Week in review – back to school edition

by Judith Curry

Many academics now consider freedom of speech just another American eccentricity, like guns and religion. – Daniel Jacobsen

As the 2016/2017 academic year begins, universities are roiled by freedom of speech issues, pitting students, faculty members and administrators against each other.  Different universities are handling this in different ways.

I’ve been collecting articles and meaning to write a substantive post on this, but my schedule is beyond crazy.  So I decided to do a week in review type post on this issue, pointing to some of the more interesting links I’ve collected.  My ‘collection’ of links was self-sabotaged when I copied them to the post (the links weren’t preserved).  Oh well, maybe you can help me with links.

A short but cogent overview article to kick this off – Higher education: beyond parody [link]

CATO: Freedom of speech under assault on campus [link]

Professors tell students: Drop class if you doubt man made climate change [link]

Update: University official wants answers on whether climate professors are ‘indoctrinating’ students [link]

The decline of political, military and diplomatic history: Another casualty of campus political orthodoxy [link]

Students, Lawmakers Push to Ban Restrictive Campus ‘Free Speech Zones’ [link]

Students get just two hours of free speech per week, and only in select locations—if reserved. [link]

University of Cincinnati pressures profs to incorporate “inclusivity” in curricula [link]

What the Chicago Letter Won’t Fix — and why students must fix it themselves. [link]

Universities now betray their principles, attacking free speech of students. FIRE’s Speech Code of the Week: [link]

Who’s afraid of free speech? A tale of two universities [link]

Free Speech?  Now, that’s offensive! [link]

The death of campus free speech — and how to revive it [link]

JC reflections

One of the articles I read pointed out that all this sounds like a parody from The Onion.  Most unfortunately, this is not the case.

I couldn’t be more proud of the University of Chicago (my alma mater) for their stance on this.  I am also proud to stand with heterodox academy.org.  Another good organization on this issue is http://www.thefire.org.

Apart from all this killing off important fields of study, e.g. american political history, and biasing others, the real tragedy is what this means for the students.  Now, this is not just something that is being inflicted on students by the universities, but students are major players in driving all this insanity (and their parents are footing the bill).

Strong leadership is needed at the universities to navigate this, but any university worth its name should be the supporting the stance taken by the University of Chicago.

280 responses to “Week in review – back to school edition

  1. The contrast between Yale and Chicago could not be starker. This is a very serious issue.

  2. Very serious, indeed. Freedom of religion is also under assault.

  3. David L. Hagen

    “Doctored” – Academic Fraud?

    Two Hundred Million Dollar Scientific Grant Fraud Case
    Whistleblower sues Duke – Claims doctored data help win $200 million grants.

    Fifteen of her papers, mostly dealing with pulmonary biology, have now been retracted, with many notices citing “unreliable” data. . . .a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former colleague of Potts-Kant. It accuses the researcher, her former supervisor, and the university of including fraudulent data in applications and reports involving more than 60 grants worth some $200 million. If successful, the suit—brought under the federal False Claims Act (FCA)—could force Duke to return to the government up to three times the amount of any ill-gotten funds, and produce a multimillion-dollar payout to the whistleblower.

    Hmm! Wonder if this could be applied to doctored/biased climate models?
    Could be a >> multimillion-dollar payout if sustained.

  4. Is this the intended link to FIRE’s “Speech Code of the Month”?

  5. I am shocked. Socked that ideas, and how those ideas are articulated need to be regulated to the lowest emotional common denominator of vulnerable people. The depressed, those riddled with anxiety, self doubt and having lived in an intellectually isolated environment are suffering from witnessing and hearing ideas contrary to their belief systems.

    Is “I disagree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it” but a quaint historical remark? Of course it is. For the US to be an inclusive society, requires a behaviorly homogeneous viewpoint geared to offend nobody. The emotional world is desired and confined to platitudes and good intentions.

    Academics are regulated to counseling the uninitiated into the correct perspective, whatever that might be. The result is harmonious Political Correctness.

    Safe Places are but constructs of the emotional mind. And, for those who require physical safe places to shield one’s mind from emotionally upsetting thoughts, thoughts that are varied or even contrary to one’s previous teachings, nay, indoctrinations like religion, views of one’s own race and its place in society, it’s legacy and conflicting views of its aftermath, or even self doubts regarding internalizing social expectations, seeking Safe Harbour from the storm raging in one’s mind is not found in some physical space, rather emotional safety requires connectivity to others who are dissimilar to what one has heard and believed since the same old same old views have gotten the person into their current emotional trauma.

    Of course the academic cannot guide others who are young and emotionally precarious if they themselves are emotionally precarious, depressed, anxiety ridden, or ideologues. The academic’s baggage is relevant as to how much dissonance they can tolerate, and whether they can help others or, as currently seen, become part of the cacophony.

    It takes a certain emotional stability when confronted with diverse situations and respond, focus on the issue. When engaged, when employed to provide to others alternative ways to navigate life’s issues, harping upon rigid views is really counter productive. Doing so, an academic has thus lost their own directive , lost their own way.

    • RiHoo8. Is “I disagree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it” but a quaint historical remark?. I don’t think so “. I take it you were ‘in theater ‘and saw the truth of ugly. Words fail.

  6. Back in early 2015, I had stumbled across a 2012 study called A Crisis of Competence: The Corrupting Effect of Political Activism in the University of California (80+ page pdf).

    To be honest, I still haven’t read the whole thing … But here’s what jumped out at me at the time (my bold -hro):

    “In recent years, study after study has found that a college education no longer does what it should do and once did.1 Whether these studies look directly at the capabilities of graduates, or instead at what employers find their capabilities to be, the result is the same: far too many college graduates have not learned to write effectively, they can not read and comprehend any reasonably complex book, they have not learned to reason, and their basic knowledge of the history and institutions of the society in which they live is lamentably poor. ‘An astounding proportion of students are progressing through higher education today without measurable gains in general skills’ is the anguished conclusion of a respected national study, entitled appropriately Academically Adrift. 2 Further, students now spend on average little time studying outside the classroom, and the demands made of them by their faculty teachers have been correspondingly reduced.”

    To give you a sense of the findings, here are their concluding chapter headings:

    Educational and Social Consequences of a Corrupted Academy
    Evidence of a Sharply Inferior Higher Education
    Damage to High School Education
    Cancelling the Leveling Effect of Higher Education
    The Decline of Respect for Academic Research
    Decreasing Respect for Academia in American Society
    Damage to the Nation’s Cohesion and Sense of Itself

    View from here, so to speak, is that in the intervening four+ years what we have seen strongly suggests that, well, it’s worse – and far more widespread – than they thought.

    • HO, I commented on that report when it came out. Linked it for JC. Points out the utter lack of intellectual diversity in the faculty. Self selection since the 1960’s. Now pure progressive leftist orientation. Means students aren’t getting the breadth of legitimate perspectives they deserve and need.

      • In my view, it’s far more than mere “progressive leftist orientation”. We’ve had 40+ years of pure unadulterated indoctrination – not only on the climate front – along with a continuous lowering of standards throughout all western education systems.

        As a rather ludicrous – but IMHO very telling – example of the “products” of these post-mid-sixties descents and deficits, consider the number of high profile “climate scientists” – and/or facsimiles thereof – who chose to oh-so-wrongly wrap themselves in an utterly false flag of Nobel laureateship!

        To my mind, it’s almost beyond belief, and certainly does not speak well for any of them – nor for the MSM mavens who dutifully and credulously parroted such false Nobel flaunts.

        After these 40+ years of such descents and deficits, at this point I, for one, wouldn’t even want to take a guess as to how long it might take to turn this ship of uneducated fools around.

    • The positive side of this is many of us do not have to worry about competition from younger generations.

  7. “DENVER — The University of Colorado professors who shut down climate change debate in class have landed on the radar of a top school official, who says he wants to make sure students are being “educated, not indoctrinated.”

    “John Carson, a member of the University of Colorado Board of Regents, said he plans to make inquires Thursday about an email from three University of Colorado at Colorado Springs professors who advised students to drop the class if they dispute climate change.”

    If I believed in any god, I would thank him, her or it for bringing just a little hope for students freedom to think freely and scrutinize dogmas. After all – openness and scrutiny is the two legs by which science advance. Maybe I should rather just thank John Carson who actually seems to take action.

    On the other side – the three professors are a disgrace for the profession.

    • Connecting items in this thread, what the professors gave was an example of a trigger warning. They knew that some students would be offended by them assuming AGW as a given and felt the need to state that in advance.

      • Jim D,

        Reading comprehension is you friend. What those professors are doing is not a “trigger warning”. They are telling students they do not want them in the course unless they already accept preconceived positions and opinions. Now one could argue they don’t want “deniers” distracting other students. But a most charitable spin of that justification is that none of the professors are confident in their ability to keep a class on track.

      • It is exactly a trigger warning. Your guys get very upset when the science is assumed to be correct.

      • Trigger warning, lol, how thoughtful. The Profs were
        warning students who might presume to question, to
        keep out because the dogma is settled. Whatever
        happened to academic Nullius in verba?

      • No Jim it is not.

        Which is why I question your comprehension skills.

        Which surprises me because you express yourself well.

        Then again, you do regularly fail to respond to specific points which are counter to your own.

      • This is the definition of a trigger warning “a statement at the start of a piece of writing, video, etc., alerting the reader or viewer to the fact that it contains potentially distressing material”. I am arguing that taking AGW as a given is distressing to some people.

      • Here, Jim D:

        Trigger warnings are nothing new. The practice originated in Internet communities, primarily for the benefit of people with post-traumatic stress disorder. The idea was to flag content that depicted or discussed common causes of trauma, like military combat, child abuse, incest and sexual violence. People could then choose whether or not to engage with this material.

        But trigger warnings have been adapted to serve a subtly different purpose within universities. Increasingly, professors like me simply give students notice in their syllabuses, or before certain reading assignments. The point is not to enable — let alone encourage — students to skip these readings or our subsequent class discussion (both of which are mandatory in my courses, absent a formal exemption). Rather, it is to allow those who are sensitive to these subjects to prepare themselves for reading about them, and better manage their reactions. The evidence suggests that at least some of the students in any given class of mine are likely to have suffered some sort of trauma, whether from sexual assault or another type of abuse or violence. So I think the benefits of trigger warnings can be significant.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/20/opinion/sunday/why-i-use-trigger-warnings.html

      • Having said that, it looks like in this case it was too late because their statement came in response to several students being upset on hearing about 21st century climate change in the first online lecture.

      • All the professors needed to do is to send the recalcitrant students a link to Judy’s, with a suggestion to come meet Denizens if they wanted to explore Anything But Carbon, and a note never to mention unicorns.

        A wasted opportunity.

      • Yes, we try to keep it less traumatic for the poor souls here:-)

      • Curious George

        Shut up, or get booted.
        Is it a trigger warning?

      • There was no threat to get booted. It was, remove yourself if it makes you uncomfortable.

      • No, Bad. That’s Puppy Dave.

