Guest Columnist in Seattle P-I Supports Academic Freedom in Universities--but NOT for Intelligent Design
Yesterday's Seattle Post-Intelligencer (P-I) ran an opinion article by guest columnist Cathy Young titled "Campuses would benefit from political diversity" which laments the lack of intellectual diversity on college campuses. Young, who is also a contributing editor at Reason magazine, supports academic freedom in universities for suppressed "politically incorrect opinions" but seems to oppose academic freedom for the oft-suppressed and politically incorrect theory of intelligent design. She explains that David Horowitz's "Academic Bill of Rights" requiring inclusion of "balanced viewpoints" in college curricula is not the best solution because it could allow the teaching of intelligent design:
Some conservatives advocate legislative interference as a solution. An advocate, David Horowitz, has been pushing for an "Academic Bill of Rights" that would not only protect dissenting students from classroom retaliation but also guarantee the inclusion of balanced viewpoints in the curriculum.
This effort has gone nowhere.
[Brooklyn College historian Robert] Johnson took a dim view of such efforts.
Given conservative support for including intelligent design in the biology curriculum, he noted, a mandate of "balance" in teaching could be used to smuggle creationism into science classrooms at public universities.
(Cathy Young, "Campuses would benefit from political diversity," Opinion, Seattle Post Intelligencer, (Wed., Dec. 6, 2006)
Ignoring that she conflates intelligent design with creationism, Young does identify some good solutions to the apparent lack of unpopular viewpoints in academia:
Yet he also outlined legislative remedies that could work: Fund programs that would expose students to ideas currently neglected or marginalized in the academy; conduct oversight hearings on the lack of intellectual diversity on campuses; abolish speech codes that often result in suppressing politically incorrect opinions...
Ironically for Young, these solutions would ALSO support a freer spirit to discuss intelligent design in the academy. Academic freedom for intelligent design has been taken away by administrators at the University of Idaho and Cornell, and there are multiple examples of viewpoint discrimination and marginalization of supporters of intelligent design.
Apparently Young advocates academic freedom for unpopular viewpoints, except for those that challenge Neo-Darwinism.