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A Teach-the-Controversy approach is good for education, good for science, and truly better for both sides.
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BioLogos biologist Dennis Venema of Trinity Western University (TWU) in British Columbia shares what it’s like to teach evolution to Christian undergraduates. “The Sorrows and Joys of Teaching Evolution at an Evangelical Christian University” describes how he gradually eases evolution into the minds of Christian students by casually mentioning “millions of years” in his discussion of fruit fly speciation. He then guides students to deduce that one of our human chromosomes must have evolved from fusion of two chromosomes in a human ancestor (after splitting from some shared ancestor with apes) by showing students pictures of the chromosomes without the labels. Having thus led them down the path to evolutionary thinking without directly mentioning human evolution, he then springs what he considers to be the incontrovertible facts of evolution on them and attempts to help them through the crisis of faith his lessons have induced. He claims his students grow spiritually and feel closer to God by coming to believe that God used evolution to create the world’s biology over millions of years. However, encouraging young people to distrust what God plainly said He did and to trust instead man’s fallible unverifiable opinions about the unobservable untestable past does not help them to grow closer to God. It only helps them to compromise and distrust Him. Venema says doing this brings him deep joy, yet since Jesus Christ said (John 5:46–47) that failure to accept the writings of Moses could undermine faith in Him, how much damage is Venema doing to young people entrusted to TWU’s care? As Ken Ham pointed out in a recent blog, TWU’s goal is “to transform lives through Christ-centered higher education.” In what way is disregarding and twisting the words of Christ, by whom all things were created (Colossians 1:16) and in whom dwell all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3), a positive, Christ-centered transformation? For more information, see “The Search for the Historical Adam” and Population Genomics and Good News.
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