Tuesday, 11 August 2009

A Rather Fragile Ego


Dr. Dembski's Course at SWBTS

AP410 This is the undegrad course. You have three things to do: (1) take the final exam (worth 40% of your grade); (2) write a 3,000-word essay on the theological significance of intelligent design (worth 40% of your grade); (3) provide at least 10 posts defending ID that you’ve made on “hostile” websites, the posts totalling 2,000 words, along with the URLs (i.e., web links) to each post (worth 20% of your grade).

AP510 This is the masters course. You have four things to do: (1) take the final exam (worth 30% of your grade); (2) write a 1,500- to 2,000-word critical review of Francis Collins’s The Language of God -- for instructions, see below (20% of your grade); (3) write a 3,000-word essay on the theological significance of intelligent design (worth 30% of your grade); (4) provide at least 10 posts defending ID that you’ve made on “hostile” websites, the posts totalling 3,000 words, along with the URLs (i.e., web links) to each post (worth 20% of your grade).

AP810 This is the D.Min. course. You have four things to do: (1) take the final exam (worth 30% of your grade); (2) write a 1,500- to 2,000-word critical review of Francis Collins’s The Language of God -- for instructions, see below (20% of your grade); (3) write a 3,000-word essay on the theological significance of intelligent design (worth 30% of your grade); (4) develop a Sunday-school lesson plan based on the book Understanding Intelligent Design (worth 20% of your grade).


This is simply pathetic. Many creationists claim that students are indoctrinated with evolution, yet here, we can clearly see what indoctrination is about. Dembski is basing grades on whether the students go and proselytize his theological ideas on "hostile" websites. Are you kidding me? And, does anyone doubt that the "theological significance of intelligent design" better be that it's the greatest thing since sliced bread and that when he asks for a critical book review what he means is that he wants them to be critical of Collins? (Note: I'm no fan of Collins, but to basically instruct your students to pan the guy is pretty low.)

Funny thing is that at SWBTS, Dembski is pretty likely to end up having students that are devotees of Answers in Genesis which as an organization is lukewarm to ID. But, the real question is, is Dembski's ego so fragile that he has to force his students to suck up to him like that? I think the answer is, yes.

2 comments:

Compassionate Heathen said...

I love the last line of instructions in the take-home final exam:

"In turning this paper in you agree, on pain of divine judgment, that this is entirely your own work."

Billyist said...

Yeah, I wish I could instruct people (holding their grades ransom) to spread my ideas around the world. I mean, look, if he's got 20 students, per semester, 10 posts a piece that's 400 posts every year. Probably 75% end up at Pharyngula, meaning this one guy's ideas are inundating all PZ Myers' readers for about 7 or 8 months, 300 times (or an average of over 1 post a day); creating the illusion of a controversy.

I wish I could run my blog that way.