Creationist Ken Ham just posted an excerpt from his book Already Compromised — all about how even some Christian universities dare to teach actual science instead of biblical literalism. It’s fascinating to see how people like Ham can’t deal with the fact that even evangelical Christians can’t stay in a bubble forever.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong at all with “teaching evolution” as long as it is put under the same scientific and biblical scrutiny that any idea would be. On the other hand, “dissect” might mean “we teach and let them decide.” That is a big concern. Are they presenting the issues loosely and just letting students decide what is true? Or are they explaining all the facts and pointing to the definitive conclusion that evolution is false and creation is true? That’s a big question, and the answer hinges on the fundamental difference between relativism (no absolute truth, i.e., people decide their own truth) and the biblical worldview: is there absolute truth or is there not?
Twenty-four percent said that they teach evolution to be false. Not a lot. In the next two responses, we see that at least 20 percent of Christian colleges are teaching evolution as a viable option and another 11 percent admit to teaching evolution as truth. That’s more than 30 percent. If we add to that a portion of those who are in the “we dissect it” category (who probably aren’t taking any sort of stand in favor of creation), this number could be much, much higher. The answer “nothing” is a concern as well. To teach nothing about evolution, when it is the dominant worldview theme in our culture that is in opposition to biblical creation, leaves students vulnerable and ignorant.
There are actual scientists, who fear that students aren’t learning proper science in the classroom. And then there are people who work with Ken Ham, who fear that students are learning science… and it’ll wreck their faith.
Ham believes that if you allow for a non-literal interpretation of Genesis, there’s nothing stopping Christians from interpreting other parts of the Bible loosely, which will eventually lead to them abandoning the faith altogether. I don’t disagree with him. When you realize parts of the Bible that you believed were true were really just myths, the dominoes begin falling quickly. But when all the evidence ever discovered points in the other direction, and students have access to the internet, there’s no good way to keep Christians from realizing there’s another side to the story and it makes more sense.
Ham also dabbles in conspiracy theories:
At one seminary where I spoke, I asked the head of the seminary (who invited me because he had the same view of Genesis as I do) why so many professors in such institutions would not take a stand on six literal days (no death before sin, young earth, etc.). He told me that a lot of it had to do with peer pressure and being published in the academic journals. He said if someone is labeled as a literal six-day, young-earth creationist, they basically could not get published in such journals.
Bullshit. There’s no journal that asks researchers what they believe about Creation before peer-reviewing their work. The work stands or falls on its own merit. And the type of research that Ham publishes in his own (hilarious) journal wouldn’t make the cut anywhere else.
The silver lining here is that Ham is worried too many students, even at Christian schools, are learning about and possibly accepting evolution. If he’s scared, then I guess we should be proud that these students are finally getting a real education.
(Thanks to Dan for the link)