Tag Archives: Narrow-Minded

New survey finds that university professors are moving further to the left

From the Inside Higher Ed.

Excerpt:

Academics, on average, lean to the left. A survey being released today suggests that they are moving even more in that direction.

Among full-time faculty members at four-year colleges and universities, the percentage identifying as “far left” or liberal has increased notably in the last three years, while the percentage identifying in three other political categories has declined. The data come from the University of California at Los Angeles Higher Education Research Institute, which surveys faculty members nationwide every three years on a range of attitudes.

Here are the data for the new survey and the prior survey:

2010-11 2007-8
Far left 12.4% 8.8%
Liberal 50.3% 47.0%
Middle of the road 25.4% 28.4%
Conservative 11.5% 15.2%
Far right 0.4% 0.7%

Gauging how gradual or abrupt this shift is is complicated because of changes in the UCLA survey’s methodology; before 2007-8, the survey included community college faculty members, who have been excluded since. But for those years, examining only four-year college and university faculty members, the numbers are similar to those of 2007-8. Going back further, one can see an evolution away from the center.

In the 1998-9 survey, more than 35 percent of faculty members identified themselves as middle of the road, and less than half (47.5 percent) identified as liberal or far left. In the new data, 62.7 percent identify as liberal or far left. (Most surveys that have included community college faculty members have found them to inhabit political space to the right of faculty members at four-year institutions.)

Professors are extremely liberal, especially in non-quantitative, non-scientific departments like English. It’s much harder to be liberal in academic areas where there is some connection to the real world that can be tested, like economics, business and computer science. Liberal bias is something to look out for if you go on to higher education. What you’ll find there is that there is often a lack of critical thinking on many topics. The left isn’t welcoming of other points of view. Their side doesn’t read our stuff, but we read their stuff. They think we’re evil, and we just think they’re wrong.

Here’s my previous post surveying several academic studies of liberal bias in the mainstream media.

What opposition to Christmas displays tells us about atheism

A post critical of litigious atheists, by Doug Giles.

Excerpt:

The atheists I grew up with in Texas were a tad bit pluckier than today’s lardy hagfish atheists who file lawsuits every winter when they see a child wrapped in swaddling clothes.

Yep, the anti-theists I used to hang out with in the Lone Star state were rugged individualists who were so busy milking this existence that they didn’t have time to bleat like a stuck sheep because a plastic baby Jesus statue endangered their delicate beliefs.

My other non-believing buddies who weren’t the robust Hemingway types were usually heady stoners who were into physics, Pink Floyd and Frisbee and were completely comfortable around people of faith versus today’s reflexively irate, touchy atheists who pop a blood vein in their forehead if they accidentally hear “Silent Night” playing at Macy’s.

For God’s sake atheists, übermensch up why don’t you?

Giles then goes on to explain one of the latest attempts by former-Pentecostal-hymn-singer Dan Barker to ban nativity scenes and other Christmas stuff from being displayed.

Then concludes:

Yep, according to the 21st century metrosexual atheist motif, anything that offends them should now be banned. That makes me scratch my head because I thought the atheists were the tough-minded ones who could stare death in the face and mock God and His dictates, but now a silicone statue of Yeshua in diapers puts them in a tailspin. Hello, sweetie.

He mentions Dan Barker in his article, so I think it’s worth linking to this post I wrote about how Dan Barker abandoned Christianity. To persist in the Christian life requires a certain amount of intelligence and wisdom. You have to be good at life. Dan couldn’t cut it.

Peer-reviewed journal apologizes for censoring pro-ID article

From Evolution News. (Excerpt below, with links removed)

Excerpt:

In one of their favorite soundbytes, members of the Darwin lobby like to assert that intelligent design scientists do not publish peer-reviewed research. That claim is manifestly false. But the fact that intelligent design scholars do publish peer-reviewed articles is no thanks to Darwinists, many of whom do their best to ensure that peer-reviewed articles by intelligent design scientists never see the light of day.

Witness the brazen censorship earlier this year of an article by University of Texas, El Paso mathematics professor Granville Sewell, author of the book In the Beginning and Other Essays on Intelligent Design. Sewell’s article critical of Neo-Darwinism (“A Second Look at the Second Law”) was both peer-reviewed and accepted for publication by the journal Applied Mathematics Letters. That is, the article was accepted for publication until a Darwinist blogger who describes himself as an “opinionated computer science geek” wrote the journal editor to denounce the article, and the editor decided to pull Sewell’s article in violation of his journal’s own professional standards.