      • stevenreincarnated

        The IPCC doesn’t peer review anything. The IPCC has also been known to use gray literature. Maybe 98% of climate scientists agree on the theory of GHGs but that would be about it. Where do they find these instructors? They have a save the homeless by making them college professors program there?

      • Forget peer review. It’s even in school textbooks these days. The governments and industry are already acting on it. Some people want to live in the past.

      • This is about indoctrination, not about about Trigger warnings:
        «Trigger warnings are nothing new. The practice originated in Internet communities, primarily for the benefit of people with post-traumatic stress disorder. The idea was to flag content that depicted or discussed common causes of trauma, like military combat, child abuse, incest and sexual violence. People could then choose whether or not to engage with this material.»

        The professors are obviously not concerned about protecting people with post-traumatic stress disorder. The professors seem to be more concerned about establishing and protecting their view and United Nations climate dogma. The following looks like indoctrination to me:
        “The point of departure for this course is based on the scientific premise that human induced climate change is valid and occurring. We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change, nor will the ‘other side’ of the climate change debate be taught or discussed in this course, … Opening up a debate that 98% of climate scientists unequivocally agree to be a non-debate would detract from the central concerns of environment and health addressed in this course, ”
        – Rebecca Laroche, Wendy Haggren and Eileen Skahill (Three professors co-teaching an online course called “Medical Humanities in the Digital Age” at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs )

      • It is not indoctrination. If students disagree, they can go to another course. They want to talk about 21st century medicine in a relevant way, and not to be distracted from it by these minority side issues. Those students were trying to bring their politics into a discussion about the 21st century that can’t with any honesty neglect climate change.

      • Indoctrination?

        Jeez frail little skeptics..

        err lets see.. When I took calculus and DiffyQ I did not consider that the professors were indoctrinating me. There were subjects. I was interested, I wanted to learn. Greek civ? same thing. soak it up.
        When I took Phenomemology of Mind, I had no idea I was being indoctrinated into Hegel, ( OMG!) I just wanted to learn

        Logical Positivism? Mideaval Philosophy, husserl, Kant, Descartes.. gosh I got re brainwashed many times.. They indoctrinated me with wycherly
        and Pope, and Coleridge, and Carlyle, Hopkins, tennyson, Nabokov, Frost, Pynchon…Indoctination !!! I had to learn what other people thought and actually realize that education was not a debate. the best students adopt the behavior of a sponge. Soak it up.
        plus undergrads are barely human beings.

      • …Nabokov…

        Lolita needs a trigger warning. But for aspiring writers: “You will never be this good. Quit now if you can’t take the pressure.”

      • @ Stephen Mosher

        When I took History of philosophy, philosophy of science etc. I was never once told that any perspective or any way of thinking was the right way to think. We learned about different ways of thinking and we learned to compare and discuss different views. We learned to be critical, to scrutinize, in the first course – before we took the rest of the courses on University.

        Indoctrination on the other side is about «the process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically». The ones who are frail are the three professors which use their authority and the unscientific consensus argument and will not even touch upon critical questions or allow scrutiny.

      • “John Carson, a member of the University of Colorado Board of Regents, said he plans to make inquires Thursday about an email from three University of Colorado at Colorado Springs professors who advised students to drop the class if they dispute climate change.”

        The one genuinely frightening thing in the story… yet another investigation inspired by extreme, totally misplaced reactionarism. They’re in Colorado Springs… lol.

        “I think that’s an important thing I learned from TFAS, that we want to have a vigorous dialogue on campus, we want to have a lot of different political views and we want to have a lot of conservative and libertarian professors, as well as liberal professors.” – John Carson

        Advocating rigging the system… bookshelves full of participation awards… dozens of victim professors who should have gotten the job on merit, but there was a quota for libertarians.

      • Science or Fiction said:

        @ Stephen Mosher

        When I took History of philosophy, philosophy of science etc. I was never once told that any perspective or any way of thinking was the right way to think. We learned about different ways of thinking and we learned to compare and discuss different views. We learned to be critical, to scrutinize….

        It’s like taking a course in comparative religion, which is quite different from attending church.

        Attending chapel, however, is quite appropriate when one is on a quest to find certainty and eliminate doubt.

        Messianic political programs invariably do tell people what is proper to think, to feel, and to believe. It adds a coating of mandatory sanctimony to those who believe they are waging the good fight on behalf of virtue.

      • > will not even touch upon critical questions or allow scrutiny.

        We can’t even interrupt teachers to peddle something they neither want or need to discuss in their curriculum anymore.

        No wonder the world goes down the drain of totalitarism.

        Students, stand up for your fellow Freedom Fighters’ right to derail the courses which will leave you a debt for more than half of your lives!

      • stevenreincarnated

        Are the people that put it in the text books also random homeless people made college professors that write letters to students saying we know what we are talking about so don’t argue and yet get the facts in the letter all wrong?

      • Nothing more is being assumed than what students worldwide learn in school these days, and they are not going to debate whether the climate in the 21st century is changing or not. First of all, that is not the class for discussing that subject. If they want to debate that subject, go to another class that debates it, if such exists.

      • JimD,
        “they are not going to debate whether the climate in the 21st century is changing or not.” is not what the syllabus says. Read it again.

      • Quote what you mean. If somebody attends a course entitled “Medical Humanities in the Digital Age”, I don’t think they expect to debate whether climate change exists in that course.

      • JimD,
        Playing catch up. Been out.

        I shoulda said not what the e-mail says, not syllabus: “The point of departure for this course is based on the scientific premise that human induced climate change is valid and occurring. We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change, nor will the ‘other side’ of the climate change debate be taught or discussed in this course,” states the email, a copy of which was provided to The College Fix by a student in the course.”

        This is the part to which I was referring: “debate the science of climate change, nor will the ‘other side’ of the climate change debate be taught or discussed in this course,”

        See the syllabus. Pg 2, what the student will be able to do. #4 in particular. How can they analyze if they can’t analyze & discuss? Even the science debates itself in that it doesn’t forecast, it projects and does so with varying levels of confidence. There doesn’t even have to be an ‘other side’. Where’s the freedom of speech in an academic setting?

      • Seems they are more focused on ongoing effects of climate change rather than something speculative in the future, but that is just my reading of the syllabus.

      • JimD,
        “Seems they are more focused on ongoing effects of climate change rather than something speculative in the future”
        Okay. Ongoing. And those are, today, right now in the IPCC and has been ‘peer reviewed’ by them? And what are those effects?

        Temp? SLR? Droughts? Wildfires? Tornadoes? Hurricanes? Ice changes?

        It’s not that much at this moment, which is in part why there is so much debate. Looking at ‘ongoing effects’ leaves little reason to consider mitigation. It’s the ‘speculative future’ on which the big money rides.

        Dismissal of the entire discussion in a ‘Medical Humanities in the Digital Age’ course is improper. In fact, inclusion of ‘climate change’ might well be an entirely incorrect choice especially since ‘speculative future’ is (by your read) off the table.

      • If it is already ongoing, the future would be even more of a concern, and it should not be dismissed. Anyway, I am not sure what triggered those students to object to the first online lecture, so this is all speculative until someone finds out. They could just be denying things on religious grounds (Inhofe-style) for all we know, then where would you be?

      • They could just be denying things on religious grounds (Inhofe-style) for all we know, then where would you be?

        Golly Gee. You may be correct. However, being the good students that we all are we can’t even discuss it on line so guess we’ll never know. The internet is watching us all and well, if you know who sees it we’re done for.

      • Meanwhile certain denialist types blame the professors for laying out the line on what is assumed to be a starting point for their course, and some want to defend the denialists. That is the way it goes here.

      • They can defer to politically influenced organizations like IPCC and the UN, but then it becomes a political class.

        There’s a distinction between defending the ‘denialists’ and defending the teaching of critical thinking. This is a 3000 level (Junior year) class. If the profs didn’t wish to deal with the controversy they could have chosen a different topic.

        The ability to show a current day attribution of climate change to ‘medical’ issues is a bit of a stretch.

        I can predict your answer, but I will leave it at that.

      • Yes, but the IPCC. That was my predicted answer. The basic issue is how the science drives the policy when some think the politics drives the science. That disagreement is much discussed. It doesn’t matter how much peer-reviewed science I refer to, how far back it goes, how many observations support it already happening, or how many independent scientific associations, global governments or industries support the basic statements on AGW, you will always have this view. The professors defer to science and some people blame them. It is just expected in this political world.

      • JimD,
        “you will always have this view.”

        But you see, it’s not ‘my view’. That’s not the point. The point is if a prof. picks a controversial topic while disallowing one side of the controversy it’s not teaching students how to think and analyze.

        Climate change is a huge topic. Within the AGW ‘side’ there are controversies. Lemme see if I can think of a few……oh yes…….slr, droughts, clouds, CO2 cost/benefit near vs. long term, Antarctica, ECS, ya know…………those things all of which are not ‘on the other side’.

        “The professors defer to science and some people blame them.” Do they now? Are you sure? No other potentially influential component?

      • They want to talk about fracking and its effects on communities and the effects of climate change on indigenous populations. This all presupposes that these things will continue in a climate that is changing. They reference the IPCC for this fact. Maybe they could have referenced looking out your window or reading the news, but that is the way they went.

      • JimD,

        There ya go again.

        “This all presupposes that these things will continue in a climate that is changing. They reference the IPCC for this fact. ”

        presupposes–definition: tacitly assume at the beginning of a line of argument or course of action that something is the case.

        fact–definition: a thing that is indisputably the case.

        Therein lies the problem.

        Assume–definition: suppose to be the case, without proof.

        Why are students not disallowed ‘the other side’ in the fracking discussion?

        Somebody one said: “It is just expected in this political world.” Are you certain there’s “No other potentially influential component?”

      • This is a humanities course. They look at the world and see the problems, and the reasons for the problems, potential solutions, none of which is outside mainstream thinking. If the students get upset by the subjects being raised, this is not the course for them.

      • “If the students get upset by the subjects being raised, this is not the course for them.”

        Subjects such as: Cyborgs, Plague, Medical Treatment and Healing, Nature and Nature and it’s ‘healing power’, Fracking and public health, Medical practice in the digital age, Opposition to vaccination, Controlling nature. Yet the only area which ‘the other side’ is disallowed is climate change? Yeah. ‘Cause it’s controversial and none of the others are. Right.

        This:”They look at the world and see the problems, and the reasons for the problems, potential solutions, none of which is outside mainstream thinking.” doesn’t even make sense when one actually reads the syllabus.

      • I am sure those students would not have signed up if they read the syllabus properly. What were they expecting? It was not false advertising. They put the syllabus up so that you know what you are going to be studying. Climate change is occurring, like it or lump it.

      • Now you’re just being silly. The climate change information came via e-mail. Now I’m just guessing here but do you actually think they did a campus wide distribution to all students so they wouldn’t sign up, or maybe did they e-mail to students who’d actually registered for the class and potentially they missed an opportunity to an alternative?

      • I see climate change in the syllabus. Perhaps they missed it.

