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9/11 Professor on Paid Leave

BYU will undoubtedly face more criticism for putting Professor Steven Jones on paid leave. Bring on the accusations of the university kowtowing to the republican/religious right agenda.

His views may prove to be true but as BYU said, "BYU remains concerned that Dr. Jones' works on this topic has not been published in appropriate scientific venues."

I don’t even know what side I am on regarding this one. I just find it terribly intriguing.

PAID LEAVE STORY

Discussion

For those interested, we're having a dicussion on this over at Blogger of Jared.

Duplicated story

We're already discussing this here: http://provopulse.com/home/?q=node/1589

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." - Hamlet, Shakespeare

Not Duplicated

When I submitted this story it was brand new and there was no discussion. It was not posted until after a discussion started on the other thread.

Sorry, you're right

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." - Hamlet, Shakespeare

New articles on Jones from Des News

Tad Walch of the Des News has been all over the Jones story since the beginning. Here are two of his latest stories:


BYU action on Jones lamented

Controversy dogs Y.'s Jones

This case gets more interesting every day.

UNH Prof defended

There is a new article in the Boston Globe about Bill Woodward...another one of the Scholars for 9/11 truth. Compare his treatment to Jones. Very interesting.

Press release from scholars for 9/11 truth

Found this little gem masqerading as a news story, but really it is just a press release from James Fetzer from Scholars for 9/11 Truth.


Scholars for 9/11 Truth Assailed

Press releases

Most of these Post-Your-Own story sites strip all identifying marks when they show up in a RSS feed. Look at the writing...they are clearly trying to pass this off as a news story. Good PR writers never bring up the other side, that is a first-day-of-class No No. This piece trips all over itself trying to portray the other side as dead wrong.
It is clear to me that they are hoping most folks won't consider the source and instead take it at face value.

Press releases

Most of these Post-Your-Own story sites strip all identifying marks when they show up in a RSS feed. Look at the writing...they are clearly trying to pass this off as a news story. Good PR writers never bring up the other side, that is a first-day-of-class No No. This piece trips all over itself trying to portray the other side as dead wrong.
It is clear to me that they are hoping most folks won't consider the source and instead take it at face value.

No time for love Dr. Jones

In case you missed it our old pal Dr. Steven Jones announced Friday that he was retiring from BYU. You can read the Daily Herald story here or Tad Walch's vastly superior story in the Des News here.

Frankly I am going to miss the guy...if nothing else, his crack pot theories about the government's role in 9/11 were entertaining.

So as an homage to the guy who gave BYU administration headaches, I decided to come up with a crack pot theory of my own. I was looking back at past news stories concerning the good doctor and noticed that he was placed on paid leave by the university just one week after President Bush met privately with LDS Church president Gordon Hinckley and his counselors. Oh to be a fly on the wall in that meeting!

Now I have no proof that Bush asked Hinckley to do something about Jones. I just have an overactive imagination. But it is pretty weird that the two events happened so close together.

Why do you keep on comparing

Why do you keep on comparing the actions of two different institutions, with different backgrounds, history, and circumstances?

Are we supposed to go "Oh, UNH thinks it's okay for professors to make borderline-slander claims outside of their area of expertise, so BYU should too"?

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." - Hamlet, Shakespeare

Re: "masquerading" press release

Found this little gem masqerading as a news story

How, exactly, is a press release with the url http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/9/prweb435465.htm masquerading as a news story?

You posted twice.

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." - Hamlet, Shakespeare

You posted twice.

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." - Hamlet, Shakespeare

Isn't it

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." - Hamlet, Shakespeare

You are right

Ya...we wouldn't want to think about anyone else but BYU. What goes on outside of the bubble is not our concern.

No

What happens at UNH is not my concern. They may have other standards, and that is fine.

Compare his treatment to Jones. Very interesting.

Why is it interesting?

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." - Hamlet, Shakespeare

Let's see

Why is it interesting? Two profs in the same controversial group face similar situations at exactly the same time. One gets defended by his university, the other gets placed on paid leave. I find that interesting.
You are right, they obviously do have different standards. One school defends the right to express controversial thoughts, the other does everything they can to supress it. I also find that interesting.
All I did was provide the link and noted that others might find comparing the two stories usefull in understanding the debate. If I am out of line here let me know.

the other does everything

the other does everything they can to supress it.

You are not well-acquinted with BYU's faculty or with BYU's policies. The only situations where this has happened is when 1)the claims are explicitly and non-subjectively against LDS doctrine (research "proving" the BoM is false, for example. You won't find much on the way of opposition to evolution, for example) or 2)the claims are not only controversial but may be unfoundedly accusatory. In other words, libelious or slandering, things that do not fall within the scope of academic freedom (in fact, they don't even fall under the scope of freedom of speech).

I don't think other non-Utah-culture-friendly topic are being censored at BYU, but only the ones that fall under these categories.

UNH may have the policies they wish, but I find it questionable for a school to support slander and libel from a professor who does not even have academic ties to the issue at hand. So yea, if we want to compare, one could argue that UNH's standards are not consistent with academic freedom.

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." - Hamlet, Shakespeare

Once again

Do I need to remind you the standards for libel and slander in this state? I posted them on the the other thread, but since you never offered any rebuttal perhaps you missed them:

Let's imagine that Jones had indeed said explicitly that the government was involved, that still comes nowhere close to meeting the standards for slander or libel. With my background as a journalist I feel qualified to talk a little about this.

In the US (and especially in Utah) there is a pretty big burden of proof that needs to be met in order to prove libel.
1.You have to KNOW that what you said (slander) or published (libel) was false. The burden of proof for this usually (in most states) lies with the plaintiff.
2. Not only do you have to know that what you said or printed was a lie you have to have malicious intent, and again the plaintiff usually has to prove that you had said intent. Tough to do.
3. No state allows the plaintiff to be a group of people. It has to be personal. So I suppose Bush could sue, but the government can't.
4. As a public figure Bush, or any other possible government plaintiff in a libel case brought against Jones has an even higher burden of proof to be met. If this wasn't the case Bush could sue every late-night talk show host that made a joke at his expense that might not be true.

Jones and his research may be flawed but it is neither slander nor libel.

The only situations where this has happened is when 1)the claims are explicitly and non-subjectively against LDS doctrine

Also in the other article when you said that Jones was being investigated for libel (which you claimed is a felony, which it isn't) I said:

If BYU only fires people for felonies or going against church doctrine than pray tell which one of these did former BYUSA advisor Todd Hendricks violate? The answer of course is neither. BYU fired him because he spoke against his superiors (which unless there is a Patriot Act provisio that I don't know about is still legal).

I also liked this one:

You won't find much on the way of opposition to evolution, for example

Why whould they oppose evolution? What is the LDS church's stand on evolution?

and finally:

UNH may have the policies they wish, but I find it questionable for a school to support slander and libel from a professor who does not even have academic ties to the issue at hand. So yea, if we want to compare, one could argue that UNH's standards are not consistent with academic freedom.

I think you will recall from our previous conversation that I was the one that pointed out that Pschology Prof. Bill Woodward at UNH has no business doing research on the twin towers collapse, as it is well outside his chosen field. I don't agree that UNH should back him up...I merely pointed out that even he is being supported by his college while Jones, who actually does have a degree that pertains to the physical collapse of the towers, is being investigated.

I find your concepts of academic freedom and the freedom of speech (if you truly believe what you say) both frightening and compeletely wrong and yet at the same time totally consistent with your BYU overlords.