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When Darwinist propaganda dominates academia and media, how can Christian students develop countercultural convictions and, like Günter Bechly, the courage to defend them?
Several organizations promoting alternatives to Darwin also offer educational alternatives. The Discovery Institute, which emphasizes intelligent design and doesn’t say how long it took, has Education Days: Some 312 students and educators attended one in Seattle last year, and this year’s schedule includes Richmond and Dallas.
Answers in Genesis (AiG) provides Bible-based programs that range from daily workshops and lectures at its Creation Museum in northern Kentucky to student homeschool programs and monthly high-school science labs. It also hosts Explore Days, daylong, hands-on programs for students in grades four through 12.
Another young-earth group, the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), hosts conferences across the country in which ICR scientists provide interactive tours, games, and lessons geared toward helping children see the evidence of Biblical truth and God’s creation in nature.
Reasons to Believe, which holds to an old-earth view of creation, provides a yearlong, self-paced homeschool curriculum, including video and audio lectures geared toward high-school students. It also offers a unit study for upper elementary students based on Psalm 104 (King David’s meditation on Genesis 1) and a YouTube series titled Through the Lens.
This summer AiG will offer multiday camps that provide a week of interactive science investigation, and the Creation Museum will offer its first three-day Explore Forensics camp, focusing on how the personal qualities of each individual point to the Biblical Creator. Meanwhile, ICR will open in Dallas a Discovery Center for Science and Earth History: It will feature a planetarium and interactive exhibits that begin with the creation account in Genesis and end with the return of Jesus.
For homeschooled high-school students, AiG holds a yearlong lab practicum in biology, chemistry, physics, and forensic science. Creation Ministries International offers books, workbooks, and study guides. Students at the Discovery Institute’s program last year in Seattle were mostly homeschooled or from private schools. They enjoyed interacting directly with scientists, and some were surprised to learn that not all intelligent design scientists are Christians: They are simply following the science where it leads.
The 18 students from Providence Classical Christian School at last year’s Discovery Institute program had a mix of reactions. Trynn Haney, 15, came away understanding more about the intelligent design argument as applied to genetics: Disturbing one gene disturbs the whole system, leading to more detrimental effects than good. Olivia Hatcher, 17, appreciated having irreducible complexity—one of intelligent design’s underpinning arguments—clearly explained. But Dane Kowalick, 18, would have liked hearing counterarguments from the evolutionary perspective.