Was Caroline Crocker expelled?
Caroline Crocker lost her position teaching biology after
lecturing on ID, no question about it.
The film puts it this way: After she simply mentioned
Intelligent Design in her cell biology class at George Mason University,
Caroline Crockers sterling academic career came to an abrupt end. Here is what seems clear from the public
record. Dr. Crocker did not simply mention ID in her instructional
responsibilities - she lectured on and advocated views that advanced ID and
denied evolutionary common descent. Both
the Washington Post and the DI have essays describing how she begins class with
a slide of an arrow and a question mark running between a monkey and a human. An essay praising her linked from the DI
website quotes an appreciative student:
She has finally expressed what others didnt dare say, but what I
always thought...people have a soul, one cant put them on the same level as
animals. To believe in evolution would mean that death would be the last word. However, other students were apparently not
nearly so appreciative, and there were complaints about the teaching.
Although she was not fired, it does appear that
she was instructed not to lecture on this material again. After her temporary
appointment expired (she did not have a permanent position at George Mason),
she was not rehired to teach more classes.
However, her career did not abruptly end at that point. She had another appointment at a Northern
Virginia Community College. She lectured
against evolutionary theory there as well, in the presence of a national
reporter, and included standard creationist criticisms of the fossil record. She was not invited back there either, after
which she secured a research appointment.
Since temporary teaching positions are granted on a contingent basis,
there is no assumption of continuity and no obligation to provide reasons for
not renewing. But with or without the
Caroline Crocker story, both ID advocates and their critics would agree on
this: nobody who uses the biology classroom to advance views that reject
evolutionary common descent, is going to be in the classroom for long at a
major university. What ID advocates and
critics do not agree on (and not even all ID advocates agree on) is whether or
not this should be the case. [Thats the
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