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William Lane Craig


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#1 ydoaPs

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Posted 2 December 2010 - 03:18 AM

William Lane Craig has recently been accused of plagiarizing parts of his Masters thesis.

The following two part video presents the evidence(the title is a bit misleading; it's a joke from the channel):



It seems to me that it's fairly clear-cut that he in fact plagiarized these parts of his thesis. If he did plagiarize, what are the possible repercussions? Can his Masters degree be revoked?

We have:

"The achievements of this century and its predecessors in the modern period have made it possible for the majority of Western men to emancipate themselves from the numerous restrictions that afflicted men in past centuries."-Easton

"The achievements of this century, and indeed, the modern period as a whole have made it possible for the majority of Western men and women to liberate themselves from the numerous restrictions that shackled persons living in past centuries."-WLC

and we have:

"The individualism that we notice as early as the Renaissance, but which could be in the possession of only a few in that age, has now become possible for the majority."-Easton

"The individualism that sprang from the Renaissance, but which could be the possession of only an elite few in that age, has now become possible for the majority."-WLC

This isn't even good plagiarism; it is middle school level copy/paste-modify type plagiarism.

Edited by ydoaPs, 2 December 2010 - 01:04 AM.

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"Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have. It is the very last inch of us. But within that inch we are free."-Valerie(V for Vendetta)

"For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love and whiskey."-Carl Sagan[revised]
 
"The universe is under no obligation to us not to be absurd."

#2 Marat

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Posted 2 December 2010 - 07:47 PM

The idea that anyone could expect to get a Master's Degree from a respectable university with a title like 'The Nature of History' seems absurd, unless he's Hegel. Normal academic theses, especially short M.A. theses, have highly specific topics so they can be treated adequately to an academic standard, like 'The Role of Crowds as an Agent of Restraint in the French Revolution,' or 'Mitochondrial Changes in Diabetic Retinal Cells,' but never 'The Nature of History.'

If plagiarism is demonstrated, the consequenes can range from failing the M.A. program to having to do another thesis or being expelled with no option to return. It all depends on the university. I had a student last year who copied the text of some of her assignments from internet articles, which was not a smart thing to do, given that a) these acts of plagiarism carry a red flag, since the writing style looks so different from usual student writing; and B) it is so easy today use phrases as a search term to pull up exact correspondences from the internet.

Since this was just plagiarism in a single course, the student had to take a failing grade and repeat the course as punishment.
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#3 ydoaPs

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Posted 2 December 2010 - 11:44 PM

The idea that anyone could expect to get a Master's Degree from a respectable university with a title like 'The Nature of History' seems absurd, unless he's Hegel. Normal academic theses, especially short M.A. theses, have highly specific topics so they can be treated adequately to an academic standard, like 'The Role of Crowds as an Agent of Restraint in the French Revolution,' or 'Mitochondrial Changes in Diabetic Retinal Cells,' but never 'The Nature of History.'

If plagiarism is demonstrated, the consequenes can range from failing the M.A. program to having to do another thesis or being expelled with no option to return. It all depends on the university. I had a student last year who copied the text of some of her assignments from internet articles, which was not a smart thing to do, given that a) these acts of plagiarism carry a red flag, since the writing style looks so different from usual student writing; and B) it is so easy today use phrases as a search term to pull up exact correspondences from the internet.

Since this was just plagiarism in a single course, the student had to take a failing grade and repeat the course as punishment.

What are the consequences that are possible since the degree has already been given?

Given the example I've already typed out, do you think it counts as plagiarism?

"The twentieth century, writes Stuart C Easton, at the conclusion of The Western Heritage, is an age of paradox. The achievements of this century, and indeed, the modern period as a whole have made it possible for the majority of Western men and women to liberate themselves from the numerous restrictions that shackled persons living in past centuries. The individualism that sprang from the Renaissance, but which could be the possession of only an elite few in that age, has now become possible for the majority. Throughout the course of his whole life, Western man makes thousands of decisions that were not available to him earlier. In contrast to previous ages, he now chooses his career and spouse freely. He may determine the quality and extent of his education. Neither his state nor his society constrains him to believe in a particular creed or to worship in a specified manner; religious pluralism is the order of the day, and he may even choose to be an atheist or an agnostic if he so desires. Available to him is a dazzling array of entertainments and escapisms to assuage his mind. No longer forced to labour for long hours, he may pursue hobbies of interest to him in his spare time; he can choose where he wishes to call home, either in the place of his birth or abroad. All that is demanded of him in return is that his behavior is such that it does not curtail the liberty of others or outrage too blatantly the standards of his society. He is expected to obey the laws of his government and to make enough money for himself and his family by his work(or to inherit it from a wealthy ancestor who has earned more than enough for his needs) to enable him to meet what he believes to be his needs."-The Nature of History, William Lane Craig

"The twentieth century is an age of paradox. The achievements of this century and its predecessors in the modern period have made it possible for the majority of Western men to emancipate themselves from the numerous restrictions that afflicted men in past centuries. The individualism that we notice as early as the Renaissance, but which could be in the possession of only a few in that age, has now become possible for the majority. Throughout his life, Western man makes decisions not available to him earlier. He can choose his career and spouse freely; he can educate himself or not according to his bent; he can choose from myriad forms of entertainment; he can cultivate a hobby in his spare time; he can live wherever he feels inclined, either in the country of his birth or in a foreign land. All that is required of him in return is to behave in such a way as not to infringe too outrageously on the freedom of others, to obey such laws as his society imposes on him, and to make enough money for himself by his work(or to inherit it from an ancestor who made more than enough to meet his needs) to enable him to satisfy what he conceives to be his requirements. Truly an enviable lot, one would think, in comparison with what was demanded of a medieval serf."-The Western Tradition, Stewart C. Easton

Here is a pdf of the relevant portion of Craig's thesis.

From Trinity Evangelical's official policies

Academic Integrity
The community at Trinity International University promotes a commitment to integrity in all areas of life. Academic
integrity is essential in the search for and promotion of truth. This pursuit of truth, while being an important goal in
itself, is integral to other essential beliefs foundational to the Trinity community: (1) all individuals, being in the
image of God, are to be respected for their intellectual contributions; (2) the use of oneís God-given talents is the
responsibility of every individual, and, for the Christian, excellence is a sacrifice to the Lord Jesus Christ to the glory
of God; and (3) relationships within our community are to be nurtured in an environment of trust.

Therefore, any form of plagiarism and cheating will not be condoned within the Trinity community. Plagiarism,
whether intentional or indirect, gives the impression that the words or ideas in a personís writings are oneís own,
whereas in reality they are taken from someone elseís written or oral presentation(s), even when a reference to the
original source is made in footnotes or bibliography. Cheating is an expression of fraud and deception, as the
student gives the impression of doing better on quizzes or exams than he or she deserves.

Plagiarism or cheating has a negative effect on the Trinity community in that it does not promote truth, breaks the
relationship of trust, does not encourage the individual to develop his or her creative talents, and erodes the moral
fiber so vital in an academic community. For a further description, see the Student Handbook.

Any student who breaks the standard of academic integrity by cheating or plagiarism will be dealt with severely by
the faculty and staff and will be reported to the Dean of Students. This may result in a failure of the course,
expulsion from the institution, or a revocation of a degree already granted by Trinity.


It seems that, should his Alma Matter be made aware of this, he could in fact lose his masters.

Edited by ydoaPs, 2 December 2010 - 08:55 PM.

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"Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have. It is the very last inch of us. But within that inch we are free."-Valerie(V for Vendetta)

"For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love and whiskey."-Carl Sagan[revised]
 
"The universe is under no obligation to us not to be absurd."




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