PvM posted Entry 3315 on September 11, 2007 10:21 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/3299

ID proponents are quick to argue ‘viewpoint discrimination’ whenever their attempts to introduce their scientifically vacuous ideas fail. If ID were really interested in protecting people from viewpoint discrimination then surely they will be outraged by the following article Can God Love Darwin, Too?

Remember RIchard Colling, a biologist and professor at Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois. In 2004, Colling wrote a book called “Random Designer”.

… as he said in a letter to students and colleagues this year—“I want you to know the truth that God is bigger, far more profound and vastly more creative than you may have known.” Moreover, he said, God “cares enough about creation to harness even the forces of [Darwinian] randomness.”

His words however were not well received

Anger over his work had been building for two years. When classes resumed in late August, things finally came to a head. Colling is prohibited from teaching the general biology class, a version of which he had taught since 1991, and college president John Bowling has banned professors from assigning his book. At least one local Nazarene church called for Colling to be fired and threatened to withhold financial support from the college.

So when can we expect a cry of outrage from the Discovery Institute, demanding that Colling will be allowed to teach his usual classes?

Has Hell frozen over? Oh the irony…

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Comment #206415

Posted by PvM on September 11, 2007 10:35 PM (e)

More information

“Imagine telling a very devout creationist that evolution is real, but it doesn’t endanger their faith,” said Richard Colling, a professor of biology at Olivet Nazarene University, affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene, in Bourbonnais, south of Chicago. “That’s exactly the journey many of our college students begin when they come into my biology class.”

Toni Moran, 21, a senior biology major from Decatur, Ill., has taken that journey.

“Personally, I think there’s such a divide among Christians that we’re forced to choose evolution or creationism. I think so many Christians are afraid that if they even look at the scientific evidence, they’ll lose their faith,” she said, noting that “‘evolution’ is a taboo word in my church and in my home.”

Source

Hear hear. At least some Christians seem to understand St Augustine

Saint Augustine (A.D. 354-430) in his work The Literal Meaning of Genesis (De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim) provided excellent advice for all Christians who are faced with the task of interpreting Scripture in the light of scientific knowledge. This translation is by J. H. Taylor in Ancient Christian Writers, Newman Press, 1982, volume 41.

Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]

Comment #206417

Posted by PvM on September 11, 2007 10:36 PM (e)

Full story can be found at Baylor’s website :-)

Comment #206422

Posted by soteos on September 11, 2007 11:12 PM (e)

Am I supposed to feel sympathy for either side? Because I don’t. Only the students lose here. The best I can hope for is that creationism and intelligent design become bitter rivals, something akin to the way Christians fought over whether wine and bread were literally Jesus’ body. Then the rest of us can just get on with our lives.

Comment #206431

Posted by raven on September 11, 2007 11:30 PM (e)

Richard Colling is a heretic. How quaint.

But he is lucky to be living in the 21st century. A few centuries ago he might well have been burnt at the stake like Giordano Bruno was along with countless others. These days that is illegal. So far.

This is what the theocrats of the Xian Dominionist movement want to bring back. Oddly enough they controlled the US congress until 2006, own the president, and have almost half of the US supreme court. We may well be watching the fall of the American empire. Bet the Roman and British empires looked similar at their ends.

Comment #206445

Posted by RBH on September 12, 2007 12:23 AM (e)

Full story can be found at Baylor’s website :-)

Erm, that’s a 2005 story, Pim.

Comment #206451

Posted by PvM on September 12, 2007 12:49 AM (e)

I was referencing the “more information” part in #206415

Comment #206452

Posted by Lynn David on September 12, 2007 12:51 AM (e)

Richard Colling
RICHARD COLLING
http://www2.olivet.edu/academics/CAS/faculty_bio…
B.A., 1976, Olivet Nazarene University
Ph.D., 1980, University of Kansas

Richard Colling graduated from Olivet in 1976 with a double major in chemistry and zoology. In his Ph.D. program in microbiology and immunology at the University of Kansas, he studied infections like strep throat, contributing to the understanding of how these types of bacterial infections trigger autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. This research earned him several honors, including the Cora Downs Award for excellence in graduate research and the prestigious Kansas university research dissertation fellowship.

He then accepted a post-doctoral fellowship in molecular oncology at Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, Texas, where he studied unique protein markers found on human and animal cancer cells. These studies pave the way for more effective targeting of cancer cells with fewer side effects. As a consultant, he has developed sensitive analytical tests for Bayer Laboratories and also for identifying genetically engineered crops for Pioneer HiBred Biotechnology. He has also served as a consultant for Rhone-Polenc Rohrer Pharmaceuticals purifying human hemophilia factor to treat humans with hemophilia.

At Olivet, Dr. Colling teaches microbiology, immunology, molecular biology and a general biology course for non-majors. He served as the department chairman for 23 years until relinquishing the position to devote more attention to students and research. He was recognized as faculty member of the year in 2000.

He has also written a book, “Random Designer,” which establishes a permanent place for God in the intellectual discussions regarding science and faith. He is a frequent speaker at pastor conferences, colloquia and educational settings where he speaks to the realities and limitations of science as well as the supreme value of faith. He and his wife Sally served as leaders for an ONU student work and witness trip to the jungle of Guyana, South America in 2004.

Dr. Colling and his wife have four grown sons, and several grandchildren. He enjoys racquetball and the challenge and solitude of golf. He enjoys long walks and talks with Sally along the Kankakee River trails, talking about their children, ONU students, life, love and the goodness of God.
_________________________________

One slip-up in the creationist crowd and all that goodwill from above is gone.

Comment #206503

Posted by heddle on September 12, 2007 5:12 AM (e)

Doesn’t this double-standard charge work both ways? It is true that to first order those who argue that Marks’s academic freedom was violated at Baylor should say the same about Colling’s academic freedom. But it is also true that those (like me) who argue that it is acceptable for Baylor to disassociate itself from whomever it pleases—and that academic freedom never means “do whatever floats your boat” should be affording the same privilege to Olivet.

Raven,

This is what the theocrats of the Xian Dominionist movement want to bring back. Oddly enough they controlled the US congress until 2006, own the president, and have almost half of the US supreme court. We may well be watching the fall of the American empire. Bet the Roman and British empires looked similar at their ends.

