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Prof opposes “infantizing” college students, but…

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… it turns out that he mainly means the ones from religious families:

TPP’s basic philosophy was that while you are entitled to your beliefs you are not entitled to avoid discomforting or contradictory ideas, you are not entitled to a free-pass when it comes to a critical analysis of beliefs like yours (individuals were never picked on). After all this is about education. These days parents and students still want the higher education passport, a degree, to jobs and careers, but the current attitude is that when parents present you with a narrow-minded, anti-science, parochial, self-satisified, entitled little twerp, the twerp is to be returned in the same condition, which seems totally antithetic to higher education. Apparently though business schools are pretty good at doing this; the sciences and humanities not so much. Our administrators, protectors of quality higher education all, give faculty advice about providing trigger warnings and the rules to follow if students want to “opt-out” of discomforting parts of your courses, so religious students can avoid learning about evolution. The only way to do this in TPP’s opinion is to not take biology at all and yes, medical schools may object, at least so far. This is all the more troubling because one of the few things where the old USA was really number one was in the size and affordability of our public education system, and the way basic research and scholarship was encouraged. This system is being dismantled as fast as anti-education people can go; under fund it, restrict research areas and support, destroy shared governance, take away academic freedom, and weaken tenure. Apparently many in our country no longer value the ability to think, the ability to understand that bumper sticker slogans are not thoughtful foreign policy nor good education. More.

We would be happy to extend the opportunity the prof offers to all the little twerps, including the Darwin twerps. In fact, we’ve been doing it for free. See Talk to the fossils: Let’s see what they say back

But would that suit the prof?

Unfortunately, the prof’s “Quote of Note” at the page is

Scepticism is an essential part of scientific endeavour. It demands all claims are treated as unproven until evidence and experience either confirm or falsify them. Denialism, by contrast, is the stubborn and persistent refusal to acknowledge what the evidence shows beyond all reasonable doubt.” – Ophelia Benson

Trouble is, one wonders whether these fightin’ words apply to an opinion to which the prof himself is strongly attached.

Or possibly, whatever theories he holds have evidence and experience to “either confirm or falsify them,” but the doubts that some of us less committed ones experience are mere “denialism” … Hey, it happens, especially in the vicinity of bully pulpits.

Maybe someone who knows The Phyto Phactor (Joseph Armstrong, Professor of Botany, Illinois State University), and has studied with him can say whether this is a fair assessment. We sure hope it’s not. The war on the mind is well advanced in many areas. We need serious proponents of evidence-based thinking.

Perhaps he will clarify the point.

We also wish that he would discover the hard return key [ENTER, middle row, far right on QWERTIOUP].

And that the university’s English Department hadn’t collapsed in a heap of self-absorbed nittery. There he could learn that the correct word is “infantilizing,” not “infantizing.” It’s a small point, we know, but one can’t “infantize” a human being without reversing the arrow of time. One can however, as he says, “infantilize” the person, that is, make him functionally equivalent to an infant without reversing the arrow. That’s the preferred approach because the physics is less complex…

See also: How trigger warnings are hurting mental health on campus

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Hat tip: Pos-Darwinista

4 Replies to “Prof opposes “infantizing” college students, but…

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “Apparently many in our country no longer value the ability to think,”

    such as say neo-Darwinian Darwinbots who have completely lost their mind to begin with?

    Photo – an atheist contemplating his own mind

    ” Hawking’s entire argument is built upon theism. He is, as Cornelius Van Til put it, like the child who must climb up onto his father’s lap into order to slap his face.
    Take that part about the “human mind” for example. Under atheism there is no such thing as a mind. There is no such thing as understanding and no such thing as truth. All (Stephen) Hawking is left with is a box, called a skull, which contains a bunch of molecules.
    Hawking needs God in order to deny Him.”
    – Cornelius Hunter –

    1984 – Apple commercial

    i.e. cookie cutter Darwinbots who have no mind to think with in the first place?

    Darwin’s Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails – Nancy Pearcey – April 23, 2015
    Excerpt: This is an amazing case of Orwellian doublethink. Minsky says people are “forced to maintain” the conviction of free will, even when their own worldview tells them that “it’s false.”
    When I teach these concepts in the classroom, an example my students find especially poignant is Flesh and Machines by Rodney Brooks, professor emeritus at MIT. Brooks writes that a human being is nothing but a machine — a “big bag of skin full of biomolecules” interacting by the laws of physics and chemistry. In ordinary life, of course, it is difficult to actually see people that way. But, he says, “When I look at my children, I can, when I force myself, … see that they are machines.”
    Is that how he treats them, though? Of course not: “That is not how I treat them…. I interact with them on an entirely different level. They have my unconditional love, the furthest one might be able to get from rational analysis.” Certainly if what counts as “rational” is a materialist worldview in which humans are machines, then loving your children is irrational. It has no basis
    within Brooks’s worldview. It sticks out of his box.
    How does he reconcile such a heart-wrenching cognitive dissonance? He doesn’t. Brooks ends by saying, “I maintain two sets of inconsistent beliefs.” He has given up on any attempt to reconcile his theory with his experience. He has abandoned all hope for a unified, logically consistent worldview.

