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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Baylor’s Problem With Beckwith : What’s Really Behind Denial of Tenure?

Here are some excerpts from my take on Baylor's denial of Francis Beckwith's tenure, while guest blogging at The Pearcey Report. Beckwith has been associated with Dembski in holding ID conferences, but the gen I hear is that this has much more to do with his pro-life stance:

First, many believe that Beckwith was denied tenure because he is conservative. Somehow I doubt that. If a school like Baylor gets a reputation for discriminating against conservatives, bequests from the little old widows of wealthy conservatives will dry up. The university may deny the widows’ lifelong convictions; it can hardly deny their money.

No, Beckwith's problem is not that he is conservative but that he is brilliant! Read his abnormally lucid comments on how to respond to abortion activists, and you will see what I mean.

You must be wanting to ask me how brilliance can be a problem. Surely every university wants brilliant profs! Well, no, actually not. At least, not necessarily. Not when their success creates an embarrassment.

Baylor, you see, aspires to be a Protestant Notre Dame. Unfortunately, it wants that at precisely the point in American history when dozens of social-climbing Christian universities have been selling out their tradition for decades, and intellectual freedom is becoming a joke.

Now, here is the difficulty: Baylor cannot both launch itself up there with the really big guys and institutionally maintain, with Peter, "Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16). For one thing, that declaration pretty much makes the case that intelligent design is right and abortion is wrong. Baylor abruptly backed away from the first in 2000 and will probably back away from the second soon too. Its distinguished faculty members do not need the embarrassment of being thought to be pro-life, as Beckwith is.

Read the rest and see the links at
THe Pearcey Report.
If you like this blog, check out my book on the intelligent design controversy, By Design or by Chance?. You can read excerpts as well.

Are you looking for one of the following stories?

An ID Timeline: The ID folk seem always to win when they lose.

The Pope using the term "intelligent design" to describe the Catholic view of origins, go here.

Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams attacked by Darwinist, hits back. Will he now cartoon on the subject?

"Academic Freedom Watch : Here's the real, ugly story behind the claim that 'intelligent design isn't science'?".

Roseville, California, lawyer Larry Caldwell is suing over the use of tax money by Darwin lobby groups to promote religious views that accept Darwinian evolution (as opposed to ones that don’t). I’m pegging this one as the next big story. See also the ruling on tax funds. Note the line that the “free speech” people take.
How to freak out your bio prof? What happened when a student bypassed the usual route of getting frogs drunk and dropping them down the chancellor’s robes, and tried questioning Darwinism instead.

Christoph, Cardinal Schonbon is not backing down from his contention that Darwinism is incompatible with Catholic faith, and Pope Benedict XVI probably thinks that’s just fine. Major US media have been trying to reach rewrite for months, with no success.

Museum tour guides to be trained to "respond" to those who question Darwinism. Read this item for an example of what at least one museum hopes to have them say.

World class chemist dissed at Catholic university because he sympathizes with intelligent design.
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