Timeline Re: Viewpoint discrimination or careless reading.

From: Pim van Meurs <pimvanmeurs@yahoo.com>
Date: Sun Oct 09 2005 - 15:46:26 EDT

Slowly I am starting to unravel the time line of Dean Kenyon at SFSU


John Hafernik (http://www.skepticfiles.org/evolut/kenyon00.htm)
In 1980/1981, the Department of Biology had its first Creationism
Controversy. This controversy centered on the presentation by Dr. Kenyon
of creationism, then called "scientific creationism," in
Biology 337 Evolution. At that time, Dr. Kenyon challenged anyone on the
faculty to a debate on the merits of evolutionary theory versus
"scientific creationism." There was much discussion in faculty meetings
as well. Eventually the faculty voted (none opposed, seven abstentions)
not to alter the description of Biology 337 to include creationism. The
precedent set, in the context of the 1980 discussions, was that the
Department did not support teaching creationism.

*October 1992
Dean Kenyon was an instructor for an introductory course for non-Majors.
In addition to teaching the theories of chemical and biological
evolution, Kenyon also taught the weaknesses of these theories and
explained how this suggested that life may be Intelligently Designed.

 What does it mean to have integrity when it comes to science and faith?
Let me illustrate by way of a negative example. In October, 1992,
biology professor Dean Kenyon was brought into a meeting with the
department chairman of San Francisco State University. Professor Kenyon
had broken one of the unwritten rules of the office of the biology
department because he believes there is scientific evidence of
intelligent design in the universe. He was ordered to stop teaching this
view in his biology 100 classes immediately. Later, Professor Kenyon was
prohibited from teaching his introductory biology course, and accused of
teaching religion instead of science. Dean Kenyon claims that he never
taught religion, and that the discussions were strictly based on science
in which he presented the standard presentation of evolution, followed
by his own doubts that emerged when searching for evidence to support
it. http://www.57piano.com/scispks.htm


*January 1993 Kenyon was removed from his biology classroom at San
Francisco State University after a few students complained to
administrators about ideas they heard in lecture.

When students complained, Kenyon was told that teach ID is
'creationism', and such religious topics had no place in science. Kenyon
was removed from his instuction task and assigned to lab supervision.

Kenyon challenged this by taking his complain to the SFSU Academic
Freedom Committee The committee agreed with Kenyon that biology
professors should be free to dissent from prevailing theory and urged
the administrors to reinstate Kenyon's instructor position. Initially
the department refused but when the full academic senate voted in
support of the committee, Kenyon was reinstated.

(http://www.sfsu.edu/~senate/policies/index.html) Little information here

 In 1993 the Academic Freedom Committee that served the university
investigated Kenyon's case and presented a report that ruled in Dr.
Kenyon's favor. But the revealing fact about the biology department is
that they still refused to let him teach his Bio 100 class. Though Dr.
Kenyon had been exonerated, they still held to their ban on his classes.
In December of that year, the faculty senate voted that Professor Kenyon
should be reinstated in his classes and later that month the biology
department gave in, and he was permitted to return to his lectures.
*1993 Academic Freedom Committee, San Francisco State University,
Punctuated Equilibrium: A Report of the Academic Freedom Committee, June
4, 1993.
November 10 http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9401/scopes.html
On November 10, a letter from the A.A.U.P. arrived. The report from the
A.A.U.P. found that the actions taken were "violative of [Kenyon's]
academic freedom" and his right to due process.

"Committee A [of the A.A.U.P.] on academic freedom and tenure is the
leading institutional voice for what academic freedom means in American
academia," said Mike McConnell, a University of Chicago law professor
who has been lead counsel before the Supreme Court on academic freedom

"Their reports are usually given considerable weight, " he added.*

Fall/Winter Origins Research ArchivesVolume 15, Number 2
*Scientific Correctness in San Francisco Stephen Meyer
December 6
*Wall Street Journal publishes letter by Stephen Meyer on Dean Kenyon
(http://www.skepticfiles.org/evolut/kenyon00.htm) also

*December 6, 1993
*Wall Street Journal publishes letter from Eugenie Scott

*December 16, 1993
*James Lippard writes letter to talk.origins

 From ASA reflector http://www.asa3.org/archive/evolution/199602/0001.html

Hafernik: 3. The Academic Freedom Committee does not include anyone
from the School of Science. It is chaired by a lecturer in english. Its
other members are a librarian, a professor of nursing, a professor of
communication arts, and the chair of social work education.

