Unsettled Science; Free Scientific Inquiry Shouldn't Be Squelched by Political Correctness

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 29, 2013 | Go to article overview

Unsettled Science; Free Scientific Inquiry Shouldn't Be Squelched by Political Correctness


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The need for scientific inquiry is over, according to those who insist matters that are settled aren't worthy of exploration. This is what passes for thoughtfulness in higher education today.

At Ball State University in Indiana, for example, anti-religion activists are irritated that physics and astronomy professor Eric Hedin presented intelligent design in his classroom as a plausible theory of origins. The basic gist was that mankind and the universe did not spring forth out of a series of wholly random events and that some higher power guided the process.

Sociologist-turned-college president Jo Ann Gora doesn't want such a possibility ever discussed in a Ball State classroom. Teaching intelligent design as a scientific theory is not a matter of academic freedom, she wrote in a July 31 letter to faculty. It is an issue of academic integrity. As I noted, the scientific community has overwhelmingly rejected intelligent design as a scientific theory.

Progress depends on challenging the conventional wisdom. Most of the ancient world looked at the sky and assumed it was obvious that the universe revolved around the Earth. In the 16th century, Copernicus said, no, the common belief was wrong and the planets, including Earth, revolve around the sun. A century later, Newton explained how gravity made it all work, which was accepted until Einstein came along with his breakthrough theory of relativity. …

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Unsettled Science; Free Scientific Inquiry Shouldn't Be Squelched by Political Correctness
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