      • But does it say in the syllabus ‘only IPCC’ while disallowing ‘the other side’? I didn’t see it.

        I’d go so far as to say pretty much all of us here would sign up for the course BECAUSE it included CC. We do spend some time here after all.

      • Does it say they will discuss whether climate change is occurring? No.

      • Okay. What does it say, in full? Does it say they won’t? That came in the e-mail.

      • It says they will discuss the effects, mostly ongoing. Somebody linked the syallabus above. Look for the word ‘syllabus’.

      • JimD,
        Actually. Let’s do this. Let’s assign Opposition to Vaccinations as a topic and disallow any references to a pro-vaccination source because: ‘vaccine related issues are valid and occurring’.

        Further: ‘We will not, at any time, debate the science of vaccinations, nor will the ‘other side’ of the vaccination debate be taught or discussed in this course.’

        And if the students are upset about the subjects being raised this not the course for them.

        Mosh just ‘instructed’ that if one is to ‘learn critical thinking’ then ‘one must take the other side’.

        Sorry, but IMO this is not ‘instruction’ in the remotest sense and does not even allow critical thinking.

      • It is not equivalent. The debate on the benefit of vaccines is as much over as the one whether climate change is occurring. Professors can probably offer courses on the opposite views because of tenure protections, but they have to be careful not to be doing something that can be construed as academic misconduct.

      • We’ll just have to disagree. It is equivalent, not in topic but in approach. Not allowing the student to do their own examination nor to even discuss anything not IPCC ‘peer reviewed’ is wrong. Mean’s Karl is off the table so pause still exists. Plus no recent ‘warmest years’. You know. Stuff like that.

        Let’s take a different approach, let’s say works came out which substantiated a much worse case than IPCC reported. Well, that’d be off limits. Couldn’t even use that information to sell the beach house.

        Really?

      • Climate change is occurring, but some still don’t accept it and get very upset at its mention. Like I said, you don’t need peer review to see this, just the news and common knowledge. Universities can’t cater to that level of denial.

      • But wait. As you reminded me, this is a humanities course and NOT one about climate change. So what is the purpose? The profs disagree with your premise that you don’t need peer review. In fact, they require it from the IPCC.

        I’m not asking ‘universities to cater to ANY level of denial’. Yet they did here. They deny the student the ability to discuss and to think critically about climate issues, yet do not do the same for vaccinations, etc.

      • The IPCC is the starting point. You want to disagree with the IPCC, do it on your own time not in class.

      • But teacher, I disagree with the IPCC, this study happened after and shows ‘it’s worse than we thought’. Nope. Sorry. Can’t discuss that.

        There is some reason they singled out climate change out of all of the topics of discussion. All the other controversial topics were not banned from discussion, no other ‘the other sides’ were excluded, no other issues were ‘undebatable’.

      • Can I spin this? Some people are traumatized. This course will cover subjects related to their traumatization because of AGW. Whether or not they should be traumatized will not be discussed. Points of view expressing hope that minimize their trauma or bring up the uncertainty of it will not be part of the class. It is expected that students taking this will be traumatized and if it turns out they are not and wish to express that, they might as well skip this class. 98% of scientists and the IPCC agree, we have every reason to be traumatized.

      • The ones who complained are the ones who can’t handle it, and that is fine. They can withdraw into safe classes, like art history, so that they don’t have to face up to these realities of the world.

      • stevenreincarnated

        You can’t debate the impact of climate change if there is a debate about how much change there will be. You could debate them both and come up with a series of interesting answers. Declaring you know the answer then running a class based on false premises doesn’t sound very scholarly to me but that is the modern educational system where the US ranks near last. Good job academics!

      • You can debate the effects of change with the implication that no change means no effect. It is useful to study the effects of larger change and smaller change to put the effects of mitigation into perspective.

      • @ Jim D
        I take your point that this is not the class for discussing climate change. However, It must be possible to allow students to reflect on and discuss the premisses which the professors have bought into and accept as incontrovertible true.

        Anyhow, I find the response from the professors to be inappropriate. Both in the way they use their authority and the unscientific consensus argument – But also in the way the professors seem to use a lot of material in the syllabus which does not seem to me to have been peer-reviewed. While the professors note in their e-mail that the ban on debate extends to discussion among students in the online forums and require that the students who choose to use outside sources for research during their time in the course may select only material which have been «peer-reviewed» by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Ref.:Professors tell students: Drop class if you dispute man-made climate change

        As you state that «Those students were trying to bring their politics into a discussion” – I would say that It seems to me that the professors has succeeded very well in bringing their own politics into the syllabus.

        «The game of science is, in principle, without end. He who decides one day that scientific statements do not call for any further test, and that they can be regarded as finally verified, retires from the game» «Those among us who are unwilling to expose their ideas to the hazard of refutation do not take part in the scientific game.» – guess who!

      • Yes, caring about climate impacts on indigenous communities or the local impacts of fracking do seem like exactly the kind of things right-wing types despise coming into college courses. Not sure what they can do about it, however. Any ideas?

      • stevenreincarnated

        A range would be good. Perhaps a range of your own based upon arguments that the students derive based upon published literature. What isn’t good is declaring the IPCC the bible of climate change and declaring that all arguments must fall in line with their conclusions. We all know the IPCC is full of 6%ers, don’t we?

      • The IPCC and scientists in general, have a range and they should cover that full range and not just pussyfoot at the low end to avoid hurting some feelings. They can’t just disregard statements by the AMS, AGU, etc., who take climate change seriously.

      • Medical Humanities

        The Medical Humanities provide an interdisciplinary and interprofessional approach to investigating and understanding the profound effects of illness and disease on patients, health professionals, and the social worlds in which they live and work. In contrast to the medical sciences, the medical humanities – which include narrative medicine, history of medicine, culture studies, science and technology studies, medical anthropology, ethics, economics, philosophy and the arts (literature, film, visual art) – focus more on meaning making than measurement.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim, they could go above the range also. All the student would have to do is be able to support it with published literature. They can disregard statements regardless of who makes them. I do it all the time. If they have an argument I can’t disregard then let them make it.

      • What they are studying is just qualitative. They can go by impacts in WG2. If they want to justify more impacts, they can go for it, but have to make a case. I don’t think this is the course for that. Students know that to get by in a course, they can’t depart too far from the professors in their reports regardless of what they really think. The goal of the course is to get them thinking about new issues, and it succeeds if it does.

      • I left this part from my above:
        Trigger warning:
        “The practice originated in Internet communities, primarily for the benefit of people with post-traumatic stress disorder. The idea was to flag content that depicted or discussed common causes of trauma, like military combat, child abuse, incest and sexual violence.”

        I was trying to look at it as a trigger warning. Agreeing with the above definition. Your are this. A victim. That you are victim will not be debated. Scientists agree, you are a victim and continue to be one. Claims that you are not a victim or only minorly one will not be a part of this class. Those of this class, will all continue to be victims until we pass through a narrow set of, how not to be a victim solutions. But even so, hitting this window only has a 1 in 10 chance of succeeding for various reasons having to do with China, India, the usual list. One reaction to being a victim is denial.

        First degree: Denial that the problem, symptom, feeling or need exists.
        Second degree: Minimization or rationalization.
        Third degree: Admitting it, but denying the consequences.
        Fourth degree: Unwilling to seek help for it.
        So, if you are in denial, we have nothing for you.

        Whose point am I making above? I am a denier. For the Fourth degree I’d like no regrets solutions. I don’t want no help. Soil banks, coastal restoration, better run off solutions, access to reliable electricity for a billion poor people, pumped hydro storage, small increases in gasoline taxes, and more trees.

      • More like, this course is about impacts of climate change. If you don’t think there will be climate change or impacts, this course is not for you because you will be upset by the starting point. Seems fair to me.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Sounds to me like the goal is to make them think exactly like the professors and the professors have shown by their mail that they aren’t well informed.

      • They defer to the scientists on science. Seems perfectly reasonable.

      • Jim D,
        “They defer to the scientists on science. Seems perfectly reasonable.” Except when it’s not.

        https://judithcurry.com/2016/09/03/week-in-review-back-to-school-edition/#comment-808933
        Patient retaining her leg(s) by not deferring to the scientist (physician) is reasonable. Having lost her legs unnecessarily does not.

        If you’re ever sick or injured I suggest you watch the ‘scientists’ like a hawk. Maybe they took this class, weren’t allowed to investigate alternative resources and might have their minds set……….on the wrong track.

      • Sure, who do you trust most on climate change, and why? People have different ways of answering that, but for most they look at summaries or books written by the experts. A humanities professor might choose those as course materials, and would you blame them?

      • stevenreincarnated

        We already discussed the deferring to the scientists. I’m sure if a class said only the GWPF was a legitimate source for arguments you would be all for it, right? They have scientists there don’t they? That would be deferring to the scientists wouldn’t it? What you really mean by the scientists are scientists that agree with you. That isn’t a proper definition.

      • They can defer to politically motivated organizations like GWPF and Cato, but then it becomes a political class. I can predict your answer, but I will leave it at that.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Good prediction.

      • And as I responded predictably to Danny, science drives policy. The IPCC doesn’t do the science, but they look a the implications of various policies given the science and pass that to the policymakers. If someone dismisses the science, it is not the IPCC’s fault. They have to look elsewhere for the source of their mistrust of scientists.

      • stevenreincarnated

        There’s a lot of science out there. The IPCC decides which science is important. Amusingly enough it is usually the papers of the IPCC authors that qualify as the most important. The IPCC authors tend to be fringe elements such as yourself or you wouldn’t think they were so right all the time. You are a 6%er. That doesn’t make them dishonest. It just makes them biased. Aren’t we all?

      • There are many, such as Lacis, who think the IPCC is too cautious in their wording because they wordsmith by committee for heir SPMs, and countries like Saudi Arabia have a say. They initially underestimated the Arctic sea-ice melt rate. They still refuse to take accelerated glacier loss into account in sea-level projections. The IPCC reports are far from fringe, possibly too moderate, if anything.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Spoken like a true 6%er.

      • 70% of the American public want emissions reductions, so I am in that 70%.

      • “who think the IPCC is too cautious in their wording because they wordsmith by committee for heir SPMs”

        Hmm. Are the any we can think of even on the more climate concerned side who think ‘the science’ may be open to question? Steig by chance? Zwally?
        Curry? Sure wouldn’t wanna show any respect towards those ‘scientists’ would we?

      • stevenreincarnated

        70% of the public wants emissions reduction as long as it doesn’t cost them anything. Typical 6%er to leave out the important statistic and only use the one that promotes the cause.

      • They don’t just think we need emissions reductions to avoid rising fossil fuel costs. They see the scientific reasons for it.

      • They don’t just think we need emissions reductions to avoid rising fossil fuel costs.

        Straw man.

      • No, it depends how you put the question, and you can project costs either way, but on just the science, they see the need.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim, you crack me up sometimes. We have had this discussion how many times now? Here you go playing dumb. The only way you will get what you want is to mislead the public. You can keep your SUV and go on any vacation you want and still save $2000 a year because the oil companies will pay it all. You know, play it like they did Obamacare.

