Scientific Participation of YECs

So Josh. Would you be OK with Holocaust deniers teaching history? How about flat earthers teaching geography? Should we have faculty in medical schools who don’t believe in the germ theory of disease?

I think it’s a bad idea to ask people to hide their science denial beliefs and only pretend to adopt a scientific attitude and allow them to teach subjects they don’t really believe in just so long as they can parrot the consensus positions in the field.

I don’t think it’s a shame at all that people with no commitment to furthering a scientific attitude grounded on evidence are discouraged from becoming scientists or science educators anymore than I think it’s a shame that people with no belief in the rule of law are discouraged from becoming lawyers.

The good news is that what you are proposing is not how science works. It likely would be in conflict with anti-discrimination laws. So you are really off the reservation here.

I did not agree with evolution when I was first considering science. The group I did my research in didn’t really care what my personal beliefs were, which gave me courage to discuss them with the professors there. In those conversations, outside a polemic agenda, I saw for myself how I had been mislead.

The tolerance of science is its strength. We don’t countenance inquisitions. We just don’t care what people personally believe when their professional (which includes public engagement and teaching) contributions are honest and rigorous. This is exactly as it should be.


OK so be clear you think anti-discrimination laws protect flat earthers teaching geography, Holocaust deniers teaching history and people who deny the germ theory of disease teaching in medical school? Correct?

I don’t know how anyone could stand working “as if” for any sort of lengthy career. I certainly wouldn’t with that on anyone. Then again, using YEC assumptions in science, even supposedly testing them, wouldn’t work either.

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It would be very difficult, it would be best if all the difficulty arose from the data and the usual standard of scientific rigor and honesty.

That is difficult enough, and adding to it with meanness isn’t right, and gives people a way out to claim bias.

Read more closely.

Maybe someone with more legal experience can chime in but under US employment laws I don’t think conspiracy theorists or science denialists are protected classes.

You are prohibited from even asking about religious beliefs, and rightfully so. It is a serious breech of ethics.

I read. My question still stands. Let’s take one example. Are you OK with a Holocaust denier teaching history so long as they don’t teach holocaust denial.

If a person is a holocaust denier, but does not state this publicly, nor does it come out in his teaching about the holocaust, how would I even know he is a holocaust denier? How would anyone in his professional context know? So, of course, he would be allowed to teach.

That’s not what I’m asking. Are rejecting the germ theory of disease or denying the Holocaust or believing the earth is young necessarily religious beliefs?

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Josh. That’s crazy. Who in their right mind would spend a career teaching history, parroting something they believe a lie, and all the while keeping what they believe to be reality a total secret? Besides how is it not equally discriminatory under your logic to ask people to keep their beliefs to themselves? Again science denialist and conspiracy theorist are not protected classes under US employment law.

Welcome to the minority experience.

I’m not presenting my logic. I’m presenting the baseline ethical standards that I (and everyone else) am expected to follow when interviewing people at WUSTL so that we aren’t sued for discrimination.

I fail to see what is ethical about spending a career believing you are lying to students you are given the responsibility to educate. There is absolutely nothing ethical about that.

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It is a high price indeed. Perhaps these YECs just love science for the sake of science alone, and are not engaged with it merely to support their personal beliefs. Such was the case with me.

What? Again I ask. What on earth is ethical about spending a career teaching students what you believe to be a lie? Deliberately lying to your students would seem the opposite of ethical.

Try reading more closely. Try learning about experiences not your own before pronouncing them unethical :slight_smile: .

I didn’t pronounce anything. I asked you a question. Do you think it’s ethical to spend a career in education deliberately lying to students?

I don’t think this requires lying.

Of course it does. If in your heart of hearts you believe the holocaust never happened yet year after year you tell students it did then how is that not lying?