Jan. 18 Flashback: Whither Wheaton?

Jan. 18 Flashback: Whither Wheaton? January 18, 2022

A lot of things have gotten worse since 2002. This blog is probably one of them.

This is from January 18, 2016, “Wheaton College and creationism“:

Take a moment to absorb the strangeness of that phrase “science professors can teach evolution.” Science teachers can teach science. They can do so. It is permitted as one of the options allowed to them. That’s just … weird.

It’s like reading that chemistry professors have permission to mention the periodic table of the elements. Or that history professors are permitted to acknowledge the existence of Europe.

It’s always a bit disturbing when someone goes out of their way to say something that ought to go without saying. Walk into a restaurant with a sign reading “All fountain drinks 100% arsenic free!” and you’ll be more worried than you would be in a place without such a sign. It doesn’t so much reassure you that these drinks aren’t poisonous as suggest that you’re dealing with people for whom serving non-poisonous beverages is worthy of remark. And that’s unsettling. It’s the opposite of reassuring.

But that’s not the biggest problem with this phrase, “science professors can teach evolution.” The biggest problem with this phrase is that it’s not true.

Read the rest here.

That post was a response to one little-discussed aspect of Wheaton’s tenure scandal, in which tenured professor Larycia Hawkins was improperly fired by the school partly for mentioning the Sterkfontein “cradle of humankind.” (Yes, the tenure scandal was mostly due the racism, sexism, and white Christian nationalism of Wheaton’s large donors, but those donors were also freaked out about public recognition of evolution.)

A big chunk of that 2016 post involved a discussion of Andrew Chignell’s article, “Whither Wheaton?” which was set to publish in Books & Culture before it was vetoed at the behest of the white Christian nationalist and young-earth creationist large donors to Christianity Today Inc. (If it seems like the big-money donors bullying Wheaton seem similar to the big-money donors bullying CT, that’s mostly because they’re the same people.)

Alas, my original links to Chignell’s article haven’t endured since 2016, but you can still read it here thanks to the invaluable Wayback Machine.


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