Human beings are superior to animals and equal to one another because we have free will and the conscious knowledge of human beings. The human soul is spiritual because we can comprehend everything that happens to us and everything we do, but we can’t explicate or define what we are. In my opinion, civil liberties are rooted in our freedom of will and academic freedom is rooted in our drive to know and understand everything. Compulsory education laws, for example, diminish our freedom of will but protect the academic freedom of children who might otherwise work in a sweatshop.
After Galileo developed proof that the Earth revolved around the sun, Cardinal Bellarmine warned Galileo that his work was unsuitable for publication. (location 3868)
When Galileo published his heretical telescope observations, for example, he was listed as suspect in the secret books of the Inquisition, threatened with torture, compelled publicly to disavow his views, and imprisoned for the remainder of his life. (location 263)
It is not at all clear to me whether the Catholic Church or Galileo was guilty of violating anyone’s academic freedom. Bellarmine was saying it was only a theory that the Earth moved around the Sun. Galileo was saying it was a fact. It was only a century later, with the improvement of telescopes, that Galileo was proven to be right.
By the early 1870s, Darwin’s theory of evolution was no longer a disputed hypotheses within the American scientific community. (location 303)
Darwin did not contribute anything to evolutionary biology, so it is absurd to refer to “Darwin’s theory of evolution.” According to the Bible, evolution took 7 days. However, it was always understood that the time span was much greater. The first scientist to propose the mechanisms for evolution was Al-Jahiz in the 9th century:
Animals engage in a struggle for existence [and] for resources, to avoid being eaten and to breed....Environmental factors influence organisms to develop new characteristics to ensure survival, thus transforming into new species. Animals that survive to breed can pass on their successful characteristics to [their] offspring. (The Book of Animals)
Pierre de Maupertuis (1698-1759) and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829) developed these mechanisms further. All Charles Darwin (1809-1882) did was promote the atheistic propaganda that human beings evolved from apes. Stephen Jay Gould also promulgates this lie:
Catholics could believe whatever science determined about the evolution of the human body, so long as they accepted that, at some time of his choosing, God had infused the soul into such a creature. I also knew that I had no problem with this statement, for whatever my private beliefs about souls, science cannot touch such a subject and therefore cannot be threatened by any theological position on such a legitimately and intrinsically religious issue.” (Stephen Jay Gould,"Non-overlapping Magisteria, (Natural History, March 1997,13th paragraph)
The Catholic Church does not teach that God infuses souls into humans. This idea conflicts with the doctrine that humans inherit the “stain of original sin” from their parents through sexual generation. However, Gould is quite right to say that science cannot touch the concept of the “soul.” However, human beings have to consider this concept because all religions teach that we pay for our sins after we die. Gould is disseminating misinformation because he is not saying, “science cannot touch the subject of free will.” He is obscuring the main observation that proves humans did not evolve from apes.
This brings to mind the scandal Wikipedia calls, the “Sternberg peer review controversy.” Dr. Sternberg was an editor of a journal and he published a review of the existing attempts to understand the evolution of the organization of proteins into cells, cells into tissues, etc. . At the end of the article, the author suggested that the theory of intelligent design (ID) was a better theory than natural selection. The three peer-reviewers thought the mention of ID was an unimportant philosophical addendum that did not adversely affect the scientific value of the paper. Sternberg should have deleted the reference to ID because it is pure pseudoscience.
Sternberg’s colleagues where he worked were so angry they at him they behaved like a mob. Their behavior was so deplorable that on December 11, 2006, the Committee on Government Reform of the United States House of Representatives published a 29-page document titled, "Intolerance and the Politicization of Science at the Smithsonian: Smithsonian's Top Officials Permit the Demotion and Harassment of Scientist Skeptical of Darwinian Evolution." In my opinion, Sternberg was guilty of violating everyone’s academic freedom because he made ID intellectually respectable. His colleagues at the Smithsonian were guilty of violating Sternberg’s freedom of will.
To affirm that “unregulated markets are self-correcting” is almost all economics classrooms in America during the years 2001-2008 was to sustain a mythology whose destructive consequences are now evident. (location 828)
I’m quite sure that no economics student heard the quoted phrase. They may have heard that unregulated markets are better than regulated markets or that the best thing the government can do to end a depression is to do nothing. But, I can’t imagine an economics teacher making such a statement.
This brings to mind that Ludwig von Mises, with all his achievements in economics, was unable to get a teaching position at a first tier university. He was a professor at New York University’s business school, but at that time, NYU was not a first tier school. Furthermore, a wealthy admirer paid his salary, so I was once told.
At about the time Mises explained the business cycle, someone invented the concept of the gross national product, which has the form GNP=INCOMES. It is an accounting identity, like DEBITS=CREDITS and unlike SUPPLY=DEMAND. The law of supply and demand is a causal theory of price. Along came Maynard Keyes who said GNP=INCOMES was a causal relationship, not just an accounting identity. Walla! Just as prices vary because SUPPLY and DEMAND are not always equal, the economy varies because the GNP and INCOMES are not always equal. This is more absurd than thinking human beings evolved from apes.