Taking a break from “Imagining” no heaven, no hell, no Yoko Ono, and no delay till the Expelled DVD comes out, I note where John Lilley, Baylor’s president, has seen fit to defend his institution in the light of the unflattering portrait in Expelled.
Except he doesn’t exactly. In the form letter – apparently written to people for whom, in his words, Expelled has been a “source of concern” – he manages to say nothing at all.
Unless, that is, you believe faith and science are in conflict, in which case he reassures you that they aren’t.
But if you do believe that, why would you want to attend or fund Baylor – or any religiously affiliated university? And why would you care what Lilley says about it, given that he is hardly a disinterested witness?
The bulk of the letter is actually a quotation from The Language of God, by genome mapper Francis Collins, on why we need both faith and science, and why God can be worshipped in a cathedral or a laboratory.
No disrespect is meant to Collins when I say that the world is not queueing round and round the block for a dose of anodyne. And in fairness, Collins didn’t write the quoted material with Lilley’s future use in mind. That makes me wonder what Collins does think of the university shutting down Bob Marks’s Evolutionary Informatics Lab? That specific incident brought the Expelled crew to Baylor, not a chance to hear that “the God of the Bible is also the God of the genome.”
In short, in his letter, Lilley doesn’t address the “source of concern” at all. He is apparently gambling that the waves created by Expelled will just subside. And anyway, if Baptists don’t give to Baylor, who they gonna give to? The Biologic Institute?
Oh, wait… maybe that’s not such a bad idea, actually …