At Georgia Southern University, History professor Dr. Emerson T. McMullen (below) teaches courses that discuss science and dinosaurs. Sure, there’s a connection between them… but that’s worth looking into, right?
He also has a personal website, not technically affiliated with the school (but still hosted on its servers), where he goes into much more depth about his beliefs… and his apparent support of Creationism.
That alone might be okay. He’s allowed to hold that belief. But if he ever preached it as true, that would obviously be a problem. And that’s precisely what he’s doing, according to a joint letter sent to the university’s president by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Jerry Coyne, and Richard Dawkins.
The letter details complaints from students about GSU history professor Emerson McMullen’s promotion of Christian beliefs. According to those reports and FFRF’s subsequent investigation, McMullen “crosses ethical and constitutional lines.”
McMullen allegedly uses extra-credit assignments to try to “convert” students by inviting them to write about McMullen’s religious beliefs. He has reportedly also promoted Christian propaganda such as the recent movie “God Is Not Dead,” which pits an atheist professor against a Christian student.
Coyne examined some of the class material FFRF uncovered and expertly took apart the unscientific claims, noting that most of what McMullen said on the topic was “completely wrong.”
“A teacher should be free to express opinions, however ill-informed, so long as he or she makes it clear that they are no more than his opinions. He should not be free to penalize students who fail to parrot his opinions,” Dawkins noted. “And if his opinions include Young Earth Creationism, my personal opinion is that he is no more qualified to teach history than a ‘flat earther’ is to teach geography or a proponent of the ‘stork theory’ is to teach reproductive physiology.”
You should check out Coyne’s takedown of McMullen’s study guide sample essays.
Some of the evidence against him also comes from student reviews on RateMyProfessor.com, which mention his extra credit assignments that are more like free points for those who agree with his theology:
Even if that sounds damning, of course, anonymous reviews aren’t exactly credible pieces of evidence. That’s why the atheists are asking GSU to investigate McMullen’s classes and methods. He’s welcome to his opinions, but students cannot be pressured into going along with his religious beliefs just to get a higher grade. And no professor should be teaching his own personal beliefs — especially those which are rejected by the establishment — as true.
If McMullen wants to teach nonsense, I’m sure there’s a Bible school in Georgia that would love to have him.