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Update: Were All UCSD Freshmen Required to Attend Pennock Lecture?

(Editors Note: This Post Was Revised and Updated on November 28, 2006):

Some people have contacted me insisting that not all freshmen were required to attend the lecture by Robert Pennock at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) (first discussed here). In this regard, consider the following points:

  • I have posted a screen shot at which clearly stated on the main UCSD student website (called Tritonlink) that “All first-quarter freshmen are required to attend the event.” To my knowledge UCSD has not issued any statements retracting or changing this announcement.
  • I have been presented with no credible evidence that the official UCSD student website statement was incorrect. A 6th College web page did state that “first quarter CAT students” in the 6th College at UCSD were “required to attend.” But a statement that first-quarter freshmen in the 6th College of UCSD were required to attend the Pennock lecture doesn’t mean that other freshmen were not also required to attend.
  • I’ve contacted two people who helped organize Pennock’s lecture and neither were able to confirm the claims that the UCSD website announcement was wrong.

On a related matter, it seems that I misunderstood Ed Brayton’s recent report on his experience with Robert Pennock, where I thought Brayton provided further corroboration that the UCSD lecture was required of all first-quarter freshmen. Brayton has responded that he has no independent information that the UCSD lecture required all freshman to attend other than my original post. So I have retracted my prior post here on Brayton.

It’s interesting that certain Darwinists seem obsessed to prove that the Pennock lecture wasn’t required for all students. Maybe that’s because even they understand–at least subconsciously–the problem of imposing such one-sided indoctrination on students at a taxpayer-funded university. In any case, whether all first-quarter freshmen at UCSD were required to attend (as stated on the UCSD website), or merely first-quarter freshmen in the 6th College at UCSD , the problem is the same: Students at a state university who are compelled to attend a one-sided polemic against intelligent design without being afforded the opportunity to hear the other side of the debate are being subjected to indoctrination, not education.

Casey Luskin

Associate Director, Center for Science and Culture
Casey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.



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