Creationists Given Academic Credit for Trolling

Science • Views: 3,729

William Dembski, the “intelligent design” creationist who is a professor in philosophy at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, has some rather interesting requirements for students of his creationism courses — 20% of their final grade comes from having written 10 posts promoting ID on “hostile” websites: Academic Year 2009-2010.

This may explain a few commenters we’ve had at LGF.

Spring 2009

Intelligent Design (SOUTHERN EVANGELICAL SEMINARY #AP 410, 510, and 810; May 11 – 16, 2009)

NEW! THE DUE DATE FOR ALL WORK IN THIS COURSE IS AUGUST 14, 2009. Here’s what you will need to do to wrap things up:

AP410 — This is the undegrad [sic] course. You have three things to do: (1) take the final exam (worth 40% of your grade); (2) write a 3,000-word essay on the theological significance of intelligent design (worth 40% of your grade); (3) provide at least 10 posts defending ID that you’ve made on “hostile” websites, the posts totalling 2,000 words, along with the URLs (i.e., web links) to each post (worth 20% of your grade).

AP510 — This is the masters course. You have four things to do: (1) take the final exam (worth 30% of your grade); (2) write a 1,500- to 2,000-word critical review of Francis Collins’s The Language of God — for instructions, see below (20% of your grade); (3) write a 3,000-word essay on the theological significance of intelligent design (worth 30% of your grade); (4) provide at least 10 posts defending ID that you’ve made on “hostile” websites, the posts totalling 3,000 words, along with the URLs (i.e., web links) to each post (worth 20% of your grade).

That’s far from the only jaw-dropper in Dembski’s syllabus. Students needing extra credit are invited to write an essay explaining how Christians can use the lessons in communist labor activist Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals to advocate for creationism and other fundamentalist objectives.

EXTRA CREDIT: For those who think they need mercy on missed or poorly answered quizzes, please get Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and write a 750 to 1000 word reflection on lessons to be drawn from that book for Christian apologetics. You need to have spent at least 6 hours carefully reading the book and sign your name to that effect (i.e., your paper must include something like “I have spent at least six uninterrupted hours reading Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. –Jane Doe”).

But the final exam for the Christian Faith and Science class crosses the line into downright sinister territory, asking students to come up with a 20-year plan to promote theocracy in America:

Trace the connections between Darwinian evolution, eugenics, abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia. Why are materialists so ready to embrace these as a package deal? What view of humanity and reality is required to resist them?

[…]

You are the Templeton Foundation’s new program director and are charged with overseeing its programs and directing its funds. Sketch out a 20-year plan for defeating scientific materialism and the evolutionary worldview it has fostered if you had $50,000,000 per year in current value to do so. What sorts of programs would you institute? How would you spend the money?

(Hat tip: Richard Dawkins.)

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