Baylor University in the Hot Seat

I’ll say this for administrators at Baylor University in Waco, Texas: They certainly know how to provoke lots of free attention. But it might not be the kind of attention they want. The University’s denial of tenure to conservative scholar Francis Beckwith is beginning to generate a buzz on the world wide web. But it’s the type of buzz that carries a sting. Commenting on the Beckwith decision yesterday, Joseph Bottum of First Things responded with withering scorn:

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 ›

“Teach ’em all?” Michigan Poll Supports Critical Analysis But Misinterprets the Data

A recent poll reported in “Inside Michigan Politics” found that 76% of Michiganites agree with the following statement: “Biology teachers should teach Darwin’s theory of evolution, but also the scientific evidence against it.“ Only 17% of Michigagonians felt that “Biology teachers should teach only Darwin’s theory of evolution and the scientific evidence that supports it.” If that poll question sounds familiar to frequent readers of ENV, that’s because it’s identical to one of the poll questions commissioned by The Discovery Institute earlier in 2006 and reported here. But there’s one major difference between this Michigan poll and the prior poll commissioned by Discovery: The Michigan poll is improperly touting a poll question about teaching both scientific strengths and weaknesses of Read More ›

Interview on Darwinian Morality

Today’s Washington Times’ carries an interesting interview with Carson Holloway, author of the new book, The Right Darwin: Evolution, Religion and the Future of Democracy. Holloway criticizes efforts to ground morality in Darwinian biology.

California School District Adopts Policy Allowing Scientific Criticisms of Evolution

Last night, the Board of Trustees of the Lancaster School District in southern California voted unanimously to adopt a “Science Philosophy” policy permitting teachers to present scientific criticisms of Darwinian evolution. The policy had been supported by the groups Integrity in Academics and Quality Science Education for All. The new policy states that Darwin’s theory should not be taught as “unalterable fact” and states that “Discussions that question the theory may be appropriate as long as they do not stray from current criteria of scientific fact, hypothesis and theory.” The policy further allows the use of supplemental materials by teachers in teaching about science. “This is an innovative effort by the Lancaster School District to propel science education out of Read More ›