The Atheocracy

“God and Country” is a crock. So is your mom.

Another example of Atheists, er, Baptists against ID

It seems Martin Cothran at Vere Loqui is indignant about Baylor College pulling the plug on William Dembski’s attempt to establish an Intelligent Design research lab through a university grant. Martin says this is emblematic of a larger problem that science has with ID proponents.

“The opponents of Intelligent Design have for several years now deployed as their chief argument against it that the theory lacks research to support it. But a funny thing always happens on the way to the laboratory–or on the way to the publisher. Baylor’s action takes its place alongside another recent event that shows just how determined are the scientific establishment in particular and the academic gatekeepers in general to squelch any critical reconsideration whatsoever of Darwinism.”

Well, if this were what was happening, I’d be in complete agreement with Martin. There should be critical examination of evolution, and I support publishing any and all evidence that supports the hypothesis of Intelligent Design, along with any other whacko hypothesis anyone wants to throw out there.

However, I’ll make a few points:

1) It doesn’t look like they’re trying to “squelch any critical reconsideration of Darwinism whatsoever.” It looks like they’re trying to squelch the university’s association with a dogmatic creationist and his religious lab. At worst, they’re preventing someone from trying to make a case for Intelligent Design under the banner of their school. Not everything is a microcosm of a bigger problem.

2) This isn’t exactly the Atheist community. Baylor is a Baptist university. Keep that in mind.

3) The university had not signed off on this. When they got wind of it, they decided it should have gone through more than just one guy (Robert Marks) before putting Baylor in a position to be associated with Dembski and Intelligent Design. They’re trying to establish themselves as a top-tier scientific school, and they decided this might not help. (Edit: President Lilly signed off on it, but there’s some question how thoroughly he researched what was going on; the problem came from the Baylor science staff and community, which didn’t know this was happening until it had happened, and they weren’t happy. All indications are that Marks pushed this through to make it happen)

The thing is, you don’t have to study Intelligent Design to critique evolution. As a scientist, look for holes in the evolutionary theory. Make findings, publish them, etc. The problem many scientists have with the ID crowd is the leap from “Here are my questions about evolution” to “Therefore, God, er, um, something must have created everything.” They’re not trying to squelch critiques of evolution; they’re trying to squelch assuming ID is the answer for the questions they raise.

September 4th, 2007 - Posted by jwhaws | Atheism, Christianity, Current Events, Faith, God, Religion, belief, creationism, evolution, intelligent design, news, origins, theory | | 6 Comments


  1. “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Do you know it because you were born then or because the number of your days is great? Surely! You Must Know”
    - JOB 38

    God laughs at evolution.

    Comment by formerthings | September 4, 2007

  2. And I, in turn, laugh at God.

    The circle is complete.

    Comment by jwhaws | September 4, 2007

  3. Formerthings: Please don’t take verses out of context to support your ignorant statement. The authors of the Bible never assumed any scientific fact when they wrote their words. They were telling a story of a God who they believed intercepted time and set the world in motion. They themselves had yet to discover scientific fact about the universe as scientific theory and practice had yet to evolve. If you’re going to use scripture to make statements like that, re-read your bible and really think about the nature of the God in whom you say you believe, and the Jesus you follow. God is Green and Jesus was a homeless pacifist.

    And I’m not an atheist. I personally follow jesus. I think he had some pretty radical things to say if you take him seriously. He demands a pretty serious devotion to making the world a better place. He’s not about health and wealth. In fact, when he says “and all this will be added to you,” he is only referring to food and shelter - not big screen tvs and your Hummer.

    I am also an evolutionist. Having studied both science and theology (I have an MA in theology), there is NOTHING in the bible that contradicts evolutionary theory, only man’s wrong interpretation of the bible. (Job btw was one of the last books added to the Canon of Scripture because a. no one knows who wrote it and b. Job was from Moab not Israel. c. most likely is a really long Israelite parable.)

    Jeffery… I really appreciate your blog. Thank you for thinking and writing your thoughts.

    Comment by danscott77 | September 4, 2007

  4. As far as I know, this “lab” had no proposed research program. You don’t need a lab or even funding to suggest or propose some research. And it’s not like the ID movement is lacking for money: in addition to the money they already have, they could easily rack up millions in donations at the drop of the hat if they ran a fundraising campaign for it.

    Comment by Bad | September 5, 2007

  5. Jeff

    You are completely incorrect about statement number 3. Baylor had signed off on this, actually Lilly himself signed the papers. I suggest you know your facts before publishing them on the internet.

    Comment by Jeremiah | September 6, 2007

  6. Jeremiah-

    I suggest you keep in mind you’re not talking to a guy who lives on Baylor campus. I can only report what I read. And what I read is that there’s some question about what Lilly thought he was signing off on, and that he definitely didn’t let the people in charge of the arts and sciences at the university know what was going on. From what I read, Marks strong-armed this through.

    But I’ll make a note of this. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Your contribution is appreciated.

    Comment by jwhaws | September 7, 2007

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