First Day of Class

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, January 15, 2014 0 comments

I showed up about fifteen minutes early. I am a stickler for being on time because, as far as I know, professors appreciate students who are not only punctual, but excited about learning. Showing up early proved that I wanted to be there and I wanted to learn. Of course being the first day of class it did not make that big of a difference because everybody shows up the first day. It is only after the first few weeks that the professors start to learn about who really cares about class and who does not.

Being a single guy, of course, I made sure to get a good seat…meaning that I found the most attractive girl in the room who was not already talking to someone to sit next to during the lecture. And I must say, mission accomplished. I sat down next to an athletic young lady who just happened to make it back from practice just in time for class. After unpacking my books and everything, I introduced myself.

“Hi, my name is Ryan.”
She replied, “Isn’t this place awful?”
“Um,” I hesitated, “I suppose it isn’t too bad, but it could use some work I suppose.”
“Yeah, a little.” Not too encouraging of a reply.
“So, what’s your name?” I was desperately trying to save the conversation and my chances.
“My name’s Megan.” I’m sorry, I just got out of soccer practice and I’m a little bit cranky.
“No problem, I understand.” I said with grace in my voice and a smile on my face.

From that point on the conversation was not too bad. We became acquainted with one another and rode out the fifteen minutes before class, anticipating a boring first day lecture. Finally, our professor walked in and we all hushed. He was your typical science type, that is, for university standards. He had long grayish white hair tied back behind his hair, wrinkles in his forehead from looking into the microscope frequently, business casual clothing, bottomed out with a pair of sandals to preserve an attempted neo-hippie sort of image.

“Welcome class. I am Dr. Derkins. This is Biology 101, if you are in the wrong classroom please feel free to leave whenever you feel necessary, or finally start listening.”
First ten minutes was standard: Syllabus, grading scale, expectations – you know the routine. Then he transitioned into our first lesson.
“As I said, this is Biology 101. There are many crazy ideas about what Biology is, so I don’t want any of you to be confused, otherwise you might fall behind in this class. I want to make you all aware of a group of people that, if you buy into their teachings, will greatly stunt your growth as scientists. We’ll just call them “nutty-creationists.”
I became immediately alarmed. Now I’m thinking, “wait a second, does he mean Christians? I’m a Christian!” But maybe he wasn’t talking about me. Maybe there was someone else he was referring to. I tuned back in.

“These people call themselves scientists, but they are not. In fact, there is nothing scientific about what they do. They take an ultra-literal interpretation of an ancient text and apply its ancient teachings about how some deity created the world in seven days and claim that it ought to be taught as science. This is not science. Science does not start with conclusions and build its arguments. Science starts with observations and questions. These questions lead to experiments and these experiments lead to conclusions. This is called the scientific method.

“We seem to believe in our modern society that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. So you might think that it is okay for people to believe whatever they want to believe, regardless of what science says. But I’m telling you that this sort of belief is dangerous. You can’t just go around denying what is just so obviously true! Evolution is scientifically proven. I could tell you that it is only a theory, but that would be dishonest. Evolution is a fact. There is evidence all across the world that shows that all creatures evolved from a common ancestor, including humans.

“If this sort of evidence is not compelling enough for you, consider the vastness of our universe. Can you honestly tell me, that some “God” created all of this in seven days, ten thousand years ago?” I had never heard a teacher of any sort speak so insistently on this subject. He was obviously and intentionally affronting my faith. But was he wrong? Is it possible that there is no God and that the universe is too enormous for him to have created in seven days (I find it hard to believe, given all of the evidence to the contrary, that the universe is only ten thousand years old). Fortunately, my professor had gone on long enough and it was time to dismiss the class. Regardless, he didn’t miss a beat when it came to denouncing creationists during this nearly hour long rant. Before leaving, I had to get Megan’s opinion.

“So, what do you think?” I asked.
“About what?” was her reply.
“Well, do you think that it is possible for God to have created everything in seven days?”
“Um, I don’t know. I think it is probably better not to go down that road.” She seemed uncomfortable even eking out this sentence.
“Fair enough.” I didn’t want to antagonize her at this point. I began to leave.
“Oh, wait a second. What are you up to tonight?” I was surprised that she actually chose to stop me from leaving.
“Heading, back to the dorms. There’s actually some Bible-study group going on tonight. I think I might check it out. Want to join me?” I knew this didn’t sound, cool but it was true.
“No that’s okay. I should probably get to bed early anyway. We’re in two-a-days right now.”
“Okay, maybe some other time. Get a good night’s sleep. I hope soccer goes well for ya tomorrow.”
She replied, “Thanks,” with the same cold expression on her face that she had on when I first said “hi” to her.

Off to Bible study now. I hope it’s a good crew because I have a lot of mental unpacking to do. Unlike Megan, I want to engage these sort of controversies. There is no way Derkins could be right. Right?
The God I believe in could create the universe instantly if he chose to.

Will Bible study encourage Ryan to keep the faith? If so, how? What about this Megan girl, what’s her deal? Stay tuned for part two: Bible 101.