John G. West

New Disclosures in Baylor Tenure Scandal

The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) has disclosed new information in the continuing scandal over Baylor University’s denial of tenure to gifted conservative scholar Francis Beckwith (a Discovery Institute Fellow). According to the Chronicle, Beckwith alleges that his former department chair, Derek Davis, worked to undermine his tenure application. But now it turns out that Davis himself “resigned under a cloud” because of charges that he plagiarized another scholar’s work:

Casey Luskin

Response to Barbara Forrest’s Kitzmiller Account Part III: Do Religious (or Anti-Religious) Beliefs Matter?

[Editor’s Note: A single article combining all ten installments of this response to Barbara Forrest can be found here, at “Response to Barbara Forrest’s Kitzmiller Account.” The individual installments may be seen here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10.] When assessing whether a person is promoting a scientific theory, the simple answer to the question posed in the title is “no.” Yet in her Kitzmiller testimony, as recounted in the Kitzmiller account Barbara Forrest recently posted at CSICOP, she seems to think the answer is “yes.” Dr. Forrest recounts some of the religious beliefs of intelligent design-proponents, as if this implies that intelligent design (ID) is Read More ›

Bruce Chapman

New York Times On the Pope and Evolution: Couple of Hits, Couple of Errors, No Fouls

Ian Fisher of the New York Times Rome bureau had a valuable Saturday story on the discussion at Castel Gandolfo between Pope Benedict XVI and his former theology students (“Professor-Turned-Pope Leads a Seminar on Evolution”). He does err in his description of intelligent design (“life is so complex it requires an active creator”–where do they get these lines?), but he is right, I think, in balancing two probable facets of the Pope’s own thinking: 1) that the problem is not so much evolution, as the way it is applied; and 2) there may really be problems with the science of evolution.

Bruce Chapman

“A Meaningful World” Seen from Castel Gandolfo

Jonathan Witt understates the significance of his new book, “A Meaningful World,” for the meeting Pope Benedict XVI is holding this weekend at Castel Gandolfo outside Rome. Like George Gilder’s fine treatment of intelligent design in relation to information theory and technology, the new book by Witt and Benjamin Wiker, a Catholic philosopher and science writer, expands the scope of ID and effectively opens it to an examination of genius as evidenced in nature and art, in addition to science. This approach doesn’t negate or replace the scientific claims of ID, obviously, but enlarges the lens for looking at them, so to speak. This makes the topic especially inviting for Thomists and other natural philosophers in the Catholic Church and Read More ›