9 October 2007
On Sunday, Bob Marks’s lawyer John Hugh Gilmore wrote an op-ed in the Waco Tribune expressing astonishment at the sheer, manifest vulgarity of the attempt to suppress the Evolutionary Informatics Lab:
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?
John, you and I both know what is going on: Baylor does not want a Baylor prof who is not a proponent of Darwin’s theory of evolution to be in a position to provide evidence against it. They fear he has such evidence. Who knows? He might …
In short, they do not want the books balanced.
I have myself called Darwinism the Enron of Biology - for a reason. I’m told that Enron accounted for its operating expenses as capital assets. In the same way, whenever Darwinists encounter a check to their theory, they declare how great a theory Darwinism must be, to overcome so much contrary evidence ….
John asks, naturally, is this how a serious university should behave?
Well, let’s refine the question: By whom does Baylor want to be considered a serious university? How about, for example, the academics who - to this day - hound former Harvard prez Larry Summers merely for the crime of saying, correctly, that the preponderance of men over women in maths and hard sciences is based in nature, not social injustice?
Or the academics who formed a literate lynch mob in the Duke lacrosse case, smearing innocent students. As Abigail Thernstrom writes, introducing a book on the affair,
“Until Proven Innocent” is a stunning book. It recounts the Duke lacrosse case in fascinating detail and offers, along the way, a damning portrait of the institutions–legal, educational and journalistic–that do so much to shape contemporary American culture. Messrs. Taylor and Johnson make it clear that the Duke affair–the rabid prosecution, the skewed commentary, the distorted media storyline–was not some odd, outlier incident but the product of an elite culture’s most treasured assumptions about American life, …
And John writes, regarding his own client’s struggle,
Having represented academics sympathetic to ID for almost a decade, I would call their foes on campus intellectual fascists.
Well, if the Baylorites make it to the top, they won’t be lonely, will they?
Here is your client’s problem in a nutshell, John: Baylorites want the approval of people whose approval no decent human being could want. And Baylor is institutionally willing to act in such a way as to merit it.
What that has to do with the Baptist heritage, I just don’t know, but this column offers some observations that might shed some light on the general cultural situation in which it is happening.
I wish you luck defending Prof. Marks. If you succeed, Larry Summers and a few other people should look you up.
P.S. The Waco Tribune-Herald altered John Gilmore’s op-ed without his permission. For the original, titled “Intelligent Design & Academic Freedom,” go here.