The Discovery Institute is touting something called a “university-level course” by Michael Behe. I have no idea what that means. A real university course is part of a curriculum, a program of study that leads to a degree; there is supposed to be an integrated body of knowledge behind it and surrounding it. We also emphasize lab work in the sciences, so there’s a mix of lecture and hands-on research. We also tend to rank the level of a course by how many prerequisites are required — you don’t get to take my development course unless you’ve also taken cell biology first, or you’d be wasting everyone’s time.
So what is this “course” Behe is offering? It’s 41 video episodes. No prerequisites. They don’t say if you get college credit for taking it, but I can safely say the answer is “Hell No.” They’re using “university-level” as a meaningless adjective. It’s not offered through any accredited university, it’s just YouTube for creationists.
In these videos, Behe discusses the history of thought on evolution and intelligent design, and then delves into the science behind natural selection, random mutation, and irreducible complexity. He covers criticisms of ID as well as relevant new discoveries.
The lectures are accompanied by quizzes to help track your progress, perfect for everyone from high school students up through college professors! Don’t miss it.
The course is a $50 value. But you can get it free by pre-ordering Darwin Devolves.
Oh, it has quizzes. Is Michael Behe going to grade them? You know, we don’t just test students for the heck of it — it’s to assess how they’re doing, how the material is being received, whether we’ve got good comprehension. I’ve often looked at test results and said, “Uh-oh, they didn’t get concept X…I better go over that again, try a new approach, get them to engage these ideas”. Will Behe be interacting with his “students” at all?
No, of course not. I wish people would learn that there’s more to teaching than just marching through a series of presentations.
I also like how they claim it is a
$50 value. How did they determine that? Are they even aware that that would be a ridiculously low price for what they’d like to pretend is equivalent to a 3-credit full semester course (3 class hours a week for 15 weeks…of course, we don’t even know how long each of these videos are)? And then it turns out it’s not $50, it’s completely free when you buy a book.
That tells me it’s worth $0, which is a fair price for the value.
I shouldn’t be surprised. They’ve been pretending to be scientists for years, now they’re pretending to be educators…and are equally incompetent at both.