Intelligent Design

Baylor Public Relations on Marks Evo-Info Lab in Free Fall

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The Baylor President, Provost, Dean of Engineering, and Baylor legal counsel need to get their story straight:

Not so fast: Baylor’s treatment of an ID-advancing research lab has shifted from friendly to fire | Mark Bergin
WORLD Magazine, September 15, 2007, Vol. 22, No. 33
http://www.worldmag.com/articles/13312

Last month, as John Gilmore flew home from Waco, Texas, after apparently resolving a dispute at Baylor University over a faculty member’s website supporting intelligent design, the Minnesota attorney sipped a glass of wine, looked out the window, and wondered to himself, “Was this too easy?”

Turns out, it was. On Aug. 9, Baylor officials had agreed that distinguished engineering professor Robert Marks could repost his evolutionary informatics website on the Baptist school’s server space­if a disclaimer made clear that any research advancing intelligent design does not represent an institutional position. Less than two weeks later, Gilmore received an email from Baylor general counsel Charles Beckenhauer detailing considerable further alterations Marks needed to make before reposting his site.

. . . .

In an email to WORLD, Provost O’Brien took issue with the notion that the university has reneged on the Aug. 9 decision. He claims instead “that the agreement has not been honored by our esteemed colleague. Our position has not changed, nor has our hope that the agreement will be honored.”

But Gilmore told WORLD that he and Marks left the Aug. 9 meeting wholly satisfied with the outcome. Indeed, Marks remarked at the time that the entire ordeal had been “wonderfully resolved” (see WORLD, Aug. 25, 2007).

Either Gilmore and Marks completely misunderstood the university’s original position, or O’Brien and Kelley had a dramatic change of heart. “We had eight professionals discuss this for more than two hours. There wasn’t a misunderstanding. Somebody didn’t like the outcome of that meeting,” Gilmore said.

William Dembski, a leading ID proponent who saw Baylor’s anti-ID forces derail his Michael Polanyi Center in 2000, believes only university president John Lilley holds enough sway to overrule the provost’s earlier decision. Dembski told WORLD that Lilley is concerned about “how Baylor might be perceived in the wider university culture if it were seen as supporting intelligent design.”

Given an opportunity to respond to that assertion, Lilley referred WORLD to Baylor’s vice president for marketing and communications, who did not respond to a request for comment.

Baylor attorney Beckenhauer also did not reply to WORLD’s inquiry, but he wrote in an email response to Gilmore that the Aug. 9 meeting never represented “a final agreement of any kind.” That contention conflicts with O’Brien’s claim that the university still hopes Marks will honor the initial resolution.

Beckenhauer further stated that Baylor might impose “supervisory directions” for Marks to fulfill his “obligation to perform the work assigned to him by Baylor.” Gilmore called that statement a “veiled threat” to impugn his client’s performance, an arena previously unquestioned in the four years since university officials eagerly recruited Marks to Baylor.

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3 Replies to “Baylor Public Relations on Marks Evo-Info Lab in Free Fall

  1. 1
    jerry says:

    I bet that money is somehow behind all this. Maybe someone has threatened to halt research funds or take research projects elsewhere if ID is allowed to coexist. Somewhere down the road this will pop up for everyone to see.

    One thing to counteract this is to approach some well connected alumni to object to the treatment that Marks is getting. I personally believe the only thing to halt the liberal atheistic evolution of universities in general is alumni donations. Universities need a new environment so that natural selection can steer it in a different direction.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Regardless of Baylor’s blindness to the hard science of ID that clearly refutes Neo-Darwinism, The truth behind the staggering complexity scientists are finding in molecular biology is somehow reaching the young s of college age no matter how the “Big Science Elite” behind these Universities, such as Baylor, are trying to stifle it.
    According to the Zogby poll in 2006, a staggering 88% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 think that intelligent design should receive “equal time” in the classroom.
    I think this fact is fantastic. I believe Ben Stein’s movie “Expelled” will make this 88% for young s go even higher!
    This is absolutely GREAT!!! Most radical changes to established “traditional ways” has usually come from the youth questioning the “Well, That is just the way it has always been done mentality” of the old guard.
    Who is the scientist who said something to this effect “New theories are not established by convincing the old guard of its truthfulness but by the old guard dying and the young guard coming to accept the new theory on its own merits of truthfulness”
    ID may be having setbacks with “The Old Guard” but at least ID proponents are winning the fight in the public square and more importantly winning the fight for young minds.

  3. 3

    […] At first in a meeting with marks and his lawyer and others, things seemed like they were going to be ok. Agreements were made and everyone seemed happy and the meeting ended in prayer. It seemed Robert “could repost his evolutionary informatics website on the Baptist school’s server space­if a disclaimer made clear that any research advancing intelligent design does not represent an institutional position.” However, “Less than two weeks later, Gilmore received an email from Baylor general counsel Charles Beckenhauer detailing considerable further alterations Marks needed to make before reposting his site.” Dembski believes the only person with enough authority to overturn the decisions made at the meeting was Baylor President John Lilley who was not present. […]

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