The publisher of Applied Mathematics Letters (Elsevier, the international science publisher) has now agreed to issue a public statement apologizing to Dr. Sewell as well as to pay $10,000 in attorney’s fees.

“It’s hard to imagine a more blatant assault on intellectual freedom and the free exchange of ideas,” says attorney Pete Lepiscopo with the California firm of Lepiscopo and Morrow, which represented Sewell.

Lepiscopo points out that in retracting Sewell’s article, Applied Mathematics Letters “effectively accepted the unsubstantiated word and unsupported opinion of an inconsequential blogger, with little or unknown academic background beyond a self-professed public acknowledgment that he was a ‘computer science grad’ and whose only known writings are self-posted blogs about movies, comics, and fantasy computer games.” This blogger’s unsupported opinion “trumped the views of an author who is a well respected mathematician with a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Purdue University; a fully-tenured Professor of Mathematics at the University of Texas–El Paso; an author of three books on numerical analysis and 40 articles published in respected journals; and a highly sought-after and frequent lecturer world-wide on mathematics and science.”

After Dr. Sewell’s article was pulled, Darwinian zealots crowed about their achievement and maliciously speculated that the article was withdrawn because it wasn’t really peer-reviewed or because it was somehow substandard. The journal, meanwhile, left Dr. Sewell to twist in the wind, seemingly endorsing the Darwinists’ smears. The journal editor Dr. Rodin wrote a groveling letter to the Darwinist blogger who complained to him in which he agreed that publishing Sewell’s article would involve “impropriety.” Rodin further apologized “for our erroneous judgement in even considering this paper for publication.”

Dr. Rodin and his journal now have to issue a public statement providing “their sincere and heartfelt apologies to Dr. Sewell… and welcom[ing] Dr. Sewell’s submission of future articles for possible publication.” More important than the apology, the journal has to set the record straight by reiterating that “Dr. Sewell’s article was peer-reviewed and accepted for publication” and by making clear that his article was not withdrawn because of “any errors or technical problems found by the reviewers or editors.”

Wow. I actually clicked on some of the links in the post at Evolution News and was carried off to the lands of naturalistic blogging. It’s amazing how confident they are in their little echo chambers, but I cannot fathom why this should be since they are unwilling to debate their views in public. To me, you can only know something if you are willing to hear the criticisms against it. If you censor all your opponents and hang around in little online chat rooms gloating to your choir about how smart you are and how right you are, why think that you really know anything about what you are talking about?

The only way to be sure about any issue is to listen to both sides in a debate, and let your opponents have a hearing. I would not feel confident in asserting anything if I only heard the arguments on one side of the question. Not only do the Darwinbots seem to be confident in asserting their views without hearing their opponents, they are actually arrogant and insulting about it. But before you can be trumpet your victory in a disagreement, doesn’t there have to be an actual debate first? Canceling the debate by censorship doesn’t mean that you won the debate.  It means you’re scared of debate.

Here’s what you do. Slap a defamation lawsuit on the blogger who complained for a million dollars and let them have their day in court to explain why they said what they said. Then we’ll find out which side has the blind faith and which side has the knowledge.

University of Kentucky pays $125,000 to settle anti-Christian discrimination suit

From the radically leftist Washington Post. (H/T Evolution News)

Excerpt:

An astronomy professor who sued the University of Kentucky after claiming he lost out on a top job because of his Christian beliefs reached a settlement Tuesday with the school.

The university agreed to pay $125,000 to Martin Gaskell in exchange for dropping a federal religious discrimination suit he filed in Lexington in 2009. A trial was set for next month.

Gaskell claimed he was passed over to be director of UK’s MacAdam Student Observatory because of his religion and statements that were perceived to be critical of evolution.

Court records showed Gaskell was a front-runner for the job, but some professors called him “something close to a creationist” and “potentially evangelical” in interoffice e-mails to other university scientists.

“We never thought from the start that everybody at UK was some sort of anti-religious bigot,” said Frank Manion, Gaskell’s attorney. “However, what I do think this case disclosed is a kind of endemic, almost knee-jerk reaction in academia towards people, especially scientists, of a strong religious faith.”

