Stephen Meyer and Michael Medved Discuss Censorship In Science

On the Michael Medved’s “Science & Culture Update,” he and Stephen C. Meyer talk about censorship in science, and calls are taken challenging I.D. — much of which are straw-men positions. In other words, intelligent design is miss-defined and then this position [miss-defined] is attacked.

For more clear thinking like this from Michael Medved… I invite you to visit: http://www.michaelmedved.com/

Heather Mac Donald Writes an Exploratory Surgery on California`s UC System (Excerpt)

Multiculti U

by Heather Mac Donald

@The City Journal

….The first University of California campus opened in Berkeley in 1873, fulfilling a mandate of California’s 1849 constitution that the state establish a public university for the “promotion of literature, the arts and sciences.” Expectations for this new endeavor were high; Governor Henry Haight had predicted that the campus would “soon become a great light-house of education and learning on this Coast, and a pride and glory” of the state.

He was right. Over the next 140 years, as nine more campuses were added, the university would prove an engine for economic growth and a source of human progress. UC owns more research patents than any other university system in the country. Its engineers helped achieve California’s midcentury dominance in aerospace and electronics; its agronomists aided the state’s fecund farms and vineyards. The nuclear technology developed by UC scientists and their students secured America’s Cold War preeminence (while provoking one of the country’s most cataclysmic student protest movements). UC’s physical infrastructure is a precious asset in its own right. Anyone can wander its trellised gardens and groves of native and exotic trees, or browse its library stacks and superb research collections.

But by the early 1960s, UC was already exhibiting many of the problems that afflict it today. The bureaucracy had mushroomed, both at the flagship Berkeley campus and at the Office of the President, the central administrative unit that oversees the entire UC system. Nathan Glazer, who taught sociology at Berkeley at the time, wrote in Commentary in 1965: “Everyone—arriving faculty members, arriving deans, visiting authorities—is astonished by the size” of the two administrations. Glazer noted the emergence of a new professional class: full-time college administrators who specialized in student affairs, had never taught, and had little contact with the faculty. The result of this bureaucratic explosion reminded Glazer of the federal government: “Organization piled upon organization, reaching to a mysterious empyrean height.”

At Berkeley, as federal research money flooded into the campus, the faculty were losing interest in undergraduate teaching, observed Clark Kerr, UC’s president and a former Berkeley chancellor. (Kerr once famously quipped that a chancellor’s job was to provide “parking for the faculty, sex for the students, and athletics for the alumni.”) Back in the 1930s, responsibility for introductory freshman courses had been the highest honor that a Berkeley professor could receive, Kerr wrote in his memoirs; 30 years later, the faculty shunted off such obligations whenever possible to teaching assistants, who, by 1964, made up nearly half the Berkeley teaching corps.

Most presciently, Kerr noted that Berkeley had split into two parts: Berkeley One, an important academic institution with a continuous lineage back to the nineteenth century; and Berkeley Two, a recent political upstart centered on the antiwar, antiauthority Free Speech Movement that had occupied Sproul Plaza in 1964. Berkeley Two was as connected to the city’s left-wing political class and to its growing colony of “street people” as it was to the traditional academic life of the campus. In fact, the two Berkeleys had few points of overlap.

Today, echoing Kerr, we can say that there are two Universities of California: UC One, a serious university system centered on the sciences (though with representatives throughout the disciplines) and still characterized by rigorous meritocratic standards; and UC Two, a profoundly unserious institution dedicated to the all-consuming crusade against phantom racism and sexism that goes by the name of “diversity.” Unlike Berkeley Two in Kerr’s Day, UC Two reaches to the topmost echelon of the university, where it poses a real threat to the integrity of its high-achieving counterpart….

[….]

….Yet when UC Two’s administrators and professors look around their domains, they see a landscape riven by the discrimination that it is their duty to extirpate.

