Subject: C'ism = science @ SFSU ?
Organization: California State University, Sacramento
From: email@example.com (Kathleen Anderson)
(Hmmm...I'm new here so I hope this works out...)
I may have missed any note of it, but are you aware of the current
controversy at San Francisco State University?
A longtime professor of biology has been removed from teaching a
non-majors's biology class (Bio 100) because of his inclusion of
"intelligent design" in the class curriculum.
The professor has challenged his reassignment on the ground of
violation of his academic freedom, and indeed, SFSU's Academic
Freedom Committee has taken up his cause and is pressing for his
reinstatement. The Dept. of Biology and the Div. of Science has
refused to reinstate him, and now the Academic Senate has the
issue under discussion.
Now a national body (American Association of University Professors,
I think), has taken up the professor's cause, and suggests that SFSU's
removal of the professor from the course may be grounds for their
blacklisting of SFSU for its (presumed) violation of academic freedom.
I'm just a student, but it seems painfully obvious to me that
(1) creationism is not science, since it is neither testable nor
falsifiable, and (2) a science classroom is for the teaching of science,
not philosophy, so I am having trouble understanding all the
organizational support being given to the errant professor. Is my
analysis overly simplistic? Perhaps someone could enlighten me.
Also, what would the ramifications be of a blacklisting by AAUP?
Would / should anyone care?
Most of the above information came from the "Golden Gater," SFSU's
student paper, whose position varies from pretty much agreeing with
mine (editorial) to saying that since a lot of students feel this is
a free speech or academic freedom issue, the professor ought to be
able to teach whatever he likes. (Would this extend to spontaneous
generation, the-holocaust-did-not-happen, Mars is peopled with
little green men?)
I feel very strongly about this issue, since it represents "truth"
in the Ed Rickettsian sense, and also epitomizes the intellectual
fuzziness so rampant these days; creationism is not science, and
neither does it straddle the line between philosophy and science,
but my position seems to be losing ground, at least at SFSU.
Kathleen Anderson "Until the lions have their historians,
firstname.lastname@example.org tales of hunting will always glorify the hunter."
- African proverb