I just met a gentleman who wanted to sign up for the bookstore’s educator discount. While he was filling out the registration form, I asked what subject he taught, and he told me he taught high school biology, with an emphasis on ecology and evolution – Yeah! We traded favorite authors and podcasts (also, dude had to be in his 60s, so he’s hip, he’s with it), and he shared his guilty secret: He loves to antagonize his evangelical fundamentalist young earth creationist students (even though he’s a Christian) Hehehe…mean ol’ guy!
2/20/10 – 11:32pm CST
So Cafe Witteveen was kind enough to repost this story on his blog, and I was surprised by some of the comments that it received. It seems I made the professor sound like a bit of a jerk when I said that he loves to antagonize his students. So for any readers over here who might agree with that assessment, allow me to add a bit more context so you can see where I was coming from. The professor was talking about the argument between ID and evolution in his classroom:
“I have to admit that one of the joys of my job is antagonizing my students – I mean, when one of my kids tries to tell me that that intelligent design has to be true, I challenge them to tell me why. I just sit back and listen and and occasionally ask: Why do you believe this?, and How does that support ID?, and after they have successfully defeated their own arguments, we get down to the business of learning about evolution.”
Sounds perfectly reasonable – a successful teaching strategy, and not jerkish in the least!