Thursday, January 24, 2013

CORE is Defunct

Todd Wood has been ruminating about this on his blog for some time and now it looks like a reality: financial support for the Center for Origins Research at Bryan College is being withdrawn.  He writes:
On January 11, 2013, I had a meeting with Stephen Livesay, president of Bryan College. He informed me that due to a significant budget shortfall, the college would be discontinuing support for the Center for Origins Research effective June 30. He has offered to continue housing the CORE facilities, but there will no longer be any salary support for CORE faculty or staff. Since we have very little regular donation support, his decision basically means the end of CORE as we know it. You can read the official college statement on this closing at their website
I like reading Todd's work and, even though I have grave philosophical concerns about the fact that he can understand the immensity of the evidence for evolution and yet still reject it based solely on modern creationism theology, he always treats the evidence fairly and honestly. Nick Matzke, writing for Panda's Thumb has this to say about it:
Wood was almost the sole representative of critical thinking in the creationist movement. He also had the virtually unique trait of understanding what modern evolutionary biology actually said before opening his big mouth about it. I can’t think of a time when he quote-mined Gould’s punctuated equilibrium quotes or blamed Darwin for Hitler or used the other careless, bottom-of-the-barrel tactics ubiquitous with creationists of the ID or AIG varieties. And I can think of many times when he called shenanigans on creationists engaging in those sorts of sins.
Indeed, I remember his takedown of Fuz Rana's interpretation of the chimpanzee genome data. One particular quote was memorable:
I would recommend that no one accept any of RTB's arguments without fact-checking their claims first. I do not know whether these problems are due to lazy scholarship, ignorance, intentional deception, or ideological blinders. What I do know is that you cannot trust Reasons to Believe.
For a creationist to say that about an ID organization is quite something.  I hope that Todd continues to write and to post blog entries.  Whatever I think about his theology, he is a joy to read. 

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