Below are the statements issues concerning the Lariat's article today issued by the Discovery Institute and the
April 19, 2006
The article “Baylor not immune to scholarly feud over origin of life” by Van Darden and Josh Horton inaccurately describes the Discovery Institute as a “conservative Christian think tank.” This is false. Discovery Institute is a secular, non-partisan, non-profit public policy center dealing with national and international affairs. It is not religious in any manner and does not embrace any religion, but rather respects each individual's right to choose their personal religious belief. Discovery staff and fellows comprise a diverse range of political and philosophical beliefs. For more information see http://www.discovery.org/.
Discovery Institute's mission is to make a positive vision of the future practical. The Institute discovers and promotes ideas in the common sense tradition of representative government, the free market and individual liberty. Our mission is promoted through books, reports, legislative testimony, articles, public conferences and debates, plus the Institute's own publications, blogs and website.
Current Institute projects explore the fields of technology, science and culture, education policy, reform of the law, national defense, the environment and the economy, the future of democratic institutions, transportation, religion and public life, government entitlement spending, foreign affairs and cooperation within the bi-national region of "Cascadia." The efforts of Discovery fellows and staff, headquartered in
I am requesting that The Lariat remove this statement from the article on its website and print a correction in the newspaper.
Please let me know when this correction will be published.
Robert L. Crowther, II
Director of Communications
Center for Science & Culture
Discovery Institute, Seattle, WA
(206) 292-0401 x107
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
The Baylor University student newspaper, The Baylor Lariat, printed a front page article in today’s newspaper entitled “Baylor not immune to scholarly feud over origin of life” written by Van Darden and Josh Horton.
In the article, the Seattle-based think thank, Discovery Institute, is referred to as a “conservative Christian think tank.” Such, is not true. Discovery Institute is a secular, non-partisan, non-profit think tank that deals with a variety of national and international issues, including intelligent design. However, Discovery Institute is in no way a religiously affiliated organization. The fellows, directors, and staff are of a variety of theological, philosophical, and political persuasions. In no manner is the institute a “conservative Christian think tank.”
Furthermore, the article states that “Beckwith, associate professor of church-state studies and outspoken proponent of teaching intelligent design alongside traditional scientific theory, was denied tenure in March, an act some say is due to Beckwith’s membership in the Discovery Institute.”
This statement, however, is also false. Dr. Francis J. Beckwith, Ph.D. is not a proponent of intelligent design nor an advocate for having it taught in public school science classes. As a constitutional scholar, Beckwith simply holds that the teaching of intelligent design is constitutional. He does not necessarily agree that it is beneficial to teach intelligent design alongside of evolution and he is not a proponent of intelligent design. Beckwith is not a scientist and his research is not along these lines. He merely holds that the teaching of intelligent design is constitutional, contrary to recent court rulings.
Finally, the Lariat printed a diagram of “Two views of history.” The first was labeled “Current scientific consensus” and described the traditional evolution model. The second was labeled “Scriptural ‘young Earth’ history” and described the young earth Creation model. This diagram is very misleading.
First, by labeling the evolution model “Current scientific consensus,” the Lariat has made a statement on their view that evolution as the science, disregarding other views such as intelligent design. Second, the “Scriptural ‘young Earth’ history” model leads readers to believe that intelligent design is merely young earth Creationism repackaged. Such, is not true. Intelligent design is a secular scientific view based upon empirical scientific research.
The article, as written by the Lariat staff, has many false statements and is misleading on the whole. Whether or not this was done intentionally, the article is misleading nonetheless. The
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Below is the "Two views of history" diagram printed with the article in the Baylor Lariat: