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Mob rule, not academic freedom, at Baylor
Waco Tribune-Herald ^ | October 7, 2007 | John Hugh Gilmore
Posted on 10/07/2007 5:34:06 PM PDT by Weirdad
Sunday, October 07, 2007
To its proponents, intelligent design is nothing more than a sophisticated, comprehensive critique of the theoretical and scientific foundations of Darwinism and its progeny. In other words, the theory of evolution should be put to the test. Like Marx. Like Freud.
To the opponents, intelligent design — ID — is an intellectual crime. Or so we must assume by the actions of Baylor University.
As counsel for Baylor Distinguished Professor Robert J. Marks II, I was amazed and discouraged by the controversy surrounding his rather routine yet scientifically exacting Web site that was shut down by the dean of his Engineering Department. This action came after anonymous complaints, but without an opportunity for him to respond beforehand.
The crime? His research might implicate intelligent design.
This is how a serious university should behave?
From this action, even a dispassionate observer could not help but note that Darwin has intellectual shock troops gathered around him that Marx and Freud could only admire.
Sadly, those troops not only disparage opposing ideas — a welcome fight, thank you. They seek to, and often do, destroy the careers of any academic sympathetic to ID.
Almost universally secular liberals, these types would be shocked to be called McCarthyites. But that term itself is too forgiving.
Having represented academics sympathetic to ID for almost a decade, I would call their foes on campus intellectual fascists.
Cue the usual liberal outrage replete with the usual supine coverage in the old media: How could liberals be fascists?
Easier, apparently, than they think: Shut down a Web site because of its content.
In any other circumstance, this would be the very definition of viewpoint discrimination and a gross violation of academic freedom.
Because it involves ID, however, the mob that demanded Marks’ Web site be shut down thinks nothing of it.
Many in this mob are doubtless among the bien- pensant who approved of that dwarf from Tehran (to quote the late Oriana Fallaci) speaking recently at Columbia University. Academic freedom for a dictator; none for a distinguished professor of engineering at Baylor.
In its public utterances, Baylor claims this is a dispute about process and procedure: If only Dr. Marks had filled out the right forms, his Web site would be up and running.
The evidence is against this public relations offensive.
No other Web site has been shut down or assaulted after receipt of a few complaints (those complaints have not been made available to me or my client).
We have no idea if they came from the Baylor community or, more likely, the praetorian guard of Darwinian orthodoxy, against which no ID question must be raised.
In any event, no procedures exist per se for establishing faculty Web sites, and this is true generally across the county.
When my client and I met with the administration in early August, we readily agreed to post a disclaimer on the Web site so that a casual visitor would not think my client’s views were those of the institution.
Baylor, like all institutions, deserves that basic fairness. Indeed, I consider it Baylor’s legal right.
Unfortunately, ever since that meeting, the agreement has unraveled.
Increasingly, more demands and restrictions were placed on my client and his Web site.
We tried to accommodate many of them, even though they were never raised in our meeting. It became clear, however, that the real goal was to keep the Web site down and off of Baylor’s servers.
Oddly, my client has two other Web sites on Baylor’s servers currently. Neither of them went through the non-existent process and procedures the university publicly claims were necessary.
Of course, neither of them deals with ID, and so they have not been selected for special discrimination and persecution.
Baylor’s claim that Marks’ Web site was not shut down because of its content is simply untrue.
In Minnesota, where I live, a well-known biologist and faithful believer in evolution, Professor P.Z. Meyers, has followed what Baylor has done and called for it to reverse itself.
Meyers loathes ID and its proponents and blogs about it, frequently with exceptional humor. It is more than telling — shameful, perhaps? — that Meyers, a self-identified atheist, sees something amiss here that those in power at Baylor cannot or will not.
Apart from one quote early on, I have forbidden my client from speaking publicly, and these words are mine alone.
Marks was, it should be noted, earnestly recruited by Baylor after teaching at the University of Washington for more than a quarter- century. His reputation is international in scope. He chose Baylor because of its Baptist mission and commitment to excellence.
Now such an outstanding educator finds his Web site placed on a digital bonfire.
He must suffer the university’s insulting comments to the effect that the ensuing controversy is his fault. Though tenured, he does not know what the future holds.
These intellectual pogroms by Darwinists take a frightening toll on the individuals upon which they are inflicted.