*December 24 1993*
Science Vol 262, Random Samples Column (pp 1976-1977) "Intellegent
Design" at San Francisco State
also http://www.skepticfiles.org/evolut/kenyon4e.htm


*Februari 1994*
Eugenie Scott's article on Kenon is published in Volume 10 Number 8 of Insight On The News, dated 2/21/1994

*Februari 1994

Soon thereafter the biology faculty of SFSU adopted 27 to 5 a resolution "There is no scientific evidence to support the concept of
intelligent design," and therefore "the intelligent design view is not scientific."

*March 18,1994 *Lippard posts message about Eugenie Scott's article in

*1996 ASA reflector*
February 1996

Jim Bell
"Academic freedom does not permit a professor to neglect a subject he
is assigned to teach and present a different subject instead. It does,
however, permit him to express a dissenting opinion about the assigned
subject, even if it is an opinion that his colleagues and the academic
administration regard a irrational....Kenyon's advocacy of intelligent
design was an opinion about a subject already being discussed in the
secular public forum, not the introduction of a new and different
subject." [p. 30]

*Academic Freedom

    However, academic freedom generally allows professors a wide degree
    of autonomy. A professor who responsibly teaches the subject at hand
    usually cannot be held accountable for expressing an individual
    opinion in opposition to the standard theory, even in a science class.

    The sole federal case in this area is Bishop v. Aronov, where a
    professor of exercise physiology told students in class about his
    religious beliefs on occasion, and invited them to an optional
    lecture by him on "Evidences of God in Human Physiology." A federal
    court upheld the dean's right to order him to cease these
    activities.(926 F.2d 1066 (11th Cir. 1991), cert. denied, 112 S. Ct.
    3026 (1992).


    3 In Bishop v. Aronov, 926 F.2d 1066 (11th Cir. 1991), the Eleventh
    Circuit stated that it did “not find support to conclude that
    academic freedom is an independent First Amendment right.” Id. at
    1076. Unlike the district court in this case, however, the Court in
    Bishop weighed the plaintiff professor’s academic freedom interest
    when it balanced the professor’s First Amendment rights against the
    defendant university’s competing interest in determining what would
    be taught in its classrooms. The Court acknowledged “the strong
    predilection for academic freedom as an adjunct of the free speech
    rights of the First Amendment,” id. at 1075, but ultimately
    concluded that “Dr. Bishop’s interest in academic freedom and free
    speech do not displace the University’s interest inside the
    classroom,” id.
    at 1076.


Bishop v Aronov was an 11th Ct ruling, and appealed to the Supreme Court
where it was denied Cert. Bishop v Aronov relied on the supreme court
ruling http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/comm/free_speech/hazelwood.html
Hazelwood School District et al. v. Kuhlmeier et al. No. 86-83 SUPREME

However this rule is a highschool ruling not one in university settings.
See also Bishop v. Aronov: Religion-Tainted Viewpoints Are Banned from
the Marketplace of Ideas, Hamilton, John W., 34 pages beginning at 49
Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1557 (1992)

*AAUP website*

Wedging Creationism into the Academy Proponents of a controversial
theory struggle to gain purchase within academia. A case study of the
quest for academic legitimacy. By Barbara Forrest and Glenn Branch

Followup letters Beckwith and Bradley

*AAUP issues statement on teaching evolution*

In a press release issued on June 17, 2005, the American Association of
University Professors announced that at its June 11, 2005, meeting, it
adopted a statement in support of teaching evolution. The statement
reads, in its entirety:

    The theory of evolution is all but universally accepted in the
    community of scholars and has contributed immeasurably to our
    understanding of the natural world. The Ninety-first Annual Meeting
    of the American Association of University Professors deplores
    efforts in local communities and by some state legislators to
    require teachers in public schools to treat evolution as merely a
    hypothesis or speculation, untested and unsubstantiated by the
    methods of science, and to require them to make students aware of an
    "intelligent-design hypothesis" to account for the origins of life.
    These initiatives not only violate the academic freedom of public
    school teachers, but can deny students an understanding of the
    overwhelming scientific consensus regarding evolution.

    The implications of these efforts for higher education are
    particularly troubling to this Meeting. To the degree that college
    and university faculty in the field of biology would be required to
    offer instruction about evolution and the origins of life that
    complied with these restrictions and was at variance with their own
    understanding of scientific evidence, their freedom to determine
    what may be taught and how would be seriously abridged.

