dcsimg
You are here:

Liberty University Teaches The Creationism Controversy

Charles Darwin was born 200 years ago this past weekend, and many universities across the country celebrated his life and scientific studies. One, however, remains unimpressed.

As the creation of controversial preacher Jerry Falwell and the alma mater of quite a few political players, Liberty University has made waves in the past; it's making them again now, as it continues to fight on the front lines of the great evolution vs. creationism debate. In Liberty U's case, as an institution with steadfast Evangelical roots, it continues to maintain a "Young Earth" philosophy and to teach this as fact within scientific classes, drawing ire from many other facilities of higher education in the process.

Liberty is on the front lines in the battle of creationism vs. evolution. And it has a battalion of creationist lawyers, scientists and professors in dozens of areas who weave creationism into their coursework and teach students on how to refute the theory of evolution.

"One of the distinguishing fac-tors of Liberty is that every single student here takes a class called creationist studies," said Campus Pastor Johnnie Moore. "It's kind of at the core of our identity."

Liberty leans toward young- Earth creationism, DeWitt said, which is a literal interpretation of the Bible that God created the heavens, Earth and all life in seven days, less than 10,000 years ago.

Creationism as a course of scientific study is shunned at many universities, where it is not recognized as a scientific explanation for the origin of life.

Biochemist Michael Behe, who recently spoke at Liberty as part of its counter-evolution events, readily acknowledged that minority view. A tenured professor at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, Behe told students that his colleagues vehemently disagree with his views on intelligent design, which states that life was designed by an "intelligent agent."

It's a debate that has gone on almost as long as civilization itself (whatever your chosen definition of when that in fact began), and one that has been causing a lot of strife and contention between professors and students of different beliefs. As a result, some professors are teaching the two theories side by side, to offer a choice of what to believe.

DeWitt, who is director of the school's center for creation stud-ies, teaches biology and two versions of creation studies - one for students in the sciences that includes more "scientifically detailed subject matter," he said, and another that most students take, which does not.

He teaches both evolution and creation.

"I show them side-by-side - Here's the human. Here's the chimpanzee," he said. "If I would not present evolution and their best evidence and arguments, then I would not be a scholar and I would not be providing the best service for the students.

"I actually teach more about evolution than I received in my undergraduate (biochemistry) program at Michigan State (Uni-versity). I also teach a lot more about creationism."

Other professors, however, aren't so sure about this practice.

Randolph College's Shedd said the scientific community at large is in agreement that evolution occurs.

"That, as far as I'm concerned, is a fact," he said.

But whether natural selection is the sole mechanism that drives evolution, he said, is still under some debate.

"Sometimes, creationists can get somewhat obsessive about the fact that Darwin didn't get everything right on the first try," Shedd said. "And what scientist did?"

Staver said that the theory of evolution "has impacted everything," including his area of expertise - law.

What are your thoughts on the controversy? Does your school teach one side, or both? Chime in with your opinions in comments!

Search Schools

      
Matching School Ads
  • Full Sail University - Online

    Push Your Creativity To The Next Level

    Programs

    • Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
    • Internet Marketing, Master of Science (Online)
    • Music Production, Bachelors of Science (Online)
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Full Sail University - Online Request Info »
  • Platt College

    Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

    Programs

    • Veterinary Technology Alternate Route - Certificate
    • Respiratory Therapy
    • Veterinary Technology - Associates

    Location: Online

    Platt College Request Info »
  • Capella University

    An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession.

    Programs

    • MS - Addiction Studies
    • MS - School Counseling (CACREP-accredited)
    • MSN - RN-to-MSN Diabetes Nursing (CCNE-accredited)
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Capella University Request Info »
  • Rutgers University

    Founded in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national public research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher learning.

    Programs

    • Online Master of Social Work
    • Online Master of Business Administration
    • Online Master of Information
    • More...
    Location:
    New Brunswick: 57 U.S. 1,, New Brunswick NJ 08901
    Rutgers University Request Info »
  • Bradley University

    Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning.

    Programs

    • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Leadership Track (MSN to DNP)
    • Online Master of Science in Nursing (BSN to MSN-FNP)
    • Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC)
    • More...
    Location:
    Peoria: 1501 W Bradley Ave, Peoria IL 61625
    Bradley University Request Info »
  • Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University

    Located in the heart of Washington, D.C. the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University is dedicated to advancing the health of local, national and global communities.

    You need to have a Bachelor’s degree to be qualified for this school.

    Programs

    • Executive Master of Health Administration
    • Master of Public Health
    Location:
    Washington: 2121 I St NW,, Washington DC 20052
    Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University Request Info »
  • USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

    The MSW@USC is the first top-ranked MSW program offered nationally. Many online programs are limited to certain geographic areas or the availability of courses, making it necessary to travel to campus. Our program can be completed from virtually anywhere without the need to relocate to Southern California.

    Programs

    • Master of Social Work
    Location:
    Los Angeles: 3601 Watt Way, GFS-315, Los Angeles CA 90089
    USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Request Info »
  • Charter College Online

    You can advance your career with a degree from Charter College Online.

    Programs

    • Certificate - Medical Office Administrative Assistant
    • Certificate - Business Office Administration
    • Certificate - Computer Technician

    Location: Online

    Charter College Online Request Info »
  • Independence University

    Congratulations! Your interest in Independence University is an important first step toward changing your life. A career-focused degree is the key to a career with a potentially higher income, better benefits, and more satisfaction.

    Programs

    • Business Administration (BS)
    • Business Administration - Human Resources (BS)
    • Business Management & Accounting (AAS)
    • More...
    Location:
    Salt Lake City: 4021 South 700 East, Suite #400., Salt Lake City UT 84101
    Independence University Request Info »
  • Purdue University

    Purdue University offers a strong foundation of tradition and history.

    Programs

    • Master of Science in Communication
    • Master of Science in Education in Special Education
    • Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communication Management
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Purdue University Request Info »
  • Matching School Ads

    Quick School Search

    College & Career Search Tools

    • Careers: Unsure about your career path? Study profiles of hundreds of professions.

    • Interviews: Professors and deans sit down with our team to give you unique insights on college life.

    • Military Education: Find only Military friendly online schools and campuses.

    • Student Reviews: Know before you go. Read student reviews on over 2000 accredited colleges. Write your own experience.