Like so much else, it’s just one more thing the evolutionary establishment doesn’t want you to know.
John Hugh Gilmore is a St. Paul, Minn., attorney.
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When we stop sticking to our founding principles and let our institutions become the equivalent of "living documents" we can lose everything we fought for. Institutional terrorism may be worse than other kinds in the long run.
Harvard and Yale were originally founded as explicitly Christian institutions and look at them now. Institutional terrorism happens everywhere. We now have the US Congress trying to blackmail and intimidate a private company into quenching free speech, in trying to silence Rush Limbaugh.
It never stops. When you
see institutional terrorism happening at little places like Baylor,
fight it, Americans, fight it. But remember that it happens everywhere,
even in our own government. We can lose not only our colleges but also
our country if we do not stick to our original basic principles and to
the original contracts we all agreed to, the Declaration of
Independence, the US Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, all
acknowledging our unalienable rights under God.
Baylor manages to be involved in controversy on a regular basis and the infighting and sniping among the administration, regents and alumni are in the paper on a weekly basis. They don’t see this as terrorism, but rather as a matter of somebody not conforming and it’s their job to show him the error of his ways.
Let’s see—Baylor is a BAPTIST university—Southern Baptist, that is. Sourthern Baptists don’t believe in ID. If you want something other that what Baylor teaches, go somewhere else, and STFU!
My four children are graduates of Baylor. The liberals have taken over the school. They will get no support from me!
I consider “intelligent design” non-science, and its pursuers misguided at best. However, if this account is even partially true, it is outrageous.
This isn't about what "Baylor" does or does not "teach". A professor
had a website apparently detailing some of his research and the
implications of that research, and Baylor killed it because of the
The reason for this is that ID is religious belief masquerading as science; on close examination the science evaporates and all you are left with is belief.
The whole sordid scheme is laid out in the Wedge Strategy.
There is even more detail in Dembski's Mere Creation. Here's a tidbit from Dembski's "Introduction" (p. 29):
Virtually every discipline and endeavor is presently under a naturalistic pall. To lift this pall will require a new generation of scholars and professionals who explicitly reject naturalism and consciously seek to understand the design God has placed in the world (see Bruce Chapman’s postscript in this volume). Theologians will have the task of taking up all these developments, formulating a coherent theology of nature that makes sense not only of God creating, sustaining and acting in the world but also of God incarnating himself in Jesus Christ.(Hint: there is a lot of creation, faith and intelligent design, but no science to speak of in this book. It's the Wedge Strategy on steroids! What a joke! ID is clearly exposed as "mere religion.")
Last month, as John Gilmore flew home from Waco, Texas, after apparently resolving a dispute at Baylor University over a faculty member’s website supporting intelligent design, the Minnesota attorney sipped a glass of wine, looked out the window, and wondered to himself, “Was this too easy?”
The once Southern Baptist Institution of Baylor University has fallen into the hands of Secular Liberals and has seceded from Baptist control.
"That God is dead," replied Prof. Huxley.
to say, the University, acting upon the recommendation of the
Department Chair, has terminated Huzley's internet privileges and
closed his web site.
I don’t know the full story, by any means. But Baylor has seen a LOT of academic infighting. And I was told on good authority from someone who is an insider there, a couple of years ago, that Baylor managed to cut itself loose from Baptist governance. They don’t answer to anyone, I don’t believe.
As for their repeated attacks on intelligent design, there’s nothing Baptist about it. Their position is more properly described as Darwinian. Which is rather odd, in my view.
Interesting, Marks leaves the University of Washington (the one
that has “Red Square”)...
then comes to a church-affiliated university...where he gets squelched.
It almost sounds like the dean of Mark’s department thinks “Ph.D. only means
‘Doctor of Philosophy’...as long as it’s the dean’s philosophy”.
“And I was told on good authority from someone who is an insider there,
a couple of years ago, that Baylor managed to cut itself loose from
I may have spoken in error (post 14)...I thought Baylor was still
somehow tied to the Southern Baptists main body (can’t remember the
name of that group).
Maybe they are now free-standing.
It really isn’t his web site, is it? It belongs to the university and they have the final say as to what gets posted on the site that they pay for. He can go out and spend his own money and buy his own site instead of freeloading off the university. I have no sympathy for this nut.
Free Dr. Marks
And this relates to Professor Marks’ website troubles . . . how?
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