Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Coexistence II - Libery Univ

This is a follow-up to my Dec 9th post titled "Can Creationism and Science coexist in the same person?" For that post I was pretty optimistic, but now the other side rears its head.

I learned an interesting thing, Mr. Abraham who, as you may have read here, was fired by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute for refusing to perform evolutionary aspects of the job he was specifically hired for. He is currently suing the Institute because the State Board that listened to his complaint of being discriminated against because of his religious beliefs sided with Woods Hole.

If you read my previous posts on this issue, you know my stance. But where did Mr. Abraham end up? He's teaching at Liberty University, a Liberal Arts College in Va founded by Jerry Falwell. He's teaching biology of all things. Now according to the it's own website "All professors are dedicated Christians who affirm students in the faith, challenge them to grow spiritually, and encourage them to evaluate all things from a Christ-centered perspective. Each department is committed to an integration of faith and discipline, showing how Biblical presuppositions and a commitment to Christ govern research and teaching." Hmmm from the sound of that Mr. Abraham should be teaching Creationism along with Evolution. I wonder how he's handling those responsibilities?

Liberty professor Marcus R. Ross was featured in a report on creationism. Ross "believes that the Bible is a literally true account of the creation of the universe, and that the earth is at most 10,000 years old," but earned his Ph.D. in geo-sciences from University of Rhode Island with a dissertation about "the abundance and spread of mosasaurs, marine reptiles that, as he wrote, vanished at the end of the Cretaceous era about 65 million years ago.
Hmmm just what are these people training their students to do? To be honest with you, I would describe this as a LIE! How does this man reconcile his beliefs, obviously he just lies about them when faced with scientific criticisms like those required for a PhD. Sure, that's real Christian!

This college also has a "CENTER FOR CREATION STUDIES: The Center for Creation Studies was established in 1985. The Center provides a course called “History of Life,” required of all Liberty students. Its purpose is to increase their appreciation of the rational basis of their
faith and to equip them to deal with the creation-evolution controversy."

I love the required of all Liberty students part, isn't that a trip! I don't see a CENTER FOR EVOLUTION STUDIES? I wonder if this is as one-sided as it sounds. My guess is yes, it's heavily leaning as far to the Christian Right as it can without losing accreditation.

Well after all that stage setting, here is my concern. I've said it about Michael Behe and I guess I can say it about Mr. Abraham. It is inconceivable that someone teaching biology would not be expected to deal intimately with evolution! Hiding your personal beliefs behind a college degree and using that same college degree to legitimize pseudo-science should be a crime. Apparently Liberty University also has a dinosaur fossil on display claiming it's about 3,000 years old -- That's not just bad science, that should be criminal behavior! Apparently, according to Wikipedia the school is "currently . . . looking for biology teachers with 'a young-earth creationist philosophy' . . . Furthermore, the school asserts 'there is now mounting evidence that man and dinosaurs did indeed live on earth at the same time' and says that 'the chances are good' that there were dinosaurs on board Noah's Ark." Hmmm What did Lewis Black say "These people watched the Flintstones thinking it was a documentary!"

I think Mr, or I guess I should call him Professor, Abraham has found himself an ideological home. I just hope he doesn't get fired for refusing to teach the evolutionary part of the curriculum -- because that wouldn't help his court case against Woods Hole.

Now the rest of us need to realize is that this school is affiliated with several medical schools and it's graduates may be your Doctor. I just hope they spent more time in Medical School dealing with the realities of Evolution than they did at Liberty. It does make you think!!!! I think a clue would be treating an infectious disease with 1950's antibiotics that real doctors know are no longer effective because the disease has evolved since then. I know I'll be looking at the sheepskins on my Doctor's walls a bit closer!!!

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