I stopped by our Send an Atheist to Church event between my classes to see how it was going. A professor (I won’t say from which department, don’t want to identify him) was debating with club members working the table. He had initiated the discussion, and I wasn’t paying much attention until the topic turned to evolution.
It was a bit odd. He mostly accepted evolution, but believed that Intelligent Design was a better explanation for what guided the process. He argued that atheist philosophers and scientists outright rejected ID, and it never gets a chance to be debated or discussed.
(Not exact quotes, but fairly darn close)
Me: That’s because ID isn’t scientific.
Him: Yes it is.
Me: No it isn’t. Name one testable prediction for ID.
Him: Well there a many, but the complexity of structures like flagella.
Me: First of all, it has been explained numerous times by numerous people how the flagella could evolve in a stepwise natural fashion. Second of all, that’s not a way to support or falsify ID. It would falsify evolution, but that doesn’t mean God is the answer.
Him: Well all the great scientists were religious. Newton’s religion helped him figure out physics.
Me: …You can be religious and be a scientist. That doesn’t mean your religious beliefs are correct too.
Him: Well, how about Francis Collins? He was the head of the Human Genome Project and is the head of NIH.
Me: That’s just argument from authority. He’s brilliant at genetics, but that doesn’t mean he knows everything about evolution.
Him: Are you head of the NIH?
Me: No, but I study genetics and evolution.
Him: Do you have a PhD?
Me: I’m going to start working toward my PhD in the fall, maybe you’ll listen to me in five years.
Seriously, how demeaning. Yep, I’m just a dumb undergrad. Obviously I have no say on anything because I don’t have a PhD and I’m not the head of NIH, even though evolution is an easy enough concept for teenagers to understand.
I was pretty much done with him at that point. He may as well have said “little girl, go back to your corner and shut up.” What a disrespectful way to treat a student, especially when you are the one who has no idea what he’s talking about.
I would be sorry for anyone who was in this guy’s class. Disagree with him? Nope, you’re just dumb and immature. Come back when you have more letters after your name.