AAUP Responds on Academic Freedom

Gary Rhoades at AAUP responded to my original post. My own response is below the fold. Dear Mr. Crowther, Apparently patience is not one of your stronger virtues, at least not in this case. If you were really interested in my response, or in the position of the AAUP, you might have had the courtesy to give me a reasonable amount of time to respond to your letter below (which came to me at 3:33p.m. EST today, whereas your posting below was 1:24 p.m today, though the time zone is not posted). Upon returning to my emails late this afternoon, after addressing some other pressing matters earlier in the afternoon, I come to find that you have already posted the Read More ›

How Not to Defend Free Will

Friday in Washington, D.C. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) hosted an event titled “Genes, Neuroscience, and Free Will.” The panel, which discussed whether new findings in neuroscience and genetics have destroyed our notion of free will, consisted of James Q. Wilson (Pepperdine), David Brooks (New York Times), Charles Murray (AEI), Sally Satel (AEI), and moderator Christina Hoff Sommers (AEI). I won’t bother to record the differing views of the panelists, for their differences were very few and very far between. Essentially, they all argued that we have an innate sense of free will and that findings in genetics and neuroscience have not undermined it because: (1) sure, genes determine behavior, but not 100%; often the environment contributes to our behavior Read More ›

The End of Morality

Recently, David Brooks published a column titled “The End of Philosophy” in The New York Times (April 7, 2009). Brooks, long one of the most thoughtful writers in public life, addresses an ages-old tension over whether reason controls our moral intuitions and passions, or whether moral intuition/feeling is king and reason is only rationalization. In the latter view, Brooks says,

University of Missouri Doctor Lectures on Design

It looks like CSC contributor Michael Egnor is not the only professor of medicine to stick his neck out for intelligent design and face severe personal attack. Dr. John Marshall of The University of Missouri–Columbia lectured this week on his own campus with the title “Intelligent Design: Is It Science or Religion?”

I stand corrected on David Brooks

Recently I shared my reading of David Brooks’ recent colum “The Age of Darwin.” The whole thing read like parody to me. I thought for sure that Brooks could not seriously write that, while we are generally post-modern people who are skeptical of metanarratives, we have and should abandon this view because Darwinism is the true metanarrative of life. I thought he was just pointing out the contradiction in academia between postmodern and Darwinian thought. With thanks to one ENV reader named Oleg, I stand corrected. I had forgotten that Mr. Brooks shared his views on Darwinism in The New Republic in 2005: