In reference to Nicholas Kristof’s May 16 column “A confession of liberal intolerance”: There’s a reason evangelicals are disfavored in academia: They approach scholarship with a preconceived notion – that anything in the Bible that isn’t obviously poetic language or a parable must be taken at face value.
Having a preconceived notion violates the scientific method of proposing a testable theory and then testing it without bias.
Faith is inherently untestable, and it should not be used as a basis for rejecting theories such as evolution and the geologic time scale that have mountains of evidence to support them. However, many evangelicals reject these theories in whole or in part on that basis.
Similarly, years of historical and textual research on the Bible have shown that many long-hallowed biblical accounts should not be taken as records of historical events, but instead as stories whose value is primarily symbolic. Yet many evangelicals won’t accept those conclusions.
Universities require competent scholars who accept the scientific method for all scientific inquiry and who respect the findings of scholars in other fields. Rejecting findings because they contradict one’s interpretation of the Bible is not competent scholarship.