Textbook: Students select seven books from a list.
Students delve into issues of science, religion, and philosophy in Professor Caviness and Bauer's class. During class discussions, students explore questions and insights on worldview issues and the seeming conflict between science and religion.
“This is a thinking class,” says Caviness. “My job is to get students to think about what it means, and many keep thinking about the issues long after graduation.”
Exploring fundamental questions such as “How do you know what you know?” helps students discover their own worldviews and where worldviews fail. Students discuss the scientific method and realize that science doesn’t prove everything. Science is a successful model to explain some things, but there are limits of logic.
“Students must learn to think for themselves and to think critically, or else they are apt to be deceived,” says Caviness. “We talk these things out and think about the implications now, rather than ignore it and risk that later they’ll be unprepared to face some questions and may lose their faith.”
Textbook: Faith, Science, and Earth History, Leonard Brand
Issues in Science and Society is a philosophical study of modern natural science as it relates to origins, biotechnology, bioethics, and environmental responsibility.
From a creationist perspective, students explore the creation-evolution controversy and discuss the issues surrounding theistic evolution, progressive creation, and young-earth creation. Trott leads students to consider whether one can be intellectually honest and still believe in the Bible. Students evaluate the definitions of science and religion, and whether creation science can be considered “real science.”
Textbook: Evolution, Douglas Futuyma
Theories of the Earth’s origins are debated in Southern’s Issues in Natural Science and Religion class. The class maintains a creationist viewpoint while exposing students to other ideas on origins that permeate the scientific world. Students learn about the Genesis creation, intelligent design, and evolution theories, while acquiring skills to critically evaluate scientific information.
Hill teaches from a university-level evolution textbook and points out how creationism differs and why he advocates short-creation theory.
Part of the coursework helps students learn to face new challenges to their belief systems through finding resources, conducting literature searches, and reasoning through the information collected.