The Discovery Institute is forever trying to present their creationist campaign in terms of civil rights. We’re familiar with their endless grumbling that their nonsense is being kept out of science classes because of “viewpoint discrimination” and “censorship.” Now they appear to be trying yet another approach.
The latest at their creationist blog is The Diversity that Dare Not Speak Its Name. Cute title. It was written by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. We’ll give you a few excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis.
Georgetown University professor John Hasnas has a fine Wall Street Journal op-ed today, The One Kind of Diversity Colleges Avoid, pleading for intellectual and philosophical diversity in faculty hiring, alongside the racial and sexual kind. There’s something missing, though.
Something’s missing? Klinghoffer then quotes from the article:
In the more than 20 years that I have been a professor at Georgetown University, I have been involved in many faculty searches. Every one begins with a strong exhortation from the administration to recruit more women and minority professors.
Yet, in my experience, no search committee has ever been instructed to increase political or ideological diversity. On the contrary, I have been involved in searches in which the chairman of the selection committee stated that no libertarian candidates would be considered. Or the description of the position was changed when the best résumés appeared to be coming from applicants with right-of-center viewpoints. Or in which candidates were dismissed because of their association with conservative or libertarian institutions.
We’re shocked — shocked! — that universities are biased in that way. Klinghoffer takes that as the starting point for what you probably suspected was coming. He says:
That is all fine, as I say, and he’s of course right to push for fair consideration of “right-of-center viewpoints.” But I wonder where Hasnas (or for that matter the editors of the Wall Street Journal) would come down on the question of philosophical diversity when it bears on thinking about cosmic and biological origins.
Gasp — is there bias in academia regarding those subjects? Probably not in the philosophy department, where such discussions are appropriate. But Klinghoffer wants to extend the debate to other subjects. Let’s read on:
Because with debates on origins, the dividing line between the politically correct view (orthodox Darwinism) and the politically incorrect one (Darwin skepticism or intelligent design) is scientific only as a secondary matter. The divide begins with a difference of perspective on what kind of scientific conclusions are to be permitted in the first place.
There’s bias in science about what kind of conclusions are permitted? Of course there is — if hypotheses aren’t testable — at least in principle — they’re not science. Klinghoffer continues:
As the ultimate driver behind the story of life, may intelligence or creativity be considered — or must it be ruled out before investigations even commence? That’s not a scientific question — it’s a philosophical one. Maybe an aesthetic one. Even simply a matter of personal inclination.
If it’s primarily a philosophical or aesthetic issue, then it belongs in philosophy class. But the Discoveroids are always telling us that their “theory” of intelligent design is science. We’ve getting confused. Here’s more:
Advocates of ID insist there is no reason to exclude mind as an ultimate explanation behind the cosmos. For that, they are branded as thought criminals. On the other hand, for those who embrace the exclusionary principle, the scientific evidence must confirm a materialist understanding. The conclusion is built into the premise.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! All scientific evidence is “materialist.” That’s why science used to be called natural philosophy, because it deals only with what can be observed and tested. Alleged immaterial causes, like the Discoveroids’ transcendental designer — blessed be he! — are for philosophers to debate because they can’t be investigated scientifically. They’re totally outside of the scientific endeavor.
This is how Klinghoffer ends his little post:
I’ll regard the university faculty hiring system as healthy when even diversity on this question is regarded as a positive good. We’re a long way from that now.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Klinghoffer thinks universities should welcome preachers of Oogity Boogity into their science faculties. He’ll be waiting a long time for that kind of diversity to be regarded as a positive good. For now — and hopefully for a long time to come — it will be regarded as positively insane.
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