Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Heretical Scientists Purged from Academia

Kerry Bolton

The Stalin and Hitler regimes were both noted for their repression of scientists and intellectuals who did not toe their respective party lines.

Many Left-wing academics, centered on the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory, were sponsored to leave Germany and emigrate to the US, where they took over the social sciences and created a virtual totalitarianism of their own in American academia.[1] This has often been referred to as “cultural Marxism” but has come to be popularly termed “Political Correctness.”[2] Ironically, those who fled a totalitarian regime laid the foundations for a system that is intolerant of views that do not accord with their central dogma, namely that man is shaped by environment rather than genes and is thus infinitely malleable; therefore, all men are potentially equal.

Essentially the same position was insisted upon in the USSR, to the extent that Mendelian genetics was banned as heretical and replaced by the neo-Lamarckian doctrine of a charlatan, Trofim Lysenko, an obscure plant breeder from Odessa who almost brought Soviet agriculture to collapse by his insistence that new stains of crops could be created by environmental conditioning. Lysenko claimed that one species of wheat could be converted to another by subjecting it to external influences, a process he called “vernalization.” Thereby, winter wheat could be transformed into spring wheat by subjecting it to cold, which would shock it into germinating another variety. Those Soviet scientists who rejected Lysenko’s ideas were removed from their positions. In 1940 N. I. Vavilov, first president of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences, whose team proved that Lysenko’s notions on wheat breeding were fallacious, was arrested, and he died of a heart attack in solitary confinement in 1943. Mendelian genetics was smeared as “Nazi,” and the Seventh International Congress of Genetics, which was to be held in Moscow in 1937, was cancelled.[3]

Western Repression

Nonetheless, while the USSR eventually freed itself from the Lysenko dogma, its Western equivalent, the cultural anthropology of Franz Boas[4] et al., and the sociology of the Frankfurt School of Theodor Adorno, et al.[5] has remained dominant in Western academia. Those who challenge these dogmas are smeared and purged.

Repression of heretical scientists in the West might be more subtle (but not invariably so), such as the denial of funds if research does not accord with orthodoxy. It was the imposition of such biases in funding that prompted the formation of the Pioneer Fund in New York in 1937, “to advance the scientific study of heredity and human differences,” by providing grants to institutions for specific studies that are unable to obtain money from “‘government sources or from larger foundations.” Recipients have included H. J. Eysenck, Arthur Jensen, William Shockley, Ernest van der Haag, and J. Philippe Rushton.[6] Most or all of these scientists have been subjected to verbal and physical assaults for their research in a situation that shows that the bounds of scholarly inquiry in the West are very limited. The Pioneer Fund comments on this situation:

Some of those who strongly oppose behavior genetic and psychometric research have sometimes made bizarre and false charges against scientists who conduct these studies, subjecting them to harassment, including dismissal and threats of dismissal, stalled promotions, mob demonstrations, and threats of physical violence, even death. Some physical attacks have actually occurred. These politically motivated attacks on the Pioneer Fund and its grantees are documented in The New Know-Nothings by Morton Hunt, and Race, Intelligence and Bias in Academe by Roger Pearson.[7]

Much more HERE

Why Liberals Think Being Educated Means Being Liberal

If you’ve been reading about the so-called Common Core State Standards Initiative, you know that conservatives have already pegged this proposed national curriculum as yet another attempt to define the education of our children in terms of the doctrines of liberalism.

Conservatives are right. But they are, perhaps, wrong about liberals’ motives which are, if understood in a larger historical context, less sinister than they are made out to be (although no less wrongheaded, for all that).

I offer a seemingly liberal explanation—they can’t help it. Liberals think being educated means becoming liberal, moving from darkness to light, and so whenever they undertake education reform, it means redefining education by the lights of liberalism.

How this occurred is rather complicated, but if conservatives want to push back against liberals in regard to education, they’d better know the full story.

The story begins with the takeover of our university system—not in the 1960s but a full century before that. To make a long story short, in the early 1800s, American colleges were defined by Christianity, and in fact, most were defined denominationally. But America had no graduate schools, and therefore those desiring to move up the academic rung had to travel to Europe to earn a Ph.D.

But Europe’s universities, especially those in Germany which were by far the most prestigious, were already given over to radical Enlightenment thought that defined secular liberalism. To be educated at the highest level—and the highest level was defined by these German universities—meant to be liberal.