Thus it was that UC San Diego’s electrical and computer engineering department found itself facing a mandate from campus administrators to hire a fourth female professor in early 2012. The possibility of a new hire had opened up—a rare opportunity in the current budget climate—and after winnowing down hundreds of applicants, the department put forward its top candidates for on-campus interviews. Scandalously, all were male. Word came down from on high that a female applicant who hadn’t even been close to making the initial cut must be interviewed. She was duly brought to campus for an interview, but she got mediocre reviews. The powers-that-be then spoke again: her candidacy must be brought to a departmental vote. In an unprecedented assertion of secrecy, the department chair refused to disclose the vote’s outcome and insisted on a second ballot. After that second vote, the authorities finally gave up and dropped her candidacy. Both vote counts remain secret.

An electrical and computer engineering professor explains what was at stake. “We pride ourselves on being the best,” he says. “The faculty know that absolute ranking is critical. No one had ever considered this woman a star.” You would think that UC’s administrators would value this fierce desire for excellence, especially in a time of limited resources. Thanks to its commitment to hiring only “the best,” San Diego’s electrical and computer engineering department has made leading contributions to circuit design, digital coding, and information theory.

Maria Sobek, UC Santa Barbara’s associate vice chancellor for diversity, equity, and academic policy and a professor of Chicana and Chicano studies, provides a window into how UC Two thinks about its mission. If a faculty hiring committee selects only white male finalists for an opening, the dean will suggest “bringing in some women to look them over,” Sobek says. These female candidates, she says, “may be borderline, but they are all qualified.” And voilà! “It turns out [the hiring committees] really like the candidates and hire them, even if they may not have looked so good on paper.” This process has “energized” the faculty to hire a woman, says Sobek. She adds that diversity interventions get “more positive responses” from humanities and social-sciences professors than from scientists.

Leave aside Sobek’s amusing suggestion that the faculty just happen to discover that they “really like” the diversity candidate whom the administration has forced on them. More disturbing is the subversion of the usual hiring standard from “most qualified” to “qualified enough.” UC Two sets the hiring bar low enough to scoop in some female or minority candidates, and then declares that anyone above that bar is “qualified enough” to trump the most qualified candidate, if that candidate is a white or an Asian male. This is a formula for mediocrity.

Sometimes, UC Two can’t manage to lower hiring standards enough to scoop in a “diverse” candidate. In that case, it simply creates a special hiring category outside the normal channels. In September 2012, after the meritocratic revolt in UC San Diego’s electrical and computer engineering department, the engineering school announced that it would hire an “excellence” candidate, the school’s Orwellian term for faculty who, it claims, will contribute to diversity and who, by some odd coincidence, always happen to be female or an underrepresented minority. UC San Diego’s Division of Physical Sciences followed suit the next month, listing two tenure-track positions for professors who could “shape and expand the University’s diversity initiatives.” If the division had any specific scientific expertise in mind, the job listing made no mention of it….

[….]

….The UC undergraduates whom I met in 2012 were serious, self-directed, and mature. But they are ill-served by a system that devotes so many resources to political trivia. UC Two’s diversity obsessions have no place in an institution dedicated to the development of knowledge. No one today asks whether the Berkeley physics laboratory that developed the cyclotron had a sufficient quota of women and underrepresented minorities; the beneficiaries of nuclear medicine are simply happy to be treated.

The retirement of President Yudof in summer 2013 provides an opportunity for an overdue course correction. Unfortunately, it is doubtful that anyone will seize it. Every potential countervailing force to UC Two has already been captured by UC Two’s own ideology. The California legislature is as strong an advocate for specious social-justice crusades as any vice chancellor for equity and inclusion. The regents have been unanimous cheerleaders for “diversity” and will run all presidential candidates through a predictable gauntlet of diversity interrogation. For more than a decade, the federal government has used its grant-making power to demand color- and gender-driven hiring in the sciences. UC One’s passion for discovery and learning will fuel it for a long time yet, but it will continue to be weakened severely by UC Two.

…READ IT ALL…

 

 

Social Sciences Skewed by `Lifestyle Liberalism` ~ Dennis Prager Discusses George Will`s Column on Same-Sex Marriage

From George Will’s column which Prager cites in the audio above:

…A brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court concerning the California case by conservative professors Leon Kass and Harvey Mansfield and the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy warns that “the social and behavioral sciences have a long history of being shaped and driven by politics and ideology.” And research about, for example, the stability of same-sex marriages or child rearing by same-sex couples is “radically inconclusive” because these are recent phenomena and they provide a small sample from which to conclude that these innovations will be benign.

