With a big conference of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities coming up next week one situation discussed in the hallways may be what Karl Giberson revealed last month at The Daily Beast: “Most evangelical colleges teach evolution, albeit quietly, carefully, and often tentatively, although there are exceptions.”
Giberson, for many years a science professor at CCCU-member Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Mass., described how he insinuated evolution in his classroom, with one clear result: “[M]ost of the 50 percent of my students who rejected evolution at the beginning of my course accepted it by the end. My colleagues at other evangelical colleges report similar experiences.”
Giberson didn’t like it that his evolution advocacy couldn’t be open: “Those of us teaching evolution at evangelical colleges are made to feel as if we have this subversive secret we must whisper quietly in our students’ ears: ‘Hey, did you know that Adam and Eve were not the first humans and never even existed?’”
After Giberson started publicly stating evolutionary beliefs while holding onto his professorial position, tensions escalated. “Administrators complained that I was too controversial and creating public relations problems,” he wrote. “Youth pastors informed the admissions office at the college that they were discouraging students from attending the college because it promoted evolution. Affiliated churches withheld financial support. Donors went elsewhere with their money.”
Finally Giberson left. He now teaches at Stonehill College, a Catholic institution. He accurately relates a problem: Parents send their children “to expensive private evangelical colleges with the expectation that this faith will be protected as the children mature into well-educated adults. But often students are educated out of their childhood faith and even into no faith at all.”
Giberson’s solution is to teach evolution, and reinterpret the Bible to be consistent with evolution. That may sound nice: Students, imitating the Hollywood ending of Inherit the Wind, can put in their satchels, side by side, the Bible and the Book of Darwin, separate yet equal.
Students who are being proselytized for evolution should go to the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture website and learn that Darwin wasn’t God. Then they (and all of us) should read the Bible and rediscover that God is.