Category Archives: Education

The Truth About Science and Religion

by Terry Scambray // American Thinker
Photo via www.drroyspencer.com

Photo via www.drroyspencer.com

 

In 1925 the renowned philosopher and mathematician, Alfred North Whitehead speaking to scholars at Harvard said that science originated in Christian Europe in the 13th century.  Whitehead pointed out that science arose from “the medieval insistence on the rationality of God, conceived as with the personal energy of Jehovah and with the rationality of a Greek philosopher”, from which it follows that human minds created in that image are capable of understanding nature.The audience, assuming that science and Christianity are enemies, was astonished.

Read more →

The Troubling Plight of the Modern University

Today’s campus is more reactionary than the objects of its frequent vituperation.
by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Our Psychodramatic Campuses

by Victor Davis Hanson  // PJ Media 

Dartmouth College students recently staged an overnight sit-in the office of

Dartmouth College circa 1834

Dartmouth College circa 1834

their president Philip Hanlon. They had over seventy demands. Apparently, they grew out of their alleged suffering at the hands of “racist, classist, sexist, heterosexist, trans-homophobic, xenophobic, and ablest structures.”

Translating into English, the students elaborated, “Our bodies are already on the line, in danger, and under attack” — suggesting conditions similar to the teen-aged Marines who stormed Fallujah in November 2004, or perhaps the iron-workers who tip-toe on girders 1,000 feet above Manhattan, or an acquaintance of mine whose work clothes reveal that he pumps out quite messy rural cesspools. As redress for their suffering, the oppressed students issued Orwellian calls to ban particularly hurtful vocabulary, to create new faculty positions based entirely on race, and to Read more →

The Outdated Business Model of Diversity, Inc.

In today’s divided society, universities would be wise to stress unity and academic rigor.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

Diversity has become corporatized on American campuses, with scores of bureaucrats and administrators accentuating different pedigrees and

Americophile via wikicommons

Americophile via wikicommons

ancestries. That’s odd, because diversity  no longer means “variety” or “points of difference,” in the way it used to be defined.

Instead, diversity has become an industry synonymous with orthodoxy and intolerance, especially in its homogeneity of political thought.

When campuses sloganeer “celebrate diversity,” that does not mean they encourage all sorts of political views. If it did, faculties and student groups would better reflect the U.S.’s political realities and might fall roughly into two equal groups: liberal and conservative.

Do colleges routinely invite graduation speakers who are skeptical of man-made global warming, and have reservations about present abortion laws, gay marriage, or illegal immigration — if only for the sake of ensuring diverse views?

Nor does diversity mean consistently ensuring that institutions should reflect “what America looks like.”

If it did, all sorts of problems could follow. As we see in the NBA and NFL, for example, many of our institutions do not always reflect the proportional racial and ethnic makeup of America. Do we really want all institutions to weigh diversity rather than merit so that coveted spots reflect the race and gender percentages of American society?

Does anyone care that for decades the diverse state of California’s three most powerful elected officials have been most undiverse? Representative Nancy Pelosi, Senator Barbara Boxer, and Senator Dianne Feinstein are all mature women, quite liberal, very wealthy, married to rich professionals or entrepreneurs, and all once lived within commuting distance of each other in the Bay Area. Read more →

The Death of the Humanities

A liberal arts education was once a gateway to wisdom; now it can breed ignorance and arrogance.

by Victor Davis Hanson // Defining Ideas 

The humanities are in their latest periodic crisis. Though the causes of the

Moyan_Brenn via Flickr

Moyan_Brenn via Flickr

ongoing decline may be debated, everyone accepts the dismal news about eroding university enrollments, ever fewer new faculty positions, the decline in majors, and the lack of jobs for humanities graduates. Less than 8% of current BA degrees are awarded to humanities majors. The New York Times recently reported that while 45% of the undergraduate faculty at Stanford teach in the humanities, only 15% of the students major in them.