    Moreover, Darwinian evolution is far less important to understanding biology than the good Darwinbot Professor seems to realize?

    “Certainly, my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution. Nor did Alexander Fleming’s discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin. I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin’s theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: No.,,, In the peer-reviewed literature, the word “evolution” often occurs as a sort of coda to academic papers in experimental biology. Is the term integral or superfluous to the substance of these papers? To find out, I substituted for “evolution” some other word – “Buddhism,” “Aztec cosmology,” or even “creationism.” I found that the substitution never touched the paper’s core. This did not surprise me. From my conversations with leading researchers it had became clear that modern experimental biology gains its strength from the availability of new instruments and methodologies, not from an immersion in historical biology.”
    Philip S. Skell – (the late) Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

    “In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, and physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all.”
    Marc Kirschner, Boston Globe, Oct. 23, 2005

    “While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”, most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas. Evolution would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superflous one.”
    A.S. Wilkins, editor of the journal BioEssays, Introduction to “Evolutionary Processes” – (2000).

    In fact, with no rigid mathematical basis, nor real time empirical support of even a single protein being created by Darwinian processes, it really is a stretch to even call Darwinism a proper science in the first place. In fact, it should, IMHO, be classified as a pseudo-science alongside tea leaf reading.

    Anti-Science Irony
    Excerpt: In response to a letter from Asa Gray, professor of biology at Harvard University, Darwin declared: “I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science.”
    When questioned further by Gray, Darwin confirmed Gray’s suspicions: “What you hint at generally is very, very true: that my work is grievously hypothetical, and large parts are by no means worthy of being called induction.” Darwin had turned against the use of scientific principles in developing his theory of evolution.

    An Early Critique of Darwin Warned of a Lower Grade of Degradation – Cornelius Hunter – Dec. 22, 2012
    Excerpt: “Many of your wide conclusions are based upon assumptions which can neither be proved nor disproved. Why then express them in the language & arrangements of philosophical induction?” (Sedgwick to Darwin – 1859),,,
    And anticipating the fixity-of-species strawman, Sedgwick explained to the Sage of Kent (Darwin) that he had conflated the observable fact of change of time (development) with the explanation of how it came about. Everyone agreed on development, but the key question of its causes and mechanisms remained. Darwin had used the former as a sort of proof of a particular explanation for the latter. “We all admit development as a fact of history;” explained Sedgwick, “but how came it about?”,,,
    For Darwin, warned Sedgwick, had made claims well beyond the limits of science. Darwin issued truths that were not likely ever to be found anywhere “but in the fertile womb of man’s imagination.”
    The fertile womb of man’s imagination. What a cogent summary of evolutionary theory. Sedgwick made more correct predictions in his short letter than all the volumes of evolutionary literature to come.

    Sedgwick to Darwin
    “…I have read your book with more pain than pleasure. Parts of it I admired greatly, parts I laughed at till my sides were almost sore; other parts I read with absolute sorrow, because I think them utterly false and grievously mischievous.”
    Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873) – one of the founders of modern geology. – The Spectator, 1860

    As to being in willful denial of reality, I would ask the good Professor Darwinbot to take a good look in the mirror:

    “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved. It might be thought, therefore, that evolutionary arguments would play a large part in guiding biological research, but this is far from the case. It is difficult enough to study what is happening now. To figure out exactly what happened in evolution is even more difficult. Thus evolutionary achievements can be used as hints to suggest possible lines of research, but it is highly dangerous to trust them too much. It is all too easy to make mistaken inferences unless the process involved is already very well understood.”
    Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit (1988)

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:


    Perhaps our good professor should contemplate Lewontin’s views:

    . . . to put a correct view of the universe into people’s heads [==> as in, “we” have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge] we must first get an incorrect view out [–> as in, if you disagree with “us” of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations,

    [ –> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying “our” elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to “fix” the widespread mental disease]

    and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth

    [–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]

    . . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [–> “we” are the dominant elites], it is self-evident

    [–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]

    that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [–> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [–> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is “quote-mined” I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]

    The problem here is that too often under false colours of education, we actually have indoctrination in materialism dressed up in a lab coat, complete with anti-theistic apologetics and anti-Christian bigotry.


  3. 3
    Robert Byers says:

    He is wrong on so much.
    Attacking peoples faith is not morally or legally right in a nation with a separation clause.
    If they allowed both sides then maybe after a vote.
    its unlikely many people avoid ideas opposed to creationism. this is a myth.
    If creationists confronted these kids with creationism there would be instent legal censorship.
    biology has nothing to do with evolution. its just about claims on unobserved not happening today origins of biology that rightly is irrelevant to any biology course.
    Evolution biology is about history and not modern processes in action.
    They just want perfect control over authority in what is taught to kids.
    You can’t complain about kids avoiding criticism of cherished beliefs when they don’t allow criticism of the BOSSES cherished beliefs.

  4. 4
    Visitor51 says:

    I think that we have to fight for academic freedom. My friend and I has started best essay company review online years ago. We have seen so many students who have other beliefs than their education facility wants them to have, looking for help. They refuse to write all of these insane papers (well, according to their life views, they are insane) or commit to something that do not like. I know you can meet interests of everyone, but saying what to believe in is also wrong.

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