A statement from University of Kentucky counsel Barbara Jones Tuesday said the school’s “hiring processes were and are fundamentally sound and were followed in this case.” The university does not admit any wrongdoing.

[…]After applying for the job in 2007, Gaskell said he learned from a friend at UK that professors had discussed his purported religious views. E-mails turned over as evidence in the case showed that university scientists wondered if Gaskell’s faith would interfere with the job, which included public outreach and education.

One astrophysics professor at UK told department chair Michael Cavagnero in an e-mail that hiring Gaskell would be a “huge public relations mistake.”

[…]Manion said documents and e-mail communications turned over by UK in the case showed strong evidence of religious bias, including a professor who surmised that Gaskell was “potentially evangelical.”

“The fact that somebody could say that without realizing the implications, speaks volumes,” Manion said. “Because all you have to do is substitute any other label – potentially Jewish, potentially Muslim. Nobody would say that.”

I think we should definitely de-fund these universities, put the money into the hands of taxpayers, and let the taxpayers decide where to send their children to college – or WHETHER to send their children to college.

MUST-READ: How the media’s secular bias affects their news coverage

Here is a magnificent post up at Big Journalism, Andrew Breitbart’s new web site. (H/T ECM)

First, he talks about different journalists are from the rest of America:

The modern secular newsroom lacks the ideological know-how to truly understand religion.  Perhaps Terry Mattingly best exlplained the media’s “diversity problem”. According to Mattingly, “While there’s been heavy gender and racial diversity … there’s a lack of cultural diversity in journalism…”  It is this lack of diversity that leads to major misconceptions and the media’s inability to adequately tell stories that are rooted, themselves, in religious themes.

The lack of diversity may lie in the journalists themselves, as personal faith plays a role in the ability to understand and thus illustrate religious themes.  Just how religious are journalists?  According to USA Today, “the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press reported in 2007 that 8% of journalists surveyed at national media outlets said they attended church or synagogue weekly.”  Additionally, 29% reported never attending church services, with an additional 39% stating that they go a few times each year.  In sum: Not very religious – especially when compared to America as a whole.

Later on, he talks about how rigid conformity to secular presuppositions creates bias:

In covering the American Religious Identification Survey that was conducted in March 2009, the Pew Research Center wrote,

“A comment on the blog Matters of Faith declared, “The media’s tendency to give inordinate attention to religious dimwits and crackpots has seriously damaged the credibility of religious leaders. You rarely read or hear of the miraculously generous work of faith communities in caring for the poor and infirm around the globe. But let someone suggest that the Virgin Mary has appeared in a plate of refried beans and the bulletins circle the globe in minutes.”

This commentary targets one of the media’s main malfunctions when it comes to covering religion in general and Christianity in particular.  As is the case with most stories covered by the mainstream media, the more outlandish, the more the story is pursued.  In practice, this creates a climate of coverage strewn with the “dimwits and crackpots” mentioned above, as journalists lack the understanding or desire to seek a wide array of theological viewpoints.  Meanwhile, thousands of Christian missionaries risk their lives both domestically and internationally to make lasting spiritual and physical change in the lives of those in need.  Yet their stories go widely unnoticed.

Here is an example of news coverage that you will never see in the mainstream news.

The secular leftist media will run stories about Sarah Palin’s children, and the Duke Lacrosse non-rape, because even though the stories later turn out to be fraudulent, they want to send the right message. They view their work as propaganda designed to effect political change. And I think it is sometimes useful to reflect on the story in the video above and ask why such stories are not covered. And the answer is because the media doesn’t tell people about news that doesn’t fit their rigid ideological stereotypes.

I was chatting with ECM about this post, and he informed me about The New Yorker’s movie critic Pauline Kael, who was surprised by Republicans’ 49-state landslide victory in the 1972 federal election.

She said:

“How could that be? I don’t know a single person who voted for Nixon.”

And that’s the news media today. They are not informed about views different from their own. They do not question their own fundamentalist assumptions by seeking out debates. Everything they need to know about religious people they learned from watching “Inherit the Wind” and “Jesus Camp” and such propaganda that allows them to demonize anyone who disagrees with their worldview. You would think that their ignorance of the best arguments on the other side would make them cautious, but it doesn’t.