Universities, Whoppers and Darwin


The Ottawa Citizen’s resident young-earth, anti-evolutionist, offers the following assessment of universities in his column:

In the 1960s and ’70s, as we should all know, universities were vastly expanded, on the new “drive-through” model, so that the majority of students who did not entirely belong in a demanding intellectual environment became an overwhelming majority, and the universities themselves were reduced to immense, tax-sucking bureaucracies, focused almost exclusively on turning out graduates, the way Burger King turns out Whoppers.

But while that may be a fair enough description of what happened in innumerable red-brick universities, it does not quite describe the transformation of the “elite” institutions of the Ivy League, or their equivalents overseas. In such highbrow finishing schools, we now have smug elitists turned out in the manner of Whoppers.

Mind you, the same individual also wrote this foolishness:

It is because Darwinism has embedded itself so deeply into the assumptions of our age, that it must be attacked frontally. For Darwinian assumptions cloud our view of reality. They subvert our grasp of moral issues. They make it possible for people to be dismissive, not only of art, philosophy, and religion, but of the requirements and limitations of true scientific research. They eviscerate the human spirit, by insisting that, in the last analysis, everything is random and meaningless. Conversely, they justify true fascism (“survival of the fittest”), and all the horrors of eugenics, abortions and euthanasia.

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Universities, Whoppers and Darwin

  1. The Darwinism criticism isn’t too ridiculous, albeit the argument lack focus. Social Darwinism did justify the annihilation of cultures, race and history in non-western societies as well as the colonies. The basis of eugenics is deeply rooted in Darwinism (and social Darwinism) and it was sponsored by the German state in the early half of 20th century.

  2. I completely disagree with dataslayer (and Warren, obviously).

    The idea that Darwin’s theory (evolution by natural selection) is to blame for political horrors is ridiculous. Colonization, war and genocides existed before the 19th and 20th centuries. Incidentally, religion was a big driver of colonization and war… so why doesn’t Warren blame religion for these horrors?

    (In fact, from a strictly biological point of view, inbreeding generally leads to weaker species. Those who try to use Darwin for racist purposes don’t even understand basic evolutionary biology!)

    More generally, theories in natural sciences should not have anything to do with morality. Knowledge of nature is obviously useful when making political or ethical decisions, but science does not tell us WHICH choice to make.

    There are a lot of debates and unresolved questions within evolutionary biology, for sure. But these need to be addressed with careful scientific work, not prejudices and pre-made ideas of what the world “should be”.

    The people who attack evolutionary biology because it conflicts with their morals are no different from the inquisitors who attacked Galileo 400 years ago.

  3. Also, this kind of anti-intellectualism from some neoconservatives is quite ironic.

    If all their predecessors shared their views on the matter, we probably wouldn’t have the technological means of transportation, communication and entertainment that are so central to the standard of living of which the patriotic Americans are so proud.

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