30 April 2008
Hre’s a thoughtful look by Tim Woods of the Waco Herald-Tribune at the response in and around Baylor University to Expelled - given that Baylor itself was one of the subjects. On the situation of Prof. Robert Marks, Woods records,
Marks’ involvement in Expelled centers on a Web site about his evolutionary informatics research lab.
The research is friendly to the philosophy of intelligent design, Marks says, but is not direct intelligent design research.
The site, formerly on Baylor’s server, was shut down last year by school officials who claimed it lacked sufficient disclaimers that the work was in no way that of Baylor University.
I admire the way reporter Woods relays - with no comment - a rationale so paper-thin as to display the institution’s contempt for the reader/hearer. So many journalists today, wedded to materialism, would choose to implicitly make excuses for the institution. One such might have written, “because, they explained, Marks had never made clear that the university did not support his research.”
Then Woods quotes a functionary:
“What we say is you have the freedom to formulate your own views and so forth, just make sure that you issue a disclaimer that your particular view does not necessarily express the view of Baylor University,” Baylor Provost Randall O’Brien explained in September, when an Expelled film crew was in Waco trying to talk with President John Lilley. “We fully endorse the right and responsibilities of academic freedom.”
That sort of claim is just what Expelled rips to pieces. If that is true, why is Marks’s work on a remote server?
The part that puzzles me is this: Why don’t secular universities and their religious fellow travellers just admit that they don’t really believe in intellectual freedom? The intelligent design controversy is a pretty striking example of their disbelief, but a film could also be made about idiotic campus speech codes enforced across North America.
Actually, there is no reason why a materialist, Christian or otherwise, should think intellectual or academic freedom is important. To the extent that the materialist believes that our minds just happened to evolve for fitness, not for discovering truth, intellectual freedom is an illusion. Perhaps too costly an illusion if it leads people to doubt materialism.
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