A biology professor at Arizona State University is under attack for an image he showed in class that compared creationism to magic.
The conservative group Campus Reform, which targets educators it perceives to have a liberal bias, reported last week that professor Christofer Bang showed the image during a PowerPoint presentation in his Biology 100 class.
The PowerPoint slide, titled “Evolution vs. Creationism,” showed the March of Progress illustration of human evolution next to an image of Jesus Christ shooting lightning out of his fingers to create a human. The image shows Jesus saying, “MAGIC!”
A student told Campus Reform that the picture was offensive: “Quite a few students in the lecture hall were bothered by the picture, and it didn’t contribute to the lecture besides adding spite.”
Conservatives at Arizona State University also expressed their displeasure with the professor on Facebook.
“Liberal scum certainly exists on this campus! While I personally support the drawing on the left, I think it’s wrong and unethical for professors to shame those who believe differently,” one person wrote on the Facebook page for College Republicans at ASU.
“I dealt with nearly the same kind of crap my freshman year at ASU, and the professor did her best to humiliate anyone who disagreed,” another person complained.
Another person on the Facebook page said the Founding Fathers were creationists: “Never mind the fact that our founding fathers were highly religious and God-fearing. Ignore the fact that all the delegates at the Philadelphia convention believed in creationism, and that the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence describes the unalienable rights endowed to men by their Creator… Instead of ridiculing the absurdity of Christianity, perhaps Professor Bang should learn a little more about the U.S. Constitution, read the Federalist papers, or take a religion class. At the very least he could cite a verse from Genesis in his next presentation.”
ASU spokeswoman Sandy Leander told Campus Reform that the PowerPoint presentation was meant to provoke discussion about evolution and creationism.
“The image you are referring to is on the title page of a [PowerPoint] and sets the stage for a discussion about the extremes of the public discourse on evolution/creationism,” she explained.
ChristianNews.net reported that Bang’s social media profiles — which have since been disabled or set to private — described him as a skeptic.
“In my teaching, I try to engage students using examples from familiar surroundings to increase their awareness of nature,” he wrote on his blog. “We are constantly exposed to examples of bad science in media, so by exposing flaws in ‘sciency’ products I try to teach my students sound skepticism and critical thinking.”