Thursday, March 30, 2006

Chen Distances Self, IDURC, from Protest at Baylor University

A Baylor student protested Dr. Francis J. Beckwith's denial of tenure today by lying as a dead man in front of the president's office at Baylor University. The Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center (IDURC), which I direct, has also been opposing the denial of tenure of Professor Beckwith. However, the IDURC claims no allegiance with or support for the extreme student protest that occurred on Baylor's campus today, Thursday, March 30, 2006. I released an official public statement this afternoon concerning the protest and the IDURC's stance on Professor Beckwith's removal from Baylor. Here is the statement:

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Dear Friend,

As many of you are now aware, Dr. Francis J. Beckwith, a professor at Baylor University and the associate director of the J.M. Dawson Church-State Institute, was denied tenure by Baylor. This denial of tenure came despite Beckwith’s impressive resume, which included leadership roles in several academic societies and having contributed to or authored over thirty books, among others.

While the Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center (IDURC) is grieved to hear of the release of Professor Beckwith, the center disagrees with the recent protest against the university’s president, Dr. John Lilley. The protest, which was conducted by a student what will remain unnamed, took place on Thursday, March 30, 2006, and consisted of the student lying on the ground in front of the president’s office (Pat Neff Hall) with a sign that read “Stop President Lilley from killing free speech.” The student had red paint thrown on him to represent blood. There were also flyers for students providing information, some of it inaccurate, concerning the situation.

This venue for supporting Beckwith was inappropriate and is not supported by the IDURC. We condemn the actions of the student and all who were associated with the protest. We encourage them and all students wishing to get involved to seek less extreme ways in which to do so. For instance, the IDURC has printed posters defending Beckwith, as well as Dr. William A. Dembski, a professor released by Baylor in 2004.

As director of the IDURC, I officially declare no association between myself, the organizations that I represent, and these protests. We do desire for Beckwith to remain at Baylor, but will not engage in extreme and disturbing protests, as was conducted, to support our cause.

Our message today is clear: we are disappointed and have no kind words for Baylor University in their release of Francis Beckwith. However, we are equally disappointed and likewise have no kind words for the protesters who have demonstrated only that their childlike manners are no better than those of the university. I, and the IDURC, do not associate with either Baylor University or the protesters. As we have always done, we stand beside the truth and, in this case, beside Dr. Francis J. Beckwith.


Samuel S. Chen

Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center

Access Research Network

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Baylor University Strikes Against Academic Freedom Again

A few years ago, Dr. William A. Dembski was released from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Nevermind the fact that he holds mulitple degrees, including four masters and two Ph.D.s (from the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago), four postdocs (from Northwestern University, MIT, Princeton University, and the University of Chicago), had taught at three universities previously (Northwestern University, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Dallas), had written many articles and had written and edited over twenty books, held a graduate and postdoctoral fellowship with the National Science Foundation, and had won several academic awards and honors.

What Baylor apparently cared about was that Dembski was a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture and the executive director of International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design. Dembski was the director of the Michael Polyani Center at Baylor, the first intelligent design think tank and a major research university (Baylor). He was released after a controversy surrounding the center and is currently heads the Center for Theology and Science and is the Carl F. H. Henry Professor of Science and Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

The associate director of the Michael Polyani Center under Dembski was Dr. Bruce Gordon. Gordon, will also be leaving Baylor University at the end of the 2005-2006 school year.

However, Baylor is not done cleaning the house of intelligent design advocates. Dr. Francis J. Beckwith, the associate director of the J.M. Dawson Church-State Institute at Baylor University and a fellow and faculty affliate of the Center for Religious Inquiry Across Discplines (CRIAD), was denied tenure by Baylor University on March 24, 2006. As in Dembski's case, it didn't matter to Baylor that Beckwith has multiple degrees (including three masters and a Ph.D.) from prestigious universities, holds many prestigious positions in over twenty academic societies or organizations (including being tapped to advise the President of the United States on Constitutional issues), has written, edited, or contributed to over thirty books and fifty articles, and has accomplished more by the age of forty-five than those who released will accomplish in their lifetimes combined. Beckwith has accomplished more than I can post in this blog. Please see his biography to get just a small glimpse of everything he's done.

What Baylor cares about, most likely, is Beckwith's political, philosophical, and theological views on issues such as prenatal life, marriage, the rationality of Christian belief, and, of course, intelligent design.

Baylor University aspires to be a top-tier research university with deep Christian roots in a vision called the "Baylor 2012 Vision." With such a play of politics and such an oppostion to the the truth and even to freedom of speech, academia, and thought, the university will never proceed forward. The entire administration at Baylor University (the president, the regents, the faculty senate, etc.) needs to rethink the decisions they make regarding the education of students at Baylor.

I am most disappointed at the incredible antagonism and disregard for the truth evident in this university. I will miss Professor Beckwith dearly, as he was to be my undergraduate advisor. I have no kind words for Baylor University and am appalled at what appears to be a university conspiracy against intelligent design and against open dialogue.

Judge Jones Threatened

Judge John E. Jones III, the judge who ruled against intelligent design and the Dover Area School District in December 2005, recently told newspapers that he had been threatened for his decision. (See story here).

