University of Wisconsin

Slate’s Will Saletan has a feature on a professor you’ve probably never heard of, but who is portrayed as a sort of Moses leading his people – scientists who lay claim to both Christianity and evolution – to the promised land.

Rather than massacre the Canaanites, though, the University of Wisconsin’s Jeff Hardin and his ragtag band of chosen people are going to patronize their opponents – evolution-doubting Christians – into submission.

Because this kind of article hasn’t been written hundreds of times before, Saletan (who I corresponded with a decade ago) sets it up for you:

Today, Hardin speaks for an emerging school of Christian thinkers. They call themselves evolutionary creationists. They believe that God authored the emergence of life and humankind but that evolution explains how this process unfolded. They accept what science has established: The Earth is billions of years old, and all species, including ours, have evolved from other species.

Hardin understands why many Christians recoil from evolution. But to believe in a young Earth, he says, you have to reject so much science that you can’t do research in related fields. “Intelligent design” tries to be more sophisticated, but you can’t build science around it, because it makes no testable predictions.

jeffhardinHardin, who chairs UW’s zoology department, made these points in a presentation last month at the Faith Angle Forum. It’s a shindig staged by the Ethics & Public Policy Center, whose stated purpose is “applying the Judeo-Christian moral tradition to critical issues of public policy.”

Which makes Hardin an odd choice as a conference speaker for the group, because he appears to be arguing for the same tired “separate but equal” approach, which also exasperates militant atheists.

And he comes off as the stereotypical enlightened scientist who loves Jesus (we had plenty of these at Seattle Pacific, my alma mater), thinking that anyone who questions modern evolutionary science simply needs a soothing lecture with a few Bible verses thrown in.

They remind me of the Gnostics.

Preempting debate with appeals to authority

Let’s all sit down, children, and hear from Dr. Hardin:

Hardin’s first message to believers is that they don’t have to choose between mechanical explanation and teleology, the idea that things work toward a goal. You can recognize the ruthless dynamics of evolution, as Hardin does, while maintaining that it follows a divine plan. “God created the world with the intention that we would be here and that we would one day be capable of interacting with him,” says Hardin. …

Second, Hardin wants evangelicals to trust God. If God made the world, they shouldn’t be afraid to see his creation as it is. Hardin approaches science with serene faith. He believes that the evidence he encounters—what Francis Bacon called the “Book of God’s Works”—will be compatible with the Bible.

Hardin recognizes, crucially, that when the two books don’t seem to match, the error might be in his own understanding of the Bible. Rather than reject what science has discovered, he asks how scripture can be understood better so that it fits the scientific evidence.

This glosses over so much it’s hard to know where to begin. For example, there’s vibrant debate in theology circles over how the violence and gore of natural selection over millions of years can fit into God’s pronouncement of a “very good” creation before the ruinous effects of sin. It goes to God’s very nature.

And that’s the point: there’s a debate. When I hear scientists like Hardin speak, I get the impression they’re looking for a metaphorical wormhole – a shortcut through the messy universe of diverging scientific views.

Minorities and academic freedom

I’ll lay my cards on the table: having worked for the Discovery Institute, among other things the academic home of the intelligent design movement, way back in the day, I was at one point pretty well versed in these issues despite being assigned to different programs.

Since I’m not a scientist, I can’t credibly critique anyone’s defense of a particular theory (remember Stephen Jay Gould’s punctuated equilibrium?).

What I can do is note that I worked with some pretty damn smart people whose own mainstream scientific studies led them away from the mainstream Darwinian paradigm – folks who have Ph.D.’s in biochemistry and molecular and cell biology and astronomy, both agnostic and Christian math geniuses, none anywhere near “creationists,” all arguing for views that make them despised minorities within the scientific community.

In contrast to today’s often ludicrous harassment codes at public universities, some of these folks have literally had their academic careers threatened because they dared to acknowledge these matters can be debated.

I don’t think that’s what Hardin wants, but he doesn’t seem to have a much higher view of the Christians he’s trying to convince.

Such folks may have trouble with the concept of a “very good” creation resulting from God as a Game of Thrones sadist. They may find the evidence for “irreducible complexity,” which Saletan finds goofy, more persuasive than “it somehow sorta happened,” or ask how Hardin accounts for the relatively sudden emergence of major phyla in the Cambrian explosion. They may be fans of Thomas Kuhn and think the neo-Darwinian framework – whose own precise internal components are hotly debated in science journals – is ripe for its own paradigm shift.

It would be great if instead of teaching science Sunday school to those backward evangelicals, Hardin would acknowledge they have valid reasons for being skeptical of his proselytizing.

Are they his brothers and sisters in Christ, or his subjects under the magisterium of materialism?

