Believing Scripture but Playing by Science’s Rules

Apparently, establishment evolutionists think that their worldview and epistemology are the default settings for human consciousness. At least that’s the impression I get when reading about how some science professors are reacting to Ph.D. candidates who believe in young earth creationism.

The New York Times reports that some science Professors would like to exclude young earth creationists from studying at their schools, even if the students are competent and qualified.

Dr. Scott, a former professor of physical anthropology at the University of Colorado, said in an interview that graduate admissions committees were entitled to consider the difficulties that would arise from admitting a doctoral candidate with views “so at variance with what we consider standard science.” She said such students “would require so much remedial instruction it would not be worth my time.”

That is not religious discrimination, she added, it is discrimination “on the basis of science.”

Dr. Dini, of Texas Tech, agreed. Scientists “ought to make certain the people they are conferring advanced degrees on understand the philosophy of science and are indeed philosophers of science,” he said. “That’s what Ph.D. stands for.”

These professors would exclude creationists from Ph.D. programs based solely on the applicants’ religious views. Dr. Scott can claim that this does not amount to religious discrimination all she wants, but if it walks like a duck, talks like duck . . . well, you know the rest.

What these professors want to avoid is producing more Ph.D. graduates who dissent from evolutionary orthodoxy, graduates like Dr. Kurt Wise who teaches at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and who is featured in the article. Dr. Wise has a Ph.D. in Paleontology from Harvard University, and many scientists are irked that a committed creationist such as he carries with him a degree from one of America’s elite universities.

But my question is this. Why do the religious beliefs of creationist applicants even matter? If they are willing to work within the paradigm of evolution (a paradigm they may disagree with) in order to get their degrees, why should it matter what the Ph.D. candidate believes? Maybe the evolutionary establishment needs to realize that their view of the world is every bit as much of an “orthodoxy” as creationism is. It’s just not the orthodoxy that they like.

I’m sure it’s hard for the evolutionists to compute how an intellectually competent person (as a graduate from Harvard must be) could hold to creationism. The existence of such persons suggests that there might be some rational plausibility to the theistic worldview. It raises questions about how reliable the evolutionary worldview actually is. Those kinds of questions simply can’t be tolerated in universities where students and professors are free to think or believe whatever they want so long as they think thoughts that conform to evolutionary orthodoxy.

So much for the vaunted academic freedom of the elites. Now who’s the ideologue?

Source: “Believing Scripture but Playing by Science’s Rules” – New York Times

2 Responses to Believing Scripture but Playing by Science’s Rules

  1. Ben February 12, 2007 at 11:38 am #

    I’m not sure where to start with this post.

    When you say, “Why do the religious beliefs of creationist applicants even matter? If they are willing to work within the paradigm of evolution (a paradigm they may disagree with) in order to get their degrees, why should it matter what the Ph.D. candidate believes?”, do you insinuate that Southwestern Seminary should accept staunch aetheists into their PhD program? Otherwise, I’m not sure I get the jist of what you are saying here, especially since you seem to be criticizing the academic “elites” for their inconsistent stand on academic freedom (e.g., “Now who’s the idealogue?”)

    Secondly, my take on this is that those PhD advisors are getting sick of the “remedial” work they are having to do on certain Ph.D. candidates. This is similar to the math department saying, “I’m sick of candidates who can’t get on board with calculus. Let’s exclude anyone who (for whatever reason) can’t see the firm mathematical basis for calculus – such candidates demonstrate a clear deficit in the basics and therefore are not suitable for higher-level philosophy.” How are the actions described in the linked article not similar?

    Similarly, would such a stance by the math department (or Southwestern Seminary)”suggest that there might be some rational plausibility to the theistic [or non-theistic] worldview” if such a candidate had religious reasons for accepting calculus (or atheistic reasons for rejecting God)? What if an astrophysics Ph.D candidate chose to still believe in a geocentric universe for religious reasons?

    The short of this is that I find nothing at the end of this path but a loss of credibility for Christians. Our “God of the gaps” mentality has led us to become so alientated from our scientific counterparts that (in general) we can’t even be conversant with science. I say this to our shame. Our way of glorifing God with our minds has ended up looking more and more like petrification of beliefs rather than the moving, dynamic presence of the spirit in our work.

  2. Kris Weinschenker February 13, 2007 at 9:29 pm #

    I’m not much of a ‘young earth’ believer anyhow. I share many of the views of Dr,. Hugh Ross.

    However; there is a definite bias in science circles against ANYONE who doesn’t worship the god of Darwin.

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