Saturday, September 20, 2014

Finding truth

Creation Studies class will explore D.C. in March

In an effort to expand learning beyond the classroom, History of Anti-Semitism and Creation Studies 390 classes will unite to take a trip to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Jefferson Memorial and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., Saturday, March 1.

During their visit, they will explore exhibits that reveal the history of America, the integration of evolution and how evolutionary beliefs influence perspectives about the value of human life. This provides students with the opportunity to interact with culture and the Creation versus Evolution debate, which took place Feb. 4, firsthand.

Former Creation Studies 390 student Benjamin Osterkamp explained that Creation Studies Director David DeWitt taught them how to find examples of evolution in the Smithsonian museum.

“For every exhibit that was presented in an evolutionary and naturalistic light, he was able to shed new light on them,” Osterkamp said. “He revealed how creationists and evolutionists would have the same evidence, yet form completely different conclusions from it.”

According to Osterkamp, evolutionary principles were evident in many of the exhibits at the museum, especially in the fossil and mammal displays.

“The exhibits were very deceptive, and the people who design the exhibits have an obvious goal to ingrain evolution into everything that they do,” Osterkamp said. “It is impossible to look at something that does not have an evolutionary twist.”

Osterkamp explained that these false beliefs undermine scripture and devalue human life.

Although Creation Studies 390 classes have taken this field trip annually for the past eight years, this is the first time another class will go to Washington, D.C. with them. According to DeWitt, the Anti-Semitism class joined the trip due to a conversation Liberty student Christy Connell had with Judaic Studies professor Randall Price.

According to Connell, when she shared her excitement about the trip with Price, he was curious about the connection between creation studies and the Holocaust museum.

“He asked how the Holocaust museum connects to evolution, and I told him that evolutionary thought influenced Hitler with (his) final solution: thinking of the Jews as a subspecies and using that as an excuse to exterminate them,” Connell said.

After hearing Connell’s response, Price said that the Holocaust museum related to the class’s topic of study, which is how to support Jews instead of discriminating. According to Connell, she asked DeWitt if the classes could combine for the field trip, and he agreed.

DeWitt said that taking a trip to Washington, D.C. gives students an opportunity to take their knowledge and apply what they have learned in a relevant context.

“It’s encouraging to them to see that they can apply what they’ve learned in that type of setting,” DeWitt said. “Some students haven’t confronted evolution like that at a museum before. For a large number, it’s their first trip to Washington, D.C.”

DeWitt finds that visiting the Jefferson Memorial will remind students that America was founded on the belief that life is sacred and all men are created equal.

DeWitt said he has received positive feedback from many former students about the trip, and some have even asked to come back the following year. He believes that this trip is a valuable piece of the Creation Studies 390 course.

To sign up for the trip, email DeWitt at dadewitt@liberty.edu. The deadline to sign up is Tuesday, Feb. 25.

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