Thomas Cranmer writes –
An unruly mob in Albert Park has catapulted New Zealand into the global headlines with ugly images that may become iconic in the debate about the dangers of transgenderism.
Bravo Kellie-Jay Keen. She did the job that needed to be done.
For all the talk in the days preceding Keen’s arrival in New Zealand of countering free speech with ‘more free speech’, that was never going to happen. We don’t have The Oxford Union or Speaker’s Corner. That’s not how we debate ideas down under.
The die was cast from the moment our Immigration Minister, Michael Wood, announced that Keen would be permitted to enter the country despite, in his words, her “inflammatory, vile and incorrect world views”. The Minister declared that he would prefer it if Keen “never set foot in New Zealand” and added,
“I find many of her views repugnant, and am concerned by the way in which she courts some of the most vile people and groups around including white supremacists.”
Continue reading “THOMAS CRANMER: Violent suppression of free speech – Kellie-Jay Keen’s assault by transgender activists in NZ sparks global outrage” →
Dave Armstrong, a columnist for state-subsidised Stuff, went out to bat for mātauranga Māori this week and to remonstrate with Richard Dawkins, the renowned British biologist, science communicator and atheist.
During his recent New Zealand tour, Dawkins had written an article for The Spectator about our government’s decision for Māori “Ways of Knowing” (mātauranga Māori) to have equal standing with “western’ science” in our education curriculum.
Armstrong challenged the renowned scientist’s critique:
Dawkins calls this “ludicrous policy… adolescent virtue-signalling”. Is this a reasonable point or a God-like delusion from an arrogant overseas scientist with little local knowledge?
The columnist’s riposte has not been informed by the concerns of New Zealand scientists and academics about the place of mātauranga Māori in the science classroom, some of them cogently contained in a recent open letter to Prime Minister Chris Hipkins.
Mind you, Armstrong may well be unaware of the thrust of that letter. Stuff – and other mainstream media – have made no mention of it, perhaps because they needed the space to bring us news about Meghan and Harry. Continue reading “Champion of mātauranga Māori dabbles with a myth: European navigators didn’t fear sailing too close to the Earth’s edge” →
We are heartened, at Point of Order, to find some of our scribblings have been drawn to the attention of Jerry A. Coyne, Ph.D and Emeritus Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago.
On his website, Why Evolution is True, he has posted an article headed More news from New Zealand about the big science vs. indigenous “knowledge” ruckus. In this, he has referenced our recent report that Megan Woods, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation, has set aside $1.6 million to hook kids on “science”, but by using “traditional knowledge”.
We have been rewarded, too, by keeping an eye on what Coyne is saying about science and matauranga Maori and its place in our education system on his website.
For good measure, we have been given examples of the wit and wisdom exercised by Professors Joanna Kidman (University of Wellington) and Siouxsie Wiles (University of Auckland) when they rebut ideas expressed by people who disagree with them. Age and gender seem to be over-riding considerations – in tweets, at least – which seriously corrode the validity of a contradictory argument.
On December 14, Coyne says he suddenly had been inundated with emails from disaffected Kiwis who take issue with the New Zealand government’s and academia’s push to teach mātauranga Māori , or Māori “ways of knowing”, as coequal with real science in high-school and university science classes.
Of course. We are injecting notions of Treaty partnership into our science curriculum.
And if it’s good enough to debase our democracy with these partnerships, why should science be exempt? Continue reading “Bring on the Wiles v Dawkins debate and prospects of our being demystified (but he might be disqualified as a dinosaur)” →
Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins a few years ago reacted to Donald Trump’s shock election victory in the United States by urging fellow scientists to move to New Zealand.
He called on this country to offer British and American academics citizenship following the “catastrophes” both countries had suffered at the hands of “uneducated, anti-intellectual” voters.
He might have changed his mind since then, although the mainstream media here either haven’t noticed or don’t think it’s a matter of public interest.
Dawkins is troubled by what is happening to some of our scientists and is supporting colleagues around the world who contend that myths do not belong in science classes. He has posted on Twitter the letter he emailed to the chief executive of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
He wrote to Roger Ridley, unaware that Paul Atkins (firstname.lastname@example.org) has succeeded Ridley as CEO.
Dawkins’ letter was prompted by another eminent scientist, Jerry Coyne, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at The University of Chicago.
Let’s hear first from Coyne, who has a has posted an article headed “Ways of knowing”: New Zealand pushes to have “indigenous knowledge” (mythology) taught on parity with modern science in science class”
Coyne has been alerted to the furore which we mentioned here yesterday and which was critically aired in The Spectator in a column by associate editor Toby Young headed Why punish a scientist for defending science? Continue reading “Richard Dawkins (a foe of creationism) pitches into the NZ furore over letter in defence of science by seven professors” →