Return to Fahrenheit 451

A rather humorous (if it wasn’t so scary) story is being played out at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. It seems that the Discovery Institute, a group which promotes Intelligent Design, was scheduled to present a conference entitled “Darwin vs Design.” The event was co-sponsored by the University’s Christian Legal Society. However, some of the Darwinist professors wrote to the school’s administration, asking that the event be shut down. (In case you missed it, this is Southern Methodist University.)

As you would hope to expect, people charged the opposing faculty with attempted censorship. Opinion articles and letters have since been traded in the school’s newspaper, including two articles by some of the opposition faculty. Anthropology professor Ronald Wetherington first wrote a piece entitled Freedom of Speech vs. License in which he claims essentially that censorship is okay, as long as you can characterize the material as “license” rather than “free speech.” In other words, if you believe the point of view is wrong, you can censor it (although then it’s technically not censorship).

Subsequently, biology prof John Wise wrote an opinion piece that simply collapses the whole notion of free speech. Wise states, “It turns out that even scientists have a First Amendment guarantee to the right to express themselves, and not surprisingly, some of us even exercise this right.” See? It is okay to call for censorship of someone else’s opinion, because it’s just exercising your own freedom of speech…

For years, Christians have been accused (and often rightly so) of supporting the censorship of opposing viewpoints. History will show that often it is that opposing viewpoint that shatters the consensus notion of truth. The need to control the opposition is based in insecurity; otherwise, why bother? If the truth is so obvious, why get your boxers in a bunch?

It would seem that the tables have, or are being, turned. Why are Darwinists so seemingly afraid of Michael Behe and the other IDists? And, why resort to politics (censorship) as an escape, rather than simply restating truth?

Did I point out that this is happening at Southern Methodist University?

(thanks to Lawrence Selden for reporting this and providing the links to the SMU articles.)

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One Response to “Return to Fahrenheit 451”

  • Mike Haubrich Says:

    SMU, even as a University with a Methodist history has academic standards. The professors were mad because the Disco Institute was hosting the event at SMU as a subterfuge that they University was sponsoring the event. Disco was just renting space.

    The professors and scientists are not “afraid” of Behe. They are tired of continually having to explain how much he lies about science and the role of natural selection. Tell me, how much credence would a University be expected to give to an Alchemy conference?

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