August 18, 2004 | David F. Coppedge

School Science “Tyranny” Tries to Scare Off Lecture Critical of Darwinism

Is a high school campus an open marketplace of ideas and a guarantor of free speech?  Look at this story in Agape Press about the troubles a high school student endured trying to get Michael Behe to speak at an after-school lecture this past February.  Though an optional event not during normal operating hours, and sponsored by a student group, not the school itself, the idea ran afoul of the science faculty even though Samuel Chen planned it according to standard procedure.
    Once word got out of the upcoming event, Chen found himself the target of Darwinist teachers who used intimidation, rules changes, backroom dealing, scare tactics, venue swapping and demands for rebuttal to try to halt or undercut the lecture.  Six months of controversy later, the lecture finally occurred and was successful, but the conflict intimidated many of the students who watched on the sidelines.  Chen described the atmosphere on campus:

I feel that there’s a dictatorship on academic freedom in our public schools now.  I refer to evolution education as a tyranny …. You can’t challenge it in our schools.  Kids have been thrown out of class for challenging it…. Some of the students who support me are afraid to speak out, especially because they saw how the science department reacted.

Chen felt the long struggle to get the lecture approved took a toll on his health, but was worth it.  Some students were beginning to question evolution for the first time.

What are they afraid of?  If evolution is so obvious, so well supported by the facts, why not let both sides present their evidence and teach the students how to evaluate claims with critical thinking skills?  Why did one teacher call intelligent design “scary stuff”?  These are all signs of a weak position.  What’s scary stuff is terrorism, not open examination of the facts.  A few more brave students like Samuel Chen, willing to stand in the path of the tanks, may demonstrate to the world that a dogmatic view that relies on intimidation is not worth believing.

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Categories: Intelligent Design

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