A community college class that openly challenges and refutes evolution is being presented at a secular two-year community college in the western half of the United States. Conducted by an avid Answers in Genesis supporter, the class has now completed its second consecutive term.
The instructor, who is also the developer of this non-credit course (and who prefers to remain anonymous), testifies that this unique concept shows great potential to take the creation/evolution debate and creation evangelism to a larger audience of the mainstream public, those who would not typically come to an AiG seminar sponsored by a Christian organization.
This AiG supporter believes that there are many curious students across the US who are not content with receiving evolution teaching, and who would respond to the offering of a noncredit class on creation/evolution. Because of the positive response this instructor has received thus far, he wanted AiG to share some of the basic strategies he has employed in the hope of encouraging others to (carefully) try their own similar ventures around the United States:
- The overall thrust of the class is to show, from the latest findings of science, that “molecules-to-man” evolution is fast losing its scientific credibility, and that “intelligent design” is being increasingly affirmed.
- The instructor’s unstated goal is to have his students come to a conviction-after discovering the bankruptcy of evolution and the evidence of supremely intelligent design-that there must be indeed a personal Designer (God) of great wisdom and care, the God of the Bible.
- In the first part of this multi-week course, students are shown how to differentiate between verifiable facts and speculation (based on the bias of the interpreters). The instructor makes the case that “truth,” wherever it leads, need not require dogmatic indoctrinating of people, as evolution has consistently done. (This conviction sits well with just about everybody in the school.) Rather, concentrating on facts in comparing evolution’s claims with creationists” claims leaves no doubt which is validated.
- The instructor is free to mention God in discussions, especially when asked by a student about spiritual things, but refrains from openly teaching about spiritual truths in class. Nevertheless, given the nature of the subject addressed, he reports that the discussions “directly lead into the matter of spiritual truth, and there is a natural lead-in to talk about the matter openly off campus during non-class time.” A meeting over lunch for just that purpose is arranged to which students are invited, which has borne significant fruit.
- It appears that two-year public community colleges (sometimes called “junior” colleges) typically appear to have more of a liberal policy than universities have towards controversial subjects, especially in their noncredit or continuing adult education divisions. (These kinds of courses are often meant for the general public who do not want to necessarily pick up a degree, but to continue their general education.)
- Also, it was helpful (although it should not have to be this way) to have the course designated under the category of “philosophy and religion” rather than “science.” The course description as printed in promotional literature describes the class as “an informed critique of evolution, and alternate views of origins drawing on the support of increasing numbers of respectable scientists are discussed.”
- The instructor, of course, should be well read on creation/evolution issues so that most questions can be answered in the class setting without having to consult texts.
- One of the main texts is AiG’s Refuting Evolution, by scientist Dr Jonathan Sarfati. In addition, articles from this Web site have been effectively used as supplemental readings.
What has the instructor seen in his class thus far? One student who first claimed that she “worships the Earth” later commented that: “I really think it’s a good course. It forces you to think and reevaluate your views.” This person has come to the point where she’s now searching the Scriptures and learning more about the Savior! Even some atheists have attended some of the sessions, so some seeds have been planted. For lay Christians, the comments usually are on the order of: “We’re finding this very interesting and we’re learning a lot.” They are clearly strengthened in their faith and in their capacity to think for themselves.
The instructor shared with AiG that “I want to thank you with all my heart for this opportunity to share the news of this remarkable initiative in which I’m involved. I consider AiG the preeminent mouthpiece for ‘creation evangelism.’ May God bless AiG as it reaches out in so many ways-and so extensively-to the average layperson.”
Before you think of starting such a course on your own, please contact us to get in contact with this instructor.