Readings on origins issues--request for suggestions

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Sat Sep 25 2004 - 10:30:07 EDT

This coming spring term I will be teaching two courses about origins issues.
 I am rethinking/updating the readings that I assign for those courses. It
would be helpful to have suggestions--off list, please--from members of this
list, along the following lines.

(1) I'm looking for published articles & essays and/or single chapters in
books that I can have students read for class discussion of various
individual issues and overall positions on origins issues as a whole. Web
articles are also fine here.

(2) An article/essay/chapter should be clear, well written, accurate in the
facts it cites, not overly polemical (if it dismisses opponents as
heretical, moronic, dishonest, etc., I won't use it), and also
representative of a broader position (e.g., what Bill Dembski writes can be
taken as representative of a broader ID position, although individual IDers
might not always agree with him on a given point) rather than simply
idiosyncratic. It also must be capable of being understood entirely or
almost entirely by my students. My students are mainly not science majors,
are mainly not freshmen, and mainly well above average in intelligence.
(One course will be an honors course; those students are almost all very
bright; the other course is not an honors course. Messiah has an avg SAT of
just about 1200.)

(3) The article/essay/chapter can be your own! In this case, however, if
you are in a position to grant Messiah College permission to include the
article in a course packet without paying a royalty, I am more likely to use
it. Please address this point specifically if any of your suggestions fit
into this category.

(4) As for specific topics, in general I am open to considering almost
anything that is interesting and relevant to origins issues. I don't want
to foreclose any suggestions. At the same time, I definitely want to have
readings that argue for specific overall positions (e.g., YEC, OEC, ID,
varieties of TE, even scientific materialism) in comparison with other
positions. Those are the most important ones I need. I presently use the
book on "Three Views" from Zondervan to do this, but I am not fully
satisfied with it. I might keep it, I might substitute another book
(suggestions are invited here), or I might replace it with a set of

In addition, I'd like some readings to address specific origins issues in
some depth. Here are some examples, I don't expect necessarily to cover
them all, and I don't limit the list only to these examples either.
Theodicy/death before the fall, reductionism/soul/freedom,
ethics/morality/evolution, big bang and fine tuning, the age of the
earth--these are all relevant individual topics.

(5) Finally, I esp invite suggestions from other faculty who have taught
similar courses. What works with your students, to provoke a high level of
discussion and individual thinking on the part of your students? Which
readings are helpful to them as they form their own understandings and as
they try to grow spiritually?

Let me repeat my request that all responses be private!

Thank you,

Received on Sat Sep 25 10:44:10 2004

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