By Lili Martinez
In the wake of a heated campus debate surrounding his invitation to Kenyon, libertarian and controversial author Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) spoke to a crowded Rosse Hall yesterday.
His visit to campus, which was organized by the Center for the Study of American Democracy (CSAD) sparked controversy last week among professors and some students, who took to email to defend or decry Murrays visit.
Professor of Religious Studies Vernon Schubel first voiced objection to the decision to invite Murray in an all-student email last week, writing that Murrays 1994 book The Bell Curve notoriously argued for linkages between race and IQ. Schubel wrote that he was disappointed and appalled that we are providing a platform for Mr. Murray to speak and spread ideas that are at the fringe of academic acceptability and, in fact, have been dismissed by scholars as ideological driven pseudo-science.
Murray wrote The Bell Curve with psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein, who died before the book was published. Its central thesis, that intelligence is influenced by inherited and environmental factors, among others, contained reference to racial differences in intelligence, sparking controversy that his theories were akin to white supremacy.