How to teach Science at a Christian College/University

Since for the core curriculum all Calvin students have to take a biology all types of people are mixed together in every first-year bio class. There are the indie scum who already fancy their biology skills to be superior to the average students because they recycle and compost, accountants who will love the math parts, pre-seminary, classics kids, English majors, etc. They all have differing levels of knowledge and interest in science and some may only pay enough attention to pass it and not put much effort in the class.

Adding to the already manifold challenges of the biology professors is the fact that there has always been a segment of Christianity that has been majorly uncomfortable with evolution. This segment will proclaim creation ex nihilo while in the same breath denouncing evolution because “something can’t come from nothing”. It’s a given that at least a few students in any class will have been innoculated against this godless and atheistic theory and many may yet be unsure about the validity of the theory.

To jump straight into science might scare these jumpy individuals. So what is a professor to do to make them comfortable with the scientific process and the theories that will come about through it? It must be something more than the typical “get the ‘everything good flows from God and since this subject is good it comes from God’ religious talk out of the way on the first day” speech but you really shouldn’t go the apologetic route of overtly trying to meld the two.

The best route is to spend the entire 50 minutes slowly reading through Genisis One. And interjecting your own commentary about big biological concepts and theology in between each verse. It will put everyone in a stupor an ease their fears about learning big, bad atheistic science. The real stuff can come later.


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