Greg Piper is an assistant editor at The College Fix. (@GregPiper)

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IMAGE: recapnow/Flickr, University of Wisconsin

Truly a must-read-to-believe story by W. Lee Hansen at The Pope Center: The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s “Framework for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence” passed through its Faculty Senate, and barely anyone noticed. Maybe that’s partly because, as Hansen notes, “much of the language is a thicket of clichés.”

Nevertheless, what is most shocking about this “framework” is what it dubs “representational equity,” especially when it comes to students’ grades (emphasis added):

It calls for “proportional participation of historically underrepresented racial-ethnic groups at all levels of an institution, including high status special programs, high-demand majors, and in the distribution of grades.”

We are not told exactly what adherence to this will entail. It appears to mean that directors of programs and departmental chairs will have to somehow ensure that they have a mix of students with just the right percentages of individuals who embody the various “differences” included in the definition of diversity. I cannot see how that is possible and even if it were, how it improves any student’s education.

Suppose there were a surge of interest in a high demand field such as computer science. Under the “equity” policy, it seems that some of those who want to study this field would be told that they’ll have to choose another major because computer science already has “enough” students from their “difference” group.

Especially shocking is the language about “equity” in the distribution of grades. Professors, instead of just awarding the grade that each student earns, would apparently have to adjust them so that academically weaker, “historically underrepresented racial/ethnic” students perform at the same level and receive the same grades as academically stronger students.

As the title of Hansen’s article says, this is, simply put, madness. The cult of diversity has actually now reached the point where Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s “Harrison Bergeron” is no longer satire.

Read the full article here.

h/t to Instapundit.

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Nineteen-year-old Alyssa Funke, a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, bought a shotgun, drove to her family’s boat, and killed herself there on April 14. Students at her former high school had outed her as the star of a “casting couch” porn video, and her parents say the subsequent online harassment contributed to her suicide…

Read the full article here.

And yet some people say porn is harmless?

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The University of Wisconsin-Madison has introduced a new post-doc program in “feminist biology.”

As opposed to, you know, the normal ‘sexist’ kind of biology that goes on elsewhere.

Katherine Timpf reports for Campus Reform:

The University of Wisconsin – Madison (UW) has announced it will offer a post-doctorate in “feminist biology” because biological science is rife with sexism and must be changed to reflect feminist thinking.

The focus of the program will be to “uncover and reverse gender bias in biology” and to “develop new theory and methods in biology that affect feminist approaches,” according to a news release posted by the college on April 17… (Read more.)

“New methods?” Wow.

You have to admire the creativeness of liberal academics. We’ve seen a lot of identity politics B.S. out of our nation’s campuses, but this is one we couldn’t have predicted.

We can’t wait to hear about U of Wisconsin’s “feminist math,” and “feminist physics” programs. Those are going to be positively ground-breaking.

(Image: SBT4NOW.Flickr)

What do you get when you allocate nearly $100,000 annually from taxpayer, tuition and student-fee funded coffers to a campus organization dedicated to sexual health?

I’m glad you asked. Let’s take a look.

Sex Out Loud is a peer-to-peer sexual health resource program at the publicly funded University of Wisconsin-Madison, and its leaders spend their generous annual budget on a variety of “educational” endeavors.

Why, just last week, it held back-to-back symposiums to teach students how to have an orgasm. Granted, I’m pretty sure guys have that mastered by age 15, yet I’ll grant some women might need a bit more help. It’s trickier for us. But I digress.

Last Thursday, April 24, Sex Out Loud hosted its “Advanced Pleasure Workshop” in a student activity center room. Not the most romantic setting, but hey – you make do.

Despite my best efforts to get an enterprising student reporter to attend this event and report back to The College Fix what constitutes “advanced pleasure” – alas, I struck out. But here’s the way the event was described by Sex Out Loud promoters:SexInside

Dive deeper into the world of pleasure! This 90-minute workshop includes a comprehensive discussion of sex toys and sex positions and includes tips and techniques to enhance sexual pleasure. Plus there’s plenty of fun, sexy-themed games!

Well, there’s a $15,000-a-year college education well spent. I’m sure the good folks of Wisconsin appreciate that their kids are learning how to master ben wa balls and doggie style on the taxpayer’s dime. Sure – they can learn this stuff for free on the internet or the old-school trial by error method without their esteemed university’s help, but would they really be getting the world class education they deserve?

Moving right along, on Friday, April 25, Sex Out Loud brought in “Sex Nerd Sandra” – perhaps for the more faint of heart students who couldn’t really sit comfortably through “a comprehensive discussion of sex toys and sex positions.”

But hey – Sex Nerd Sandra – who works at the Los Angeles-based Pleasure Chest store – brought her own goodies to the table.

