Georgia Southern University Investigating a Professor Accused of Proselytizing in His Classes
Lecturing for a week about how “evolution could not have happened.” Offering extra credit for students to watch the film “God’s Not Dead.” Showing religious bias in exam questions. Student reviews saying he’ll try to “convert you.”
Those charges, among others, make up a complaint filed recently by two First Amendment watchdog groups against T. Emerson McMullen, an associate professor of history at Georgia Southern University. The institution says it’s now investigating the professor for allegedly using his classroom at the public university to promote his anti-evolution Christian beliefs.
“We understand that as a historian, particularly a historian focused on science, McMullen could legitimately discuss the development of scientific ideas,” reads a letter sent to Georgia Southern from the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. “He could even legitimately discuss religious doctrines masquerading as science, such as young earth creationism and intelligent design.”
However, the letter continues, “it appears that McMullen does not present these as religious ideas lacking scientific merit. Instead, McMullen presents these religious beliefs as scientific fact. In short, McMullen appears to use at least some of his class to preach religion instead of teach history.”