Third and Long for ID

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Every university has people that work on university P.R., recruitment of new students, and alumni donations. They especially worry about the “image” of the university. Often, sports can have a disproportionate impact on that image. When I was at tiny little Valparaiso our basketball team made it to the NCAA playoffs, and via a miracle shot by Bryce Drew (son of the coach) we made it to the Sweet 16. I think student applications quadrupled the next year.

The sports program of Baylor has had some very bad public scandals in recent history. Fortunately, it looks like they are on the mend (I note with interest that Baylor hired Valpo’s basketball coach a few years back), and this is all for the good, both for the school and its beleagured PR people. But I have to say that this article by sports writer J.V. Holland about the Baylor football team and its upcoming game vs. the Washington State Cougars might leave something to be desired from a P.R. standpoint. Check out the opening paragraphs of this football story:

Baylor aiming for Intelligent Design on field

By J.V. HOLLAND Cougfan.com Correspondent Posted Sep 12, 2006

TO THE CHAGRIN OF BAYLOR football fans, once steeped in the steady success of Grant Teaff during his Hall of Fame coaching career that concluded in 1992, their East-Central Texas school is now better known for its controversial role in the dubious effort to move the study of creationism, typically limited to philosophy and religion classes, into the arena of science.

Once upon a time, the name Baylor conjured images of a giant slayer in the Southwest Conference. In the late 70s and early 80s, Bears All-American Mike Singletary, tenacious on the field and a scholar off it, was the exemplar of all that was good about college football.

Nowadays you mention Baylor and you’re more likely to get a blank stare or a reference to Charles Darwin rolling over in his grave.

Indeed, on the gridiron, the Bears of the last decade could have used a heavy infusion of intelligent design. They’ve gone 10 straight seasons without a winning record. Last year’s 5-6 showing marked the first time in eight campaigns they won more than three games.

In the halls of academia, however, Baylor has been a regular in the headlines.

I can hear the groans in the PR office from here. The story continues:

It started with the school’s creation of an Intelligent Design research center in 1999 and ended with what has been described as a pitched battle between moderate and fundamentalist Christians for the soul of the university. In the process, wrote a national magazine, “one university president fell, the theory of Intelligent Design was wedged into the curriculum and then railroaded out, the faculty went to the mat to defend its academic freedom policy, alumni groups splintered, and headlines screamed blow-by-blow accounts.”

Now, let’s talk about the other team, the Cougars. Can we continue the ID connection? Why yes, we can!

Ironically, Baylor’s public relations woes and internal identity crisis can be traced to the city where the Bears will be playing Washington State’s Cougars this Saturday: Seattle.

The notion of refashioning creationism into “intelligent design,” and then pushing it as legitimate science rather than philosophy or faith, was hatched at the Seattle-based Discovery Institute. And Baylor came to Seattle to find a director for its now-defunct Intelligent Design research center.

Will we talk about football at some point? Watch this transition, it’s a masterpiece:

When it comes to evolution, though, Baylor head coach Guy Morriss is hell bent on transmutating the Bears back into winners. The former Philadelphia Eagles standout and Kentucky head coach has by all accounts got Baylor back on the road to respectability. Last year, his third in Waco, the Bears started 3-0 and later won their first-ever Big 12 road game, at Iowa State, since joining the conference in 1996. The season before, the Bears pulled a huge upset when they knocked off former Southwest Conference rival Texas A&M.

Baylor is 1-1 this season. They trounced Division I-AA Northwestern State of Louisiana 47-10 on Saturday and fell to No. 22-ranked TCU 17-7 the week before. The TCU game offered a couple of interesting twists. Baylor held the Horned Frogs scoreless in the first half — the first time they’d done that to a Division I-A opponent since 2000. And, they lost the game — the first time under Morriss that the Bears held an opponent to less than 20 points and failed to win.

The undisputed leaders of the Bears are quarterback Shawn Bell and cornerback C.J. Wilson. Bell, named to the 2006 Manning Award Watch List., is a fifth-year senior and already Baylor’s all-time leader in completion percentage (.599), touchdown-to-interception ratio (2.71) and interception percentage (.013). He also ranks in the top 10 in a slew of other categories. Wilson is a Thorpe Award and All-America candidate. He recorded 45 tackles as a junior to rank seventh on the squad. He recorded a team-high five interceptions and had five pass breakups.

As for Washington State, Coach Morriss is concerned with ball control.

