The GeoChristian

The Earth. Christianity. They go together.

YEC B.S. in geology program

Cedarville University of Cedarville, Ohio has added a Bachelor of Science in Geology program. From the Cedarville announcement:

Cedarville University’s Board of Trustees recently approved the formation of the Bachelor of Science in geology degree, set to begin in fall 2009.

Faculty will equip students for lifelong scientific leadership in career fields such as hydrogeology, environmental geology, petroleum geology and numerous other areas of expertise.

“The degree will offer a whole host of new opportunities for graduates,” shares Dr. John Whitmore, associate professor of geology. “Geologists help us find clean drinking water, petroleum, natural gas, coal and valuable minerals.”

The program will be unique in that no other Christian school, that holds to a literal six-day account of Genesis offers geology as a major for undergraduates. The course of study will be taught from both naturalistic and young-earth paradigms of earth history.

[emphasis added]

This was discussed by e-mail exchanges a week or two ago in a group of Christian geologists I am part of. Most of them were rather skeptical of the the final statement about teaching “both sides” of the age of the Earth and evolution debates.

I wish them well, and I hope the program evolves over time. One question: will they produce geologists who can get jobs in industry or go on to graduate school?

Grace and Peace

P.S. One can also get a B.S. in geology from the following Evangelical Christian schools: Wheaton College, Calvin College, Olivet Nazarene. These schools all have a commitment to the truthfulness (some use the word inerrancy) of Scriptures, and yet see no conflict between the Bible and acceptance of an old Earth.

P.P.S. Why are all of these schools in the Midwest (Illinois, Ohio, Michigan)? Sure, there is some interesting geology there, but not a whole lot in the way of structure or lithologic diversity.

P.P.P.S. How will the science department handle a student who either 1. accepts an old Earth, 2. accepts evolution, or 3. loses his/her faith? How many of the students in this program will have a crisis of faith when they see that young-Earth creationism doesn’t work?

P.P.P.P.S. The Cedarville science department has only one geologist. John Whitmore has an M.S. in geology from the Intitute for Creation Research, and a PhD in biology. This isn’t much of a foundation to build a geology major on.

February 18, 2009 - Posted by | Geology, Science Education, Young-Earth creationism |

4 Comments »

  1. If I had a son our daughter intent on studying geology and eventually becoming a career professional, I would emphatically discourage him/her from attending any of those colleges mentioned, regardless of how I personally felt about the “two origins models”. It would likely hamper their competiveness in applying to graduate programs (expect the admissions committees to notice and wonder) and possibly also employment afterwards, depending on the nature of the position and who is in charge of hiring. Creationism, young or old-earth, is rejected by most geologists, and they are the ones who would be making the offers of admission and employment.

    Like

    Comment by Norm Smith | February 20, 2009

  2. Is this not a free country and are we not allowed to hold views other than those that are in charge. If anyone is discriminated based on their world history view is intolerable. If someone denies admission to a school or employment based on their worldview could be sued for ideological discrimination.

    On another issue, I would not want Jesus to deny me when I stand before the Father because denied His creation here on Earth.

    Like

    Comment by Al Menendez | April 1, 2009

  3. Al Menendez:

    Thanks for your comment.

    I’m not saying that Cedarville shouldn’t be allowed to have their young-Earth geology program; I am thankful we live in a country with religious freedom. I would say that Cedarville should reconsider what it is doing because just about nothing in the young-Earth geological model works, and it is therefore bad apologetics.

    I would not deny Norm (the first commenter) the right to deny a young Earth creationist’s application for employment or admission to graduate school. The young-Earth creationists have said enough crazy things about geology that the decision would not necessarily be one of religious discrimination, but of choosing the best scientist.

    Your final statement is somewhat disturbing. Old-Earth creationists do not deny creation (or other core doctrines of the faith). Fortunately, we are saved by grace alone through faith in Christ alone (Eph 2:8,9). God is not going to give a 27-point doctrinal quiz for entrance to heaven, and beliefs on the timing of creation, though important, are certainly of secondary importance compared to some other doctrines.

    Like

    Comment by GeoChristian | April 1, 2009

  4. To Norm Smith (Feb 20 post): Recent geology majors from Wheaton College have been accepted to graduate programs at U Colorado, Colorado School of Mines, Northwestern U, Stanford, U Washington, U Wisconsin, U Minnesota, Rutgers, New Mexico Tech, U Arizona, Colorado State, Northern IL U, Rice, Southern IL U, U Delaware, SUNY Buffalo, Wright State U, Penn State and U IL Chicago…. I probably left a few out, but this is just in the past 10 years of a program that goes back 50+ years.

    Like

    Comment by S. O. Moshier | May 11, 2009


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