      • ]… B]bt on just the science, they see the need.

        As long as it doesn’t cost them much.

      • …and it may well not. Remember mitigation plays out gradually over decades, and on that time scale fossil fuels are getting scarcer, unless you want to go back to reopen coal mines.

      • That is not a question on the need to reduce fossil fuels. If you don’t keep the question clean, you get a skewed answer on where they stand wrt IPCC recommendations.

      • …and it may well not.

        Yes, I’ve been arguing that point here for years.

        But just because a large fraction of the public would be in favor of switching off fossil fuels if it’s not to expensive doesn’t mean they’ll support an expensive plan. Their approval is conditional.

        So people have to put in the effort to find a cheap plan.

        Except for those of us who already have some ideas for cheap plans. What we have to do is get those others’ attention.

      • The course is not about warming; it’s not about global warming; it’s not about anthropogenic global warming; and it’s not about catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.

        And it’s not about whether or not the point of departure is true or not.

        It’s about graduating better candidates to go into the healthcare professionals. In essence, achieving a better bedside manner.

        And you folks are trying to ruin it.

      • Yeah. Wouldn’t want a potential physician to think critically would we: https://judithcurry.com/2016/09/03/week-in-review-back-to-school-edition/#comment-809022

        Look, I get it. The discussion would get mired in the weeds. I mean, after all, what’s been ‘determined’ here on this blog? Pretty much nothing from what I can tell. But it’s not the topic, it’s the approach. If one doesn’t want to get grass stains, don’t step in the yard.

      • And it doesn’t change the fact that “emissions reductions to avoid rising fossil fuel costs” are a straw man. “[E]missions” don’t have anything to do with avoiding “rising fossil fuel costs

      • I could phrase a question as, should we reduce our dependence on depleting fossil fuels? What answer would that get?

      • What answer would that get?

        “If it doesn’t cost too much.”

        Judging, at least, by a long track record of actions.

      • Would you save the earth?
        If it doesn’t cost too much.

  8. I started college in 1965. If anyone had tried safe zones, trigger warnings, PC speech and the like, they would have been laughed off campus. Now my favorite youngest child who just received two Master’s degrees parrots that stuff back like it’s the gospel.

    I doubt I’d last 10 minutes at my alma mater because I’d utter some inappropriate thought. I thought 1984 was a warning, it turns out to be an instruction manual.

    • 1965.

      Voting Rights Act.

      If only we could have protection of free speech like we did back then.

      Let’s make America great again.

    • Do they read Orwell anymore?

      • They don’t seem to read the Bible…

        Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

        though no student loan is required, it is even free.

  9. Here’s a Vox article arguing against the Chicago letter.

    Reads like J0shua wrote it.

    • Vox against free speech? No way!

      I also loved The New Yorker’s response where they blamed Trump and the inability to be articulate. To paraphrase: It’s not that we can’t have free speech, we just can’t have it till everyone agrees what every word means.

  10. The point that a lot of this is bottom up from students is important. It shows how political correctness has been corrosive for a long time. There is a simple answer at the college level. Don’t give in to student demands concerning PC and safe spaces. The world isn’t ‘safe’. Give them a warning. For the worst repeat disrupters, eventually a time out or explusion.

    • ==> Don’t give in to student demands concerning PC and safe spaces. ==>

      Yes, indeed. Why let the students have a voice in the attributes of their educational context!? How can they be expected to stop being coddled little weanies if you stop dictating to them how their world should be and start giving them a voice?

      • ==> For the worst repeat disrupters, eventually a time out or explusion. ==>

        Yes. Time out and expulsion How else can they be expected to learn, in an adult manner, about free speech – except to give them “time out” or expel them if they demand agency in designing their educational environment?

        I mean, it’s not like they’re paying for a product, and thus have a stake in what that product looks like.

        Oh. Wait.

      • Because they are there to learn from presumeably more mature and knowledgable teachers. Else they would not be students. So no, they should not have a say on either curricula or idea content, in or out of class.
        You would have ‘the lunatics run the asylum’.

      • ==> You would have ‘the lunatics run the asylum’. ==>

        No, I don’t divide the “lunatics” from the non-“lunatics” by the same criteria that you apparently use. There are plenty of higher ed administrators that I disagree with about much. That doesn’t make them “lunatics” any more than students are “lunatics” because they want a stake in defining their own educational environment.

        In fact, as Dewey and Piaget and many epistemologists have argued, the value of an educational paradigm is, to some degree at least, a function of the degree of agency that students have in constructing their own educational environment. In such a way, they become meta-cognitive and not empty vessels or blank slates or passive learners who are not actualized in as executives in their own educational process.

        As such, the paradigm becomes a process of dialog and exchange.

        Read what notable “skeptic” and libertarian J. Scott Armstrong has to say about the concept of student engagement within the predominating paradigm. Perhaps you will find what I’m saying palatable if it comes from him.

      • Numbnuts, do you understand the difference between giving someone a voice and giving Into demands?

        I’m guessing you do. Which is why so many here think you are a dishonest puts.

      • tim –

        Help me out here. Will the administration give them “time out” and expel the students after the administration has repeatedly given in to the students’ demands, or is the administration going to expel the students simply because they’ve made demands (that weren’t accommodated by the administration) repeatedly?

    • The bottom line is that the likes of Joshua AK believe in in free speech being curtailed so as to limit thought. Whereas boring old-fashioned people believe the opposite.

      • Punksta –

        You know me so well. Nothing I like better than limiting free speech. I just hate free speech. Hate it.

    • Conservative Correctness is every bit as corrosive to young minds as PC. Yet my generation somehow survived it (and ended the Draft — BooYah!). I suspect this generation will survive being asked to listen and learn as well as we did.

      • I hate those PC , anti-free speech people who insist on wishing me and other conservatives “Happy Holidays.”

        I say if they can’t wish me a “Merry Christmas” like they’re supposed to, let’s expel them, or at least give then “time out.”

      • Conservative correctness (so-called “family values”) is often religion-based. Religiosity, when enforced, can put some harsh correctness constraints on societies, and I don’t just mean Christianity.

    • Found this gem in the comments for the latest NYTimes screed supporting campus PC culture and its readers cheering on the curtailing of freedom:

      “Shockingly, many commenters here are stating, without any embarrassment, that they don’t see what is wrong with “political correctness.” Political correctness is not some synonym for moral thought or behavior. Rather, it refers to a particularly loathsome form of intellectual dishonesty in which facts or conclusions that don’t comport with leftist ideology must be suppressed. An example would be the liberal media’s effort to suppress the finding that white suspects are at greater risk of dying at the hands of the police than black suspects, as it does not comport with the political narrative being pushed in leftist circles. [The NY Times was finally forced to report this recently after a definitive study was published by a black sociologist].

      Another example would be suppression of the conclusion that programs providing an incentive to work for resources lead to better outcomes than those that simply redistribute resources without incentives to work. This conclusion does not comport with leftist ideology and therefore you would be at risk of revilement if you dared to state this conclusion in today’s (leftist) college campus environment. [I know. I teach at an Ivy league school, and would be at risk of being ostracized if I ever stated such an idea.]

      So, if you are proud to declare yourself intellectually dishonest, and happy to accept falsehood over truth in favor of your political ideology, then yes, proudly declare yourselves “politically correct.”

  11. It will be interesting to see how the U Chicago idea plays out. Hopefully by wanting more open debate on campus they also let everyone into the speeches that want to see them, even if they hold an opposite view and may protest. It should not be a ‘safe space’ for the speaker either where they just talk to a carefully vetted friendly audience. If someone holds an event at a university, they have to be prepared for a representative audience of that campus. That’s what they sign up for, so don’t complain if people in that audience are then heard too, before, after or even during the speech.

    • Common courtesy would go a long way toward resolving these conflicts. Unfortunately, it isn’t all that common anymore.

    • It should not be a ‘safe space’ for the speaker either where they just talk to a carefully vetted friendly audience. If someone holds an event at a university, they have to be prepared for a representative audience of that campus. That’s what they sign up for, so don’t complain if people in that audience are then heard too, before, after or even during the speech.

      I suppose you also think there should be no “safe space” where people can express opinions without the risk of being mobbed and beaten up.

      Speaking up, even contra a public speaker, is one thing. Using the pretense of “speaking up” to impede others who want to hear what he has to say is another.

      • There’s crimes and there’s free speech. You need to be able distinguish. U. Chicago stands up for free speech and opposing viewpoints on the campus, and we will see how that plays out. As you mention, there is a line in protesting, and they will have to now enforce that as a result of this policy. The campus police may not be happy with this ivory tower idealism.

    • Jim D,

      You’re attempting to defend the indefensible.

      Milo Yiannopoulos assaulted and threatened by BLM ‘protesters’ at DePaul University

      UMass Amherst Students Throw Temper Tantrum at free Speech Event

      • As I mentioned above, there’s crimes and there’s protesting. It is now in the hands of the campus police to say where the line is because U. Chicago have now invited protests. Some universities want to keep all this stuff off campus, and who can blame them?

  12. Professors tell students: Drop class if you doubt man made climate change [link]

    Wow, Wow! The climate alarmists are running scared!
    The is wonderful news. The have no data to support them so they just cut off all debate.

    • How is this different from a professor teaching a class on evolutionary biology telling students “we aren’t going to debate creation or Intelligent Design”?

      • Because religion and science don’t mix. At CU, they are teaching warmunist religion as science. I have no problem with their stricture, properly labeled. They want to teach a warmunist catachism, fine. Just clearly label it as such. And don’t count the course credit toward anything remotely sciency. Same kind of credit as underwater basket weaving.

      • yThe difference is that this CO2 alarmist windmills and solar panels are ruining our power generation capabilities and our economy.

        How is this different from a professor teaching a class on evolutionary biology telling students “we aren’t going to debate creation or Intelligent Design”?

        This does not have any effect on our power generation capabilities and our economy. The difference is billions or trillions of dollars.

      • At CU, they are teaching warmunist religion as science.

        “Science”? Have you read the syllabus? It’s a touchie-feelie humanities course.

      • AK,

        “Science”? Have you read the syllabus? It’s a touchie-feelie humanities course.

        That did give me a chuckle, but I think we can safely assume The Consensus is being enforced in the undergraduate earth sciences classes as well.

        ristvan,

        Because religion and science don’t mix. At CU, they are teaching warmunist religion as science.

        I think it’s at the graduate level where it becomes a lot more OK to question orthodoxy because at that point professors may more safely assume that their students are serious about a career actually doing science. Even so, I can recall some sophomore-level biology lectures when we were Taught the Controversy … gradualism vs. punctuated equilibrium stands out.

        Face it, Rud, JAQ-ing Off isn’t Real Science. You’re gonna need more than just endless complaints about “censorship” and hand-waves to religion as science to get the textbooks rewritten.

