“Professors aren’t being fired because they support intelligent design, they are being fired for lots of other reasons and then they have to justify their firing to other people and say it was because they advocated ID, rather than admit they were in some other way inadequate.”
That is what I was recently told by a cheeky fellow who was trying to cast an aura of confidence and disdain.
“So which of these firings were the result of other inadequacies, and how is that you know this?” I asked.
“All of them. And it is common knowledge.” He said, trying to brush me off as the Philistine I obviously was.
“In other words you don’t know any of them first hand and say it is common knowledge because that is what you want to believe. I know a professor that was expelled from his position because he is an advocate of Intelligent Design, and his expulsion isn’t just common knowledge, there is plenty of documentation available to the public for those who care enough to look into it. His name is William Dembski and it occurred an hour south of here at Baylor University.”
Mr. Know-It-All sighed expressively, rolled his eyes, and walked away with that “you Christians are such a waste of atomic matter” demeanor that I have seen all too many times from those who want to spout off about how unintelligent Christians are but run away immediately if their ideas are challenged.
Since the release of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed I have had a number of these conversations. A few months ago the movie was pre-screened at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the following is an excerpt of an article by Benjamin Hawkins about the event.
“This film exposes the hypocrisy of an academic and cultural elite who pretend that they value freedom of inquiry and expression but in fact suppress it when it clashes with their deeply held materialistic convictions,” said Dembski, who is one of the leading ID scholars featured in the documentary. He and other proponents of ID have suggested that the universe shows signs of having been designed by some intelligent being.
According to Dembski, many fields of study involve intelligent design, including archeology, forensics and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). An archeologist, for example, examines the evidence—like a curiously shaped stone—to determine whether it might be the product of a human intelligence.
“These sciences, however, are uncontroversial because any intelligence detected through them could be an ‘evolved’ intelligence,” Dembski said. “Most of the action with ID, on the other hand, centers in biology, so that any intelligence involved with the emergence of living things is likely to be an ‘unevolved’ intelligence. ID therefore challenges materialistic theories of evolution, such as Darwinism.”
Unlike creationism, however, ID does not begin with the Genesis account of creation, nor do its proponents attempt to describe the nature of the intelligence that designed the universe. Despite this fact, Dembski noted, “ID is friendly to Christian theism in a way that materialistic forms of evolution never have been.”
“One of the biggest obstacles to people coming to Christ in Western culture is the impression that science has disproved the Bible and Christianity,” he said. “ID therefore helps to correct this false impression by showing that our best science supports belief in a higher intelligence responsible for life. ID does not give you the Christian God as such, but it puts you in the right ballpark.”
Dembski appears in Expelled only to discuss background information on ID. However, he said that he is also among the “expelled,” who “have had their careers and livelihoods assaulted for advocating ID.” In 2000, he was relieved of his post as director of Baylor University’s Michael Polanyi Center for Complexity, Information and Design, and this center, which he founded, was closed. However, Dembski found a home at Southwestern Seminary in 2006, where he continues to defend ID. Most recently, he co-authored and edited The Design Of Life, a comprehensive survey of the field, which he recommended to those interested in the further study of ID.
I personally benefited from Dembski being expelled from Baylor. I was able to study with him at Southwestern and have been greatly influenced and blessed by him.