Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I have now seen it all

An article at CNN today about 9/11 conspiracy theories in academia quotes a guy from the American Association of University Professors as saying, basically, "academic freedom doesn't include conspiracy theories" like those advanced by Dr. Steven Jones at BYU. (Dr. Jones was quoted earlier in the article).

Now I have seen it all. Back in the good old days, the AAUP censured BYU for limiting the the academic freedom of one Gail Houston. Now the AAUP is getting after people like Dr. Jones and BYU (my extrapolation) for excercising too much adamic freedom. Nice work.

I suppose we should just invite the AAUP to come and run the University for us to make sure we get it just right.

All kidding aside, if you read the AAUP carefully, they are advancing a very logical arguement dispasionately and I've got to admire them for that even if I don't think they understand BYU very well. Their deal is that academic freedom should include all and only the work that lies within the boundaries of a well-defined academic discipline. Dr. Jones' work on 9/11 probably lies outside those boundaries, so I agree with them on that, but I am still waiting for a good qualified peer review on Dr. Jones' work.

CNN.com - 9/11 conspiracy theorists energized - Aug 6, 2006: "Faculty can express any opinion outside the classroom, said Roger Bowen, general secretary of the American Association of University Professors. However, 'with academic freedom comes academic responsibility. And that requires them to teach the truth of their discipline, and the truth does not include conspiracy theories, or flat Earth theories, or Holocaust denial theories.'"

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