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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Vast conspiracy files: Connecting the dots to include non-materialist neuroscience

Over at Neurologica blog, Steve Novella speculates about non-materialist neuroscience, about which he seems to have learned from New Scientist and the Discovery Institute's News and Views blog.

My favourite lines:
I also think the New Scientist is correct in pointing out that the ID movement may be shifting their emphasis to neuroscience. I think it is fair to say that the ID attack on evolution has been largely a failure. They failed in Dover (where a conservative judge ruled that ID was warmed-over creationism and could not be taught in public school science classes), and the movie Expelled turned out to be a huge boondoggle. They are getting some traction with their “academic freedom” deception, but not much, and I think that effort will ultimately fail as well.
A man capable of thinking that a bid for academic freedom is a "deception" in a society where academic freedom is widely* under attack is himself the best argument for Ben Stein's academic freedom drive.

*widely under attack: On its membership page, the National Association of Scholars offers
Is It dangerous to join?

It can be. We recognize that graduate students and untenured faculty members run a risk if they join an organization that is famous for challenging campus orthodoxies. So we won't tell your colleagues -- or your dean, and we’ll mail Academic Questions to your home if you wish.

Is joining NAS worth the risk? That’s a decision you must make for yourself -- and something you should consider the next time you bite your tongue in a department meeting for fear of the consequences of expressing what you really think.
They add
today, the pressure on faculty members to conform to ascendant political ideologies is at an all-time high and encompasses college life from freshman orientation to the selection of commencement speakers.

If this type of experience sounds familiar, NAS may be the organization for you. We offer the chance to meet and work with other scholars who have had similar experiences and who have found ways to resist the petty -- and sometimes not so petty -- tyranny of the PC campus. We are not of one mold. Our members include mainstream liberals and conservatives, secularists and the religiously committed, senior scholars and graduate students, women and men, citizens and international visitors --united by a concern that the tradition of academic freedom in the United States is imperiled by the abuses of some and the complacency of many.
Sounds like a good organization.

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