Grey Thoughts
Evolution - Academic Freedom and Spin
David over at He Lives has a very informative post about a recent violation of academic freedom at Ohio State University. I have been hearing a bit about this for a whilst, and it is good to see someone actually addressing some of the 'spin' that is coming out from evolutionists about how this is just a case of having an inappropriate thesis committee.

David makes a very good case that this is more about a zealous belief in evolution as truth than a procedural problem.
Commenting on my criticism of the premature designation of substandard, another commenter on Myers's blog rose to his defense, writing (comment #15):

Proposing a program of science education based on non-scientific concepts IS prima facie evidence of doing "substandard work". He was obviously ignoring actual DATA that invalidated his thesis.

Which I think rather nicely sums up what is going on here. Leonard has the audacity to write a thesis that questions evolution's claim of unassailability on all fronts. He must not be allowed to pass, under any circumstances, no need to bother with the incovenience of reading his thesis.

A further, insightful OSU faculty complaint from the Inside Higher Ed article

…objected both to the idea that Ohio State appeared to be on the verge of awarding a Ph.D. for work questioning evolution.

No, we can't have any questioning of evolution. Slash. Burn. Fail. Then shout, over and over, this has nothing to do with academic freedom.

Yup. It is another case of anyone who doubts evolution MUST be wrong. Add this into the same boat as 'creationist and ID people do no publish in peer reviewed journals', because it is the same thing...No questioning of evolution is allowed, and so the question is not the standard of work, but merely whether it supports evolution.
The "academic freedom" which was assaulted was that of any child taught the claptrap in the experimental portion of Mr. Leonard's experiment, apparently without the approval of their parents or the approval of the human research subject panel at Ohio State University.

If anything, Mr. Leonard was granted way too much "academic freedom." Someone should have reined in his project and held him to real standards of academic ethics and excellence years before.
If Mr. Leonard wishes to question any claim in evolution, he may do so in observations in the field, or in laboratory experiments. Then he can write up the results and publish them so the world may know.

However, having failed to do the work to provide the background that questions the theory, it is unethical to teach innocent children that the work HAS been done and the questions raised.

Mr. Leonard is free to question the theory -- no one contests that. He does not do that, however.

Stick to the facts.
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