Baptist school afraid of creation

Hard to believe—but true.

Published: October 28, 2000(GMT+10)

In June, and then in July of 2000, we reported on the controversy at the Baptist Baylor University campus over what is called the “Polanyi Center”. This is a special department which was set up to research the concept of “intelligent design” with a view to its promotion in the sciences.

A remarkable series of events occurred recently, however, that should cause every Christian to see how far once very great Christian colleges have fallen.

On October 19 the Baylor Public Relations Department reported that the director of the Center, Dr. William Dembski, was relieved of his duties. According to a statement subsequently issued by Dr. Dembski, the reason for his dismissal was that he “released a press statement applauding the results of the peer review committee that passed upon and approved the academic soundness of my work.”*

Now read the statement that apparently upset the faculty at Baylor. The External Peer Review Committee report stated that:

“it considers research on the logical structure of mathematical arguments for intelligent design to have a legitimate claim to a place in current discussions of the relations of religion and the sciences.”

So why would such a statement cause problems? Well, even though this particular center did not argue for a literal Genesis—including six literal days, etc.— the faculty obviously didn’t want to be associated with anything (even a center that was just dealing with “intelligent design” in the universe) that would even hint at Baylor supporting a message that could cause anyone to think they supported what they call “creation science.”

The president of Baylor University, Robert B. Sloan, Jr., in addressing the controversy, asserted in an October 19 statement* that “‘creation science’ is not good theology, and I would be embarrassed for what I understand to be creation science to be taught at Baylor University.” In the same statement he affirms his belief in a Creator God, but that, “Whether or not there are patterns of design, information and purpose in this universe that can be detected by scientific processes, I do not know.”

No wonder the church and the secular world are confused on this topic. Here is someone from a supposed “Christian university” saying that the evidence of the handiwork of the Creator would not necessarily be able to be detected by scientists? How could a Creator God not leave demonstrable evidence of intelligent design in what He created (even in a fallen universe as we know it today)? This is an example of how far things have deteriorated in our culture. A Baptist school is afraid, not just of acknowledging a Creator, but of even admitting that His handiwork would be obvious.

If only these academics would pick up a Bible, and put aside their evolutionary science texts for a moment, they could read, “… that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made” (Romans 1:19, 20).

What a sad day when so-called “Christian universities” like this not only reject a literal Genesis, but want to be disassociated from a center that researches even the vaguest notions of “creation.”

In a tersely worded statement (Oct. 19, 2000), the university claimed that Dr. Dembski was not “collegial.” Nothing more specific was stated. Given that the Baylor faculty had become “up in arms” over the center (see our related story [July 14]), the uncollegial label has been misapplied to Dr. Dembski. A demoted Dr. Dembski remains on campus as an associate research professor.

Published: 22 April 2006