Sep 10, 2006

Fair??

Ok, I am so sad.

I don't know Dr. Steven Jones, BYU Physics faculty member, at all.

But my sister does. She worked for him for a year. I sent her all of the stuff I had found on him and his research on the WTC bombings, and she was puzzled, and a little wierded out by it, because she said it's not like him to be off on tangents like that.

She described him as a soft-spoken, kind, scholarly man who she enjoyed working for. She was surprised at how his paper read... She told me that his use of italics and bold, as well as his turn of phrase in certain places, sounded less than professional, and that this didn't impress her... But as a student of physics, his arguments sounded valid.

I watched this interview when I was studying up on this stuff a few weeks ago. It left me with a bad taste in my mouth-- not toward the professor, but because of how he is being treated.

From how my sister has described him, I can't help but think that this man truly believes in what he is doing. He doesn't have anything against any particular person-- he hasn't pointed fingers in any of his publications.

Why is BYU letting him go? Isn't he supposed to be doing research? Isn't he supposed to get passionate about stuff? See the world in a slightly different way from the mainstream? As a scientist, isn't he supposed to be skeptical of everything?

Now, I know that a chief argument is that he has not put his research through the canonized method of publication. And his affiliation with 9/11 truth may possibly be considered to be against the honor code, if you classify this group as apostate.

But why would you? Is it apostatizing to wonder if there was something more to this significant event in our history, an event which has changed so much of how we view the world, and has incited war and the use of massive amounts of OUR (taxpayers') funds?

I understand that emotions run high on this whole topic... So much patriotism, grief, a feeling of being violated, the shock of losing so many Americans etc...

but should we let emotion lead us to exclude some of the possibilities as we look back? How are we going to prevent this from happening again if we aren't willing to examine all of the alternatives?

I'm not saying I believe Dr. Jones' theory. What I'm saying is that people should not vilify him... He is a scientist (albeit an imperfect one), and he is passionate about his subject matter. He is doing his job...
and being put on leave for it.

You can't really get an education if you've decided already what your education ought to be... A real education goes to the person who is open minded. Who is willing to examine possibilities. Who is unafraid of what he or she may find. Who continues to do what he or she believes in even if it makes him or her unpopular.

Even if it gets him or her fired.

I'm sorry, professor Jones.

4 comments:

Sherpa said...

I agree. Its an issue that is very emotional, I do know this guy is one of the cold fusion scientists, but he shouldn't be punished for voicing an unpopular opinion, unless he broke the agreement he signed when he was hired at BYU.

NoSurfGirl said...

I'm not sure if he's violating a contract or not... but I can't imagine that he is. Unless, as previously mentioned, 911 truth is considered by the church to be an apostate group somehow. I can't see any way in which it would. Cold fusion... Yeah, I found that, too.

:(

Anonymous said...

Shades of controversy don't sit well at private colleges especially ones run by churches that discourage any deviation from the norm and want desperately to be viewed as normal.

NoSurfGirl said...

Anon--- I guess that's true to some degree.

But I expected more from BYU.

I attended the school for 5 years and found most people to be tolerant and fair-minded, and to some degree, open-minded as well.