I disagree with threatening the judge for his ruling. While I disagree with Jones' decision, there is never any reason to threaten one's life over such a decision. I encourage those who are doing such to cease their actions. We can disagree with our opponents without making threats.

However, Judge Jones now finally gets a slight feeling for what intelligent design advocates deal with from day to day. Students have their degrees denied and their work failed for subscribing to design theory. Those who publicly advocate design theory, as myself, receive death threats and often find themselves being harrassed in the news. What Jones has experienced is merely the tip of the iceberg compared to what design advocates experience.

While I disagree with the threats being made against Judge Jones, I find it ironic that he is experiencing the repercussions that are being suffered and will be suffered by those he ruled against.

Kitzmiller v. Dover: The Truth Behind the Politics

I released my work on the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial shortly after Judge Jones' ruling on the trial in December 2005. My writing was recently published online and is now avaliable to the public.

Kitzmiller v. Dover: The Truth Behind the Politics

In addition, I had written two open letters concerning the trial. The first came in the fourth week of the six-week trial and the second was released right after Judge Jones' ruling was rendered.

Intelligent Design, Education, and Liberty: What is Going on in Dover?
Decision in Dover: Why the Courts got it Wrong

Opinions on Dover Decision

The following are the opinions of several intelligent design advocates on the recent ruling by Judge John E. Jones III on the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial.

Dr. Michael J. Behe (Professor of Biological Sciences, Lehigh University)
Dr. William A. Dembski (Professor of Science and Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Executive Director, ISCID)
Dr. Alvin Plantinga (Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame)
Mr. Casey Luskin (Founder, IDEA Center and Legal Advisor, Discovery Institute)

Dembski's Lecture at the University of Kansas

Dr. William A. Dembski spoke at the University of Kansas on January 23, 2006 to a crowd of about 1500 people. His talk and the question and answer session are now online.


Sunday, March 19, 2006

Design but no Intelligence at George Mason University

While most schools, colleges and universities included, refuse to touch intelligent design with a ten foot pole, George Mason University has decided to tackle the topic. Not discuss, teach, or research intelligent design--tackle it and beat it into the ground as best as they can. Here are some quizzes and courses students at GMU get on intelligent design:

Biology 471: Quiz on ID
Biology 471: Quiz on Selection
English 302: Syllabus
Government 329: Course Description

Apparently, attacking intelligent design with science hasn't been working too well so evolutionists, like the ones at GMU, are turning to subjects like English.

I challenge any and all students at George Mason University who are taking or will take any of these classes or any other class that includes intelligent design to:

1. Ask hard questions. Challenge the attacks made against ID theory.
2. Write papers defending intelligent design theory and dispelling the myths that will
inevitably be raised against design theory.
3. If and when opposition is met, contact me at the Intelligent Design Undergraduate
Research Center (

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Intelligent Design Marches On

Quite a bit has been going on in the intelligent design movement lately and with the month of march, the movement keeps rolling forward.

First, with the current bill in Wisconsin that would ban all discussions on intelligent design in public schools, Dr. William A. Dembski offered this challenge:

I’m offering $1000 to the first teacher in Wisconsin who (1) challenges this policy (should it be enacted) by teaching ID as science within a Wisconsin public school science curriculum (social science does not count), (2) gets him/herself fired, reprimanded, or otherwise punished in some actionable way, (3) obtains legal representation from a public interest law firm (e.g., Alliance Defense Fund), and (4) takes this to trial. I encourage others to contribute in the same way. Thank you Wisconsin.

Then, the growing list of scientists that have voiced skepticism concerning evolution has grown to over 500 individuals. Thank you to these 500 courageous scientists.

Shortly thereafter, the first copy of the newest book on intelligent design, Darwin’s Nemesis: Phillip Johnson and the Intelligent Design Movement, was printed. The book is edited by Dr. William A. Dembski, has contributions written by Dr. Michael J. Behe, Dr. Francis J. Beckwith, Dr. Walter Bradley, Dr. J. Budziszewski, Dr. Jonathan Wells, even evolutionist Dr. Michael Ruse, and many others, and the forward is written by Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa). The book comes out officially in April 2006 and is worth buying, reading, and passing on.

Now, the calendar for March Madness looks as follows:

March 8- Dr. William A. Dembski interviews with Audiomartini

March 9- Dr. Paul Nelson debates against Dr. Sahorta Sarkar at the University of Texas at Austin.

March 14- Dr. Paul Nelson debates against Dr. Michael Ruse at Jacksonville University in Florida

March 17, 18- Dr. William A. Dembski lectures at UC-Berkeley in California

March 12-15- “ID Week” with Dr. John Angus Campbell at James Madison University, a debate tournament with the nation’s top debate teams (of course, Baylor University's team, of which I am a member, is not going to be present) on intelligent design.

March 28- Dr. William A. Dembski lectures at The College of New Jersey

March 31- Dr. Francis J. Beckwith debates at the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond in Virginia

Hopefully the month of March is a mere foreshadowing of things to come with the intelligent design movement.