Oh brother. The dominionist movement is a small (and growing ever smaller) movement within the church, comprised mostly of a minority of a minority (postmillennialists) of a minority (hard-core reformed.) You are perhaps, quite incorrectly, lobbing anyone who argues against further separation of church and state or suggests that we are a nation founded on Christians ideals (the majority of a large group: conservative Christians) into this small group (dominionists with a ultra radical agenda.) By doing so you sound like a conspiracy theory wingnut.

Comment #206532

Posted by raven on September 12, 2007 8:45 AM (e)

heddle lying:

The dominionist movement is a small (and growing ever smaller) movement

theocracywatch.org, Cornell univesity:

The theocratic right seeks to establish dominion, or control over society in the name of God. D. James Kennedy, Pastor of Coral Ridge Ministries, calls on his followers to exercise “godly dominion … over every aspect … of human society.” At a “Reclaiming America for Christ” conference in February, 2005, Kennedy said:

Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors – in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.

Twenty-five years ago dominionists targeted the Republican Party as the vehicle through which they could advance their agenda. At the same time, a small group of Republican strategists targeted fundamentalist, Pentecostal and charismatic churches to expand the base of the Republican Party. This web site is not about traditional Republicans or conservative Christians. It is about the manipulation of people of a certain faith for political power. It is about the rise of dominionists in the U.S. federal government.

Today’s hard right seeks total dominion. It’s packing the courts and rigging the rules. The target is not the Democrats but democracy itself. more

According to acclaimed journalist and television host Bill Moyers,

True, people of faith have always tried to bring their interpretation of the Bible to bear on American laws and morals … it’s the American way, encouraged and protected by the First Amendment. But what is unique today is that the radical religious right has succeeded in taking over one of America’s great political parties. The country is not yet a theocracy but the Republican Party is, and they are driving American politics, using God as a a battering ram on almost every issue: crime and punishment, foreign policy, health care, taxation, energy, regulation, social services and so on. more

(To read the rest if the Home Page that was on this site before the 2006 midterm elections, click here.)
Back from The Brink
Before the midterm elections of 2006, dominionists controlled both houses of the U.S. Congress, the White House and four out of nine seats on the U.S. Supreme Court. They were one seat away from holding a solid majority on the Supreme Court. As of January 1, 2007, dominionists will not control the leadership of either house of Congress, and the President will no longer be able to so easily appoint dominionists to the federal courts.

Five of the Republican Senators who were unseated on November 7 received whopping scores of 100% from the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family Voter Scorecards. Those Senators are: Conrad Burns (R-MT), George Allen (R-VA), Rick Santorum (R-PA), James Talent (R-MO), and Mike DeWine (R-OH). Rick Santorum was the number three ranking Republican in the party. Santorum and Allen both had Presidential ambitions. (FRC and FOF are the most politically influential of dominionist organizations.) For more discussion of the elections go to

Heddle you are lying. Must be a fundie cultist. The cultists always, always LIE.
1. All the leaders of the Christofascist movement are Dominionists/ReconstructionistsKennedy, Falwell, Robertson, Falwell, Dobson.

2. They own the Theocratic party formally known as the Republicans. The republican party platform in Texas is straight theocratic Dominionist party line. They control Texas from he governor on down and are merrily dismantling the secular government any way they can.

3. From the quote above, from the Cornell University think tank. “Before the midterm elections of 2006, dominionists controlled both houses of the U.S. Congress, the White House and four out of nine seats on the U.S. Supreme Court.”

4. The creationists at the Discovery Institute are part of the Xian Dom/Recon movement as well, Dembski, Behe, Meyers, etc.. Read the Wedge document on wikipedia. The creationist pseudoscience is just a tool for these guys. They really want to take over the government, set up a theocracy, and head on back to the dark ages. They say so often in writing.

They may even succeed. All civilizations and empires fall sooner or later. We can see right now how it happens. There are tens of millions of citizens pitching right in to bring it down secure in their knowledge that god is on their side. You are one obviously.

Comment #206536

Posted by heddle on September 12, 2007 8:57 AM (e)

Raven,

1) We really did walk on the moon, honest!
2) The US Government did not blow up the World Trade Center.
3) The holocaust really happened.
4) Reconstructionists are not poised to take over the government and institute Mosaic law.
5) Elvis is dead.

Comment #206543

Posted by fnxtr on September 12, 2007 9:18 AM (e)

(singing) One of these things is not like the others…

Comment #206547

Posted by raven on September 12, 2007 9:25 AM (e)

Heddle, you didn’t answer a single point I made. So you are stupid as well as a liar. That cultist voluntary ignorance does have its drawbacks.

More below. FWIW, the Christofascists don’t hide their agenda. Pretty hard to do when they have a significant fraction of the US population behind them and a huge influence on the government.

http://religion.beloblog.com/archives/2007/02/th…

The far right “Christian fascists”

From Religion News Service, here’s a Q&A with Chris Hedges, author of American Fascists, a book about the radical Christian right.

Hedges, who has a degree from the Harvard Divinity School, is a former war correspondent for The New York Times and The Dallas Morning News.

The interview from Religion News Service follows:

By RON CSILLAG
Religion News Service

TORONTO — A hard-core minority of evangelicals is actively working to create an American theocracy and to eliminate non-believers. Mainstream Christians — even some evangelicals — governments and the media stand by and watch in the name of tolerance.
So says Chris Hedges, a former New York Times correspondent, who evinces some frightening scenes in his new book, “American Fascists.” A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Hedges draws alarming parallels between 20th-century totalitarian movements — particularly in pre-World War II Europe — and the highly organized, well financed “Dominionist movement,” an influential theocratic sect within the large U.S. evangelical population.
Hedges says Dominionists wait only for a fiscal, social or political crisis, or another terrorist terrorist strike on American soil, to establish an American theocracy — a Christian fascism — in which the Bible is the sole guiding principle.
That day, he warns, could be sooner than many think.

Q: You don’t pull any punches with the word “fascist” in the title. Is it deliberate?
A: Yes, and it wasn’t an easy choice because fascism conjures historical images of Nazis and swastikas. But fascism as an ideology has generic qualities which … I try to match with what I think are the fundamental tenets of the radical Christian right in the United States. The match was significant enough to warrant the word.