When these freshly minted Ph.D.’s came back, they were entirely defined, intellectually, by the assumptions and goals of liberalism. They had imbibed two centuries of European liberalism as the “latest” thought—Rousseau, Spinoza, Hegel, D. F. Strauss, Marx, Darwin, Spencer, Comte, etc. They became the first radicals at our universities who believed—firmly, deeply, and all too predictably—that “to be educated” meant “to subscribe to the most radical liberal views.” And they were ready to launch a top-down revolution of benighted American society.

Again, not in the 1960s but beginning just after the 1860s.

They weren’t taking over existing graduate programs. Rather, they became the first faculty of all of America’s newly constructed graduate programs. They were the intellectual elite. They thereby defined what it meant to be educated with almost no resistance.

The first generation of graduate professors spawned a second generation of graduate professors and a new generation of undergraduate professors. The generations continued, second to third, third to fourth, and so on.

Liberalism spread at the top as students of liberal professors became professors to the next generation of students to be liberalized. Liberal Arts thereby became the Art of Becoming Liberal.

Two further “developments” ensured that being educated meant becoming liberal. The first was the consequent takeover of public education by liberalism. Public education in America had been, for some time, rooted in local schools overseen by those intent on young minds being formed by a classical, Christian education—the so-called “Common School” movement.

When graduates from our liberal-dominated universities started pouring forth, they immediately targeted public schooling as the next area ripe for revolution. Liberal elites started taking over the National Education Association (which had originally been Christian) in the early 1880s, and—as you’ve guessed—started a top-down liberal revolution in our public education system. In fact, the push for nationally-controlled education that began in the early 1900s as part of Progressivism was, in large part, understood as a vehicle for the evangelization of liberal views.

Which brings us to a second “development.” It is no accident that liberal Progressives wanted the federal government to pour money into higher education. The flood of federal aid to higher education, beginning with FDR and rising dramatically with LBJ’s Higher Education Act of 1964, ensured that more and more students would go to college. As a result, the number of Americans attending college ballooned accordingly.

That seems like a good thing—until you understand that higher education was, by this time, stoutly liberal. What that endless flow of federal aid paid for, and still pays for, is the transformation of young minds under the mentorship of the liberal intellectual elite.

It really was, and is, a conspiracy. Think of the obvious: the union of enormous federal money for higher education and a liberal elite ensconced at the universities. The result is that, whatever students may happen to go into college believing, they come out liberals.

That’s why liberals truly, sincerely believe that the more education you get, the more liberal you’ll be.

That’s why liberals proudly brag about the correlation between having liberal views and having advanced degrees.

That’s why they can’t help but think that reforming education means one and only one thing—making it liberal.


Scandal of the British university students who get less than 100 hours' teaching a year

Huge differences in the face-to-face teaching time students receive at Britain's top universities have been exposed by new official figures.

Some undergraduates – paying tuition fees of £9,000 a year – get fewer than half the hours of lectures, seminars and tutorials than others studying the same subject at another university.  

Critics say the disparities mean many are getting a 'very raw deal' and accuse some universities of  failing to offer value for money.

The new figures, compiled from statistics on Government website Unistats, show that one of the widest gaps involves undergraduates studying history at York University, who spend just eight per cent of their course in lectures and seminars, with the rest in 'independent' study.

This is fewer than 100 hours a year 'contact' time with academics and works out at a cost of nearly £100 an hour.  But if they are reading the same subject at University College London, they will receive more than  triple the face-to-face teaching hours, at a rate of about £28 an hour.

In other examples, politics students at Leeds University and theology students at Sheffield spend ten per cent of their time in face-to-face teaching – about 120 hours of  lectures and tutorials a year – while their counterparts at Liverpool and Manchester enjoy double that.

At some newer universities, where the ability of the intake is more mixed and teaching takes priority over research, contact time tends to be greater.

Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at Buckingham University, said: 'Some students are getting a very raw deal.

The temptation of these universities is to free-up staff to concentrate on their own research, which tends to be more lucrative than teaching.'

Anthony Seldon, the master of leading independent school Wellington College, Berkshire, said: 'The majority of students have a tremendous time at university and are appreciative of that.

'But increasingly we hear of disappointment in the low level of demand placed on them and the lack of quality time with academics and personal attention.'

One history student in his second year at York said: 'We all left school at the same level but friends at Oxbridge and other universities are working much more intensively than us – but we pay the same fees.'

The lack of face-to-face teaching on some courses has been one of the biggest causes of complaints by  students.

'However, official figures have become available only in recent months on the website after Ministers insisted families had the right to make comparisons before choosing a course.

York University's history department said it offered one-to-one  drop-in sessions and dissertation supervision with academics that was not reflected in the statistics.

Leeds said its courses 'deliberately involve independent study alongside teaching from some of the most respected academics in the world' to allow students to 'think critically'.


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