“Well I talked to (offensive coordinator) Lee [Hays] who was up here last night watching their stuff,” Morriss said Sunday. “Our offense is going to have to play this week. We’re going to have to help our defense out like they’ve helped us out in the last two. They have a very good offense. Hopefully, we can move the ball and take advantage of opportunities so we can put some points up.”

Kick off is set for 2 pm at Qwest Field. Oddsmakers have installed the Cougars as 13 1/2-point favorites.

Injury Update Out Indefinitely – Zach Enyeart (8/23 knee sprain), Joe Eppele (9/7 shoulder surgery), Scott Friberg (8/22 hip/right knee sprain), Arkelon Hall (8/12 fibula fracture), Ansley Jean-Jacques (9/9 thumb surgery), Grady Maxwell (8/11 knee surgery), Matt Mullennix (9/6 ACL surgery), Andy Roof (8/11 thumb surgery), Jason Stripling (shoulder surgery recovery). No Practice – Faevae’i Ahmu (8/29 partial stress fracture, foot), Markus Dawes (9/2 high ankle sprain) Limited – Don Turner (9/2 hip contusion), Michael Willis (9/2 shoulder sprain), DeMaundray Woolridge (9/2 thigh bruise)

X-rays on Cody Boyd’s injured hand were negative, Washington State SID said Tuesday afternoon. The senior tight end, who hurt his hand in Washington State’s 56-10 win over Idaho Saturday, is expected to practice Tuesday.

Unfortunately there is no snappy one-liner at the end, but I’m sure the PT denizens can come up with a few…

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36 Comments

I’m not much of a football fan, but after reading this thread, I am rooting for the Cougars to run over those other guys…

Actually, it’s pretty clear that the Baylor faculty have fought pretty hard to avoid Baylor becoming a haven for ID pseudoscience. So don’t root against them for that.

As a west coaster, however, I am obligated to root for the Pac-10 team.

It’s hard for a Seattlite like myself to have my beautiful (at least in the summer) city associated with this nonsense…we don’t have much of a creationist problem up here. Hell, nobody here has even heard of the Discovery Institute!

I really wonder what it’s like to live in the South where dealing with fundamentalists like these people is a daily affair. Must be maddening.

1. So Dembski is to blame for Morriss leaving UK? I knew there was a reason I didn’t like him…

2. Just to be fair to Baylor, if we’re gonna talk sports, first up has to be their women’s basketball program. IMO it rescued their athletics department from utter disgrace. Their championship run was pretty special.

3. Now we’re really talkin’ religion. Services are held on Friday nights throughout the fall.

Today, as I walked through the halls of our science building here, I came across the office of one of the Biology professors, and his door was covered with comics and newspaper clippings all railing against intelligent design, including some rather humoruous commentaries on op-eds written by faculty members from non-science departments.

A person walking past me remarked that the office belonged to “one of those crazy professors.” After a few minutes of waiting, almost as if to see if I’d leave, the same person came back, unlocked the door, and sat down at the desk. It made me smile, at least. I promised to bring him a printout of the alternative textbook disclaimers for his door.

So far, I must say that every one of my science professors have all come out against intelligent design, which makes me feel good, because now I’m comfortable knowing my degree won’t be useless when I graduate from here.

Comment #128877

Posted by Sounder on September 12, 2006 08:31 PM (e) | kill

It’s hard for a Seattlite like myself to have my beautiful (at least in the summer) city associated with this nonsense…we don’t have much of a creationist problem up here. Hell, nobody here has even heard of the Discovery Institute!

I really wonder what it’s like to live in the South where dealing with fundamentalists like these people is a daily affair. Must be maddening.

Well, it is in the beginning. I was the most pissed-off 18-year-old you ever knew. (for the record, I’ve lived in north florida, georgia, texas, indiana, and north carolina) A friend of mine told me that what he remembers most from that time was that nearly every conversation of mine began with “You’re wrong, and here’s why…”

but after a while, you realize that being mad is pointless, and you decide not to get angry. You learn not to waste your effort. You learn that there were retards 1000 years ago, there were retards 500 years ago, there are retards now, there will be retards in 500 years, there will be retards…

And you notice other things, too. You’d be surprised how many atheists I know in Raleigh, NC. You’d be surprised how many good bands are in Chapel Hill. You’d be surprised at the wonderful live-and-let-live a lot of rednecks have.

Letting the fundies enmadden you is a choice, and you can choose differently.

