Michael Behe is a professor at Lehigh University. He’s also a crank, marginalized and mocked and belittled in academia, and regarded as an ignorant ideologue. But he’s still holding his position and he’s still allowed to express himself. That’s the principled position we hold in academia — he’s allowed to speak even stupidly, and we’re allowed to fire back.
That’s not the way creationists work, though. Bruce Waltke is apparently a respected Old Testament scholar who used to work at the Reformed Theological Seminary. Not any more, though. He made the mistake of speaking in a BioLogos-sponsored seminar, saying that you could be a Christian, you could even believe the Bible was inerrant, and you could also believe in evolution. He was promptly shown the door, but not because what he said was irrational and incoherent, but because evolution is a proscribed subject.
But while Milton insisted that this provides for “a diversity” of views, he acknowledged that others are not permitted. Darwinian views, and any suggestion that humans didn’t arrive on earth directly from being created by God (as opposed to having evolved from other forms of life) are not allowed, he said, and faculty members know this.
This is a tough one for me. The article is full of opinion from loons affiliated with BioLogos and the Templeton Foundation, organizations that I think are dangerous because they willfully poison science with superstition, so it hurts to agree with them at all, especially since they only endorse the compatibility of religion and science as a tool to smuggle lies into the search for truth…but they are right to condemn the closed-mindedness of these theologians.
Of course, I also have a tiny amount of sympathy for the theologians. Their beliefs are so ridiculous (and I include the beliefs of Waltke and the followers of BioLogos and Templeton) that any introduction of reason and evidence-based thinking risks inducing the meltdown of the elaborately rickety structure of their belief. The RTS should be reassured, though: BioLogos and Templeton both show that at least some people’s stupidity can perennially persist even in the face of facts that show they are wrong.