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Letters to the Editor

Oct. 25, 2000

'Ignorance reason for problems caused between professors, Dembski'

This letter is intended to clarify and fully explain the now former director of the Polanyi center William Dembski's views, as opposed to the way he has been portrayed by both The Lariat and Baylor faculty.

First of all, intelligent design (I.D.), the theory that Dembski supports, is not creationism.

In his book Mere Creation, Dembski writes that 'intelligent design is logically compatible with everything from utterly discontinuous creation to the most far-ranging evolution (e.g. God seamlessly melding all organisms together into one great tree of life.') The latter view agrees completely with that of the professors who have been the most critical of Dembski.

Creationism is a theory on origins. I.D. is a theory on the current 'specified complexity' of living organisms.

Contrary to what the Lariat editorial reported on Thursday, I.D. does not seek to prove God's existence or the biblical account of creation at all. In fact, Dembski isn't even a biblical literalist! Where the editor got this definition I do not know, but it is completely untrue.

Ignorance has been the main reason for the problems caused between Baylor professors and Dembski. Certain Baylor professors such as Dr. Chuck Weaver and Joe Yelderman have publicly proclaimed about how wrong the center is when they clearly have no clue what it is about. If they took the time to look into it they would see that it does not conflict with their own views at all.

True, there are many intelligent design theorists who do believe in young earth creationism, but that is also true with many of Weaver and Yelderman's fellow science professors (i.e. Dr. charles Garner, biology). Does this mean that all professors are creationists? No. The same goes with I.D. theorists. Not all are young earth creationists, including Dembski.

It seems amazing to me that a professor with multiple masters and doctorate degrees from such schools as Princeton and the University of Chicago, who has published three best seller books and has previously taught at Northwestern University and Notre Dame can be considered such a liability at Baylor. His response to the committee's report on the Polanyi center was just as 'uncollegial' as that of the professors who proclaimed that Dembski should not be at Baylor at all.

Why not also punish those professors who spoke out so harshly against Dembski when the controversy began?

Mark Peterson

Journalism '01

Suggestion to fans:

cheer sensibly

Although you may not notice it by the final scores our Baylor football team is steadily improving and our fans should improve with them. First of all the 'Who's Den' cheer is the worst stadium cheer of all time. It's a great motivator for our players in the locker room, but that is where it should stay.

I'm from Waco, and I've been going to Baylor games since before I was born; so here are some suggestions for us to become better fans:

First when our offense is on the field and trying to convert a big third down play that is not the time to get loud because then our quarterback is not able to communicate with the rest of the players. When the other team is trying to convert a crucial play that would be the time to get loud for the exact same reason.

Baylor is a Christian university and should be represented as such. I know not all students here believe the same things, but profanity directed to officials, player, and coaches should hold no part in collegiate athletics.

Finally, all the criticism of our football team needs to end. They can't get better if us as fans are constantly putting them down. How would you feel if you had 20,000 to 50,000 people yelling at you every time you didn't do as well on a test as you wanted to.

Our guys are getting better, and when Coach Steele turns this thing around I'm going to be the guy in the stands saying,'I told you so!'

Jeff Coker

Coaching/Math '01