Professor David Barash
Biology Professor David P. Barash from the University of Washington now thinks that his biology class is the proper forum for explicitly attacking his students’ religious convictions, as he shamelessly announced in his recent New York Times op-ed.1
Barash says, in a class on animal behaviour, Evolution proves that (a) living things were not designed, (b) humans are not exceptional, and (c) God cannot be both all-powerful and all-good.
This religion-bashing seminar is a severe abuse of power. As a public university professor, Barash’s role should not be to proselytize, but to educate—fairly informing students about all sides of legitimate academic disputes. Sadly, however, Barash’s approach to education is nothing more than a prejudicial, intellectually dishonest attempt to indoctrinate students into his own anti-Christian worldview.
If Barash’s New York Times summary is truly representative of his teaching, he hardly even acknowledges, much less addresses, arguments that challenge evolution or support biblical creation. Instead of dealing with the best creationist arguments, he presents caricatures that informed creationists are careful to avoid (e.g., denigrating evolution because it is called a ‘theory’).
Instead of allowing students to hear from all sides of the controversy, Barash tells them evolution is beyond question. He insists, “Teaching biology without evolution would be like teaching chemistry without molecules.”1 His statement would clearly have been news to leading chemist and member of the National Academy of Sciences, Philip Skell (1918–2010), the ‘father of carbene [CH2] chemistry’, who pointed out: ‘Certainly, my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution. Nor for that matter did Alexander Fleming’s discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin’.
Furthermore, are Barash’s students prompted to consider how men like Linnaeus, Pasteur, and Mendel founded sub-disciplines of biology without any help from Darwin? Are they told that Dr Marc Kirschner, founding chair of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, has admitted, “Molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all”? Have they heard how evolutionary assumptions have often hindered scientific investigations, encouraging scientists to write off so-called ‘vestigial organs’, and ‘junk DNA’, for example, as non-functional by-products of the evolutionary process? Perhaps Barash himself would do well to learn about how creationists accept rapid adaptation and even speciation, and yet recognize why these types of changes are precisely the wrong sort of change needed to turn microbes into men.
In the centres of intellectual power today, creationists and other Darwin dissenters have a hard time maintaining their positions even when keeping their heads down, and they often get expelled anyway. But an evolutionary professor can openly proclaim that his lectures will argue against basic truths of Christianity, and there is hardly a public outcry.
If creation is disqualified from public education because it is too ‘religious’, then why isn’t Barash called on the carpet, for getting too ‘religious’ as well?
- Barash, D.P., God, Darwin, and My Biology Class,New York Times, 27 September 2014; nytimes.com.
Abbreviated article, “Darwinist Professor David Barash gets ‘theological’ in the classroom” by Keaton Halley and Jonathan Sarfati on http://www.creation.com