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Look What They’re Teaching at Brigham Young University

Cornelius Hunter

Brigham Young University

Rachel Gross’s recent article at the Smithsonian website, “How to Talk with Evangelicals About Evolution,” has been the subject of some discussion at Evolution News. See here and here. The article is about evolutionists’ public outreach and it contains several misconceptions that are, unfortunately, all too common.

Perhaps most obvious is the mythological Warfare Thesis that Gross and her evolutionary protagonists heavily rely on. Plumbing the depths of ignorance, Gross writes:

Those who research the topic call this paradigm the “conflict mode” because it pits religion and science against each other, with little room for discussion. And researchers are starting to realize that it does little to illuminate the science of evolution for those who need it most.

“Those who research the topic call this paradigm the ‘conflict mode’”? Huh?

The Return of Judge Jones

This is reminiscent of Judge Jones and his endorsement of Inherit the Wind as a primer for understanding the origins debate. It is beyond embarrassing. Exactly who are those “who research the topic” to which Gross refers?

It seems Gross is blithely unaware that there are precisely zero such researchers. The “conflict mode” is a long-discarded, failed view of history promoted in Inherit the Wind, a two-dimensional, upside-down rewrite of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial.

Ever since, in an unabashed display of anti-intellectualism, evolutionists have latched onto the play, and the mythological history it promotes. As Lawrence Principe has explained:

The notion that there exists, and has always existed, a “warfare” or “conflict” between science and religion is so deeply ingrained in public thinking that it usually goes unquestioned. The idea was however largely the creation of two late nineteenth-century authors who confected it for personal and political purposes. Even though no serious historians of science acquiesce in it today, the myth remains powerful, and endlessly repeated, in wider circles

Or as Jeffrey Russell writes:

The reason for promoting both the specific lie about the sphericity of Earth and the general lie that religion and science are in natural and eternal conflict in Western society, is to defend Darwinism. The answer is really only slightly more complicated than that bald statement.

Rachel Gross is, unfortunately, promoting the “general lie” that historians have long since been warning of. Her article is utter nonsense. The worst of junk news.

But It Gets Worse

Gross next approvingly quotes Brigham Young University associate professor Jamie Jensen whose goal is to inculcate her students with Epicureanism. “Acceptance is my goal,” says biologist Dr. Jensen. She is referring to her teaching of spontaneous origins in her Biology 101 class at the Mormon Church-affiliated institution.

As we have explained many times, this is how evolutionists think. Explaining their anti-scientific, religious beliefs is not enough. You must believe. As Jensen explains:

By the end of Biology 101, they can answer all the questions really well, but they don’t believe a word I say. If they don’t accept it as being real, then they’re not willing to make important decisions based on evolution — like whether or not to vaccinate their child or give them antibiotics.

Whether or not to give their child antibiotics? As we have discussed many times before, the equating of “evolution” with bacterial resistance to antibiotics is an equivocation and bait-and-switch.

The notion that one must believe in evolution to understand bacterial resistance to antibiotics is beyond absurd.

It not only makes no sense; it masks the monumental empirical contradictions that bacterial antibiotic resistance presents to evolution. As a university life sciences professor, Jensen is of course well aware of these basic facts of biology.

And she gets paid to teach people’s children at BYU?

Photo: Brigham Young University campus, by Pastelitodepapa [CC0], from Wikimedia Commons.

Cross-posted at Darwin’s God.