Advice to New Creationist Students

We're getting close to the beginning of the semester in the northern hemisphere. That means a lot of high school students will be experiencing university for the first time.

In many cases, students will have graduated from high school with only a rudimentary knowledge of some important topics. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as long as they realize that they still have lots to learn. It becomes a bad thing when they think they know the subject but what they know is wrong.

Universities are places that challenge your beliefs and force you to think. New students should embrace this challenge and look forward to giving up misconceptions and ideas that can't stand up to critical analysis. The last thing you want to do as a new student is to begin university with the idea that your high school ideas are always right.

Which brings us to creationism. A large number of students enter university with little or no knowledge of evolution but they are convinced that it's wrong. They will soon encounter teachers who try to convince them that evolution is true. How should students react to this challenge?

David Klinghoffer1 proposes one solution on the Intelligent Design Creationist blog Evolution News & Views. Here's his advice [A Piece of Unsolicited Advice to Students].
The practical question is nearly self-answering. You should be very, very circumspect about even hinting at your views to people who will end up giving you grades. But beyond that fairly obvious and uninteresting advice, I wanted to add that you should, in your own mind, strive to give respect to your Darwinist teachers no matter how firmly convinced you are that they are wrong.

If I were a professor and had a student who walked into my class intending to inform me that my fundamental views on the subject of my professional training were in error, I can well imagine thinking the kid deserved a good smack. Unfair? Yes, but true. Overturning scientific theories is not the job of an undergraduate student. A student's job is to learn what his teacher has to teach him, so that perhaps later when the student is intellectually ripened, he can lead or participate in a revolution. It's not at all that you need a PhD to hold a dissenting view, but age, thought and experience count for a lot.

At an emotional and personal level, I can sympathize with the Darwinist prof who resents his openly Darwin-doubting student. What arrogance, it must seem, to imagine that what I spent decades mastering, you a little pipsqueak think you're ready to discard half-way into the semester. Imagine yourself in your teacher's place. To him, this is about you, in your ignorance and arrogance or at best innocence, sitting in judgment of the system to which he's devoted his professional life.
In other words, hide your views because your professor might punish you. Recognize that your professor thinks he/she knows more than you do but be confident that they're wrong. Realize that when you encounter professors in class they probably don't understand their subject even though they've devoted their lives to studying it. They might be a bit angry if you exposed them so keep you mouth shut.

Above all, resist the temptation to learn and to question your beliefs. You already know the right answer. University is not the a place for learning.

Here's my advice. It you don't want to learn then don't go to university. If your belief in creationism is really strong then don't ever take a biology class—it might turn you into an atheist and your parents will be very upset. If you need the grade, then take the class, but be prepared to fail. It takes courage to openly stand up for what you believe, especially if there might be consequences. But it's the Christian thing to do.

Most professors love it when students challenge their ideas in class. We prefer those kind of students even if they are wrong. You will never fail a course because of your ideas and beliefs as long as they don't conflict directly with scientific facts. If you believe that the Earth is 6000 years old then you will not pass a geology course or a biology, unless you lie. If you dispute the existence of junk DNA then you could get an excellent grade as long as you get your facts correct.

1. I don't think Klinghoffer has ever been to university. None of the creationist websites mention any university degrees.
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