Of course, the numbers of humanities majors have been in decline since the 1970s. But what seems different today is that the humanities are less sacrosanct in the university. Literature, philosophy, and art are no longer immune from budget cuts by virtue of their traditional intrinsic value to the university. Either Read more →

Eating Our Young

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media 

2561532260_2421859f40

Photo Credit: Reini68 via Flickr

It is popular now to talk of race, class, and gender oppression. But left out of this focus on supposed victim groups is the one truly targeted cohort — the young. Despite the Obama-era hype, we are not suffering new outbreaks of racism. Wendy Davis is not the poster girl for a resurgent misogyny. There is no epidemic of homophobia. Instead, if this administration’s policies are any guide, we are witnessing a pandemic of ephebiphobia — an utter disregard for young people.

The war against those under 30 — and the unborn — is multifaceted. No one believes that the present payroll deductions leveled on working youth will result in the same levels of support upon their retirements that is now extended to the retiring baby-boom Read more →

The Outlaw Campus

The university has become a rogue institution in need of root-and-branch reform.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

Two factors have so far shielded the American university from the sort of criticism that it so freely levels against almost every other institution in American life. (1) For decades a college education has been considered the key to an ascendant middle-class existence. (2) Until recently a college degree was not tantamount

SalFalko via Flickr

SalFalko via Flickr

to lifelong debt. In other words, American society put up with a lot of arcane things from academia, given that it offered something — a BA or BS degree — that almost everyone agreed was a ticket to personal security and an educated populace.

Not now. Colleges have gone rogue and become virtual outlaw institutions. Graduates owe an aggregate of $1 trillion in student debt, borrowed at interest rates far above home-mortgage rates — all on the principle that universities could charge as much as they liked, given that students could borrow as much as they needed in federally guaranteed loans.

Few graduates have the ability to pay back the principal; they are simply paying the compounded interest. More importantly, a college degree is not any more a sure pathway to a good job, nor does it guarantee that its holder is better educated than those without it. If the best sinecure in America is a tenured full professorship, the worst fate may be that of a recent graduate in anthropology with a $100,000 loan. That the two are co-dependent is a national scandal.

In short, the university has abjectly defaulted on its side of the social contract by no longer providing an affordable and valuable degree. Accordingly, society can no longer grant it an exemption from scrutiny. Read more →

The Decline of College

by Victor Davis Hanson // Tribune Media Services 

For the last 70 years, American higher education was assumed to be the pathway to upper-mobility and a rich shared-learning experience.

Young Americans for four years took a common core of classes, learned to look at the world dispassionately, and gained the concrete knowledge to make informed arguments logically.

The result was a more skilled workforce and a competent democratic citizenry. That ideal may still be true at our flagship universities, with their enormous endowments and stellar world rankings.

Yet most elsewhere, something went terribly wrong with that model. Almost all the old campus protocols are now tragically outdated or antithetical to their original mission.

Tenure — virtual lifelong job security for full-time faculty after six years — was supposed to protect free speech on campus. How, then, did campus ideology become more monotonous than diverse, more intolerant of politically unpopular views than open-minded?

Read more →

An Anatomy of a Most Peculiar Institution

by Victor Davis Hanson

PJ Media

A Campus Full of Contradictions

Almost everything about the modern university is a paradox. It has become a sort of industry gone rogue that embraces practices that a Wal-Mart or Halliburton would never get away with. It is exempt from scrutiny in the fashion that the Left ceased talking about renditions or Guantanamo Bay once Barack Obama was elected, or a Code Pink goes after a NRA official in the way it would never disrupt a hearing on Fast and Furious. Read more →

The Rise of Faux Diversity

by Bruce Thornton

Defining Ideas

In Fisher vs. University of Texas, the Supreme Court heard legal challenges to the University of Texas’s admissions policies, which allow consideration of an applicant’s race in order to promote “diversity” among the school’s students. Such racial preferences are widespread in university admissions. In 80 percent of elite schools, they amount to the equivalent of a 100-point boost in SAT scores, according to research by UCLA law professor Richard Sander and journalist Stuart Taylor. Read more →

%d bloggers like this: