Thursday, September 06, 2007

Academic Freedom at Baylor University?

Darwinism - the theory that all species of life have evolved from a simple organism to a more complex organism to a more complex organism until we've reached the pinnacle on which we now stand as humans through a process he called "natural selection" or "survival of the fittest." Created by Charles Darwin and published in his 1859 work On the Origin of Species, Darwin's thought has permeated our thinking in the U.S. that it is now regarded as fact, not theory, despite it being incapable of being replicated or the clear facts (such as the Second Law of Thermodynamics) that lead directly against Darwin's thought. We teach it to our school children and quash all other voices. Anyone who disagrees with Darwin's "LAWS" is either a "flat earth" thinker or a religious fundamentalist, both of whom should be regarded as academically inferior.
In recent years, another movement has arisen. Known as Intelligent Design, it holds that creation demonstrates a design so complex, so creative, so intricate that there simply HAD to be a master creator, even if it wasn't God. The Discovery Institute has led the charge for this option, despite the fact some, such as the U.S. National Academy of Science have decried it as "not science" or "junk science" (By the way, anything they're opposed to is probably a good thing - they're a sister organization to the U.S. National Endowment of the Arts - the people who brought you the crucifix in a jar of urine and called it "art."). I would expect that in a public school setting - heaven forbid we should allow our children to bow down to anything other than the altar of Darwinism!

The surprising thing is that Baylor University, the oldest university in our fair state and, at least traditionally, a school of religious heritage, has engaged in a war against Intelligent Design. (here's the link) I was always under the impression that one of the fundamental purposes of higher education was to teach one to think critically. To do so means to critically evaluate all possible options. Of course, to do that means one has to have all the options available! To discredit one is, definitively, NOT academic freedom.