    This Meeting calls on local communities and state officials to
    reject proposals that seek to suppress discussion of evolution in
    our public schools as inimical to principles of academic freedom.

The American Association of University Professors is a nonprofit
charitable and educational organization that promotes academic freedom
by supporting tenure, academic due process, and standards of quality in
higher education. The AAUP has about 45,000 members at colleges and
universities throughout the United States. It also publishes the
bimonthy journal Academe, the January/February 2005 issue of which
contained "Wedging creationism into the academy" by Barbara Forrest, a
member of NCSE's board of directors, and Glenn Branch, NCSE's deputy


    An ISU professor and supporter of Intelligent Design has expressed
    his disappointment with a national organization after it said the
    theory is not scientific.

    "I'm certainly very disappointed with the AAUP," said Guillermo
    Gonzalez, assistant professor of physics and astronomy and co-author
    of the book "The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is
    Designed for Discovery."

    "Especially when this is supposed to be an organization that
    encourages scientific exploration and thought."

    In a letter sent to the Daily by the American Association of
    University Professors, Roger Bowen, general secretary for the
    organization, applauded ISU faculty members who signed a letter in
    August rejecting Intelligent Design as a credible scientific theory
    and also expressed concern that the debate over Intelligent Design
    may pose a threat to academic freedom in the near future. In the
    AAUP's letter, dated Sept. 15, Bowen congratulated ISU faculty for
    their "willingness to take a public stand on an issue of vital
    importance to the scientific community, to the academy and to
    society as a whole."


    Jonathan Knight, director of the Office of Academic Freedom and
    Tenure at AAUP, isn’t worried. “Academic freedom is not a license to
    teach anything you like,” Knight said, noting that the letter says
    “views that differ from evolution may occur in faculty-approved
    curricula” outside the physical sciences. Knight said that the way
    to determine if something is scientifically grounded is “by what the
    community of scholars determines by decades of testing.” He added
    that if a professor “wants to teach that the Holocaust did not occur
    following writing of David Irving folks in the history community
    would say that’s not well grounded in historic facts.”

Pim van Meurs wrote:

