Surviving Intolerance in Academia
(Investigator 175, 2017 July)
The fact of ghettoizing and outright persecution of persons who have
scientific concerns about Darwinism, and are out-of-the-closet, has
been well-documented in the United States and other countries (Bergman,
Former Assistant Secretary of State, Kim Holmes, in a study of American
Universities, wrote that college administrators “impose limits against
Christian and conservative groups, enforcing a double standard of
scrutiny” compared to non-Christians and liberals (Holmes, 1996, p.
164). For example, University of Michigan Ph.D., Professor Marvin
Olasky, advises students to face the fact that some
feminists, and other “-ists” are totalitarians who get pleasure out of
making omelets by cracking student eggs. As a student, you’re in a
position of weakness, so discretion in this instance may be valorous:
Don’t take the course. If you have no alternative, hold on to all your
papers and essay tests, and—when confronting totalitarians—tape what
goes on in the classroom or in professor/student conferences. If you
can’t win internally, you might be able to apply external pressure
through conservative journalists (Olasky, 2016b, p. 64).
Olasky adds that Christians and conservatives have been saying for
decades that “the leftism of most college professors doesn’t matter:
Students weren’t paying attention. This year we’ve found that many have
paid attention. The evidence: Socialist Bernie Sanders overwhelmingly
won the votes of millennial college graduates” (Olasky, 2016a, p. 64).
Olasky also quoted the new book Passing on the Right: Conservative
Professors in the Progressive University in support of his conclusion.
This book, published by Oxford University Press, carefully documents
a sad picture of
academic bias and conservative cowardice at major universities …
quotations from numerous closeted right-of-center professors tell the
story. Here are some: “I just bite my tongue. …I just deliberately lie.
…I learned I should keep my mouth shut. …It is dangerous to even think
[a conservative thought] when I’m on campus, because it might come out
of my mouth. …[It’s] exhausting. …You’re not greeted, your greeting
isn’t returned in the hall, graduate students are urged not to work
with you” (Olasky, 2016a, p. 64).
Aside from Darwin Doubters, the
professors seem to have it the worst: “If some people saw me coming,
they’d walk the other way.” A pro-life literature professor at a large
state university had to do some quick thinking when a colleague spotted
the bumper sticker on a car he drove: “Abortion Stops a Beating Heart.”
News of the heresy spread through the department, but the professor
partially saved himself by saying: “It’s my wife’s car. I would never
in a moment think that as a male I could tell my wife what [to do]”
(Olasky, 2016a, p. 64).
The fact is “Among academics, the pressure to conform is insidious… a
2015 report of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)
organization finds that policies severely restrict students’ right to
free speech at over half of the 437 universities it surveyed.” (Holmes,
2016, p. 164) The same is true of professors’ freedom of speech.
Although exceptions occur, “conservatives who publish still perish.” If
they manage to survive, they
often receive lower
wages than their liberal counterparts. Even nice guys finish last: One
professor said, “I really thought that if one spoke in a civil way
[and] introduced points of view that were underrepresented in the
academy, that you would get some credit for that. You don’t get any
credit for that.” What’s a conservative or Christian professor to do?
One solution is to hide as a graduate student to get a job, hide as an
assistant professor to get tenure, hide as an associate professor to
get a full professorship, and hide as a full professor to get an
endowed chair. But that’s no way to live—and once you start it’s hard
to stop (Olasky, 2016a, p. 64).
In another case, Professors Shields and Dunn quote a literature
professor who observed that professors
who hide on the road to
a full professorship have “fifteen years of acculturation into
cowardice and furtiveness. Suddenly you’re 38 years old and now you’re
going to be bold? It doesn’t happen. People are tired. They have kids.
They’ve got bills to pay. They want life to be nice.” The authors offer
modest suggestions. They say “liberal professors and the administrators
of universities should make it clear that they welcome conservative
perspectives.” But many don’t welcome conservative perspectives, and if
they did, their socialist colleagues would harass them. Organizations
with self-perpetuating boards of directors can readily become corrupt.
Most university faculties are self-perpetuating. Many are rancid
(Olasky, 2016a, p. 64).
The antagonism is also shown in the following section of an article
titled “The Twenty Greatest Blunders in Science in the Last Twenty
Years.” One blunder the author lists is not to teach Darwinism as an
undisputed fact. He defined evolution as progressing from molecules to
man by natural selection selecting variations in life forms caused by
damage to the genome called mutations. The article starts out by noting
that, in 1995 Colorado students would no longer
be tested on evolution,
Charles Darwin’s theory that, through an endless series of genetic
mutations, we all developed from single-celled organisms. “I believe in
divine creation,” said Clair Orr, Colorado’s Chairman of the state’s
Board of Education (Newman, 2000, p. 83, emphasis added).
Newman added that “Kansas removed evolutionary theory from its tests in
1999. Mississippi and Tennessee do not teach the subject at all, and
curricula in Florida and South Carolina touch on it only lightly.”
Mocking this fact, she added that, in view of
the trend of treating
all theories of how we got here [i.e. human origins] as equal, Marc
Abrahams, of Annals of Improbability Research, has a suggestion: Why
not teach the theory of Chonosuke Okamura, a Japanese paleontologist
who became convinced that patterns of water seepage in rocks were
“mini-fossils” and that life was descended from mini-horses, mini-cows,
and mini-dragons. “It’s kind of like forming an evolutionary theory out
of cloud formations,” says Abrahams (Holmes, 2000, p. 83).
My response is that teaching other creation stories is an excellent
idea because it will allow students to contrast the Genesis account
with the other creation accounts. Students will soon see the enormous
contrast between the two accounts of creation and realize that Genesis
does not contain mythical stories such as turtles holding up the earth,
nor creation by one god tearing another apart and creating the sun,
moon and earth from the body parts as do some of the other creation
accounts (Bergman, 2016). Genesis is a straight forward list of the
creation events, void of turtles, body parts, and other claims common
in most creation stories.
Bergman, Jerry 2016. Silencing the
Darwin Skeptics. Southworth, WA: Leafcutter Press.
Holmes, Kim. 2016. The Closing of the Liberal Mind. New York:
Newman, Judith. 2000. “Twenty of the Greatest Blunders in Science in
the Last Twenty Years.” Discover,
Olasky, Marvin. 2016a. “Hiding in Higher Ed: Christians and
Conservatives in the Academic Closet.” World Magazine, July 23, p. 64.
______. 2016b. “Survivor’s Guide: Learn from Professors, but be
Willing to Talk Back.” World Magazine,
September 3, p. 64.
Shields, Jon and Joshua Dunn Sr. 2016. Passing on the Right: Conservative
Professors in the Progressive University. Oxford, NY: Oxford