A Washington University computational biologist says credits from courses with creationist subjects should not be counted toward a science degree.
According to Faithwire, Dr. Joshua Swamidass says this “constructive solution” would hold Christian institutions to a higher academic standard than other colleges.
“Credit from courses that include creation science should not be used toward science degrees,” he wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. “Nor should they be eligible for transfer to secular institutions.”
He added that those courses with creationism are “deviations from national norms” that “need to be prominently disclosed, tracked and reported.”
His suggestion includes noting on official transcripts that the course included creationism.
Swamidass’ opinion piece comes in response to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which recently debated if they should still consider the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (Tracs) as an accrediting agency.
Meanwhile, David Klinghoffer, Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, said he worries making the change would be more harmful.
“Creationist thoughts and those who think them, are indeed penalized in his system,” Klinghoffer writes in Evolution News & Science Today. “Invidious labeling is all about reward and punishment….and this is a very dangerous concept.”
Steve Pettit, the president of Bob Jones University, also said he was wary of making a change.
“Our students, while adhering to biblical viewpoints on the origin and diversity of life, must be fully conversant with, and able to think critically about both models,” he explained. “Dr. Swamidass’s ‘compromise’—excluding credit from courses presenting evidence for multiple models—would marginalize outstanding scientists with biblical viewpoints about origins,” he said.
Klinghoffer said he was too worried that noting and tracking those courses could lead to other types of censorship.
“I don’t see any reason why the labeling or othering concept should not be expanded to cover areas of education where other out-group ideas are discussed, whether political, cultural, or philosophical,” he said. Where would it end?”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Goroden Koff
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.