Scandal Brewing at Baylor University? Denial of Tenure to Francis Beckwith Raises Serious Questions about Fairness and Academic Freedom

Last week Baylor University in Texas denied tenure to noted scholar Francis Beckwith. Beckwith is an impeccable scholar with a distinguished publication record, including a forthcoming book from Cambridge University Press. He is also a gentleman in the classic sense of the term, someone who is liked and respected even by his fair-minded opponents. But Beckwith has a problem: His views are out of sync with the left-wing ideologues who control much of American academia. First, he is a prominent critic of the morality of abortion, and his work on this issue is cited all over the place by other scholars (including in the Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on the topic). Second, Beckwith has defended the the constitutionality of teaching Read More ›

First Things on Dover Decision

In the April, 2006 issue of First Things, Villanova Law professor Robert T. Miller offers an opinion on “Darwin in Dover, PA.” (available online next month) that brings up several points worth highlighting. Regarding Kitzmiller, Miller only half agrees with Judge Jones, agreeing that ID is not science as he defines it (which I will comment on more later), but disagreeing that ID is religion. To make his case, Miller’s opinion offers two different “senses” of science, one of which ID satisfies, the other of which he claims ID does not satisfy. Overall, the article focuses on the philosophy and nature of science, and devotes only a scant few paragraphs to the legal issues presented in Kitzmiller.

Did the New York Times suppress the results of its own investigation into Darwin’s scientific critics in order to promote a stereotype?

New questions are being raised about the accuracy of the New York Times’ article on scientific critics of neo-Darwinism last week, spurred by an amazing admission by Times’ reporter Ken Chang that only a small minority of the scientists he interviewed actually fit his story’s stereotyped description of Darwin’s critics. While Chang’s story conveys the clear impression that scientists who support Discovery’s Dissent from Darwin statement are motivated by religion rather than science, Chang has now admitted in an interview that 75% or more of the scientists he interviewed did not fit this description. In other words, Chang and his editors selectively reported the results of their own investigation to convey the exact opposite of what they found. It turns Read More ›

Another Catholic Prelate Speaks Out

In this Catholic News Agency article about the statement of Kansas Archbishop Naumann, it is clear that the Archbishop understands the policy issue: both ID and Darwinian materialism have a philosophical base (theoretical science does have, folks), so you can’t rule out one and retain the other just because you prefer it. Either keep both out, he says, out or let both in. Sensibly, Archbishop Naumann thinks students would be best served by acknowledging the place of philosophy in science (it is philosophy, after all, that defines science) and stop using an invidious reading of the First Amendment to disallow ID because of its theistic implications, while ignoring the atheistic implications of Darwinism.

Exposure of NYT’s Evolving Definition of “Biologist” Hits Nerve

My previous post exposing how the New York Times changes its definition of who is a biologist depending on whether a scientist supports or opposes Darwin’s theory has apparently hit a raw nerve. A Darwinist blogsite calling itself “Hell’s Handmaiden” has taken me to task for supposed inaccuracies in my post. But it turns out that it is Hell’s Handmaiden who is misrepresenting the facts, not me.