There is no doubt that the evolutionary paradigm is dominant
at virtually every college/university in the United States. Sadly, this
is also true for a large number of “Christian” colleges as
well. Christians who are serious about the Bible should consider a college’s
position on origins before deciding to attend. Many well-meaning parents
end up paying tens of thousands of dollars to have their son’s or
daughter’s worldview undermined through evolutionary teaching.
At Liberty University, all graduates are required to
complete a one semester course that examines the creation/evolution controversy
from a young Earth creationist (i.e. Genesis means what it says, in line with
what the Lord Jesus Christ believed and taught as well) perspective. Although the course is considered an
apologetics course and not a science course, most of the content is scientific
in nature and taught by science faculty.
Currently, we use two textbooks both from Answers in Genesis. The first book is Refuting Evolution by Jonathan Sarfati. The second book is The
Revised Answers Book. We also make
use of other resources from AiG including many of the excellent articles posted
on the AiG Web site.
In our course, we include many of the popular arguments and
evidence supporting evolution.
Importantly, we teach about
evolution but we do not teach evolution as the explanation for the origin of
life and mankind. It would be
irresponsible if we did not present information about evolution. If our students were not presented with the
common arguments and evidence used to support evolution, then they will be
poorly equipped to defend their faith.
Therefore, we give them information about the evolution perspective and
counter this with information from a creation perspective so that they can
better refute evolutionary arguments.
Topics in our course include:
view on origins is foundational to one’s worldview. The importance of creation to an overall Christian worldview is
presented. We discuss the logical
outcomes of an evolutionary worldview, including racism, abortion, eugenics, and euthanasia. These outcomes are
contrasted with the outcomes of a creation worldview that hold man as created
in the image of God—an intrinsic value that does not depend on ability, age,
handicap or potential benefit to society.
Emphasis is placed on the Word of God in defending the Christian faith.
- Limitations of Science—The scientific method is described, and empirical sciences are
contrasted with historical and social sciences. The role of presuppositions is discussed, as well as how starting
assumptions can influence or even determine the conclusions that are
drawn. Emphasis is placed on how
creationists and evolutionists can look at the same data and yet come to different
- Genetic Limits of Evolution—Contrasts are drawn between the evidence supporting small scale
changes in organisms (microevolution) with the inference that successive small
changes can lead to large changes over long periods of time (macroevolution). We examine factors that influence
microevolution, including genetic drift, gene flow and mutation. The “creationist orchard” is contrasted with
the “evolutionary tree” with emphasis placed on the lack of mechanism and
evidence for macroevolution.
Neo-Darwinism and punctuated equilibrium are discussed.
- Fossil Record—This
topic begins with a description of how fossils are believed to form. The assumptions used to place fossils within
the geologic column are discussed. The
lack of transitional forms and alleged transitional forms are examined. Many evolutionary trees from paleontology
texts are shown highlighting the missing intermediates. Punctuated equilibrium is discussed and how
the problems it purportedly addresses are expected in the creation model.
- Human Evolution—We
discuss the significant fossil humans including Neanderthals, and Homo erectus. Frauds such as Nebraska man and Piltdown man are also considered
in the context of the desire to find the “missing link.” Genetic evidence also comes to bear as we
demonstrate that a critical examination of the alleged progression of human
evolution is not strongly supported by scientific data.
- Origin of Matter and Energy—The first and second laws of thermodynamics are presented to highlight
obstacles for the spontaneous origin of matter, energy and information. “Big Bang” cosmology is considered in light
of recent creationist alternatives.
Origin of the solar system and the moon is emphasized with the nebular
hypothesis critically examined. The
unique parameters of the Earth specific for life demonstrate the work of God.
- Age of the Earth—Evolutionary dating methods are discussed and the intrinsic assumptions are addressed. Uniformitarianism and catastrophism are
contrasted and compared with actual observations. Difficulties in applying uniformitarian principles are
discussed. In particular, radiometric
dating is examined. Alternative
explanations to the millions of years that are being developed by creationists
are mentioned. Emphasis is placed on
trusting the Word of God instead of the opinions and theories of man.
- Origin and Complexity of Life—Irreducible complexity
and intelligent design are presented as important arguments supporting
the need for a Creator for the origin of life. Evolutionary scenarios for the origin of the first cell
are presented along with the obstacles that make them impossible. Stanley
Miller’s experiment producing amino acids from methane, ammonia,
water and hydrogen gas is discussed, as is the RNA world hypothesis.
The complexity of the so-called “simple” cell is presented.
- Science and Scripture—Biblical
evidence and arguments are presented supporting a young Earth creation
perspective. This discussion begins
with the work of each of the six days. The
effects of Noah’s Flood are discussed from a biological and geological
perspective. Compromise positions with
Biblical Creation are presented and rebutted including theistic evolution,
progressive creation, day-age theory, gap theory, and old Earth creationism. The significance of all men descending from
Adam is discussed, with the problem of death before sin, in the compromise
positions. The course concludes with
tying the Creation to God’s plan of salvation in Christ Jesus.
The apologetics course at Liberty University is making a
significant contribution to strengthening the Christian worldview of our
students. Together with Dr Steve
Deckard, we are measuring students” worldview beliefs and attitudes both before
and after the course. In a series of
articles soon to be published, we document the changes that result from the
instruction. There is a clear and
consistent shift toward stronger young Earth creation beliefs after the class. For example, more students strongly agree
with the statement “All things were created by God in six 24-hour days” at the
end of the course.
Creation ministries like Answers
in Genesis are a valuable resource for teachers who want to give their
students credible information and evidence about creation. I strongly recommend that other teachers and
professors include creation in their courses.
Others may be able to help by providing creation materials
to college students. I recently
participated in a church fair on a local college campus. We gave over 130 copies of Refuting Evolution to students. Many of these college students were
interested in finding out about evidence supporting creation. Answers
in Genesis has many books and booklets available to use for creation
evangelism and telling people about the evidence for creation.