> Ted Davis wrote:
>> Pim,
>> Your various posts in response to mine raise at least two very good
>> points.
> Thanks Ted. Let me iterate that I am not necessarily convinced that
> what the University of Idaho was either a smart thing, a good thing or
> a legal thing to do. My objections at this moment lie mostly with the
> rethoric from the Discovery Institute and the 'viewpoint
> discrimination argument' by DeWolf.
>> (1) The legal rulings about academic freedom, which I was not aware
>> of, are
>> quite interesting. Institutions do have their own guidelines, in many
>> cases, and courts do typically pay attention to those. But it's
>> extraordinary IMO for a university president to rule that professors
>> in one
>> cluster of disciplines (history, phil, religion, etc) may "teach" a
>> subject
>> and professors in another cluster of disciplines (sciences) may not.
>> I have
>> in fact never heard of such a thing, althoug this doesn't mean that
>> it has
>> not happened.
> Anyone may teach the topic, just not in a science curriculum. I
> believe the University of Ohio did something similar?
> I recently wrote this on PT
> http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2005/10/drawing_a_line.html
> Two recent articles in Inside Higher Ed News are presenting a good
> overview as to how academics view Intelligent Design.
> Drawing a Line in the Academic Sand
> <http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/10/06/idaho> and Common
> Ground on Intelligent Design
> <http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/10/07/id>
> The first article discusses the statement by the President of the
> University of Idaho.
> President White wrote:
> “Because of the recent national media attention on the issue,” reads
> President Timothy P. White’s letter, “I write to articulate the
> University of Idaho’s position with respect to evolution: this is
> the only curriculum that is appropriate to be taught in our
> bio-physical sciences.” The short letter goes on to allow for the
> teaching of “views that differ from evolution” in other courses,
> like religion and philosophy, but not as a scientific principle,
> which is “testable and anchored in evidence.”
> They quote Harold Gibson, a University of Idaho spokesperson
> Gibson said that if he were a faculty member interested in
> “intelligent design,” he would actually feel better because of the
> letter. “It clearly states there is a place for teaching of views
> that differ from evolution, as long as they’re in faculty approved
> curricula,” he said
> Predictably, the Discovery Institute (DI) was not amused and through
> senior fellow DeWolf, they argued “viewpoint discrimination”. DeWolf
> hoped that the “American Association of University Professors (AAUP)”
> would recognize this. However, the AAUP responded that
> Jonathan Knight, director of the Office of Academic Freedom and
> Tenure at AAUP, isn’t worried. “Academic freedom is not a license to
> teach anything you like,” Knight said, noting that the letter says
> “views that differ from evolution may occur in faculty-approved
> curricula” outside the physical sciences. Knight said that the way
> to determine if something is scientifically grounded is “by what the
> community of scholars determines by decades of testing.” He added
> that if a professor “wants to teach that the Holocaust did not occur
> following writing of David Irving folks in the history community
> would say that’s not well grounded in historic facts.”
> Scott Minnich, a well known Intelligent Design (ID) supporter and a
> tenured professor at the University of Idaho, accepts that the
> University has certain responsibilities but wants to clarify with
> White that addressing questions about intelligent design raised in
> class is not prohibited.
> Minnich wrote:
> Minnich said he thinks the university has “a right to oversight,”
> and that “the president has a right to show the public that we
> haven’t gone off the reservation here,” he said.
> Seems that the ‘complaints’ by the Discovery Institute are falling
> mostly on ‘deaf ears’ even among its own supporters.
> In a latest development
> <http://www.today.uidaho.edu/details.aspx?id=3265&sctn=news>,
> University of Idaho president White was admitted to hospital after
> complaining of chest pains and underwent emergency heart
> catherization. He is in serious but stable condition
> The second article titled Common Ground on Intelligent Design
> <http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/10/07/id> describes how more
> and more faculties around the country are expressing their opinions on
> Intelligent Design.
> The heads of the Universities of Kansas and Idaho recently declared
> in open letters that “intelligent design” is not appropriate
> material in science classrooms.
> (http://www.ncseweb.org/pdf/InterUniversityCouncilOH.asp)
> While scientists agree, many faculty members in natural science
> departments around the country see little need for an administrative
> decree, because, as Neal Simon, chair of biological sciences at
> Lehigh University, put it: “The scientific community has recognized
> that this is a social and political issue … and that this is not
> science.”
>> The Univ of Idaho is the first and so far the only university whose
>> president has made such a ruling. An historian writing about this in 50
>> years will notice that, as I have, and will surely connect this with
>> Scott
>> Minnich's upcoming testimony for the defense. Indeed, it would be
>> incompetent of such an historian NOT to make that connection, it's
>> just so
>> obvious. If 20 other schools had already done this, and none of them
>> had on
>> their faculties scientists who were going to testify for the defense, it
>> would be another matter.
> Timing may or may not have been coincident. Minnich seems to hold no
> big grudges as far as I can tell from the newspapers, he accepts that
> the university can set guidelines and wants to clarify that he is free
> to address questions about ID in class.
>> (2) Your point about universities stopping creationism, etc, is
>> important
>> and I sympathize with it. However we should be able to learn the
>> results of
>> an important case along these lines--I haven't taken time late
>> tonight to
>> look, perhaps I can do so on Monday. As you may realize, Pim, for many
>> years an important evolutionist who is an expert on abiogenesis taught
>> introductory biology at a university in California. I mean Dean
>> Kenyon. Following his conversion to Christianity followed by his
>> conversion to YEC
>> (a rare case, but it is as a describe it), he started teaching some YEC
