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Letters to the editor

Sept. 13, 2007

Let academic freedom ring

Re: "New intelligent design conflict hits BU"

Dr. Robert Marks should be free to pursue his research on intelligent design, and I say that as an ardent opponent of intelligent design.

As long as Baylor doesn't front the bill and Marks puts up a disclaimer on his site, academic freedom should be reason enough to let the Web site remain on Baylor's servers.

As a scientific hypothesis, intelligent design has failed remarkably to produce any real results.

Critics like myself have long pointed to the paucity of peer-reviewed papers in the relevant literature as evidence for the scientific vacuity of intelligent design.

"Show us the data" would make for a good slogan among the critics.

Now it seems Marks is trying to do the actual research to collect the data, and he is being unfairly treated by Baylor.

By all means, let him waste his free time.

By momentarily inconveniencing him, Baylor has unnecessarily made Marks into an academic martyr in the minds of many ID advocates.

No doubt some will use this event as a talking point in future ID seminars and tent revivals.

Cody Cobb

Biochemistry, 2007

Home-ec program overdue

Re: "Southwestern Seminary serves up regressive home-ec program"

I first learned about Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's new program through the blog of a stay-at-home mom whose husband is attending a different seminary, and I agree with her that this is an idea whose time has come.

The point is not to denigrate women or give them skills they could learn just as well elsewhere.

The point is to train women whose chosen career is managing their households and raising their children.

Stay-at-home moms do far more than just cooking and sewing, and the program addresses more than just cooking and sewing.

You would have to combine degrees in interior design, fashion design, nutrition, early childhood education and business to get the same kind of preparation from another source.

Perhaps the home-ec classes don't fit a seminary setting, but the ones on how to "raise up a child in the way he should go" do fit.

And it is entirely fitting for a Christian institution of higher learning, seminary or no, to offer support to women who believe their calling is housewifery -- women like my mother, who has said she'd love to have that kind of degree.

Being an at-home mom is a hard job, and too many people share Claire St. Amant's apparent belief that it is not a worthwhile one.

I applaud Southwestern for thinking otherwise.

Elisabeth Wolfe

Ph.D. English 2009

An Armenianist's apology

I want to apologize to anyone who was personally offended by my column about Calvinism in The Lariat.

Some of my best friends are Calvinists and they know I do not agree with their theology. They don't agree with mine either, and we don't take the disagreement personally.

I am somewhat surprised by the aggressiveness of some of the responses.

One faculty member (not in the seminary) approached my dean directly about it, implying that I should be censured and possibly censored for expressing my theological opinion -- which is what I do by profession!

Some bloggers and letter writers have called me a "blasphemer," as if their view of God is God himself!

But, nevertheless, I apologize for offending students and colleagues. I meant no personal offense. That was never my intention.

Roger E. Olson, Ph.D.

Professor of theology

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