Is this is what Creationists mean when they put forth ‘Academic Freedom’ legislation?

Sure enough, I just received confirmation today in a letter from the Open Records Office at the University of Oklahoma. The letter confirms that on the day of Dawkins’ speech, Oklahoma State Representative Rebecca Hamilton requested substantial information relating to the speech from Vice President for Governmental Relations Danny Hilliard. Representative Hamilton’s exhaustive request included demands for all e-mails and correspondence relating to the speech; a list of all money paid to Dawkins and the entities, public or private, responsible for this funding; and the total cost to the university, including, among other things, security fees, advertising, and even “faculty time spent promoting this event.”

This rotten twat sent irate emails hours before Dawkins presentation, ie the content of his presentation was meaningless. The problem, evidently, was ‘Dawkins’ as a symbol. Rebecca Hamilton believes that not only should Dawkins not have the right to speak in OK, he should not have the right to exist in this state, because she is against what he symbolizes. Her rant touches everything from demanding to know how much money was spent on security the night of the event, to how much time faculty spent supporting the event. Thought police much, bitch?

Oklahoma: Where Democrats are Republicans, and Republicans are batshit insane.

Meanwhile, EXPELLED star Ben Stein spoke last fall at the Oklahoma State University to the tune of $60,000, and no one seems to have cared at such an expense to ‘the tax payers’.

This is what ‘Academic Freedom’ means to Creationists. Creationism gets a free pass, and evolution supporters are to be subjected to witch hunts. Im sure this will be the topic of Walt Ruloffs next documentary. Right?


  1. #1 Mind Over Splatter
    March 26, 2009

    Is it not bad enough that anti-evolution legislation attempts in Oklahoma make its citizens appear as uneducated medieval morons to the enlightened world. But, the investigation into the speech by Richard Dawkins at Oklahoma University is a blatant attack on the basic Freedom of Speech guaranteed by the Constitution of this country. The persons needing to be investigated are the ones trying to deny this basic freedom to others.

  2. #2 Tommykey
    March 26, 2009

    The climate in the entire state is anti-intellectual and over time it becomes very oppressive.

    It ends up becoming like Gresham’s Law. All of the free thinkers and secularists leave, which makes the place even more of a fundy stronghold.

  3. #3 Mind Over Splatter
    March 26, 2009

    This is insane, but the faster the world shines a light on it, the better. This should get it plenty of attention.

    I’m always amazed, from the days of the Alien & Sedition Acts under Adams to McCarthy to Bush, how those most concerned about “protecting freedom” are the very ones to trample it first…

  4. #4 foxfire
    March 26, 2009

    Hmmm. Mikey and the Princess seem to have left the thread. Perhaps they migrated to blogs about the Texas situation, praying to their sky-daddy so Biology textbooks all over America can has superstition?

    Or perhaps several class-act responses (See #92,#95) have left them speechless. My favorite:

    “The majority will present the problem as a religion vs science in the culture issue rather than a pseudoscience vs science in education issue.”

    No. The majority will spit, scratch their nuts and shout “How come we don’t talk monkey then!”

    Well done Prometheus!

    P.S. Willie, the book title is Summer for the Gods. Loose the “of”

  5. #5 a lurker
    March 27, 2009

    While the motivations for the request is unreasonable, the request itself is legit. A public university is answerable to the legislature (and the people) and thus can be brought into account for anything it does and every nickle it spends. And I doubt that the request could bring up anything even remotely interesting that we don’t know all ready. And as others have pointed out, the same tools requiring daylight in government operation can be used against the creationists. It is the creationists who must fear daylight. Indeed one of the two grounds for striking down a creationist disclaimer in 1999 was that the creationists violated the Open Meetings Act. Creationists have a lot to hide. If creationists ever get some law passed or something through some government agency, you can bet that the good guys will be using things like freedom of information requests, making sure creationists did not violate the open meetings act, and once a court challenge is filed, discovery.

    It should not be too difficult to dish out the info the creationists demanded to know assuming OU has good record keeping in any event.

    Meanwhile creationist legislators are providing plenty of evidence that the are not for academic freedom and that they are on a religious crusade. That should come in mighty handy in any future court case in Oklahoma. That the legislators are giving creationism some bad PR helps as well.

  6. #6 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    March 29, 2009

    First off, Abby, you are now officially one of my Heroes for drawing in Richard Dawkins to your blog to comment. I wouldn’t get that in a hundred years of blogging.

    Second off, I was going to pile on how stupid WW is proving himself to be (yet again,) but it seems unnecessary. Aside to WW: Lou knows the phrase “Moonbat” is a name leveled towards liberals, but is more accurately tossed at the likes of you. “Kind of batshit insane and lacking in reading comprehension.”

    Instead I am going to address this Mike guy:

    The fact on the ground is that folks like Dawkins and Myers are not good spokesmen for science education. They are now, rightly or wrongly, firmly established as primarily concerned with flipping off people with religious faith as a way of advancing their social cause. People like Barbara Forrest and Eugenie Scott are good spokensmen for science education. They’re atheists as well, and don’t hide it, but, maybe because they aren’t alpha males, or maybe because they’re more focused on promoting science education, they’re more likely to be able to achieve support for science education.

    I think that you are on the wrong blog. You were probably looking for “Framing Science.” What Myers and Dawkins have done for science education is largely underappreciated. By pointing out the tenuous position of appeasers, they have encouraged people to fucking stand up and be heard in public forums where the nonsense is being rifled off as harmless. Disagreeing with people doesn’t need to be disagreeable, but it does need to be firm.

    There is no reason for Dawkins to be held back, what he says and how he says it is clearly reasoned. It is only because in realizing the implications of naturalistic explanations instead of Creationism that the religious feel attacked. He is not attacking them personally, he is more strongly challenging their cherished ideals. That some are discomfited is their own problem, not his. Same for PZ. He is a mild-mannered guy who challenges people to consider the full implications of what they do, especially in science. Yes, he can be mischeivous, but so was the Norse God Loki. And all societies need Lokis.

    The movie Expelled was clearly anti-education, dressed in ridicule. Dawkins’ and Myers’ bits were edited to twist their points and it was shameful that Mathis and Stein drew them in under false pretenses.

    Mike, please change your name, or use your last name, or a pseudonym. You are embarrassing the rest of the Mikes of the world. William Wallace isn’t dangerous because everyone can clearly see he is an idiot. Your attitude is far more dangerous because it calls for censure of people you don’t like. And you seem so reasonable, too.

    Finally, I get tired of people bashing Oklahoma so much. I lived there. I liked it. My nephew is getting an excellent education in the public schools there. Since moving to Minnesota I have grown to understand that the people here are not all that much different. We are only more liberal by a small percentage, and we have sent the likes of Norm Coleman and Michele Bachmann to Congress. We shouldn’t be too smug when talking about Oklahoma.

    Hamilton’s intent is to intimidate the school so they will think twice about inviting anyone so notorious for future events.

    Oh, and Oklahoma has a fantastic geological feature called the Arbuckles. Visit sometime. They tell the story of the age of the earth laid out in bare rock.

New comments have been disabled.