Given the sad state of the academic job market these days, I find it hard to believe that OBU is still hiring ABDs rather than PhDs who have completed post-docs. The market is saturated with newly-minted PhDs, but maybe OBU is unable to find an actual scientist who is willing or able to answer these private, personal, invasive, irrelevant, and unethical questions in the job interview. With these questions being asked of prospective professors, it's no wonder we can't find a real scientist:
- Who is God to you? Do you affirm that He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent?
- Do you affirm the Trinity?
- What is the Holy Spirit? What is the work of the Holy Spirit?
- What is the Church? What is the Church’s role?
- If I were a pagan and you an evangelical Christian, what would you say to me as our plane was crashing?
- What experiences have you had leading people to Christ?
- Do you affirm the Bible as God’s Word as truth and without error?
- Do you affirm a literal Adam and Eve?
- What would you say to a student who asked you about the origins of man? (on creation, evolution, etc.)
- Would you ever advise a student to have an abortion?
- Do you affirm that there are only two genders, male and female?
- What is your position regarding homosexuality? Do you affirm that homosexuality is a sin?
Did our new science teacher just finish his PhD in biology or physics? No. His degree is in instructional leadership and academic curriculum. His master's degree is in education, not science. Most alarmingly, his faculty web page indicates that his particular interest and expertise is in the controversy surrounding the teaching of evolution in high school biology classes. This raises all kinds of red flags for me, especially as I remember my own biology professor at OBU, Mike Keas.
Thankfully, Professor Keas left OBU and now teaches in the undergraduate degree program at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (which purports to help its graduates "understand and engage the cultural climate of our day." He began every class with a "science Bible verse of the day" and never tired of reminding us that he and his wife couldn't have children because "there is something wrong with her." God forbid anyone doubt your virility, Professor Keas! Anyway, he dodged the question when a student asked him point-blank whether he was a young-earth creationist. "Intelligent design" was his preferred intellectual sleight-of-hand. Once, in a lecture on the evils of homosexuality, he went into graphic detail about the physiology of anal sex. So, I tend not to trust OBU when it comes to hiring science teachers.
On the other hand, I had an absolutely wonderful physics professor at OBU, who I believe is still there. He managed to keep biblical literalism and fundamentalism out of the science classroom. Let's hope his new colleague does the same.
This new hire is a) not a scientist, b) interested in (hopefully not obsessed with) "misconceptions held by public secondary school biology teachers" (the topic of his most recent academic conference presentation), and c) made it through the present administration's screening process to teach science at OBU. None of these facts inspires much confidence.
How long until anatomical figures in the textbooks have fig leaves covering their naughty bits?