Unlike the physical sciences, the social sciences can rarely settle questions using “controlled and replicable experiments.” Today “there neither are nor could possibly be any scientifically valid studies from which to predict the effects of a family structure that is so new and so rare.”

Hence there can be no “scientific basis for constitutionalizing same-sex marriage.”

The brief does not argue against same-sex marriage as social policy, other than by counseling caution about altering foundational social institutions when guidance from social science is as yet impossible. The brief is a pre-emptive refutation of inappropriate invocations of spurious social science by supporters of same-sex marriage. For example, a district court cited Dr. Michael Lamb, a specialist in child development, asserting that the “gender of a child’s parent is not a factor in a child’s adjustment” and that “having both a male and female parent does not increase the likelihood that a child will be well-adjusted.”

The conservatives’ brief notes that, testifying in the trial court, Lamb “had conceded that his own published research concluded that growing up without fathers had significant negative effects on boys” and that considerable research indicates “that traditional opposite-sex biological parents appear in general to produce better outcomes for their children than other family structures do.”

The brief is replete with examples of misleading argumentation using data not drawn from studies satisfying “the scientific standard of comparing large random samples with appropriate control samples.” The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a distinguished social scientist, said the “pronounced” liberal orientation of the social sciences is “well established” and explainable: “Social scientists are frequently caught up in the politics which their work necessarily involves” because social science “attracts persons whose interests are in shaping the future.”

This helps explain why “Brandeis briefs” have shaped American law. Before joining the Supreme Court, Louis Brandeis defended constitutional challenges to progressive legislation by using briefs stressing social science data, or what purported to be such, rather than legal arguments. He advanced his political agenda by bald assertions inexcusable even given the limited scientific knowledge of the time. For example, in his 1908 defense of an Oregon law restricting the number of hours women could work, he said “there is more water” in women’s than in men’s blood and women’s knees are constructed differently.

Since Moynihan wrote the above in 1979, the politicization of the social sciences has become even more pronounced, particularly in matters of “lifestyle liberalism.”

Hence the need for judicial wariness about social science that purports to prove propositions — e.g., that same-sex marriage is, or is not, harmful to children or society — for which there cannot yet be decisive evidence.

…read more…

`School Made Me Do It`? Convicted Killer Says He Shot 3 White Women Because of Ideas Learned at University

(H/T Christian Huber) Via The Blaze:

Former security guard Nkosi Thandiwe was found guilty of murdering a woman and wounding two others during a shooting spree in July of 2011 and has been sentenced to life without parole, CBS Atlanta reports.

He confessed to the crimes during his testimony last week, adding some chilling details about his motivation. And prosecutors argued that Thandiwe was fueled by racist hate against whites.

“My mind was blank at the time,” he said — but he still remembers what prompted the violence by his own twisted rationale.  He cited anti-white ideas he learned at university.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has all the information:

During his testimony Wednesday, Thandiwe suggested that his reason for even purchasing the gun he used in the shootings was to enforce beliefs he’d developed about white people during his later years as an anthropology major at the University of West Georgia.

“I was trying to prove a point that Europeans had colonized the world, and as a result of that, we see a lot of evil today,” he said. “In terms of slavery, it was something that needed to be answered for. I was trying to spread the message of making white people mend.”

He said the night before the shooting, he attended a so-called “Peace Party” intended to address his concerns about helping the black community find equal footing, but two white people were there.

“I was upset,” Thandiwe said. “I was still upset Friday. I took the gun to work because I was still upset from Thursday night.”

He even admitted to earlier that day getting angry enough on the job to shoot his supervisor.

“What my boss said to me …,” he told the jury, “that rage almost made me pull out my gun on him.”  [Emphasis added]

Moonbattery comments on this case:

…Thandiwe took the liberal propaganda the entire country has been marinating in for decades at face value. Like Colin Ferguson, he was sufficiently unstable to be set onto a maniacal killing spree by the vile poison of politically correct ideology.

