Thursday, October 04, 2012
Oklahoma's Southern Baptists have been at war with science since the beginning of the fundamentalist takeover of the SBC in 1979. Literal interpretations of the Bible have always been at odds with scientific truth and methodology. The fundamentalist's intentional disdain for science was bound to have an effect on the educational institutions that they took over. Until recently, the fundamentalists who control Oklahoma Baptist University have been hiring professors who teach a widely publicized but unsubstantiated pseudo-scientific theory knows as "Intelligent Design." This theory and its advocates suffered a major setback from the U.S. District Court's decision in the Kitzmiller vs. The Dover Area School District (2005). Had the trustees and administration at OBU studied the Kitzmiller decision, they could have learned a lot about genuine science and the legitimate use of the scientific method from the conservative judge who rendered that decision. Instead, they decided to retreat to a pre-scientific worldview and start hiring professors who teach that the universe is a mere 6,000 years old. Yesterday OBU installed Dr. Ishwaran Mudliar as the Dickinson Chair of Religion. Dr. Mudliar appears to be an unabashed young earth creationist. He wrote a guest article on "The Creationist worldview according to the Bible" for the Baptist Messenger last May. In it he offered a straightforward literal interpretation of Genesis: "the holy Bible declares that the eternal God created the universe out of nothing in six days, and rested on the seventh day (Gen. 1:1-2:3; Ex. 20:8-11)." At the end of the article he recommends a book that advocates young earth creationism. Oklahoma's fundamentalists are probably delighted with this new addition to the faculty at OBU, but the school's academic reputation is sure to suffer. Parents would be advised to send their children to a school where people believe in a God who is not so small and where minds are encouraged to expand.
Posted by Bruce Prescott at 11:22 AM