    • Err No..
      here is what they wrote

      ““The point of departure for this course is based on the scientific premise that human induced climate change is valid and occurring. We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change, nor will the ‘other side’ of the climate change debate be taught or discussed in this course,” states the email, a copy of which was provided to The College Fix by a student in the course.”

      Typically as a professor you have the academic freedom to teach whatever you want and within reason however you want to teach it. Done finished. settled.

      Students??…, too many of these weenies ( jeeez, now even on the right ) think they have standing to demand how they will be taught.

      • Interesting: “The point of departure for this course is based on the scientific premise that there exists no human induced climate change. The theory is invalid and not occurring. We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change, nor will the ‘AGW side’ of the climate change debate be taught or discussed in this course,” states the email, a copy of which was provided to The College Fix by a student in the course.”

        Typically as a professor you have the academic freedom to teach whatever you want and within reason however you want to teach it. Done finished. settled.

        (Not stating a case, just providing an counter example)

      • Way to go Danny, you have achieved Joshian levels.

        Whether or not a Professor is free to teach a subject in whatever way they choose is not the issue. No one is arguing the three CU professors can’t teach the course as they see fit. What people are taking issue with is their wanting to stack the class with students who already think like they do. And they then double down by limiting what the students can use as reference and research material.

      • TimG,

        Question. What exactly did you perceive was the intent behind my modification of the e-mail?

        “What people are taking issue with is their wanting to stack the class with students who already think like they do.”

        My issues is you’d think (yes, it’s been a while since I was in school) that ‘they’d want to stack the class with students who think”. As I recall, a few instructors actually learn from students.

        Modification was intended to show the unreasonableness. Apparently it came across differently than intended.

        Done? Finished? Settled? I’ve heard that kind of thought process before. And although I”m nowhere near a professional scientist, no science is ever ‘done, finished, settled. It just doesn’t work that way. If Josh presented it that way, then good on him.

      • Curious George

        Scientific premise that human induced climate change is valid and occurring. What does the nice word “valid” mean here? Something else than “occurring”? Are we allowed to know how much “valid” or how much “occurring” it is? Are we allowed to question how much “valid” or how much “occurring” it is?

      • Professor tells med student Cindy to lay on the gurney.

        Professor to another med student, “Assume her airway is closed. What do you do next?”

        “Her airway is not closed.”

        “Yes, but assume it is.”

        “I can’t. Her airway is obviously open.”

        “Do you understand what “assume” means?”

        “Yes. It means you want to make an ass out of me by tricking me into cutting hole in Cindy’s throat.”

        “You have just graduated. Proceed straight to private practice.”

      • Mosh
        Typically as a professor you have the academic freedom to teach whatever you want and within reason however you want to teach it. Done finished. settled.

        Including insisting on only the prof’s approved answers, no matter how well argued an alternative might be?

        So if the topic is medical issues linked to global warming, and the student advances evidence that actually there hasn’t been any global warming, in an exam the student must still link the illness to the non-existent global warming.

      • Danny
        ‘(Not stating a case, just providing an counter example)

        counter example?

        How?

        If you wanted to teach a class that the moon was made of green cheese..
        I have zero problem with that.

      • “What people are taking issue with is their wanting to stack the class with students who already think like they do. ”

        Stack the class?

        why do you think that a class is any place for debate?

        About the only classes that benefit from debate are philosophy classes
        and even there, students know jack shit

        sit down, open your book, take notes, shut up and do your homework

      • And don’t ask questions!

      • Punksta,

        Including insisting on only the prof’s approved answers, no matter how well argued an alternative might be?

        Giving a prof the answer (s)he’s looking for on an exam is typically considered a good strategy for obtaining high marks.

        So if the topic is medical issues linked to global warming, and the student advances evidence that actually there hasn’t been any global warming, in an exam the student must still link the illness to the non-existent global warming.

        Undergrad humanities students wouldn’t typically be expected to deliver ground-breaking research “disproving” decades of refereed literature. If they actually had it, the best place to argue it is … refereed literature … not an undergraduate examination.

        IOW, textbooks don’t get written by telling prof what should be in the textbook.

      • “Including insisting on only the prof’s approved answers, no matter how well argued an alternative might be?

        Yes.

        So for example, the first question on my first philosophy test as a freshman was
        “Give Socrates argument for the immortality of the soul”
        the last exam question my senior year was
        ‘Give Husserls argument on solipsism”

        As a student, my opinion on the correctness of those is immaterial and most likely wrong, and beside the point of education..

        The vast vast majority of students (99.99%) have zero clues and zero worthwhile ideas.

        The small percent that do, are smart enough to visit office hours and get more than their money’s worth.

        Imagine spending hours in his office..

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_Heller

      • george

        “scientific premise that human induced climate change is valid and occurring. What does the nice word “valid” mean here?

        1. Please note that the pre requisites of the course is knowledge
        of english
        2. buy a dictionary
        3. if you want to argue about definitions, please see the philosophy
        offerings.

        Something else than “occurring”?
        occuring, as in happening now. In English ‘ing” endings often
        signify this

        Are we allowed to know how much “valid” or how much “occurring” it is?

        Valid enough that questioning it is not an option for this class.
        If you want to believe something else, please consult the Literature
        department, I suggest Eng Lit 204: Fantasy and science fiction
        in the late 1800s: Unicorns and UFOs

        Are we allowed to question how much “valid” or how much “occurring” it is?

        Err No. if you want a lose the science debate again, please drop the
        class and proceed to any blog on the internet.

      • Mosh
        Certainly I wouldn’t dispute that regurgitating the prof’s answers is a good strategy.

        But I’m not talking about something like Give the IPCC’s view on global warming . Rather something like looking at stats of the incidence of maladies the prof is blaming global warming for, when there hasn’t been any global warming. And then still needing to regurgitate that global warming is to blame. Soon 97% in the field will agree.

      • Steven Mosher said:

        The vast vast majority of students (99.99%) have zero clues and zero worthwhile ideas.

        Wow! Just wow!

        I suppose that Mosherism comes right after this one: The vast vast majority of people (99.99%) have zero clues and zero worthwhile ideas.

      • Curious George

        Steven is a good modern scientist. He could even teach a class like that himself.

      • “Mosh
        Certainly I wouldn’t dispute that regurgitating the prof’s answers is a good strategy.”

        Regurgitating doesnt work.
        You have to learn to live inside the position.

        Think of it as “method acting”

      • Rather something like looking at stats of the incidence of maladies the prof is blaming global warming for, when there hasn’t been any global warming.

        Not at all “well argued”, Punksta. Surface instrumental records show warming from the 19th Century. Radiosondes show tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling since the mid-20th Century. Orbiting microwave sounding units show lower and middle troposphere warming and stratospheric cooling since 1980. Ocean soundings show warming down to 2,000 m since the late 1950s.

      • Mosh says:

        If you wanted to teach a class that the moon was made of green cheese..
        I have zero problem with that.

        Even if what you say is true, your viewpoint isn’t particularly important.

        In a world in which some are trying to use RICO to silence skeptics, including scientists trying to silence “supporters” (presumably other scientists), who knows how severe is the penalty for teaching a course that attributes global warming to non-human causes.

      • Exactly.

        And who knows where the critical thinking associated with the debate might lead: “”My doctor told me to give it up, see a psychologist, and have my foot amputated,” she recalls.”
        http://www.livescience.com/203-maggots-leeches-medicine.html

      • “And who knows where the critical thinking associated with the debate might lead: ”

        Ah you want to learn critical thinking?

        here is a clue. you dont learn it by taking YOUR SIDE in a debate.
        you learn it by taking the the OTHER SIDE.

        So, for example, You have to learn the AGW side of the debate.
        You have to be able to give the best most comprehensive argument
        for it. you have to know it inside and out. To be really good you have to be able to fool other people into thinking you believe it.

        It would be like “practicing” being a skeptic for a couple years.
        Learn the insides and out of the positions.. If you were really good at critical thinking you might even publish something from a skeptical persuasion.. then you change sides. So basically you dont learn critical thinking by walking into a class and arguing from ignorance and a lack of power against a more well equipped teacher. You take their class.
        you suck their brain dry and understand the position down to your core.
        Then you will be a formitable opponent to that system of thought.

        In short, debate does very little to improve your thinking skills.
        Debate is where you DEMONSTRATE your thinking skills and demonstrate that you understand both sides completely.

        So Danny.

        How does the greenhouse effect work?

      • Steven,
        ““And who knows where the critical thinking associated with the debate might lead: ”
        The example offered, wherin the Physician suggested the patient see a psychologist and have her leg amputated, is exactly the point which you supported here: “here is a clue. you dont learn it by taking YOUR SIDE in a debate.
        you learn it by taking the the OTHER SIDE.” The patient chose treatment counter to the doctors counsel.

        How are the students, with alternative views disallowed, to reach a weighed conclusion? The approach by these profs is not oriented towards critical thinking.

        “It would be like “practicing” being a skeptic for a couple years.” Have you finally figured me out? Have you taken notice of whom I chose to challenge to the largest extent in these posts? And whom I do not?

        I’m not educationally equipped to comprehend the physics. This was not my field. I can however, build a reasonable argument to substantiate a claim that AGW is a concern. And, I can give an equally reasonable argument to the lack of understanding of the associated harms due to their being the largest set of unknowns. This is in part why I consider myself a lukewarmer. The students, in the Humanities class, are not being afforded the same opportunity. Leaves the ‘human’ out of ‘humanities’.

        “How does the greenhouse effect work?” Argument by questioning is disallowed.

      • Steven, will never know now will we? PJ ‘dumped’ the original data. After making some adjustments…

        Now back to Steven’s lecture on critical thinking.

      • O, O, Oh… and if we don’t cool it down it will run hotter so we adjusted, infelt, homogenized… you lose.

      • “Steven, will never know now will we? PJ ‘dumped’ the original data. After making some adjustments…”

        err no.

        NWS, as PJ noted, still have the data.

        But to test this, I do the following

        A. I take all 43,000 Sites.
        B) I remove the 5000 that Jones Used.
        C) I calculate the average using the remaining 38000

        Answer? DOESNT CHANGE.

        That son, is critical thinking. See how it works..

        the skeptics claim.. ( wrongly) that the raw data is missing
        So, you take that position and say
        ‘Assume its true” Better yet, Assume ALL the data PJ used is missing

        Does that change what we know? Nope.

        Do the same thing for GISS.. take 43k sites.. Remove the 7K that GISS
        use… after all they are frauds ( see this part where you accept for the sake of argument the stupid proclamations of skeptics)
        Then test with the remaining 36K stations..

        Answer?

        The same

        Say hello to my little friend. LLN

      • I am sorry for any trouble I may cause you but would you please just provide a link to the index of what it was that was ‘dumped’, also, next time around make sure you have hired a historian and perhaps look at a Microfiche device before your next pile of original data is to be ‘dumped’.

      • How does the greenhouse effect work?

        Greenhouses reduce energy losses of sensible and latent heat by supressing convection.

      • How does the greenhouse effect work?

        Start here.

      • Yep, write the differential equation for the climate, then show it’s chaotic.

