At OCCC last spring, Mike Talkington, biology professor, allegedly taught an Introduction to Biology class in support of Intelligent Design and abstinence.
Intelligent Design is the theory that man did not evolve but was created created by an intelligent entity. It also centers on the idea that Earth is only about 6,000 years old. While some would argue, he did the right thing because students need to become more diverse in their education, what Talkington is said to have done is wrong.
He is teaching a state-funded class that students are required to take for graduation, and he is teaching this class at a state college. This could be interpreted as the state forcing students to participate in a religious class, which is illegal.
Another aspect to consider is uniformity. Students transferring to another college are expected to receive instruction in general education that is similar to the transfer university’s or college’s own core curriculum.
For example, according to the University of Oklahoma’s website, all transfer credits must be compared for equivalency and warns students that their credits may not be accepted if they do not meet these requirements.
Not only did Talkington’s alleged religious lecture violate the students’ rights to not participate in religious activities; what Talkington did may have damaged his students’ educational careers. Because the class did not focus on academically-accepted scientific theories, they may have to retake the class when they transfer to another state school.
The college should offer a course that is devoted to the teaching of Intelligent Design as a theory. The point is students should be allowed to make a decision whether or not they are educated in matters of religion. They shouldn’t have religious views forced on them because of one professor’s preference.