Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Higher Education, Part III.

Isn't it odd that some of the most inhospitable places for academic freedom are in American institutions of higher learning?

Dennis Prager wrote in TownHall yesterday about yet another example of academic close-mindedness--this one involving Harvard and its president, Lawrence Summers.

"Harvard came out against seeking truth, and academics throughout America came to its support. ...

"[Some] empirical truths are not utterable in the most intellectually closed places in America -- our universities.

"In the year 2005, nearly four centuries after Galileo was forced to recant observable scientific facts about our solar system, the president of Harvard University was forced to do a similar thing. He was compelled to apologize for advancing an idea about men and women supported by scientific research and likely to be true. But for most professors, neither finding truth nor seeking wisdom nor teaching is the primary goal of the university; promoting leftist ideas is. ... [T]he highest institutions of learning often do not value learning but seek to propagandize their children...." (Emphases added.)

"The secular university provides one of the most cogent arguments for [Judeo-Christian] values: This institution, which is the most opposed to Judeo-Christian values, is also the least committed to truth."

By contrast, religiously oriented universities may actually provide a wider scope of inquiry and more academic freedom.