Today, as I walked through the halls of our science building here, I came across the office of one of the Biology professors, and his door was covered with comics and newspaper clippings all railing against intelligent design, including some rather humoruous commentaries on op-eds written by faculty members from non-science departments.

A person walking past me remarked that the office belonged to “one of those crazy professors.” After a few minutes of waiting, almost as if to see if I’d leave, the same person came back, unlocked the door, and sat down at the desk. It made me smile, at least. I promised to bring him a printout of the alternative textbook disclaimers for his door.

So far, I must say that every one of my science professors have all come out against intelligent design, which makes me feel good, because now I’m comfortable knowing my degree won’t be useless when I graduate from here.

LOL!!!

Unfortunately there is no snappy one-liner at the end, but I’m sure the PT denizens can come up with a few…

So a Longhorn, an Aggie, and a Baylor Bear walk into a bar…

Cody,

I’m going to remember that one.

Matzke Wrote:

When I was at tiny little Valparaiso our basketball team made it to the NCAA playoffs…we made it to the Sweet 16. I think student applications quadrupled the next year.

What were these applicants thinking? “Hmmm, I want an economics degree, where should I apply? Wow, Valparaiso has a good basketball team…that’s the one for me!”. Makes no sense.

That a college’s attractiveness is dependent on its sports record rather than its academic programs exemplifies (IMNSHO) one major failing with tertiary education in the U.S.

You’d be surprised how many good bands are in Chapel Hill.

I spent a good deal of time in the 90s celebrating the new dark age with Polvo.

What were these applicants thinking? “Hmmm, I want an economics degree, where should I apply? Wow, Valparaiso has a good basketball team…that’s the one for me!”. Makes no sense.

That a college’s attractiveness is dependent on its sports record rather than its academic programs exemplifies (IMNSHO) one major failing with tertiary education in the U.S.

Probably they were thinking “Who the hell is Valparaiso? I’m going to find out.” I don’t think its surprising that a lesser known school would have greatly increased applications after gaining wide-scale national attention (that was a SWEET shot by Bryce Drew, after all). Gonzaga has experienced a similar phenomenon.

Yeah.

Boo hoo.

I don’t want to hear it.

I went to Lehigh.

Even before Behe, Lehigh didn’t get any respect. Back then our football team was the “Engineers”. We wore brown.

Try this on for size “Go big Brown! Go big brown Engineers! Go!” Yeah, that was what we had for a cheer.

And the campus was built on the side of a freakin’ mountain, apparently because the founder got a tax break for donating the otherwise worthless land, which was too steep for farming.

It was also 900 yards directly downwind from the largest steel smelting mill in Pennsylvania.

Still, the one thing we had going for us was that an engineering degree from Lehigh was well respected. Probably due to solidarity in the face of adversity.

Yeah. That was then.

Now every time Lehigh University gets it’s name in the paper, it’s immediately followed by the phrase “…’s professor Behe claims.…”

Any you wonder why I’m a cynical, bitter, old S.O.B.

…exemplifies (IMNSHO) one major failing with tertiary education in the U.S.

Sorry, I have to get defensive about this. Tertiary education is about the one area of education where the U.S. comes out fairly well. That is, once you go to college you get a pretty decent education.

So if you can specify exactly which failing of U.S. tertiary education this statistic exemplifies, that would be great.

It’s hard for a Seattlite like myself to have my beautiful (at least in the summer) city associated with this nonsense…

You’re not a fan of sports, then?

Bob

For the record, the Cougars (Washington State) are in Pullman. Seattle is actually home to the University of Washington (Huskies). Baylor must have insisted on playing the Cougs in Seattle rather than Pullman to be closer to the Disco Institue. Divine providence will obviously favor this geographical proximity not to mention taking away home court advantage.

But as we used to say in Pullman:

GO CUOGS!!!

Who needs God when you can’t even spell?

“Unfortunately there is no snappy one-liner at the end, but I’m sure the PT denizens can come up with a few…”

Th brief association with Intelligent Design did nothing about those vulnerable joints listed in the injury roster.

Won’t be long before the hack of the day at disco institute starts spinning out some more meaningless gibberish of a ‘rebuttal’, save some chortle for that!

Guy Morriss leaves Kentucky to go to Baylor, and UK football goes in the tank again. Dembski leaves Baylor and comes to teach at Southern Seminary in Kentucky, and our governor starts spouting ID nonsense. Not a fair trade!

