Creation, evolution, and Harvard!
May 6, 2000
Did you know that most of the colleges started in the United States over 300 years ago were Bible-proclaiming divinity schools?
In the following guest commentary by Attorney David C. Gibbs, Jr. which was originally printed in the April 2000 “Legal Alert” from the Christian Law Association, you will discover how education in America (and we could make the same observation for most Western countries) has changed 180 degrees, from being Christian-based to humanistic-based, and how evolutionary thinking played a major role in this shift.
Guest commentary: Look how far America has moved!
In 1634 when Harvard College was founded, the governors of the school adopted a seal and motto which was intended (according to Josiah Quincy, president of Harvard in the early nineteenth century) to represent the fact that truth was to be found only in the Scriptures, not in words of man’s devising. Within a few years, the original motto was changed from “truth” to In Christi Gloriam (In Christ Be Glory) and later to Christo et Ecclesiae (For Christ and Church) because succeeding overseers of the college were continually concerned that Christ not be omitted from the instruction provided at the school.
Darwin goes to Harvard!
This concern that truth could only be imparted through teaching about Christ continued until 1869 when a new president, Charles William Eliot, took over the presidency of the college. Eliot was a devoted follower of Charles Darwin’s then brand-new evolutionary theories. The new president determined that education should involve only truth and not Christ or the church. Eliot was determined to infuse all teaching at Harvard College with evolutionary philosophies, including teaching in the law. Eliot and Christopher Columbus Langdell, his newly appointed dean of the law school, determined that teaching at the college in all disciplines of education should no longer be focused on God’s Word, but on the teachings of men.
Harvard has continued to provide leadership for America in politics, law, education, and in many other fields of study just as its founders intended. But after the late nineteenth century the types of leaders sent out from the college were vastly different from those leaders Harvard produced when it was led by godly men.
While America continues to turn from its spiritual heritage, our confidence remains not in men but rather in the unchanging power of God. Praise the Lord that God remains forever true to His Word.