb.

    There, fixed it! 🙂