“Want bigger, better sex?” asks the Sex Out Loud invite on Facebook. “Find out how with sex educator & Nerdist Industries podcast host Sex Nerd Sandra! Covering The 7 Principles of Pleasure, mind reading tips, the secret to orgasm, sexy safer sex and a big juicy Q&A, whether partnered or solo, join us for a hilarious look at satisfying sex!”

Lest you think Sex Out Loud is solely orgasms and vibrators and sex positions – think again! Its blog is filled with the latest cutting-edge commentary college kids require.

As recently as April 17, its editors offered a post titled “Own It: The Queef.”

To get the giggles out of our systems, let’s just throw the word out there a few times. QUEEF QUEEF QUEEF. Ok sweet, so let’s start with the basics, what is a queef?  Well, when inserting an object into a vagina, the rush of air that comes along with the insertion is forced to exit. …   The air that goes into the vagina cannot just disappear, and so it comes out, often resulting in an audible squeak commonly referred to as a “vaginal fart” or a queef. … At the end of the day, the queef is something that cannot always be helped.  That said, it does not have to be something to be embarrassed about.  If you find yourself in a situation where you are having the hottest sex of your life and a queef rears its ugly head during it, keep on going and laugh it off.

What would University of Wisconsin-Madison students do without this vital queef reassurance? But wait – there’s more!

Other recent blog posts include: “A Guide To Casual Sex Minus the Gender Roles” (because who needs those?); “How Do I Last Longer: A Guide To Premature Ejaculation,” and a step-by-step graphic tutorial on “edging” – which is a not-so-fancy term to describe how to masturbate longer.

Last October, the Sex Out Loud folks got really creative, with a graphic, pro-BDSM blog post advising students how to have a kinky-sex-filled Halloween. Some of the advice included:

“King Tut-in’ it up” – “Time to start exploring the world of BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadism. Masochism!”; “Reenact your favorite horror movies”; and “Get some candy in there” – “Perhaps we … are sadists who enjoy tying down our partner(s) and making them see, smell and even taste a little itty bit of our favorite chocolate bar, but not get it or being into masochism and get a candy as a treat after a flogging.”

Geez, normally a simple “trick or treat” will do.

In addition to the blog, the program doles out free condoms, and offers sexual health counseling and advising.

And to be fair, Sex Out Loud programming tackles some serious subjects, too.

Tomorrow night it’s set to host “The Abortion Diaries” in conjunction with NARAL Pro-Choice WI and Choice Out Loud. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion about “the stigma and silence surrounding abortion.” No word on whether Prolife Wisconsin got an invite.

And don’t miss Sex Out Loud’s May 2 “Sexual Health Symposium.”

“The symposium will feature speakers from the Gender and Women Studies Department as well as UW-Alumni working in the health care profession,” organizers state. “BONUS: Sex Jeopardy, special performances from the cast of Spring Awakening, and free Ian’s Pizza!”

Because sex or no sex, nothing gets college kids in the door like free pizza.

Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix.

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IMAGES: Main, PTR, Flickr; Inside – Sex Out Loud

The University of Wisconsin-Madison recently hosted a diversity forum that banned white, heterosexual students from attending, The College Fix has learned.

The public university, in advertising the event, declared that the Feb. 28 session was “specifically for self-identified LGBTQ people of color.”

It hosted a second diversity event a day earlier that apparently allowed heterosexuals, but not white ones.QPOC3

“Both of these sessions are intended for self-identified people of color,” a flier touting the event stated.

The sessions are part of a “Race and the Body” speaker series put on by the taxpayer-funded Institute for Justice, Education and Transformation Multicultural Student Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Its webpage repeated the same admittance requirements as the fliers posted on campus.

“Ignacio Rivera will facilitate two seperate workshops entitled ‘Mapping Your Desires’ for people of color,” the website states regarding the race- and sexual-preference segregated events.

“They will offer a unique opportunity for students of color to openly dialogue and do internal work around sex, race and social justice,” the website states. “Both of these sessions are intended for self-identified people of color (POC). The Feb. 28th session is specifically for self-identified LGBTQ people of color (QPOC).”

According is his website, Rivera is a “Two-Spirit, Black-Boricua Taíno, queer performance artist, activist, filmmaker, lecturer and sex educator who prefers the gender neutral pronoun ‘they.’ “QPOC2

“Ignacio’s body of work has focused on gender and sexuality; specifically on queer, trans, kink and sexual liberation issues within a race/class dynamic,” it adds.

The two workshops are part of the  Justice, Education and Transformation Multicultural Student Center’s 2013-14 curriculum and symposium theme: Race & the Body: Boundaries, Expressions & Orientations.

Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix.

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