University of Higher Leaning

thumb-chapel“What do campus microaggressions, safe spaces, trigger warnings, speech codes and censorship have to do with higher learning?” Victor Davis Hanson

“Today’s campuses mimic ideological boot camps.” Ibid

“Tenured professors seek to indoctrinate young people in certain preconceived progressive political agendas.” Ibid

“There are no ‘absolutes’ because everything is relative! Are you sure professor? “Absolutely!” Anon

Editor’s Note: For those students who have been challenged over the question of absolutes we strongly recommend William D. Gairdner’s work The Book of Absolutes: A Critique of Relativism and a Defense of Universals published by McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2008.

“Although only specialists to this day are able to understand this theory [Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity], the news of it at once produced ‘a vague source of unease,’ as British historian Paul Johnson puts it, ‘the belief began to circulate, for the first time at a popular level, that there were no longer any absolutes: of time and space, of good and evil, of knowledge, and about all of value. Mistakenly but perhaps inevitably, relativity became confused with relativism.’ And, he adds, ‘no one was more distressed than Einstein by this public misapprehension.’” Gairdner, p. 17

“As for ‘relativity theory’? That phrase was first used by Max Planck in 1906 and took immediate hold in the public imagination, even though Einstein by then very much disliked the term. By 1908 Einstein’s former teacher Hermann Minkowski, who had initially proposed many of the key features of the final theory to Einstein (who was astonished by the theory and initially dismissed most of it—including many of the ideas for which he later became famous—as ‘superfluous erudition’), also disliked the misleading term ‘relativity’ and urged that the phrase ‘invariant postulates’ would be more accurate. But still no luck. Another man concerned about the descriptive dishonesty of the term was the mathematician Felix Klein, who proposed that Einstein’s theory be called ‘The Theory of Absolutes.’ But by now it was far too late. If Klein’s version had taken, we would today be discussing ‘Albert Einstein and his famous Theory of Absolutes,’ which would at least have been closer to the truth of the theory—and we must surely wonder what effect that would have had on the public mind!” Gairdner, p. 84


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