A Marine Capt., Timothy Kudo, Obfuscates Ethics/Just War as Well As Moral and Biblical Categories ~ Dennis Prager

Video Description:

Of course higher education and the legacy media play a damning role in this Marines fallacious thinking. But ultimately the onus is on him to look into this matter. I wish it were before the article, but better late than never, let us hope. Capt. Kudo’s article can be found here:  — no “kudos” for him however.

For more clear thinking like this from Dennis Prager… I invite you to visit: http://www.dennisprager.com/

Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate by Whiteboard Videos

Video Description:

For over a generation, shocking cases of censorship at America’s colleges and universities have taught students the wrong lessons about living in a free society. This video explains how higher education fails to teach its students to become critical thinkers by supercharging ideological divisions, promoting groupthink, and encouraging an unscholarly certainty about complex issues.

For more on this issue, read Greg Lukianoff’s new book Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate.

Visit www.unlearningliberty.com

Dennis Prager Comments on Heather Mac Donald’s Article About Racism In Education

In a must read article, “Undisciplined: The Obama administration undermines classroom order in pursuit of phantom racism,” Heather Mac Donald lays out how teachers are being blamed for racism rather than the parents and students and culture for misbehavior.

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…Black elementary and high school students are disciplined at a higher rate than whites are. To Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, that disparity can mean only one thing: schools [teachers] are discriminating… (The fact that white boys were over two times as likely to be suspended as Asian and Pacific Islander boys was discreetly ignored, though it would seem to imply antiwhite bias as well.)…

…The feds have reached their conclusions, however, without answering the obvious question: Are black students suspended more often because they misbehave more? Arne Duncan, of all people, should be aware of inner-city students’ self-discipline problems, having headed the Chicago school system before becoming secretary of education. Chicago’s minority youth murder one another with abandon. Since 2008, more than 530 people under the age of 21 have been killed in the city, mostly by their peers, according to the Chicago Reporter; virtually all the perpetrators were black or Hispanic. In 2009, the widely publicized beating death of 16-year-old Derrion Albert by his fellow students sent Duncan hurrying back to the Windy City, accompanied by Attorney General Eric Holder, to try to contain the fallout in advance of Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics (see “Chicago’s Real Crime Story,” Winter 2010). Between September 2011 and February 2012, 25 times more black Chicago students than white ones were arrested at school, mostly for battery; black students outnumbered whites by four to one. (In response to the inevitable outcry over the arrest data, a Chicago teacher commented: “I feel bad for kids being arrested, . . . but I feel worse seeing a kid get his head smashed on the floor and almost die. Or a teacher being threatened with his life.”) So when Duncan lamented, upon the release of the 2012 discipline report, that “some of the worst [discipline] discrepancies are in my hometown of Chicago,” one could only ask: What does he expect?

Nationally, the picture is no better. The homicide rate among males between the ages of 14 and 17 is nearly ten times higher for blacks than for whites and Hispanics combined. Such data make no impact on the Obama administration and its orbiting advocates, who apparently believe that the lack of self-control and socialization that results in this disproportionate criminal violence does not manifest itself in classroom comportment as well….

The following comes from a post on Trayvon Martin, via Larry Elder:

….True, black men, especially young ones, stand a much greater chance of being murdered than white males. But almost all murders involve a victim and a killer of the same race. Yes, instances of black-white murder — as, for example, when James Byrd, a black man of Jasper, Texas, was dragged to his death by three white men — do exist.  But nationally, according to the Department of Justice, 53 percent of known homicide suspects in 2010 were identified as black – although blacks comprise only 13 percent of the population. And in murders involving a single black victim and a single offender, 90 percent of the time it is a black perpetrator who murders the black victim. Similarly, 83 percent of whites are murdered by other whites.

What happened in Sanford, Fla. — a white person killing a black person — is extremely infrequent, occurring in 8 percent of black homicides. In saying “blacks are under attack,” Jackson paints a picture of whites targeting and hunting down black males….