      • “I am sorry for any trouble I may cause you but would you please just provide a link to the index of what it was that was ‘dumped’, also, next time around make sure you have hired a historian and perhaps look at a Microfiche device before your next pile of original data is to be ‘dumped’.

        Ah, See? You dont even KNOW the story.

        There is no missing raw temperature data.

        The NWS sends data to jones. in some cases he adjusted it.
        We asked him for HIS COPY of the raw NWS data, he said, go
        get original from the NWS.

        Basically in a few cases he lost his copy of the raw data.. his COPY..

        so the orginal raw still exists at the NWS.. and the NWS do submisssions to GHCN and ISTI so there is is no lost records.

        If you want microfiche or paper copies contact the NWS..

        The only bits a data that appear to be genuinely lost are some
        metadata records for Chinese stations ( basically station move data)

        So you believed a myth. the myth of the missing data.

        BUT even if it were missing, the effect is ZERO…

        Sorry. the planet is getting warmer.

        We have a good record of that warming..

        In that record, skeptics may find the “natural variability” they are looking for.

        Its your only hope

        Othersie you have no place for unicorns to live

      • Man you guys are all FAILING the basic task of explaining what your opponents believe

        You see what “debating” does to your brain?

        It conditions you to think in predictable ways. I say X, you say not X

        Like I said, I could program a denier bot, or a TE bot, or an AK bot

      • If she had just ‘dumped’ the body like PJ has done, HRC would not have the problem she does today…

        http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/439676/

        but instead she used a bit of bleach in a wastebasket to do the trick so there was still enough DNA left to identify the body of her work. If we can trust PJ, we will certainly trust her. Does this make any sense to you, Steven?

      • […] or an AK bot

        Nope.

        But some responses are predictable. If I happen to be bothered.

      • Mosher,

        Agree on the “how to develop critical thinking skills” bit. I love arguing both sides of an issue. And I have no problem arguing AGW. Where I gag is trying to argue the “C” version. There is no argument in support, with the possible exception of arguing tipping points.

      • I think high rates of change assuming only linear forcings make a pretty good argument for caution. As someone will surely remind me of nonlinearities, perhaps they can argue high-gain feedbacks, step-changing chaotic attractors and the like.

        Or not. Such unpredictable uncertainty. We should definitely continue to probe the limits … what better way to figure out where they really are? Who needs stinkin’ Modulz when we’re already running the experiment on the real system just like Real Scientists would?

      • “Agree on the “how to develop critical thinking skills” bit. I love arguing both sides of an issue. And I have no problem arguing AGW. Where I gag is trying to argue the “C” version. There is no argument in support, with the possible exception of arguing tipping points.”

        yes

        and what does that tell you?

        here is the clue… If you spend time invested in learning AGW.. you learn where it is strong and where it is weak.

        you make cogent arguments.

        But, if you just react and just debate all the time, well you end up making stupid arguments

        my favorite one now is about the definition of “ice free”

        The “C” part is the hardest to wrap your arms around…

        Now ask yourself this.

        A smart guy might the learn the AGW part really well.. which makes him a stranger opponent to the “C” than someone who denies that its getting warmer.

      • “ice free”, that came out about the same time as “barbecue summer” and “children will never know snow again.”Pretty close to the time Hansen published his end of times book about catastrophic climate. change. Are all of these IPCC approved?

      • Steven Mosher,

        A smart guy might the learn the AGW part really well.. which makes him a stranger opponent to the “C” than someone who denies that its getting warmer.

        A stranger opponent indeed. :-)

        I see a lot of low-ECS arguments out there as if to imply that makes the “C” go away. Just like the wheels don’t necessarily fall off at 2 C above pre-industrial (this just in: 1.5 C), I don’t see them staying on in perpetuity simply because Nic and Judy argue for a lower ECS than the canonical three per doubling, but which still falls inside the IPCC-approved and consensus-enforced 1.5-4.5 range.

        Perhaps you could point me to a stronger skeptical argument against the “C” than my above cherry-picked infilling and interpolation.

      • > Where I gag is trying to argue the “C” version. There is no argument in support, with the possible exception of arguing tipping points.

        That should tell you something about the CAGW meme.

        If you want something that may look like what the CAGW meme strawmans, try this:

  13. David L. Hagen

    Politically incorrect
    Crimnology professor and Townhall columnist Mike Adams writes satirical posts challenging and exposing academic political correctness.
    Teaching Tolerance

    . . .My first-day-of-class remarks are reproduced here for your reading pleasure. . . . Although I will not be discussing my political views in class, I thought I would just give you all a basic run-down of all things these thin-skinned leftists support that I don’t believe in – just in case you are one of them and simply cannot bear the thought of having even a single conservative professor in college. If your view of tolerance causes you to be intolerant of any of the views I express then feel free to go pick up a drop slip. . . .
    Safe spaces. If you ever find yourself in need of a safe space then you’re probably going to have to stop calling yourself a social justice warrior. You cannot be a warrior and a pansy at the same time. Just for the record, I think we should abolish all of these safe spaces. Instead, I would propose that all the progressive safe space seekers just wear bubble suits to protect them from potentially offensive ideas. Bubble suits are so much more personal. Plus, they also double as diapers for those having trouble locating the bathroom that corresponds to the sex that was assigned to them at birth by their Creator. . . .
    Trigger Warnings. The only kind of trigger warning I support is on the front door of my house. It says “If you come in here without knocking I am going to pull the trigger.” I am sorry if anyone was triggered by that little revelation. . . .
    Politically Correct Segregation. Then the diversity movement started to re-segregate – all the while asking the taxpayers to support it in the name of “tolerance.” The next thing you know the diversity crowd will be demanding separate “colored” and “white” restrooms.

    Anthropologists Discover Remains of Open Minded Feminist

    Most of these campuses are overrun with leftists posing as liberal feminists, not true liberal feminists. . . .
    1. She actively seeks out opinions contrary to her own. Note that this student read my articles before enrolling in the class. And please note that “articles” is plural. After reading the first one, which surely presented her with at least one idea running contrary to her worldview, she kept on reading. This is the antithesis of the “safe space” mentality, which is espoused by campus leftists seeking to be insulated at all times from ideas that run contrary to their own. . . .
    we have a real shortage of truly liberal feminist professors. In fact, I can say without hesitation that the young feminist professors I work with are the least qualified I’ve ever seen. They are intellectually insecure, hyper-conformist, humorless, intolerant, and wildly biased in their treatment of their students – often grading them on the basis of group membership, rather than performance.

  14. I couldn’t be more proud of the University of Chicago (my alma mater) for their stance on this.

    Which link is this about?

    • Dean of Students letter to the incoming class of 2020. Several of the posted links reach it. That it has caused this much of a stir says how grave the problem is.
      A Yale Housemaster forced out for commenting that Halloween costumes were just that, and not ‘safe spaced’. Opposite extreme.
      I have stopped contributing to my own alma mater, all three attended schools, until they issue a UC like statement ( they are almost as bad as Yale at present) and also get rid of Naomi Oreskes like they finally did Cornell West. Saving me a lot of money at present.

  15. Good article, Dr. Curry, but political language has been strong and insulting for as long as we have been a country. Adams called Jefferson all kinds of things. Lincoln was referred to as “the original ape,” “ape Lincoln” and other things that weren’t as polite.

  16. I have to say that I take a lot of the handwringing about liberal professors”indoctrinating students towards a certain political direction with a large grain – several grains – of salt. In my time in school, ~ 8 years, in three different disciplines, spread over almost 20 year period, I never saw much of it. Not once did I ever feel my grade might be impacted by my opinions or my comments in class. Now I was on average older than most of my fellow students and had the advantage first of being a veteran and second of having real world work experience post service time, so I recognize my college experience may not be the norm. But I can’t help think that this stuff, like the three CU professors, is still the exception.

    Though I will admit that the U of Chicago letter has made me think things have changed in the 20 years since I was last in school.

    Hey Rud, want to apply for a research grant for us to spend a semester or quarter at various schools and document teaching practices?

  17. Judith, Thanks for drawing attention to this. It is indeed disturbing and combined with my personal experiences trying to replicate University research, quite skeptical of giving any money to them. Especially the top Universities already have huge endowments.

  18. So does the destruction of free speech on American campuses, and the indoctrination that implies, have anything to do with the large gap in presidential preferences between those with a college degree and those without?

    The large gap in presidential preferences seems to confirm something that Charles Murray (talk about a lightning rod) wrote about in Coming Apart. The college educated live in their own insular world, completely cut off from mainstream Americans.

    The top and bottom of white America increasingly live in different cultures, Murray argues, with the powerful upper class living in enclaves surrounded by their own kind, ignorant about life in mainstream America, and the lower class suffering from erosions of family and community life that strike at the heart of the pursuit of happiness. That divergence puts the success of the American project at risk.

    • Trump seems to fail most of Murray’s Founding virtues (marriage, honesty, religiosity — perhaps achieving industriousness). Perhaps there are additional factors explaining current presidential preferences?

      • In this interview Murray talks about the unholy alliance which exists between the monied elite and what he calls the “cognitive elite.”

        These two elites — the monied and the cognitive — have prospered mightily under the current paradigm.

        But, as Murray points out, their ranks, even when combined, are very small. We’re talking about a minority of the population, certainly less than 30% (the share of Americans that have college degrees), and probably less than 10%, since not all who have college degrees make it into the “cognitive elite.”

        To raise issues of social class, however, is a heresy with both the cognitive and monied elite.

        Charles Murray: Why America is Coming Apart Along Class Lines

    • I’d love to see a refinement of the USC/LA Times polling that separated BA or better from BS or better. Private or public employment would also be an interesting divide. I’d expect sociology, anthropology, communications and education majors to slant towards Hillary, wouldn’t you? In fact, if you teach or otherwise work in K-12, if you are GOP you keep it quiet, and teachers (and other federal, state and local employees) constitute much of the employment of college graduates.

  19. “One of the articles I read pointed out that all this sounds like a parody from The Onion”

    Parody vs. Pastiche
    College students imitating 60’s style righteous outrage is cool until someone starts to make fun of them.
    Ridicule is an “R” word.
    Parody must be outlawed.
    Intolerance cannot be tolerated.

    Fight the Power
    (excepting of course the sustainable and renewable power)

  20. One good lesson here is the hoax “controversy” over the team name of the Washington Redskins. White SJW’s kept insisting that the moniker was offensive to Native Americans. There was no room for argument, the name must be changed and anyone who disagreed was a racist. Newspapers must stop using the name in reports. TV talking heads must call them Washington until evil owner Daniel Snyder finally buckled to the ranting mob. Even Native Americans who either didn’t care either way or (worse) thought the name was an honor were deemed too stupid to realize the egregious slight.

    The Daily Show even staged an ambush for supporters of the name so they could be called racists by a hand-picked set of protesters.

    Then guess what? A simple poll was taken and it was found Native Americans by an overwhelming majority were NOT offended. The entire campaign of lies and smears basically vanished.

    There’s a very good lesson here for those fighting against the anti-first amendment speech police.