Thanks for the laughs. I went to UC Irvine and our team was the Anteaters. Our favorite cheer was

“Give ‘Em The Tongue, Give ‘Em The Tongue,

Raw! Raw! Raw!”

We also had a marching kazoo band at basketball games.

Gonzaga has had similiar results. Their applications have quadrupled since their successful basketball team has made their school known throughout the nation. March madness is a real chance for small, regional schools to advertize nationally.

Talking about balance between academics and athletics a new public high school opened near me this month. People who attended the open house noted that the school features a library of only 1000 square feet, with mostly empty shelves, but 13 athletic fields the size of a football field including a stadium that seats more than 4000. Of course, they’ve already spent more on football uniforms and equipment than they’ll probably spend over the next decade on books for those library shelves. And, no, I don’t live in Mississippii or rural Texas. The place is Chester County, one of America’s wealthiest counties, just outside of Philadelphia.

features a library of only 1000 square feet, with mostly empty shelves, but 13 athletic fields the size of a football field

Down by me (Texas), students fail the basic graduation test in high double digits, and there is not a currently available high-school biology textbook thanks to the efforts of various christian groups who constantly lock up the approval process in endless procedural knots.

Meanwhile at least 9 Texas school districts pay their high school football coaches more than $100,000 a year.

That is not a misprint.

You pay for what’s important to you, I suppose

Why is it that this article reminds me of R. Lee Ermy in Full Metal Jacket barking at Vincent D’Onofrio? “Oh that’s right, Private Pyle, don’t make any f***ing effort to get to the top of the f***ing obstacle. If God would have wanted you up there he would have miracled your a** up there by now, wouldn’t he?”

Maybe Baylor will pull this one out after all. :)

“Down by me (Texas), students fail the basic graduation test in high double digits, and there is not a currently available high-school biology textbook thanks to the efforts of various christian groups who constantly lock up the approval process in endless procedural knots.”

I got in an argument on UD regarding the TX textbook selection process; I had folks there actually arguing that the public (through elected school board members) was the best judge of what is science, and hence were the most qualified to choose the text book statewide. Pathetic, really. I had to bail from the thread, it got so ridiculous.

Isn’t there a college somewhere in California with the banana slug as its mascot … ?

Indeed, Sammy the Banana Slug is the official mascot of the sports teams of UC Santa Cruz.

Who says our Rev ain’t right!

About something, some of the time!

I thought I was wrong once.

But I was mistaken about it.

Satori beat me to the punch; I was also going to point out that Washington State University is a full 300 miles away from Seattle and the DI, way down in the SE corner of the state.

Of course, I could also reminisce about the public declaration by WSU’s president, way back when I first attended the university, that WSU’s academic standing depended upon the success of the university’s football team.

What’s even worse is, sadly, that he was to a large extent correct **sigh**

Lynn

Washington State does play the Baylor game in Seattle. They also play several basketball games in Seattle each year. Because it’s the major population center of the state, it gives the alums a chance to see their team play live.

Hmmm…

Washington St 17, Baylor 15.

Kentucky 31, Ole Miss 14.

Maybe I’m not so mad at Dembski after all.

Posted by Gary Hurd on September 13, 2006 09:33 AM (e) Thanks for the laughs. I went to UC Irvine and our team was the Anteaters.

Hey Gary, my wife went to UCI and I think the Anteater is neat!!!!!

????

I’m going to do a review on this website I hope you know. Have you one competent to say amongst you neanderthals? I’d suggest providing one before I cast this site in negative light.

I love it when grammatically incompetent people accuse us of incompetence. It plays havoc with my irony meters, but it’s still funny.

I’m going to do a review on this website I hope you know.

Tell everyone it sucks. (shrug)

Now run along.

Oh, I don’t know. I think this shakes out pretty well when re-, uh, cast as blank verse:

I’m going to do a review on this website I hope you know.

Have you one competent to say amongst you neanderthals?

I’d suggest providing one before I cast this site in negative light.

Well, maybe that should be vacuous verse, instead of blank verse.

But there are those intriguing whiffs of internal rhymes: to/review, to/you, suggest/cast, site/light. The almost-rhyme of suggest/cast was particularly pleasing.

Though, to keep with the humor theme, I would’ve appreciated “say amongst y’all/neaderthals” even more. But maybe our sublte young new-troll felt that was a trifle too-too…

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This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on September 12, 2006 7:30 PM.

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