A handful of interesting, informative, and insightful articles.
News, editorials, columns, essays, et al.
An Open Letter to the Kansas State Board of Education by Dr. Philip S. Skell @ Discovery Institute News (ht):
I have been following the controversy over the adoption of new science standards in your state with interest. I am writing — as a member of the National Academy of Sciences — to voice my strong support for the idea that students should be able to study scientific criticisms of the evidence for modern evolutionary theory along with the evidence favoring the theory.
All too often, the issue of how to teach evolutionary theory has been dominated by voices at the extremes. On one extreme, many religious activists have advocated for Bible-based ideas about creation to be taught and for evolution to be eliminated from the science curriculum entirely. On the other hand, many committed Darwinian biologists present students with an idealized version of the theory that glosses over real problems and prevents students from learning about genuine scientific criticisms of it.
Both these extremes are mistaken. Evolution is an important theory and students need to know about it. But scientific journals now document many scientific problems and criticisms of evolutionary theory and students need to know about these as well....
Communicating with the "Faces of Hate" by Justin Katz @ The Fact Is (ht):
"It is YOU YOU YOU YOU who cause the suffering and harm."
Closing a recitation of the deepest hurts — beatings, suicides, depression — in a blog commenter's life, the above quotation resonates threateningly even through the gauze of anonymity that the Internet provides. The reason, beyond its discomfiting hysteria, is that the accusation is leveled not at a lifelong nemesis, or even an acquaintance, but at a stranger with the audacity to offer his opinion in a forum intended for and visited by those of a disagreeing worldview. In some circles, such is the collective guilt of conservative Christians that an individual can be held responsible for decades of suffering among people whom he has never met.
Of course, the wilds of cyberspace echo with the venting of all sorts of extreme thoughts, whether they represent cathartic release for the habitually civil or simple liberty for the intemperate. Consequently, anybody wishing to decry dangerous rhetoric from opposing political camps can find examples. The attitude that permeates American universities, however, brings into question whether the all-caps incrimination of an anonymous Christian YOU can be dismissed as extreme....
Gildersleeve: Soldier, scholar by Richard P. Cox @ The Washington Times (ht):
Most Civil War readers are familiar with Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, the learned professor who left the halls of academe to answer his country's call and became the hero of Little Round Top. Few, however, recall the name of Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve, a Confederate scholar-soldier who was the South's Chamberlain.
Gildersleeve served honorably, if somewhat eccentrically, in the Army of Northern Virginia, and his wartime experiences left a permanent mark on his literary work.
By any estimation, he was one of the greatest classical scholars the United States ever produced....
Reagan in Retrospect: How the 40th president looks to history. by Steven F. Hayward @ The Weekly Standard (ht):
There are at least three major cycles to the historical process of judging presidents. There is the initial summation upon leaving office. Then there is a reappraisal period, when we start to recall the unappreciated virtues of these men, and when previously secret documents and circumstances shed new light on a president's designs and actions. And finally there is revisionism, which has epicycles of its own.
Modern presidents usually fare poorly in the initial summation upon leaving office: Harry Truman was unpopular, Dwight Eisenhower was a dunce, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush were failures, while Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton were something worse. Ronald Reagan, though still popular with the American people in 1989, got the usual rough treatment during his first few years out of office. While he may have restored America's morale, critics said, he was an out-of-touch man whose ruinous economic policies spelled doom for the next generation.
The Reagan reappraisal began early, with the collapse of communism, and culminated with the stunning revelations of Reagan's own extensive writings, which showed not only an active mind but one more engaged than the critics (and even some friends) imagined. While the diehard anti-anti-Communists still resist acknowledging Reagan's role in ending the Cold War, the preponderance of evidence is producing another landslide for the Gipper....
The Lone Pine Revolution by Michael Ellis and Scott Glabe @ The Dartmouth Review (ht):
Two bespectacled, suit-wearing academics make for unlikely revolutionaries. However, the election of Hoover Institution fellow Peter Robinson '79 and George Mason University law professor Todd Zywicki '88 to Dartmouth College's Board of Trustees, announced Thursday, is perhaps the most significant event in the institution's recent history.
Most Trustee elections at Dartmouth, like those to most corporate boards, are low-key affairs, marked by apathy. But not this one. Just to earn a place on the Trustee election ballot, Robinson and Zywicki each had to collect 500 alumni signatures on a petition. They next fought back a spirited opposition from the four "official" candidates nominated by the administration-controlled Alumni Council, all the while fending off attacks from rogue groups of alumni trying to scuttle their campaigns....
Lane Core Jr. CIW P Tue. 05/17/05 07:52:45 PM
Categorized as Readworthies.