  21. It’s kind of funny to read of the University of Chicago that, it’s hardly surprising that it’s one of the first elite universities to rebel against the corrosive influences of modern academia because, it is the Western education complex that in its zeal to protect all of us sheeple from the corrosive effects of modernity, has corrupted science. Does anyone see in the article, “Higher Education, Beyond Parody,” that education has been subsumed by ideologically-motivated Leftist politics?

  22. I “early”-retired from the University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign in 1993, and in retrospect was a good time to lave, even thought I had at least more than ten years ‘left int he tank’ to continue. By 1993, the political correctness was already taking hold and limiting academic discourse on many campuses. In fact, I began to notice it in the mid-1980’s and it kept getting more intrusive.

    It’s sad it all has comedown to the current situation. Perhaps we finally will see blow-back. DeanEllison of the University of Chicago deserves accolades for attempting to turn it around. Hopefully, he is following in the footsteps of former UC President Hutchinson.

    George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

  23. From the U of Cincinnati
    “Racial Equality: The condition that would be achieved if one’s racial identity no longer predicted, in a statistical sense, how one fares.”

    That seems to be the main policy of today’s left. Engineer a uniform distribution of everything. Sounds like maximum entropy on the wrong side of the “engine”. But when you read it as maximum dissipation of exergy it makes sense again. Maximum Entropy Production in action.

    Unfortunately this flies in the face of the left’s climate agenda. Perhaps those aspiring membership in the political commissariat should have added a course in thermodynamics to their personal syllabus.

    • Accidentally found in http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/The-house-is-on-fire–8466 :
      “the chief revolutionary in Dostoevsky’s novel The Possessed predicts that the cost of perfect equality will be “a hundred million heads.””

      • Finally dissipative structures have to have some “structure”. Uniform distribution at one place has to be overcompensated by entropy reduction in another place like eliminating dissenters and having a strong repressive substructure.

    • A good read is George A. Morgan’s chapter entitled “The Geneology of Modern Morals” in What Nietzsche Means.

      Nietzche argued that “Moral values were the supreme values hitherto,” and that “the moral problem is more radical than the epistemological.”

      Nietzsche first divides the kinds of morality according to his basic distinction between kinds of life — “healthy and decadent.”

      Nietsche says that the psychological center of decadent morality

      is a feeling of impotent resentment. A decadent is not only unlucky in action, but hypersensitive. He is too feeble to resist stimuli, unable to ignore or forget; everything wounds him. So he cannot control his emotional response, and the most natural one, in such a condition, is resentment, longing for revenge on something — anything. The sufferer instinctively seeks a cause of his suffering — an agent who is to blame, against whom violent emotions may be released.

      The decadent morality comes in two types. The first type, the “ascetic” morality, turns its resentiment inwards. The second type “directs resentiment outward, by anarchists, socialists and communists, who make ‘society’ to blame for their misery, and by Christianity in many of its historical developments.”

      All these make life bearable for the unfortunate, by taking revenge upon the fortunate. They do this most insidiously by a revaluation of values: they slander the manly pasisons and virtues, health, happiness and enjoyment, self-reliance and power, making them a reproach by the weak and decadent. So they achieve a compensatory imagination of moral superiority. But their revenge is not imaginary: they have succeeded in giving the healthy a bad conscience, and in arousing their pity to the point of general disgust with life.

      Master and Slave Moralities, Nietzsche argues, emerge in societies divided into upper and lower strata. Master Morality comes from the masters themselves, and is “a kind of self-affirmation, self-glorification: through it the nobility affirmed itself as good, set off against the baseness of the lower class… Not actions but men were the first objects of moral approval; the worth of actions was secondary.”

      Slave Morality, like the decadent types, is a creation of resentiment:

      The slave begins by resenting oppression and envying the good fortune of his masters. These emotions, redoubled and poisioned by impotence, vent themselves in a distorted conception of the masters, whose qualities, thus conceived, are then called “evil.” “Good” is likewise compensatory: it glorifies what slaves have and masters have not — humility, obedience, patience, forgiveness….

      Also the slave is dishonest, with himself and others; “his soul squints.” What he parades as a demand for “justice” is really his own will to power; and when a slave class has attained power, it changes to the principles of Master Morality.

    • Too funny.

    • Hi Steven,
      I enjoy reading your POV in the comments, whether I agree with them or not. However, your interjections occasionally slightly distract from the comment’s substance. The Interjection Police suggest you stop using “opps” in place of “oops” and add an extra “r” to “err” so as avoid confusion. “Err no” reads like an exhortation to not be in error, which is reasonable, but contextually does not seem to be what you intend. Just as with “um, umm, ummm” the addition of repeated letters at the end of some interjections helps to suggest a period of contemplation about the matter in concern or in the crafting of the subsequent reply. Errr, ummm, that’s my two cents.

      • opps, sooory I mispelled oops.. er, that bettr?

        In any case, read the article on drilling into a super volcano.

        I bet you can guess why I would link to it..

        How do we reason about hard to determine risks.

        The magma layer is 4.7 km (km or miles? ) below the surface
        They want to drill to 1.9km

        A) we have no experience, no data, on what this will result in.
        B) What science can we rely on?
        C) how do we place a value on the knowleged gained versus the risk

        Why is there no “drilling the volcano” web debate?
        What do examples like this tell us about cost benefit approaches?

        If they unleash a monster, who pays?

  24. It might be self-correcting, if alumni donations have anything to do with it.

    • One fatal structural problem is that recent alumni get to vote on trustees, so the administration tends to double down on the wrong paths.

    • Exactly, Mizzou is find out the hard way that sucking up to the SJWs and alienating those who respect freedom of speech has consequences.

      Freshmen enrollment and donations WAY down. Parents and alum writing letters telling the admin. that the Univ. is a disgrace. The school did everything they could to appease the social justice bullies who created a faux controversy to enlarge their power base and intimidate anyone speaking truth to smear. Melissa Click is a great example of their unreasoned hate and ignorance. She was fired but she landed a job at Gonzaga so the beat goes on.

  25. All this “correct” thinking isn’t coming just from colleges. It’s everywhere in “education”. My grandkids (6th grade through college) are stunned to hear (from me) a different point of view. Big Energy is the enemy (even immoral) and we must be saved from ourselves. Facts don’t seem to matter.

  26. If only all colleges could have a Dean Watt:

    Author’s Comment Policy:

    First, since I will still be declining to argue, in any way, about whether or not the Earth’s climate is a “coupled non-linear chaotic system”, I offer this basic reading list for those who disagree and to anyone who wishes to learn more about, or delve deeper into, Chaos Theory and its implications.

    Intro to Chaos Theory Reading List:
    The Essence of Chaos — Edward Lorenz
    Does God Play Dice ? — Ian Stewart
    CHAOS: Making a New Science — James Gleick
    Chaos and Fractals: New Frontiers of Science — Peitgen, Jurgens and Saupe

    Additional reading suggestions at Good Reads (skip the Connie Willis novella)

    Second, before commenting about how the climate “isn’t chaotic”, or such and such data set “isn’t chaotic”, please re-read the Definitions section at the beginning of this essay (second paragraph from the top). That will save us all a lot of back and forth. …

  27. Pingback: Free speech and Australian exceptionalism | Catallaxy Files

  28. ‘We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change’

    * It doesn’t sound as if the professor has tight grip on what the science of climate change includes. Does her tacit acceptance include CAGW? Disasters? Or, more reasonably, does she accept only that radiative forcing is calculable and that RF is likely ( not strictly provable ) forcing atmospheric temperature rise?

    * It doesn’t sound as it the professor has found great confidence in relating these ideas, but is rather, herself, indoctrinated into an agenda of political response. If one is confident in understanding, don’t they tend to welcome exchange to enlighten and educate?

    • For all you know, the professors could include a flame throwing skeptic.

      Why do you want to force the professors to completely waste their valuable classroom time?

      • Most people how have gone to college understand that the professor has control of the classroom.

        But then for all we know you spent your college years stealing horses.

      • Why do you want to force the professors to completely waste their valuable classroom time?

        Sounds like they lack the conviction to make their case. If things are clearly demonstrable, real professors demonstrate them.

        Acceptance without question is for religion.

        Repeatable demonstration is for science.

      • Many many teachers use the “assume this; therefore____________?”, and have so for centuries. Because “______________?” is what the subject they are there to teach is about, which can be completely divorced from the truth content of the assumption (assume medical student Cindy has a blocked airway.) The subject is not what are the symptoms of a blocked airway. The assumption, what they call “the point of departure,” is simply a device to get to the red meat: what do you do if a patient has a blocked airway.

        In this particular case, we do not know what the professors are doing, but it s awfully disturbing that board of regent wants to stick his libetarian nose into the matter with a quota proposal for substandard libetarian and conservative professors.

  29. Nice collection.

    The scariest thing is the question of what a generation raised under this totalitarisnism will be like.
    There might be (and is) a reaction, so it could undo itself, or we could be ready to face the new red guard.

    • They will be highly educated. Just looking at my children and my brother’s children, 100% of them graduated with honors. All but one has advanced degrees. Half of them are currently finishing their doctorate level educations – physics and physics-based medicine. All of them are very active in stopping the conservative movement from destroying our country.

      • Curious George

        General? Is it what used to be called Lieutenant?

      • You might want to address the topic at hand and comment on the role of stifling free speech on their education.
        Let me guess: “By destroying free speech the conservative movement is stifled.”
        That sounds about how the communists work.
        But just remember that it always brings about the facist reaction which works by the same principle.

      • Curious George

        A destruction of free speech is a small price to pay for stopping the conservative movement from destroying our country. It is a first step. Our country should be destroyed only by progressives.

    • My bunker is almost completed. I decided to go with cinder blocks instead of poured concrete.

      • A bunker is not going to help you when the ideological police come to take you away.

        A hideout in the mountains might.

  30. Perhaps US educational establishments should come under a body similar to the UK’s Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA)
    http://www.qca.org.uk/
    Which whilst not perfect does exert some measure of discipline in what is being taught.
    The US would also seem in need of a couple of professional authorities like Science Council http://sciencecouncil.org/
    and the engineering council https://www.engc.org.uk/

    • 13 months in slammer for calling it The War of Northern Aggression… history heaven.

      • JCH. I take it you’re a student of history. Who were you referring to?’ ‘13 months in slammer for calling it The War of Northern Aggression… history heaven’. Citation needed. As someone who lives below the ‘ Mason and the Dixon line’, have you seen anything ‘scientific’ that negates the claims that ‘Yankee, yankee , don’t you grin for the south shale rise again. Sharknano i s on the plasma. Protect yourself..

    • Hi Wiillard. I have read your link. It maybe a bit too serious for this flail/ex (milspeak for self flagellation exercise)? In the context of ‘How does class/teach relate to the real world’? Doc kicked the ant hill. This is an issue these guys( the bloggers) cope with daily (as I take it). See what came out? At my age (65) my county (Howard MD) offers me to go to the community college and take any class I want free of charge. Why bother listening to you guys when I can get the truth for nothing down the street, at no cost?

