Monday, August 22, 2005

the freedom to be ignorant

The NYT describes the Discovery Institute and its campaign to delegitimize evolutionary theory. One phrase in particular caught my eye:
the institute has in many ways transformed the debate into an issue of academic freedom rather than a confrontation between biology and religion.
Sometimes, I can't help wondering if the larger, largely unconscious agenda is to devalue the meaning of freedom itself. Academic freedom exists to promote intellectual progress by giving those with well-considered, supportable views a seat at the table, even if those views conflict with authority. The intentional use of academic freedom to undermine such progress is at its root no different than repressive forces using the mechanisms of democracy in order to seize power and suppress dissent.

No comments: