Entrenched Science Departments Call for Censorship at Southern Methodist University
DALLAS--Darwinists at Southern Methodist University issued a demand this week that the university withdraw permission for a scientific conference about intelligent design to be held on campus.
Discovery Institute and the SMU Christian Legal Society obtained permission to rent McFarlin Auditorium for a two-day conference on "Darwin vs. Design," featuring presentations by the nation's leading intelligent design scientists. The Departments of Anthropology, Biological Sciences, and Geological Sciences reacted with a letter objecting to the university's agreement to host the conference. The Institute described the letter as an effort to censor scientists and stifle debate.
"Their attempt to censor scientific discussion of the evidence shows that their interest is not in obtaining a fair result but in keeping students from learning about the nature of the debate," said Discovery Institute president Bruce Chapman. "Darwin himself wrote that 'a fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.'"
In a statement issued by the Southern Methodist University Provost's office, the university declined to cancel the upcoming Darwin vs. Design conference scheduled for April 13-14. The statement included a response from three of the university's science departments: "In this case, the Departments of Anthropology, Biological Sciences, and Geological Sciences in SMU's Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences wish to reaffirm their commitment to applying rigorous scientific principles to teaching and research on the subject of evolution."
"Their response proves why such a conference is needed," Bruce Chapman replied. "Applying rigorous scientific principles to teaching and researching evolution requires careful examination of the scientific evidence for both Darwinism and intelligent design."