  31. Its not just speech that the SJW’s wish to control:

    “A University of Iowa professor is asking the athletics department to make the university’s mascot, Herky the Hawk, display friendlier facial expressions, arguing that his angry grimace is traumatizing students.”

    Generation Snowflake does not want debate, they don’t even want grimaces!

    No word yet on what the prof thought of the rage, vitriol and disruption exhibited by BLM and BDS protestors towards anyone who disagrees with them.

  32. Here he is

    http://www.press-citizen.com/story/news/education/university-of-iowa/2016/08/24/herky-hawk-iowa-mascot-angry-face-smile-hawkeyes/89228278/

    I guess if you were a nervous 9 year old you might be intimidated but if students and professors are, i fear they are going to get a shock if they ever venture into the real world

    Tonyb

  33. This seemed clumsy:
    “Moreover, students who choose to use outside sources for research during their time in the course may select only those that have been peer-reviewed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the email states.”
    My best guess is they meant, see what the IPCC says. Stay within those bounds.
    For a doubling of CO2, the temperature increase if from 1.5 to 4.5 C with 66% confidence. – IPCC.
    I don’t know if they meant to, but they are allowing a lot of uncertainty.

  34. This thread has been educational even given its readership skew. I conclude there is a two front climate war. One front is scientific. The other is purely political, as here. Both fronts need to be fought, but not with the same tactics and weapons. Chose wisely, but carry on.
    My personal comfort zone is over on the scientific front, but I keep proffering simple sound bites over on the politicsl. These apparently have little traction. Lets try again.
    But for the now rapidly cooling 2015 El Nino, there has been no meaningful balloon or satellite weming this century. SLR has not accelerated. Arctic ice has not disappeared. Earth is greening from CO2 fertilization effect.

    • and the unemployment rate is great, many more people now have insurance….

      its easy to look for what you like… both in science and politics.

    • ristvan. I share your angst. I don’t want to fall prey to the hype PR. My feeling is that that road leads to disaster rather from it. Politics is not science. Your ‘simple sound bites’ are getting traction. You dig into the nitty gritty for the rest of us and give some explanations to thorny questions that beg for some clarification or maybe even perspective. Don’t internalize too much doubt, you’re here to guide us lurkers. Look at Steven Mosher’s reply. A shoulder shrug? In my day we called that a ’bureaucrat’ salute. I’m heartened to see you and Steven are simpatico after all.

  35. “Many academics now consider freedom of speech just another American eccentricity, like guns and religion. – Daniel Jacobsen” Of course they do, “the state” is tired of free speech, Academics will duly oblige and tell us all it’s oh not so simple.

    Yes yes it is. Thanks to gov, and advocacy groups, by 2100 the level of things we are not allowed say will have reached the top of the Statue of Liberty ironically

  36. stevefitzpatrick

    Orwell recognized the danger to freedom of controlling speech in the mid 1940’s. The danger is at least as great now as then. Totalitarians of all stripes, religious, on the left, on the right, or simply dictatorial, always try to control speech; control of speech is the single unifying characteristic of totalitarians. “Progressives” on campus are no exception.

    • The thing is, the politicians have been controlling speech, or at least the flow of ideas, all along. They used to do it by controlling the three major TV networks and, to a lesser extent, newspapers. It’s just that we weren’t aware of it back then. Now, what with the internet, it’s become much more difficult for them to control the national conversation, and they really don’t like it.

  37. I saw the syllabus and climate change is a given. They won’t waste their time on people who still deny it, and I don’t blame them.

    • Based on this ‘settled science’ answer you must not be comfortable with the same standards applied to vaccinations.

      • Do you think the benefits vaccinations are settled or not? I really don’t know where you are coming from.

      • Jim,
        The point is not the topic, it’s the approach and methodology and the skew by the professors. It doesn’t matter what I think about vaccinations. It’s an controversial topic. Some scientific certainty, some politically based contention, some religions based contention, and some dealing with scientific uncertainties. These professors have not ‘disallowed’ “the other side” (no matter which side) on this or ANY OTHER topic (based on the e-mail) and yet they HAVE on climate change.

        That is from where I am coming. How is this not clear?

      • Everyone admits climate change is happening, and that denial of that is an extreme position similar to flat-earthers. Universities don’t have time to accommodate these people.

      • I can only assume you’re playing dumb in order to save face. It’s not the topic, it’s the method. Based on your acceptance of the approach, anything after the last official IPCC report is disallowed. It matters not the content.

      • All five reports have the same basics. It is a fair assumption that the science is stable enough after 25 years to use it. Any differences between them or since are unlikely to affect their course. If some new peer-reviewed impacts come to light after AR5, they could be relevant to use, but now we are firmly in the what-if realm.

      • Sigh. Erase Climate Change from your mind. My issue is with the method. These profs made climate change the only non-debatable topic while leaving the other topics wide open. If the profs weren’t willing to discuss the topic they should have chosen otherwise. This is not an issue with the student’s it’s with the professors and their approach.

        I get the distinct impression you’re being obstinate on purpose. G’nite.

      • I am sure they would list other non-debatable topics if students were raising those too. Maybe one thinks vaccines are works of the devil. They might mention starting points to that one too.

      • But, Jim, you see………..they didn’t. One topic, proactively, out of many. Don’t you find that interesting?

        I’ve chased and caught rabbits less evasive than you.

      • It was the only one those students complained about. Remember what came first. It was the complaint first and the email was the response. Did you read the article?

    • There is a broad consensus on vaccines.

      Why do you want to destroy medical education by having a bunch of Jim Carrey clones rant a mumps shot causing autism?

      • There is a broad consensus on vaccines. Duh.

        But it’s not ‘disallowed’ to debate it or discuss it. It’s not the topic, it’s the methods of choice by the professors to say ‘we’re not gonna debate’ (the amorphous) ‘climate change’ and yet not having the same rulz apply to other topics.

        Have you not had all your shots?

      • There are some people who refuse vaccinations on religious grounds. That could be debated. Not sure how that carries across to climate change.

  38. Various forms of regulated speech, discussing Climate Science and Free Speech.

    http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2014/04/climate-science-free-speech-and-legal.html

  39. Given this is an education thread, a short history of whole math and the Common Core State Standards might be apropos. My apologies for the length.

    Back in 1995 my son was a fresh faced 1st grader, eager to start school, and in California a brand new way to teach math was being rolled out. In 1989 a national group of math teachers (not mathematicians), the NCTM, produced a standard for how to teach math but left out what math kids should learn. It ignored deductive methods, denigrated the practice of standard algorithms and pushed discovery methods that relied heavily on induction. California’s Department of Education followed in 1992, producing the “Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools” which uncritically poured the ’89 NCTM “Standards” as the accepted practice in California’s public schools. My college sweetheart and wife who earned her BS in Math from Harvey Mudd and I did a lot of head scratching as the school made continual claims that the math we expected our son to learn was well covered by the discovery activities of the new curriculum. We were unconvinced… long division was completely ignored in the upper grades and there was little to no actual practice of adding, subtracting etc etc outside of the worksheets sent home that were not checked when the child brought them back.

    The director of the Framework drafting didn’t even have a degree in Math… only a BA in English. It was a disaster. Crazy lesson plans that wasted huge amounts of instructional time and our son was bored stiff. I attended every board meeting, read up on everything I could on what was then called whole math (and it’s companion, whole language) practices. It looked like it would be a disaster and at the end of the year, we transferred our son into the only local school that wasn’t following the educational fad du jour, the local parish St. Sensible. Statewide, it ignited a debate that came to be called The Math Wars. When my son’s cohort was in the 3rd Grade, California had finally started up a standardized testing program based on the venerable SAT9 exams and I was not surprised by the local results… half of my son’s class tested in the bottom quartile nationwide; this in a very white, entirely English speaking middle class school designated a California Distinguished School for following all those best practices the state administrators were demanding. The experiment was a complete failure; we were happy to have rescued our son but saddened we couldn’t convince the schools or other parents just how bad it was.

    It took years to reverse the damage of the ’92 Framework but grade by grade content standards were developed by mathematicians from the likes of Stanford and Berkeley, and a process of expert review of textbooks to insure that content was put into place. Little by little California’s new standards, and the release of test results school by school so failed curricula could be identified was reversing the earlier disaster as incompetent texts were weeded out and effective textbooks were identified and used. Much later, the Fordham Foundation found California’s content standards to be the best in the nation, better even than their favorite, the brand new Common Core State Standards for Math. The actual content standards of the CCSS-M weren’t bad, but at the core of the CCSS was something called the CCSS “Standards for Mathematical Practice” and it demanded Common Core math be taught according to those NCTM “Standards” that had all but ruined math achievement the first time they were tried.

    It turns out that in 2008, when the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation first started writing checks to create the Common Core State Standards, someone went out to hire someone with experience writing math standards and found the fellow without any math degree, one Phil Daro (BA English, UC Berkeley) with experience doing just that in California, so they hired him to be the Chairman for the writing of the CCSS-Mathematics section. He still has no degrees in mathematics, nor any other additional academic credential. They also hired a mathematical physicist and a mathematician without any real K-12 experience to do the heavy lifting. In 2011 when their handiwork was given its first public review by stakeholders in the math education community there was an uproar about the Chair being a “mathematical nothing” so the titles got rejiggered… Daro became a lead author and co-chair, Zimba (the mathematical physicist) became a lead author and co-chair, and the lone mathematician, McCallum, became a lead author and chairman. But Phil Daro’s handiwork, the CCSS Standards for Mathematical Practice remained and was not subject to review.

    Here it is… think of it as the Socratic Method, without a Socrates to keep it on track:

    http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Practice/

    Phil Daro Math tanked mathematics achievement in California in the ’90’s and every indication is that it’s tanking across the country at the moment. I’d love to know who in the Common Core hierarchy made the decision to hire a mathematical nothing to draft standards for mathematics education for the entire country, but because the Common Core State Standards didn’t actually involve any states in the process (it was run by a handful of private 501c3 non profits with Gates Foundation funding) so there is no opportunity to use FOIA or its state equivalents to find anything out. It’s all proprietary information. However, it is known that Daro, since his California disaster, has also been working for the behemoth Pearson, Inc, the world’s largest textbook and testing company that has been making a bundle off Common Core.

    K-12 science standards are next.

  40. One of the scary things about the trigger warning stuff and the drive to vilify past leaders because they had slaves (etc) is that it becomes dangerous to discuss the facts about the past. Most people now don’t know that indentured servitude was a primary means by which many white people were able to come to America, and were thus slaves for many years before earning their freedom, that “apprenticeships” were not like today and were very close to bondage, that slavery was widespread in the world and was largely eliminated due to the British. Just to take a simple example. One lawschool was pressured to not discuss rape because it is triggering–but do you want a defense lawyer or prosecutor who never had a class on the subject? There is lots of pressure to remove art that accurately depicts life in past times (such as black picking cotton or Indians in a canoe) –do we then just pretend how life used to be?