Sagan Day, creationism in Scotland, guns on campus, and more: Required Readings 11.09.14
Happy Carl Sagan Day, which has developed into a time to pay special attention and homage to critical thinking, science communication, curiosity, and skepticism. In other words, all of the things we love at School of Doubt. Sagan would have turned 80 years old today.
On Tuesday, November 11, the Scottish Parliament will discuss a petition to ban the teaching of creationism in public schools there. The petition and related filings, as well as comments from the public, are available on the Parliament’s web site.
In the wake of Anita Sarkeesian canceling a lecture at Utah State because of threats of gun violence, one commentator considers the effects of concealed carry laws on academic free speech.
This week saw a horrifying development in the disappearance of nearly 50 college students in Mexico, when authorities found a number of bodies that had been shot, burned, and dumped in plastic bags in a river.
Are sports more likely to spur church-state entanglements, or does it only seem that way? We’ve had university players with crosses on their uniforms, devotionals in the locker room, and pregame prayers a-plenty (examples A, B, C, D, and E). And now, a recent “Fall Break Football Tour” for one Kentucky high school program involved the team witnessing the baptism (full immersion, of course) of an assistant coach, with photos of the blessed event on the team’s Facebook page. (Could be worse: A few years ago, several Kentucky high school players were baptized themselves while on a team trip that included a revival service.)
A question on the minds of many in academia: When do we have too many PhDs, and what do we do when we get there?
A Harvard study of classroom attendance using hidden cameras has raised some eyebrows, but did the researchers find anything interesting?
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