Friday, March 18, 2005


Summers, Harvard and Freedom of Thought

Larry Summers received a "No Confidence" vote from the faculty of arts and sciences at Harvard.

Mostly, I believe it was for his daring to say that there is evidence to prove thatmen might be statisically more likely to do well in math and science than women(and even they admit it was a factor for the vote). There is evidence to back up his assertion.

But in the new dark age of intellectual dishonesty that our universities have created in the name of political correctness, where freedom of though is carefully channeled into acceptable areas, people have been throwing snit attacks.

Harvard is not a parlimentary style government, and Summers could weather the storm if he had the strength of character, but I suspect he will go. After spending months apologizing for stating a truth, I don't think he has what it takes to ride out the situation.

Mostly though, what makes me sad about this is that he hasn't been attacked by drumming up data to prove his statements wrong. He hasn't been argued to be an intellectual crackpot through superior use of data. What he said was taken as politically incorrect. One of his critics, hearing him speak said she was going to pass out or throw up.

Academic research by snit fit? Is truth supposed to fit our politics?

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