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Polanyi official's e-mail concerns some faculty

Oct. 19, 2000

Center director issues

statement vowing research to 'continue unabated'

BY BLAIR MARTIN

Staff writer

Some faculty members expressed 'deep, genuine concern' after receiving an e-mail from the director of the Michael Polanyi Center a day after a report affirmed the center's legitimacy and credibility, according to the chairman of the Faculty Senate.

A report was released Tuesday by a committee appointed to review the operation of the center. The committee was comprised of eight scholars from across the country and led by Dr. William F. Cooper.

In response to that report, Dr. William Dembski issued the following statement:

'The report marks the triumph of intelligent design as a legitimate form of academic inquiry. This is a great day for academic freedom. I'm deeply grateful to President Sloan and Baylor University for making this possible, as well as to the peer review committee for its unqualified affirmation of my own work on intelligent design.

'The scope of the Center will be expanded to embrace a broader set of conceptual issues at the intersection of science and religion, and the Center will therefore receive a new name to reflect this expanded vision.

'My work on intelligent design will continue unabated. Dogmatic opponents of design who demanded the Center be shut down have met their Waterloo.

'Baylor University is to be commended for remaining strong in the face of intolerant assaults on freedom of thought and expression.'

Chairman of the Faculty Senate, Dr. Jay Losey, said that 'anyone can look at the review and also at Dembski's e-mail and make a personal judgment for themselves.'

'However, I will say there is deep, genuine concern on the part of Baylor faculty regarding some of the statements made in the e-mail,' Losey said. 'Deep, genuine concern.'

Attempts to reach Dembski at his office Wednesday were unsuccessful.