Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Liberty University's Creation Studies Department

I have started reading "The Unlikely Disciple" by Kevin Roose. This interesting book is about how he spent the Sprint 2007 semester at Jerry Falwell's 20,000 student Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. It is a fascinating account of the good and the bad about his time there.
What I wanted to talk about was their Creation Studies Department.

Apparently, they lost their accreditation in Virginia in 1982 from pressure from the ACLU, so that graduates were uncertifiable as public school teachers, since Liberty only taught creationism in biology classes (and everywhere else). To respond to this, the university moved all the creation coursed to their new Creation Studies department and was able to have students be teacher certified. All Liberty students are required to take a course in creation studies, biology majors are also required to learn evolution studies. As Roose says:
"And even those evolution courses are sort of Fair and Balanced(TM), if you get my drift. As Dr. Falwell said in 1982, before the Virginia board ruling: 'We with God's help, want to see hundreds of our graduates go out into the classrooms teaching creationism - of course they'll be teaching evolution - but teaching why it's invalid and why it's foolish, and then showing the proper way and the correct approach to the origin of the species'."

Liberty still seems to teach the original creation science. I gather many of the more funamentalist based colleges now teach intelligent design, but Liberty has remained pure to the original creed. BTW, he mentions that his required course was taught by a Dr. Dekker with some reasonable science cred in neuroscience. He recounts his first encounter in the classroom describing Dr. Dekker as in a white lab coat as if he was shipped from Central Casting as a movie extra playing Chemist #4. The first words he said in class were "My name is Dr. James Dekker, and I am a real scientist." This strikes me as a little defensive. Sort of reminds me of Dr. Science.


Jill said...

Where do you begin with this? Yes, It does sound like "Dr. Science." But don't forget what he always says next, "Remember: I am not a real doctor; I have a master's degree in SCIENCE!"

As for those on a mission, one can only hope they will be outed in the schools they try to teach in. I suspect they will find jobs in "Christian" schools (such as Calvary Christian - a k-12 school over here in Taylor Mill) or any public school in the Deep South. I'm certain I have family members who think this would be a good idea.

It boggles the mind to ponder the thought that there are people in this day and age who still believe in this ... who "believe" in a "science", albeit a bogus one. "Believing in science" is the grandest of oxymorons.

I appreciate they want to put creationism in schools -- get em while they're young. I read somewhere, "You have to suspect an institution that has to brainwash children in order to succeed." Worked for Hitler.

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