Hilarity continues to roll out of Waco. The creationists can’t even shoot film straight.
Baylor University’s recent controversy regarding a professor’s intelligent design-related Web site took a dramatic turn Thursday when a film crew went to President John Lilley’s office, hoping to speak to him about what they deem academic suppression.
But Lilley was out of town.
Mark Mathis, associate producer for the film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, and a film crew went to Lilley’s office about 10 a.m. When they learned Lilley was in Houston and unavailable Thursday, Mathis asked to speak with Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogleman.
Not satisfied with the hoax e-mail attributed to President Lilly by Bill Dembski, the ID version of the Keystone Kops tried to ambush Lilly. I don’t endorse ambush journalism even when the journalists are honest and competent, but Mathis’s dishonesty and lack of manners in dealing with other stars of his films suggest Mathis is the last person on Earth who should be doing such stuff.
Mathis said Stein and the film’s producers believe Baylor’s removal of distinguished engineering professor Robert Marks’ Web site devoted to evolutionary informatics — a concept Marks’ collaborator, William Dembski, termed “friendly” to intelligent design — from its server is an example of academic suppression.
While Baylor officials have said the site was removed for procedural reasons, namely the absence of a disclaimer separating the university from involvement in Marks’ research, Mathis believes it was taken down because of its content.
“To us, it seems pretty obvious what’s going on with Professor Marks’ Web site. . . . To us, that’s academic persecution and suppression,” Mathis said. “What is the problem with tenured, distinguished university professors pursuing a scientific idea? What’s wrong with that? It’s especially interesting in the case of Baylor, in that this is happening at a Christian university.”
Baylor provost Randall O’Brien, who was in New York on Thursday, said Marks is free to conduct evolutionary informatics research and, like Fogleman, denied the site was removed because of its content.
“What we say is you have the freedom to formulate your own views and so forth, just make sure that you issue a disclaimer that your particular view does not necessarily express the view of Baylor University,” O’Brien said. “We fully endorse the right and responsibilities of academic freedom.”
While Mathis was at Baylor, he could have ambushed Prof. Marks, and challenged Marks to tell him what Marks’ research hopes to find, and asked Marks to show the lab for the world.
It would have been the first time that anyone has ever caught on film that elusive animal, the intelligence design research facility.
If the lab exists, it would be the first time ever caught on film. If it exists.