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Professor at Baptist university (Baylor) calls intelligent design “dumb”

14 July 2000

As a follow up to our previous story, about professors at Southern Baptist-associated Baylor University in Texas who have been vigorously opposing a new center to promote the idea of “intelligent design,” comes a report from the Houston (Texas) Chronicle of July 2 that has inflamed the controversy.

In the news article, biology professor Dr Richard Duhrkopf attacked a new research center that had been established at Baylor to investigate the concept that life on earth was created through intelligent design, not the chance, random processes of evolution. When a friend in Illinois contacted Dr Duhrkopf a few months ago to see if the rumor was true that this new center was to be established on his campus, Dr Duhrkopf replied: “Absolutely not—we would never do anything that dumb.” He later found out that Baylor had indeed set up the Michael Polanyi Centre on campus.

The intelligent design adherents declare that life is so complex that it could not have come about through anything other than design. Dr Michael Polanyi, who passed away in the 1970s, was a European chemist and philosopher, who rejected the idea that all scientific knowledge could only be obtained through laws of nature. The center, however, does not accept Genesis as written, but just argues that design in living things implies a Designer.

Dr Duhrkopf was quoted by the Associated Press (July 2) to say, “We want to get the word out that we [in the biology department] are unanimously opposed to this. People in intelligent design do not understand what science is.”

In April, the faculty senate of Baylor, which has representatives from many departments within the university, voted 27–2 to recommend that the center be shut down. They demanded that the administration get input from professors before creating academic centers. So far, the administration has refused the request, which includes President Robert Sloan. But even he—as well as the scientists associated with the Polanyi Centre—does not accept Genesis as written.

Baylor is just one of hundreds of Christian colleges worldwide that expresses an open hostility toward the literal accounts of the creation and the Flood in Genesis, and even about “intelligent design” ideas that merely question materialistic, evolutionary dogma.

It is not without justification that some have called Baylor a BINO university: Baptist In Name Only.


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