Friday, October 16, 2015

Anthropology here and there

And now for something completely different.

Hypothetical question of the day: Let's say you have a 21-year-old son who has expressed interest in taking a college course in Anthropology. Which of the following of the two course descriptions (both for an introductory level Anthropology at different Universities) would you like to see him take?

NOTE: There is technically no wrong answer, and your opinion will depend on your core values (if any).

Anthropology is the study of human culture in past and contemporary societies... The discipline of anthropology is a holistic study of humanity that addresses issues of diversity and inequalities.  Archaeology examines the role of material culture to reconstruct cultural history, including technological, stylistic, and organizational changes in past cultures. Physical anthropology is concerned with the relationships between biology and culture, including human variation and adaptation, and incorporates concerns of disease, nutrition, and forensics. Linguistic anthropology deals with the relationships between language and culture, especially the ways in which language both reflects and influences perception and world view. Cultural anthropology is concerned with institutions, including kinship, gender, political organization, economic systems, religion, global political economy, and the construction of inequality.

Or this:
Anthropology Program
What does it mean to be a human person?
How do cultures and societies develop?

Anthropology studies humans as biological and cultural beings in a holistic and comparative perspective. From our earliest beginnings to the present, the questions at the foundation of anthropology cross disciplines and force philosophers and scientists to face the limitations of their domains.

Our Anthropology Program offers students a broad-based, cross-cultural understanding of the dynamic nature of humankind, steeped in the Christian philosophical tradition and reliant upon the most advanced biological, sociological, and psychological insights.

If you chose the later (B), you likely are a Christian who values the integration of "faith and reason", and are wary of liberal public institutions which corrupt their curriculum in an attempt to indoctrinate young skulls by filling them at every turn with their silliness of "diversity and inequalities" (READ: "white folks are bad" and "USA and capitalism is evil and discriminatory").

If you chose "A", you are likely a humanist secular progressive who thinks Bernie Sanders and/or Hillary Clinton are sexy.

The above course descriptions were provided to me by my wife, who has been helping our 21-year-old son select college courses for his upcoming transfer from The University of Michigan - Flint to Franciscan University in January.

I don't mean this as a direct knock against UM-Flint, as I don't believe their "mission" is any different than that of any other public university. In UM-F's defense, my wife worked there as the secretary for the Math Department for a few years (until she resigned to join me as a co-worker for her brother's company) and she absolutely loved the professors there, and our middle son was in the process of securing his Actuarial Degree at that time. I may be going out on a limb here, but "1 + 1 = 2" no matter where you take that math class. Also, I am a proud UM-Flint alumnus, though I'm pretty sure Marty McFly looked a little differently back in the 80s.

That said, I lied. The correct answer is "B". His mother and I took him to visit the campus a few weeks ago and he absolutely loved it. He is also keenly interested in studying Theology in his last 2+ years of college eligibility, and taking advantage of the studying abroad in Austria. He also talked about looking for mission work opportunities. He's a special young man. Our trip concluded at the Tomb to the Unborn Child, where we all joined hands (at our son's prompting) and prayed the Our Father.

Thanks for reading. Now go take on the day!


  1. How sad that most "education" isn't. Today, schools are mostly indoctrination for the Far Left, starting in kindergarden and on. I hope your son can get the proper education y'all are paying for.
    Hope your day is blessed. ~:)

  2. They have become cesspools and I think its now a rarity to find one that's not. The difference, I hope, is the mission of the school and the quality and values of the professors. We were very impressed with Francescan and I pray he'll be in good hands (if he goes). I think parents have to be very wary and careful about sending their kids away to college these days. Our oldest son went to Notre Dame, but we found out too late that ND is no better than (pick any liberal bastion of indoctrination hell and insert here). ND certainly isn't Catholic anymore and its very sad what they've become. Our middle son stayed living at home while he earned his 4 year degree. He found a job, married his sweetheart, THEN they moved in together (in that order, can you believe it?). And they go to church as a couple every Sunday. I credit the fact he didn't spend 4 years marinating in progressive swamp stew. In any case, our youngest has stayed living with us for his first two years of higher book learnin', and he is a very intelligent Christian conservative.

  3. Good luck to your son. I wish him all the best.

    I studied science and math in college. The progressive line didn't operate well on my end of the campus. Proselytizing on the science side of the USF campus came in the form of rants by one organic chem. prof. about the virtues of styrofoam (yes, there are many and scientifically wise, but that they go against the progressive liberal agenda, they're disregarded).

    Another rant came from an embryology prof. who waxed fondly on how, for dissection purposes, there was nothing better than a fresh cat. The gasps from the audience were loud, but didn't deter the prof. one bit.

    I think that teaching our kids to think critically for themselves is the ultimate end for us as parent. They will be able to counter whatever silly notions they confront in their studies with critical thinking and good old common sense.

  4. I would choose C, something that actually pays people to do it. But you have to follow your heart. Nothing better than a job you love doing.

  5. Cube, I minored in styrofoam. Ok, not really. I can dream. I agree to a certain extent on the power of implanting solid fundamentals with our kids. Just don't underestimate the power of a 4 year liberal machine.

    Kid, I hear ya. But his top two career choices include teaching theology at high school level and discerning priesthood. I am comfortable he will figure it out, even if it is option c.