Re: Academe Bureaucracy: A SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS
Wed, 20 Nov 1996 14:45:11 -0600

On 20 Nov 1996, Ed Conrad wrote:

> > cynthia gage wrote (to sci.anthropology and a bunch
> > of other news groups):
> > What we call academe today is a multi-billion-dollar,
> > self-perpetuating, self-selected bureaucracy.
> > The difference between the academic bureaucracy and any other
> > self-selecting bureaucracy is that academe claims, as its sole product,
> > objective, unbiased, balanced truth. It has no other reason for
> > existence.

Oh, puh-LEASE. Like the academy is that monolithic. Show me
bureaucratic or administrative documents where academic institutions make
that kind of claim. Then go tell the faculty at Boston College (or B.U.,
I never can remember) that they stand for "objective, unbiased, balanced
truth." Tell that to the University of South Carolina religion dept.
that almost got legislated out of existence by a proposed law to forbid
the teaching of non-Christian religions in public institutions. Tell
that to teachers of multiculturalism in English and Literature
departments across the country. Tell that to the thousands of people
embroiled in academic infighting.

If anything, the academy stands for many subjective, biased, unbalanced
truths (plural and lowercase). Then people like you get upset that the
academy foments this kind of `cultural revisionism' rather than the Truth
which you believe everyone should live by.

> Academe is INDEED a multi-billion-dollar, self-perpetuating,
> self-selected bureaucracy -- and the only ``truth' it dispenses
> is what it decides to give out.

How, pray tell, could it be otherwise? Doesn't dispensing require a
decision to dispense?

> Even when it is fully aware that a particular ``truth" is total
> fiction.

What makes a truth? It being true? No -- its being BELIEVED to be
true. It's only fiction if you don't believe it. Truth is a human
category, not a natural one.

> Its ``product" unquestionably is, at all times, a predictable result
> of its complete and utter bias.

Your rants are equally predictable because of your complete and utter
bias against that "product." Only thing is, you think you haven't got
anything to learn from the hundreds of thousands of people who make that
"product" their life's work -- you think you've got the answers already
in a 3,000 year-old user's manual.

Did you ever notice that creation research is not creative, but
reactive? How much original research into creation has there been? None
-- it's all done in an effort to prove that the evolutionary paradigm is
untenable. "Creation science" has never produced an original idea;
they're all twisted versions of ideas generated under the evolutionary
paradigm. "Uh-oh -- what do we do about genetics? Ah, we can say it
just operates on a small scale. Uh-oh -- what do we do about magnetic
dating? Ah, we can say the earth's magnetic field has been
strengthening through time." Notice that creation research has never
come up with a discovery on a par with genetics or the magnetic field.
We find Lucy -- so you go looking for something to counter it. That's
the pattern here -- we find something new that you didn't anticipate, and
you have to into all sorts of convolutions to force it into your world
view. If creation is a tenable paradigm, why don't _YOU_ predict something
new and then go find it?

Did it ever occur to you that God might have given you a brain to see how
innovative you could be, rather than to see how cleverly you could cling
to ignorance?

And, when you die and find out that evolution really did happen, how
happy do you think God will be that you used that gift of his to try to
keep people in ignorance?

Rebecca Lynn Johnson
Ph.D. stud., Dept. of Anthropology, U Iowa