Q: You do not indict 100 million Americans who consider themselves evangelicals. It’s only a small part of this group that you discuss.
A: It’s a tiny part. We use the terms “evangelicals” and “fundamentalists,” but I think incorrectly. Traditional fundamentalists have always called on their followers to remove themselves from the contaminants of secular society and to shun involvement in political power.
This is a new, radical mutation, a drive to seize political power and create a so-called Christian state. It’s a mutation that makes this movement unlike any other religious movement we have seen in American history, and ultimately, the most dangerous mass movement we’ve seen in American history.

Q: Can you explain the difference between Dominionism and traditional evangelicalism?
A: Dominionism, or Christian Reconstructionism, is a movement … which argues that Christians have been anointed by God to create the Christian state and ultimately, a global Christian empire. The Ten Commandments should be the basis for the legal system. The federal government should be disempowered, reduced to issues of homeland security, defense and property rights. Social welfare agencies, along with educational systems, should be turned over to these churches.

Q: If it’s such a small fringe group, why is it so dangerous?
A: Well, let’s name names: (Evangelical leaders) James Dobson, Pat Robertson, (“Left Behind” co-author) Tim LaHaye — they’re very well funded, very well organized and they have taken over virtually all of Christian radio and broadcasting. They’ve taken over denominations, such as the Southern Baptist Convention. They have managed to make huge inroads into the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government.

Q: What similarities do you see between this militant Christianity and militant Islam?
A: Many. It’s a binary view of the world — good and bad. Those who are not with them have no real legitimacy, either religious or political — they are agents of Satan (and) must be destroyed. A total hostility toward the role of women, a war on modernism, a cult of masculinity, the belief that apocalyptic and catastrophic violence can act to cleanse and purge the world and create a utopia of believers.
Fundamentalist movements, regardless of the religious systems they come out of, are strikingly similar. Much of (their) work is to disempower the moderate center (and) make people afraid.

Q: Are traditional evangelicals in danger of being drowned out by these Dominionists?
A: They already are. Because the movement has learned to speak so well in traditional and comfortable vocabulary, they have huge numbers of people, both in and out of the faith, who don’t understand the threat.
Tens of millions of Americans see them as a traditional group that promotes family values. The most potent opposition to the movement will come out of the evangelical community — people who have remained loyal to core values of the Gospel and understand this manipulation and callousness, and strike back against it.

Q: You say debate with this radical Christian right is “useless” because they don’t want dialogue; you say they are “bent on our destruction.” How do we then engage them and move forward?
A: The movement is built on the personal and economic despair of tens of millions of Americans. The American working class has been decimated. Fewer than 10 percent of jobs are in the manufacturing sector. Whole sections of the United States look the developing world. And that has thrust people into this despair.
The only way to blunt this movement is to begin to develop systems where (the poor) are reincorporated into American society, given secure and decent jobs and certainly social benefits, and given hope.
At its core, this is a theology of despair. It says that the highest event in human history is the destruction of the planet on which we live. And then there’s a strange spiritual Darwinism: Believers will be raptured up into Heaven and the rest of us will get what we deserve. In that kind of theology, wars in the Middle East are a good thing, global warming doesn’t matter, poverty is fine, especially since they’ve embraced this world of magic and miracles. People are poor because they’re not right with Jesus.

Q: If Dominionists exploit the poor, how are they so well funded?
A: Corporate America loves them. You have huge companies (like) Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club (which) have evangelical chaplains among their work forces just to bait their workers. There’s also quite a vigorous and effective system of sucking in believers. If you ever watch these (television) shows, you have (text) at the bottom of the screen with an 800 number where you can call in and make your love offering. People are encouraged to send their rent checks and everything else because God will reward them a hundred, nay, a thousandfold.
None of these movements can come to power unless there’s a prolonged period of instability or a crisis. But that could very well come in the United States through an economic meltdown, a series of environmental disasters or another catastrophic terrorist attack.
Then I think these people are really poised to reshape American society in ways we have not seen before.

Comment #206559

Posted by David Stanton on September 12, 2007 10:14 AM (e)

Heddle wrote:

“But it is also true that those (like me) who argue that it is acceptable for Baylor to disassociate itself from whomever it pleases—and that academic freedom never means “do whatever floats your boat” should be affording the same privilege to Olivet.”

Well, maybe. However the two situations are certainly not equivalent.

If Olivet is a private institution and accepts no government funds then supposedly they could attempt silence dissenting views with impuntiy. If they also made employees sign a loyalty statement or conform to a strict religious code as a requirement for empolyment, then perhaps advocating for evolution might be considered a violation of their code. If Colling was using the classroom to express his personal views instead of presenting real science, then of course the University might want to reasonaably prevent that. It is not clear to me if any of these things are true, but if they are, then perhaps the University might be somewhat justified in their stance.

However, trying to restrict the academic freedom of a distinguished scientist and faculty member can defiinately not be equated with pulling the plug on a fake lab with a fake grant doing fake research in order to undermine science by using the name of a reputable insititution to imply respectability. Especially if one of the people involved has already been effectively kicked out for reasons not having to do with his religious views. Tenured faculty have legal rights. Back door “post docs” claiming to do research in a nonexistent laboratory, not so much.

Comment #206561

Posted by heddle on September 12, 2007 10:22 AM (e)

Raven,

Yes, your cuts and pastes from an author on a book tour promoting his kool-aid for the wingnuts is sho’nuff convincing.

However, did you read closely what you posted? The first line:

A hard-core minority of evangelicals is actively working to create an American theocracy and to eliminate non-believers.

and

Q: You do not indict 100 million Americans who consider themselves evangelicals. It’s only a small part of this group that you discuss.
A: It’s a tiny part.

Nobody denies that reconstructionists/theomomists exist, Raven. I even know a few. The intellectual core of the (tiny) movement, by the way, is the uber-Reformed—if they did acquire power they would have little use for dispensationalists such as Tim LaHaye.

Wikipedia has a reasonably balanced discussion—and it points out that there are many internal critics of reconstructionism even within its base of postmillennial Calvinists. On my blog, though I am a postmillennial Calvinist, I have often posted against reconstructionism—although I’m sure you would no doubt think that such denials are smokescreens issued under instructions from the master plan.

Arguing: Beware! Reconstructionists are poised to take over the government! is like the Christian right arguing: Beware! Lesbians are taking over the schools! It sells books to the weak-minded, but has no basis in fact.

Comment #206564

Posted by heddle on September 12, 2007 10:36 AM (e)

David Stanton,

Generally I view arguing ““he two situations are certainly not equivalent” as an argument from weakness.

To first order they are the same.

Those given responsibility to keep Baylor on its mission have, in my opinion, a right to say, even to a tenured professor, you can do that, but you cannot use Baylor’s name.

Those given responsibility to keep Olivet on its mission have a right to say you cannot teach such views in our classrooms.

(Irrelevant aside: I wonder if Colling is tenured—many Christian colleges do not have a tenure system. Also irrelevant: I personally think Olivet should let Colling teach his class, assuming he is a good teacher.)

You should either argue that both Baylor and Olivet are right, or they are both wrong. Any other position is inconsistent. It’s an ACLU kind of thing. If you are going to take a positioned stand for those you like, then you have to take the same stand for those you detest, or get off the high ground.

Comment #206567

Posted by GvlGeologist, FCD on September 12, 2007 10:44 AM (e)

heddle said:
You should either argue that both Baylor and Olivet are right, or they are both wrong. Any other position is inconsistent. It’s an ACLU kind of thing. If you are going to take a positioned stand for those you like, then you have to take the same stand for those you detest, or get off the high ground.

I do believe that that is what the original post in this blog suggested that the DI should do.

Comment #206568

Posted by PvM on September 12, 2007 10:46 AM (e)

Raven treat people with some respect or I will respect your choice to have your postings moved to the Bathroom wall.

Comment #206569

Posted by heddle on September 12, 2007 10:53 AM (e)

GvlGeologist, FCD,

I do believe that that is what the original post in this blog suggested that the DI should do.

Yes of course. The original post indeed suggested that the DI, which thinks Baylor is wrong, should also agree that Olivet is wrong.

I am extending that. Those of us who think Baylor was right, or at least within its rights, should also agree that Olivet is right, or at least within its rights.

Comment #206570

Posted by PvM on September 12, 2007 10:57 AM (e)

Yes of course. The original post indeed suggested that the DI, which thinks Baylor is wrong, should also agree that Olivet is wrong.

I am extending that. Those of us who think Baylor was right, or at least within its rights, should also agree that Olivet is right, or at least within its rights.

Consistency is a minimal requirement for claiming the moral high ground yes. I believe that both these universities have the right to protect their ‘good name’.

Comment #206583

Posted by harold on September 12, 2007 11:42 AM (e)

However, trying to restrict the academic freedom of a distinguished scientist and faculty member can defiinately not be equated with pulling the plug on a fake lab with a fake grant doing fake research in order to undermine science by using the name of a reputable insititution to imply respectability. Especially if one of the people involved has already been effectively kicked out for reasons not having to do with his religious views. Tenured faculty have legal rights. Back door “post docs” claiming to do research in a nonexistent laboratory, not so much.

Generally I view arguing ““he two situations are certainly not equivalent” as an argument from weakness.

Really? That’s odd. What are we supposed to do when the two things really are not equivalent?

These two things are not the same, that argument does not come from weakness, and saying that they are “primarily” the same (or whatever that weasel word was) does not change the fact that they are clearly not the same.

Apples are not oranges. That is not an argument from weakness.

To bother to repeat what David Stanton already clarified - Dembski was fired from Baylor for treating his colleagues badly; he is also associated with frequent production of verbose anti-science crackpottery, although that is not why he was fired. He is full-time faculty at a different institution, and owes that institution some respect. He concocted a back door scheme to get a fake grant and work at Baylor as a “post doc”, while drawing a faculty salary from another institution, but denying them the benefit of his ostensible grant money. It is implicit that he wished to associate his fake research with Baylor because he thinks that this will give it more prestige; he may also be motivated by petulance. Baylor was wise to pull the plug on this kind of unprofessional and unethical behavior.

Meanwhile, this thread is about a seemingly fairly honorable guy who teaches and accepts mainstream biology, and is also religious, and chooses to impart his expertise to a religious university. He’s being hounded, on the grounds that even to accept mainstream biology is an affront to the Nazarene religion.

No-one is denying the perfect right of a private institution to behave this way, either. We’re just commenting on how distasteful it is.

Comment #206604

Posted by Donald M on September 12, 2007 12:51 PM (e)

Pim

So when can we expect a cry of outrage from the Discovery Institute, demanding that Colling will be allowed to teach his usual classes?

Has Hell frozen over? Oh the irony…

No doubt you know that Olivet Nazarene is a Christian school with deep historical evangelical roots. Colling had to know the tradition of the school when he signed on. If the teachings of any faculty are in direct contradiction to the confessional statement of the college, then the administration is within its rights to take action. Assuming O N does have some sort of confessional statement that faculty have signed on to (a reasonable assumption given that most religoius institutions do), then if Colling’s teaching violated that, then the administration has reason for action.

Baylor, on the other hand, presents itself as having the same level of academic freedom that its secular fellow schools, such as those in the big 12 do. From the Baylor mission statement:

Aware of its responsibility as the largest Baptist educational institution in the world and as a member of the international community of higher learning, Baylor promotes exemplary teaching, encourages innovative and original research, and supports professional excellence in various specialized disciplines. Advancing the frontiers of knowledge while cultivating a Christian world-view, Baylor holds fast to its original commitment-to build a university that is Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana.

But apparently not when it comes to anything even remotely related to ID. These two situations are not equivalent and there is no “irony”. You’re scrapping for controversy where none exists.

Comment #206605

Posted by secondclass on September 12, 2007 1:14 PM (e)

So when can we expect a cry of outrage from the Discovery Institute, demanding that Colling will be allowed to teach his usual classes?

Today. Kinda. Looks like Crowther reads PT.

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2007/09/wheres_shar…

Comment #206614

Posted by Michael on September 12, 2007 1:34 PM (e)

Here is the “Statement of Faith” from the Olivet Nazarene website.
Nothing about the Bible being literally true.

“At Olivet, learning and faith go hand-in-hand. The University affirms that all truth is God’s truth, and therefore, cannot be segmented into secular and non-secular categories and departments.

Theologically, as a service of the Church of the Nazarene, the University emphasizes the theistic view of God and man as interpreted in the Wesleyan-Arminian tradition.
The University believes that:

1. there is one God—the Father, Son and Holy Spirit;
2. the Old Testament and the New Testament Scriptures, given by plenary inspiration, contain all truth necessary to faith and Christian living;
3. humans are born with a fallen nature and are, therefore, continually inclined to evil;
4. the finally impenitent are hopelessly and eternally lost;
5. the atonement through Jesus Christ is for the whole human race, and that whosoever repents and believes in the Lord Jesus Christ is justified and regenerated and saved from the dominion of sin;
6. believers are to be sanctified wholly, subsequent to regeneration, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ;
7. the Holy Spirit bears witness to the new birth, and also to the entire sanctification of believers; and
8. our Lord will return, the dead will be raised and the final judgment will take place.”

Comment #206615

Posted by harold on September 12, 2007 1:38 PM (e)

Donald M.

No doubt you know that Olivet Nazarene is a Christian school with deep historical evangelical roots. Colling had to know the tradition of the school when he signed on. If the teachings of any faculty are in direct contradiction to the confessional statement of the college, then the administration is within its rights to take action.

I already said that. New emphasis mine

Meanwhile, this thread is about a seemingly fairly honorable guy who teaches and accepts mainstream biology, and is also religious, and chooses to impart his expertise to a religious university. He’s being hounded, on the grounds that even to accept mainstream biology is an affront to the Nazarene religion.

No-one is denying the perfect right of a private institution to behave this way, either. We’re just commenting on how distasteful it is.

In addition to the distasteful behavior of the direct antagonists here, the DI piece linked above is hypocritical.

But apparently you don’t find it distasteful. It’s a subjective valuation.

What is your personal view of the age of the earth, out of curiousity?

Comment #206616

Posted by Erasmus on September 12, 2007 1:41 PM (e)

Crowther is a mealy-mouthed equivocating dishonest little worm.

Comment #206635

Posted by CJColucci on September 12, 2007 3:03 PM (e)

ONU seems to be well within its rights to do what it is doing, and its critics are well within their rights to say that it stinks. As for the unfortunate Professor Colling, sad as his situation is, as the old saying goes, lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.

Comment #206655

Posted by David Stanton on September 12, 2007 3:37 PM (e)

Heddle wrote:

Generally I view arguing “the two situations are certainly not equivalent” as an argument from weakness.”

Respectfully, I view arguing that the two situations are equivalent is an argument that is not worthy of consideration.

“To first order they are the same.”

I agree. Academic freedom is certainly the central issue in both cases here. That does not even imply that the situations are equivalent.

“Those given responsibility to keep Baylor on its mission have, in my opinion, a right to say, even to a tenured professor, you can do that, but you cannot use Baylor’s name.

Those given responsibility to keep Olivet on its mission have a right to say you cannot teach such views in our classrooms.”

I agree. But again, saying that you cannot use the university name for promotion of religious views is definately not equivalent to saying that you cannot teach science in a science classroom.

Still, I need to clarify this. To me it doesn’t seem like teaching evolution in Biology class violates the statement of faith for the university. Of course, if Collings knew that that was in fact the way in which the statement would be interpreted, then perhaps he is getting exactly what he asked for. Perhaps he is even getting exactly what he wanted. Then the question becomes whether this is legal for the university to do or not. To me, any institution that accepts public funds is not free to decide the rules. If the university uses public funds then this is definately illegal and Collings will have legal recourse. If the university is funded completely privately, then they are probably within their rights to demand compliance to religious doctrine from their faculty. That is something Collings should have considered before being hired to work there.

Comment #206744

Posted by PvM on September 12, 2007 10:19 PM (e)

So when can we expect Crowther and the DI to start posting on the viewpoint discrimination of Colling?
Or is viewpoint discrimination ok if you can still find a job afterwards? What is the standard by which the DI measures the severity of viewpoint discrimination?

One comes to mind: Does it involve exposing the scientific vacuity of ID? If so, it must surely be viewpoint discrimination.

Comment #206747

Posted by PvM on September 12, 2007 10:26 PM (e)

But apparently not when it comes to anything even remotely related to ID. These two situations are not equivalent and there is no “irony”. You’re scrapping for controversy where none exists.

Why is it that Donald M could check the Baylor position but did not seem to find time to check the Nazarene position. He could have saved himself a lot of embarassment that way.

Funny how ID apologetics are trying to explain why viewpoint discrimination is sometimes allowed and sometimes it isn’t…

Consistency is not their strongest virtue…

Comment #206749

Posted by PvM on September 12, 2007 10:32 PM (e)

Respectfully, I view arguing that the two situations are equivalent is an argument that is not worthy of consideration.

I’d argue that they have more in common than being different. In both cases, the university decided to protect its reputation, its good name. One based on religious motives, the other one based on scientific motives. In both cases, either there was or was not a viewpoint discrimination argument to be made.

Of course, ID viewpoint discrimination is somehow worse… If ID proponents are to be believed. But I have found IDers to be seldomly consistent in their claims.

Seems to me that the whining by the DI is somewhat one sided and disingenuous. Which is perhaps why it has failed to impress most anyone… They lost a great PR opportunity, once again just after Dembski decided to crow victory. Some may see in this a repetition of history, others would blame it to unintelligent design and yet others would stand amazed at the powers of ID to self deflate.

Comment #206950

Posted by Beagle2 on September 13, 2007 11:17 AM (e)

“Bet the Roman and British empires looked similar at their ends.”

I wasn’t around at the Fall of Rome, but the British Empire ‘fell’ around 1947 (Indian independence). History is oddly silent on the influence of crazy religious extremists. History is rather more eloquent on the debilitating effects of the two world wars…

Comment #206971

Posted by raven on September 13, 2007 11:51 AM (e)

“Bet the Roman and British empires looked similar at their ends.”

I wasn’t around at the Fall of Rome, but the British Empire ‘fell’ around 1947 (Indian independence). History is oddly silent on the influence of crazy religious extremists. History is rather more eloquent on the debilitating effects of the two world wars…

We all were around for the fall of the last great empire, the USSR. That was a combination of nationalism among the conquered and a mickey mouse economic system.

