Baylor University Accused of Viewpoint Discrimination in Suppression of
Pro-Intelligent Design Scientist
Baylor University continues to come under fire for its suppression of Professor Robert Marks' Evolutionary Informatics Lab. Clearly, Marks' site was removed because it was implicated with ID (not because of any Baylor policy) and there are plenty of labs and groups (some belonging to Marks himself) that have not faced similar discrimination. It seems obvious that his site is being singled out -- regardless of what Baylor says.
The story was on the front page of today's Waco Tribune Herald and reported that:
. . . at an Aug. 9 meeting, attended by Beckenhauer, Gilmore, Marks, Kelley, provost Randall O’Brien and engineering department chair Kwang Lee that “a disclaimer would be put on the Web site and that it would then go back online as the provost had promised at the close of the meeting.”It also quoted Marks' attorney John Gilmore as saying:
(The disclaimer) might not have satisfied the absolutists who don’t want anyone at Baylor to think, even on their own time, about I.D. and its related issues. . . . Baylor has an obligation to defend Bob Marks’ position. Unfortunately, they’ve been taking the position of his persecutors. . . . It’s viewpoint discrimination.
The story is somewhat similar to that of noted astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez who suffered academic persecution at the hands of Iowa State University earlier this year. Like Gonzalez, Marks is an especially accomplished scientist and scholar. Among Marks' numerous professional accomplishments are 120 peer-reviewed journal papers, 140 conference papers, and three patents. Just check this out.
CSC Senior fellow William Dembski, himself a part of this story, has continued to report and analyze the story on his blog Uncommondescent.org. According to a Baylor spokesperson:
So it has nothing to do with the content but is all about how one goes about establishing a center, an institute, a product using the university’s name.Dembski responds:
Robert Marks has another research entity on the Baylor server: “The Baylor University Time Scales Group” (note the Baylor URL: web.ecs.baylor.edu/faculty/marks/Research/TimeScales). This research group (a collaboration between engineering and mathematics) has been allowed to proceed unimpeded by Baylor, using its name and absent any disclaimer. Is Baylor now, to maintain a foolish consistency, going to take down that site as well? Is it going to require disclaimers when previously it didn’t? Note that Prof. Marks, by way of compromise, was willing to rename the “Evolutionary Informatics Lab” the “Evolutionary Informatics Group,” but this too was unacceptable to the Baylor administration.Read more about what Dembski has uncovered here and here.
Dembski further points out:
By the way, if the issue is money (i.e., a lab at Baylor requires start-up funds), it should be pointed out that the Evolutionary Informatics Lab did have funds pledged toward it: Prof. Marks secured a $30,000 grant for me to work with him as a postdoctoral fellow (with the title “Senior Research Scientist”) on evolutionary informatics. President Lilley, however, decided to return that money and revoke my fellowship back in December 2006 (for that story, go here). So even the money argument doesn’t work.