>> ideas in that course and his colleagues took that course away from
>> him. I'm
>> pretty sure he sued his university, and I think he was reinstated.
>> I'd have
>> to check those details. But in any case his situation, involving YEC
>> ideas,
>> is much more extreme. So if he won out in his situation (which I
>> think he
>> did, pending correction), then Minnich should win out in his.
>> Ted
> Interested in the Dean Kenyon case, I chose to do some research. So
> far nothing about a lawsuit. All I found is that the academic freedom
> committee agreed with him but the department demurred. The AAUP got
> involved and Kenyon was reinstated. In this case afaict the AAUP is on
> the side of the University of Idaho (see my above posting for
> details). I need to do more time line research to understand the exact
> circumstance surrounding Kenyon. An interesting case indeed.
> http://www.skepticfiles.org/evolut/kenyon3e.htm
> After his removal, Kenyon claimed his intellectual freedom had been
> abridged and appealed to the faculty senate's Academic Freedom
> Committee. The committee agreed with him, but the department demurred.
> Tensions escalated in November, when the American Association of
> University Professors weighed in, praising the committee's report and
> urging resolution of the issue. And finally came the endorsement of
> Kenyon's reinstatement by the Academic Senate.
> But Kenyon's views have been a matter of chronic concern since he
> began injecting them into his teaching more than a decade ago, says
> university dean James Kelley, an oceanographer. So "18 years of
> student complaints" seems like enough evidence. Department chairman
> John Hafernik adds that there was no due process to violate. He calls
> Kenyon's reassignment a "scheduling decision" that should never have
> gone outside the department. But it did, and now it's back. Kelley
> says Kenyon (who is now teaching only labs) has been offered the
> chance to conduct an advanced seminar where his ideas can be explored.
> But Kenyon wants his intro course back, saying "I'm not going to drop
> this issue." He won't get more specific, but university officials fear
> a lawsuit is in the making.
> http://www.skepticfiles.org/evo2/wsjcreat.htm
> In 1980/1981, the Department of Biology had its first Creationism
> Controversy. This controversy centered on the presentation by Dr.
> Kenyon of creationism, then called "scientific creationism," in
> Biology 337 Evolution. At that time, Dr. Kenyon challenged anyone on
> the faculty to a debate on the merits of evolutionary theory versus
> "scientific creationism." There was much discussion in faculty
> meetings as well. Eventually the faculty voted (none opposed, seven
> abstentions) not to alter the description of Biology 337 to include
> creationism. The precedent set, in the context of the 1980
> discussions, was that the Department did not support teaching
> creationism.
> When the controversy arose anew in the fall of 1992, I acted in a way
> that was in line with the views of the faculty expressed in 1980.
> The Present
> The present controversy began when students in Dr. Kenyon's Biology
> 100 class complained to me that he included unscientific material
> (creationism) in his lectures. They also complained about other
> aspects of Dr. Kenyon's class.
> Some points to keep in mind are as follows:
> 1. The Department of Biology, through its chair and biocouncil, is not
> saying that there should be no place for the discussion of Dr.
> Kenyon's philosophical views within the University's curriculum. No
> one is attempting to restrict the expression of his views in his
> personal professional endeavors. What is being said is that students
> in an introductory general studies science class should learn the ways
> of science. To mix science and the views of oneUs religion together
> does students a disservice.
> 2. The University Guidelines for Academic Freedom and Responsibility
> include the following statement: "Students have the right to the
> instruction promised them in official University
> publications." In this case instruction in science and not religion.
> Students are entitled to truth in advertizing.
> 3. The topic of evolution, as used in the course description of
> Biology 100, is not generally considered synonymous with the topic of
> "origins" as used by Dr. Kenyon and the Academic Freedom Committee.
> "Origins" is a more politically correct term used by creationists for
> special creation.
> 4. "Intelligent design" as used by Dr. Kenyon is a concept
> historically associated with "creationism."
> 5. If there is a dispute as to what constitutes science or appropriate
> application of scientific standards, the dispute should be resolved by
> those who are most knowledgeable, peers
> within the discipline.
> 6. Decisions about the specifics of the class schedule for the Biology
> Department must be made by the Department not by a committee composed
> of faculty members from other departments, nor
> by upper level administrators.
> and
> US 11th Circuit
> In 1987, an exercise physiology professor at the University of Alabama
> referred to his religious beliefs in his exercise physiology course.
> He also organized an optional after-class meeting for his students and
> other interested persons wherein he lectured on Evidences of God in
> Human Physiology." His lecture included the notion that man was
> created by God and was not the by- product of evolution. The
> University told him to stop expressing his religious views in class or
> in class meetings associated with his class. He sued citing
> infringement of his First Amendment
> rights. In 1991, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh
> Circuit ruled, and the Supreme Court allowed to stand, that the
> University of Alabama could instruct a faculty member that he could
> not interject his religious beliefs into class lectures. In that
> decision, the court made the point that "free speech does not grant
> teachers a license to say or write in class whatever they may feel
> like, and ... the propriety of regulations or sanctions must depend on
> such circumstances as the age and
> sophistication of the students, the closeness of the relation between
> the specific technique used and some concededly valid educational
> objective, and the context and manner of
> presentation."
> http://www.skepticfiles.org/evolut/kenyon2e.htm
> http://www.skepticfiles.org/evolut/kenyon00.htm
> http://www.skepticfiles.org/evolut/kenyon3e.htm
> http://www.skepticfiles.org/evolut/kenyon4.htm
> http://www.skepticfiles.org/evolut/kenyon4e.htm
Received on Sun Oct 9 15:51:03 2005

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