Toynbee pointed out that 19 of 22 civilizations that fell, fell from within. They decayed internally. The causes all differ in detail but that is the property they all have in common. The salient other point is that it didn’t happen all at once without any warning. Things just sort of meandered around slowly getting worse.

In our case, it won’t be religious extremists themselves but what they do. Speaking of wars, the war in Iraq is putting huge strains on our country. Bush, the theocrat claimed early on that god told him to do it and was working through him. The congress, controlled by the theocratic party went along. Some fundies claim that this is part of a great clash of civilizations, Jehovah versus Allah and we have to kill all of them before they kill all of us. Since there are 2 billion Xians, and 1.4 billion Moslems, this is a recipe for a gigantic nearly eternal war.

All civilizations fall sooner or later. It could be our turn. OTOH, there is a real definite backlash against fundie cultists. This is one time, I wouldn’t mind being wrong.

Comment #206983

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on September 13, 2007 12:25 PM (e)

I wasn’t around at the Fall of Rome, but the British Empire ‘fell’ around 1947 (Indian independence). History is oddly silent on the influence of crazy religious extremists. History is rather more eloquent on the debilitating effects of the two world wars…

So Gandhi had nothing to do with it?

Comment #206996

Posted by Aagcobb on September 13, 2007 1:04 PM (e)

Hi Raven,

“the war in Iraq is putting huge strains on our country.”

Actually, though the war is a pointless tragedy, ruining or ending the lives of thousands of Americans and countless Iraqis, its virtually invisible here in the US. Thats a big reason why the anti-war movement is so listless. Most Americans are unaffected by the war, unlike in the Vietnam War when the draft threatened the lives of millions of unwilling young people. The war is putting a huge strain on the Army, which will be forced to draw down troops next spring simply because its run out of warm bodies to send. The most beneficial side affect of the war is that its put a huge strain on the GOP and its theocrats, who already lost control of the Congress last year, and seem likely to lose even more seats and hopefully the White House next year. Shame it took the pointless deaths of so many people to turn back the tide of idiocy here at home.

Comment #207150

Posted by Richard Colling on September 13, 2007 9:51 PM (e)

I think I can answer most of the questions posed here if anyone is still interested in this two day old news.
Thanks for your interest and support.
Rick Colling

Comment #207160

Posted by PvM on September 13, 2007 10:25 PM (e)

I think I can answer most of the questions posed here if anyone is still interested in this two day old news.

Would love to hear more.

Comment #207169

Posted by Richard Colling on September 13, 2007 11:12 PM (e)

How much do you want to hear? I don’t want to intrude on a board upon which I have never before posted. If you like, I will tell a short version, then respond to questions. How is that?

Comment #207173

Posted by Sir_Toejam on September 13, 2007 11:20 PM (e)

well, it’s Pim’s thread, but I’d love to hear whatever you are willing to share myself.

do you feel yourself to be in physical danger at this point?

Comment #207175

Posted by PvM on September 13, 2007 11:23 PM (e)

Consider yourself my guest. I am the poster of the original blog entry (PvM). You are welcome to share as much or as little you consider to be appropriate.

To others, please extend your courtesy to Dr Colling as he is my guest. I have no problems with asking him questions, I am just asking for everyone to engage in a polite conversation.

Comment #207338

Posted by Richard Colling on September 14, 2007 9:08 AM (e)

I will post later today.

Comment #207343

Posted by heddle on September 14, 2007 9:24 AM (e)

Rick Colling,

On another board, I read this statement attributed to you:

“In a culture and society increasingly driven by advances in science and technology, it is a sad day in the life of a Christian university when new understanding and insights into God’s creation revealed by biology and genetics are viewed as a threat to faith. Students deserve better. Those who continue set biology at odds with the Bible do a terrible disservice to both.”

As a fellow professor/scientist/Christian I say “amen.” I hope ONU comes to its senses.

Comment #207346

Posted by PvM on September 14, 2007 10:07 AM (e)

The other board

“People should not feel they have to deny reality in order to experience their faith,” he says.

Amen to that… And yet, is that not exactly what ID is trying to do?

Comment #207507

Posted by Ondoher on September 14, 2007 4:32 PM (e)

Perhaps we can promote Dr. Colling’s comments as a guest post, rather just comments on a two day old thread.

A. Lurker

Comment #207632

Posted by Richard Colling on September 14, 2007 8:33 PM (e)

Thank you friends for your interest, analysis, and support. Sorry for the long post. I did not intend this when I began. The words just kept coming. I posted a version of this on a related site.
There is so much more to this story, but it is not a happy story - at least not yet. Nevertheless to date, I am trying to stay positive and continue to communicate a message of peace and harmony between science and faith/biology and the Bible. This was, and continues to be my heart. But alas, what I have learned is that many fundamentalist Christians do not consider theistic evolution Christians as brothers, but rather as enemies. The real and discouraging message emanating from our university at this time appears to be that a small minority, representing a fundamentalist creationist cohort from the midwestern region are upset that the president allows a biology professor (Colling) to teach evolution (even though there are only 2 lectures for the entire semester directly addressing the topic of evolution) - apparently because he has written a book that acknowledges evolution could be considered as a part of God’s creative plan. They seem convinced that evolution is false teaching and contrary to scripture. However, the truth is that our denomination and university statements are fully accepting of verifiable scientific discoveries - including evolution. (It really is, (for the most part) an outstanding open-minded Christian denomination!) I teach all my biology courses with accuracy and integrity, and then encourage those students who come from the more conservative homes to keep an open mind. I try to help them explore ways in which these remarkable evolutionary mechanisms might actually be considered compatible (or at least not inconsistent with) with belief in God. This approach to teaching is shared by the other biology and geology faculty here as well. However, I am the only one who has published a highly visible book. Therefore, I have become the lightning rod, and according to the president, this is impacting his church relationships.
I love my students and they love me. These students (the next generation) want and deserve the real stuff.
After 26 years of service, devotedly caring for my students and their intellectual and spiritual development, it is most discouraging that a few uninformed and scientifically challenged religious leaders at our school are able to hold such sway. There are precious principles at stake in this situation: principles of truth and integrity, education and scholarship, Christian values, and most of all personal and institutional fidelity to the university mission statement.
The Biology
The truth is that there is no such thing as Christian Biology. Biology simply is what it is. If the fossil record describing evolution contained any gaps in the historical scientific narrative, more recent data derived from the digital DNA code of the human genome now removes any trace of doubt: Human beings are connected with all other life on the planet. Human chromosome #2 is a clear fusion product of two ape chromosomes; gene sequence and organization comparisons demonstrate connectedness; the shared locations of pseudogenes, endogenous retroviral insertion sequences, transposons, and genetic inversions within the chromosomes and between species (including humans and apes) all convey the same compelling scientific story: We are evolutionary creations!
Continued denial of evolution is no longer a viable option for an informed Christian community if there is a desire to be credible voices in the culture.
So what is the most distinctive characteristic that defines a genuine Christian? Jesus said it himself, and in a way, it seems so simple: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength –and your neighbor as yourself.” Thus the legalism of Christian fundamentalism, and the continued emphasis on the non-essentials of religious faith actually erode the primary and most crucial messages of the Christian faith – love, forgiveness, relationship and tolerance. Ironically, yet sadly, these people have been around for a long time: In Jesus’ day, they were called Pharisees, and Jesus called them “Blind Guides”.(Matt. 23:24)
My friends, I think that science has so much to teach us about our world and how we should best live in peace and harmony in its increasingly crowded confines. We should wholeheartedly embrace that knowledge and its enormous potential. But I also believe that the Christian faith (and many others as well!) hold immense value for humanity – touching us in ways that elude the knowledge and understanding derived solely from science. Therefore, it seems to me that anyone who turns their back on either of these domains of life automatically misses half of the richness that life has to offer.
Will honest good people labor side by side as brothers together to give both domains a chance to work their synergistic magic? I look forward to the day.
All best to you,
Rick Colling

Comment #207635

Posted by Richard Colling on September 14, 2007 8:38 PM (e)

Thank you friends for your interest, analysis, and support. Sorry for the long post. I did not intend this when I began. The words just kept coming. I posted a version of this on a related site.
There is so much more to this story, but it is not a happy story - at least not yet. Nevertheless to date, I am trying to stay positive and continue to communicate a message of peace and harmony between science and faith/biology and the Bible. This was, and continues to be my heart. But alas, what I have learned is that many fundamentalist Christians do not consider theistic evolution Christians as brothers, but rather as enemies. The real and discouraging message emanating from our university at this time appears to be that a small minority, representing a fundamentalist creationist cohort from the midwestern region are upset that the president allows a biology professor (Colling) to teach evolution (even though there are only 2 lectures for the entire semester directly addressing the topic of evolution) - apparently because he has written a book that acknowledges evolution could be considered as a part of God’s creative plan. They seem convinced that evolution is false teaching and contrary to scripture. However, the truth is that our denomination and university statements are fully accepting of verifiable scientific discoveries - including evolution. (It really is, (for the most part) an outstanding open-minded Christian denomination!) I teach all my biology courses with accuracy and integrity, and then encourage those students who come from the more conservative homes to keep an open mind. I try to help them explore ways in which these remarkable evolutionary mechanisms might actually be considered compatible (or at least not inconsistent with) with belief in God. This approach to teaching is shared by the other biology and geology faculty here as well. However, I am the only one who has published a highly visible book. Therefore, I have become the lightning rod, and according to the president, this is impacting his church relationships.
I love my students and they love me. These students (the next generation) want and deserve the real stuff.
After 26 years of service, devotedly caring for my students and their intellectual and spiritual development, it is most discouraging that a few uninformed and scientifically challenged religious leaders at our school are able to hold such sway. There are precious principles at stake in this situation: principles of truth and integrity, education and scholarship, Christian values, and most of all personal and institutional fidelity to the university mission statement.
The Biology
The truth is that there is no such thing as Christian Biology. Biology simply is what it is. If the fossil record describing evolution contained any gaps in the historical scientific narrative, more recent data derived from the digital DNA code of the human genome now removes any trace of doubt: Human beings are connected with all other life on the planet. Human chromosome #2 is a clear fusion product of two ape chromosomes; gene sequence and organization comparisons demonstrate connectedness; the shared locations of pseudogenes, endogenous retroviral insertion sequences, transposons, and genetic inversions within the chromosomes and between species (including humans and apes) all convey the same compelling scientific story: We are evolutionary creations!
Continued denial of evolution is no longer a viable option for an informed Christian community if there is a desire to be credible voices in the culture.
So what is the most distinctive characteristic that defines a genuine Christian? Jesus said it himself, and in a way, it seems so simple: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength –and your neighbor as yourself.” Thus the legalism of Christian fundamentalism, and the continued emphasis on the non-essentials of religious faith actually erode the primary and most crucial messages of the Christian faith – love, forgiveness, relationship and tolerance. Ironically, yet sadly, these people have been around for a long time: In Jesus’ day, they were called Pharisees, and Jesus called them “Blind Guides”.(Matt. 23:24)
My friends, I think that science has so much to teach us about our world and how we should best live in peace and harmony in its increasingly crowded confines. We should wholeheartedly embrace that knowledge and its enormous potential. But I also believe that the Christian faith (and many others as well!) hold immense value for humanity – touching us in ways that elude the knowledge and understanding derived solely from science. Therefore, it seems to me that anyone who turns their back on either of these domains of life automatically misses half of the richness that life has to offer.
Will honest good people labor side by side as brothers together to give both domains a chance to work their synergistic magic? I look forward to the day.
All best to you,
Rick Colling

Comment #207650

Posted by Sir_Toejam on September 14, 2007 9:17 PM (e)

Therefore, I have become the lightning rod, and according to the president, this is impacting his church social relationships.

that’s likely more accurate.

good luck, Rick.

keep us posted on how it turns out for you, but in the meantime, have you felt yourself in any physical danger from severe reactionaries as yet?

hopefully the inevitable threatening emails and letters have been mostly silly at this point?

Comment #207651

Posted by Sir_Toejam on September 14, 2007 9:20 PM (e)

Continued denial of evolution is no longer a viable option for an informed Christian community if there is a desire to be credible voices in the culture.

Couldn’t add a thing to that, other than to broaden it to the community at large, not just the christian community.

Comment #207660

Posted by Richard Colling on September 14, 2007 9:37 PM (e)

Thanks for the kind words. Am I posting in the appropriate manner? Right place etc?

