Prominent Professor: Teaching creationism is like Holocaust denial

Teaching creationism is like denying the Holocaust, a prominent evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago (UC) told a local Indiana newspaper earlier this week.

Professor Jerry Coyne said teaching creationism is like denying the Holocaust.

Bestselling author and popular lecturer, Professor Jerry Coyne, made the comment while discussing a Ball State University (BSU) class which considers creationism and deism in the context of science.

“The students are being duped,” Coyne said, regarding the class. “It’s a straight Christian intelligent design/creationist view of the world, which is wrong. It’s not science.

“It’s not that it’s not science,” he continued, speaking to the Star Press. “It’s science that has been discredited. It’s like saying the Holocaust didn’t happen.”

On his blog Why Evolution is True Coyne said he warned a BSU official after a student complained that the class’s professor had been “cramming Jesus down the students’ throats.”  

On May 15, the country’s largest anti-theist organization, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), criticized the class in a letter to BSU President Jo Ann Gora, calling the class a thinly-veiled excuse for Christian evangelization

The class presents a “one-sided monologue by a government paid employee whose agenda is to show that science proves the truth of religion - in this case one particular religion, Christianity,” read the letter.

“The use of public money at a public university to proselytize to students is disturbing,” it continued.

According to the course syllabus, however, its aim is to consider whether or not there might be more to the universe than what science is capable of explaining.

“In this course, we will examine the nature of the physical and the living world with the goal of increasing our appreciation of the scope, wonder, and complexity of physical reality,” it reads.

The class is taught by BSU Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy Eric Hedin, who has received some criticism on the review site for his open Christianity.

“He does far less teaching than he does preaching, and will go to any length to make sure that anything unexplained by science is explained by God,” wrote one reviewer.

Coyne, whose blog contends there is no place for such “Jesus-infused” teaching in the classroom demands that BSU cancel the class.

“Give up the course, BSU, or you’re going to look ridiculous,” Coyne wrote. BSU, meanwhile, has “initiated a review to ensure the content of the class is academically sound, ” Executive Director of Public Relations Joan Todd told Campus Reform on Wednesday.

UC administrators did not respond to Campus Reform’s requests for comment on the incident.

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