[asa] Re: Francis Beckwith on Dembski and Baylor

From: David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
Date: Wed Sep 10 2008 - 13:30:16 EDT

Here is a link, BTW, to the review:
http://law.hamline.edu/files/Beckwith.Rev_.pdf

On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 1:23 PM, David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>wrote:

> The current issue of the Journal of Law & Religion (the preeminent
> specialty legal journal in this field) contains a book review of Ronald
> Numbers' "The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent
> Design." The book is a new edition of Numbers' classic "The Creationists,"
> which now includes chapters on the ID movement. The book review is
> particularly interesting because it is written by Francis Beckwith, a
> professor at Baylor University, who was President of the Evangelical
> Theological Society before converting to Roman Catholicism.
>
> Beckwith gently criticizes Numbers' account of William Dembski's "Polanyi
> Center" at Baylor as being too soft on Dembski. According to Beckwith,
> Baylor was prepared to keep the center open but to remove Polanyi from the
> name. Beckwith says Dembski then issued a press release stating that
> "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."
> Beckwith concludes that
>
> "[i]nstead of offering an olive branch and conciliatory tone at the moment
> of vicotry, Dembski angered many faculty members and embarrassed his
> benefactors and supporters at Baylor. Nevertheless, the administration gave
> Dembski a chance to extricate himself from his imprudent epistle. He was
> asked to offer a public apology. He refused. It was a that point that the
> university dismissed Demski as MPC director. In short, Dembski snatched
> defeat out of the jaws of victory." (JLR Vol. XXIII, p. 738).
>
> This is quite interesting coming from a figure such as Beckwith, and is
> particularly interesting to me as further context for how the movement has
> developed. Is there more of a history between Beckwith and Dembski than is
> evident here?
>
> --
> David W. Opderbeck
> Associate Professor of Law
> Seton Hall University Law School
> Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
>

-- 
David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
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Received on Wed Sep 10 13:30:35 2008

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