I have never felt physically threatened, except for a few days when the book first came out in Dec. 2004. Our building maintenance supervisor was a bit more cautious about who he would direct to my office if a stranger came into the building.

Actually, the feedback I have received in the past few days has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive. Only one hate mail this morning. I thanked her for taking the time to communicate her views to me.

The students and alums who know me are really beginning to mobilize. I heard that the president’s office is receiving many very upset phone calls and emails from people supporting me and my work. Remember, I have been here for 26 years loving and caring and investing my life in the lives of my students. Calculate ~25 major graduating each year for 26 years. This translates into a large number of alumni who know that these accusations of eroding the faith of students with my book or teaching is a complete fundamentalist fabrication.

I am hopeful that we are beginning to turn a corner.

I noted some references to the Intelligent design movement. When the dover trial was ongoing, I wrote an OP Ed for the York Dispatch in which I tried to communicate the idea that a “God of the Gaps” or “Creationism through the Back Door” ploy in Dover would be counterproductive to the cause of Christian faith - making it appear that all Christians support these dead-end ideas. Nothing could be further from the truth. I know very few Christian biologists in higher education who support either. But in the churches,now that is a different matter.

Comment #207662

Posted by Sir_Toejam on September 14, 2007 9:52 PM (e)

Actually, the feedback I have received in the past few days has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive. Only one hate mail this morning. I thanked her for taking the time to communicate her views to me.

excellent news; there have been far more violent responses in other similar venues over the last couple of years.

The students and alums who know me are really beginning to mobilize. I heard that the president’s office is receiving many very upset phone calls and emails from people supporting me and my work.

even more excellent news.

But in the churches,now that is a different matter.

you are in a unique position to encourage taking the fight to that front, as it is by and large where most of the ignorance gets repeated, and encouraged.

er, after you get your job back, anyway.

:p

Comment #207683

Posted by David Stanton on September 14, 2007 10:47 PM (e)

Dr. Colling,

Thank you so much for taking the time to inform us of the situation. It would seem that the university will have to reconsider it’s position on this issue.

Feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but it is my understanding that you have always taught evolution in your biology courses and that your fellow biologists have also done so as well. If this is indeed the case, then it would seem that you are most likely correct in your view that your problems stem mainly from your public visibility. If that is the case, then it would seem that the university cannot claim that you have violated their statement of faith. They certainly cannot demonstrate a consistent enforcement of that code. It would seem to me then that this is a clear case of discrimination and that you would most likely have legal recourse if you so choose. That would of course depend on what punative measures the university was planning on taking. If you have a tenure system, I am sure that that will help a great deal.

In any event, I am heartened to hear that you have received such strong support. I for one applaud your courageous stand and your uncompromising defense of science. I am sure that your students also appreciate how much you obviously care about them and that you put your concern for their intellectual growth above your own personal security. You have provided an example of integrity that others would do well to emulate. I am sure that you will find many supporters here at PT. Good luck.

Comment #207722

Posted by raven on September 15, 2007 12:41 AM (e)

Dr. Colling:

But alas, what I have learned is that many fundamentalist Christians do not consider theistic evolution Christians as brothers, but rather as enemies.

How odd. Most mainstream Protestant denominations worldwide are OK with science and evolution. The Catholic church, 1/2 of all Xians is also OK with it as the last two Popes have explained, Ratzinger just a month or so ago.

So these fundamentalists have decided to excommunicate the majority of the world’s Xians from the faith? Well, really, who appointed them judge and jury. The Book says quite clearly that judgement and vengeance are God’s not man’s. In many places.

The Catholic church torched Giordano Bruno at the stake in part for theorizing that the earth orbited the sun, not vice versa. They almost burned Galileo for the same thing but he was smart enough to lie and recant. They learned a lesson there and haven’t too much meddled with science since then.

Making people believe 4,000 year old bronze age stories adequately describes a 13.7 billion year old universe and 4.5 billion year old earth, far more complicated then the old sheepherders could imagine, is a poor sword. Many will buy it out of fear. Just as many will end up agnostics or atheists. I’ve read the new militant atheist blogs. Quite a few deconverted when they had to choose between scientific knowledge or ancient mythology without a shred of evidence.

Pandasthumb is a blog for scientists and spectators interested in evolutionary biology and/or the attack on science. We are of all faiths and none whatsoever. There is no better place that hashes out these subjects.

Luck to you. Galileo is a modern day hero but, at the time I doubt if he thought they were having fun yet.

Comment #207777

Posted by Sir_Toejam on September 15, 2007 3:12 AM (e)

This will be something worthy to keep tabs on, I think. I’m very curious to see how this all turns out, given that I rather feel that people like Colling will be far better equipped to deal with the real issues within the religious than trying to “frame” the issue within the scientific community instead.

Comment #208004

Posted by Richard Colling on September 15, 2007 2:41 PM (e)

I have not violated any faith statements or compromised myself in any way professionally. If the people who do not like me want me terminated, they will have to manufacture something. But given the events of the past two years or so, I do not know who can be trusted to speak the truth and actually stand firm on their word. So consequently, I fully subscribe to the scriptural directive to be “wary as a serpent, and harmless as a dove” With emphasis on the wary part these days!

I don’t know if this will get better or worse in the short term, but based upon the lack of responsiveness from the president, I think probably much worse before better. Depending on a few pivotal events over the next week or so, it may be resolved, or get much worse. The general board of trustee meeting is in early October, and I can’t imagine this not being a subject of discussion.

As far as sharing these thoughts with you folks, I am just a pretty open guy. I have read some of your posts in the past, and many of you make excellent points regarding science education, intelligent(??)design, creationism and such. And I appreciate your accepting spirit.

Take care. I am way behind in many things, and next week could be even busier.

There were two follow-up articles in our local newspaper (the Kankakee Daily Journal) this week with a number of reader comments on the situation. IT is pretty clear that those who actually know me or have had me for class are quite supportive.

I will probably not get back here until at least Monday.
Much to do…

Rick

Comment #208010

Posted by Sir_Toejam on September 15, 2007 3:15 PM (e)

they will have to manufacture something.

LOL.

uh, sorry to say it, but that’s pretty much all they ARE good at.

be careful you don’t encourage them TOO much, Richard.

;)