By: Jerry Bergman
In the past, tenure was generally an effective protection against termination based on one’s conclusions about Darwinism. But not any longer. Professor Change Laura Tan, a tenured associate professor of molecular biology at the University of Missouri, was terminated due to her rejection of Darwinism.
Her Ph.D. was from the University of Pennsylvania in biochemistry, and she did a genetics post-doctorate at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Tan was born and raised in mainland China. She first learned about Darwin’s theory of evolution when in middle school in China. She accepted without question the idea that life came from non-life, that humans were a type of animal that evolved from some ape ancestor, and that there is no God.
Dr. Tan became a Christian in 2004, but remained an evolutionist because she believed evolution was supported by science.
It was only when she began to teach molecular biology at the University of Missouri that she began to question the theory.
From teaching and doing research, she learned that the genes used to accomplish DNA replication, transcription, and translation in the three domains of life, i.e., bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes, are all very distinct.
This was clear evidence that prokaryotes did not evolve into eukaryotes as evolution teaches. Furthermore, the three domains of life could not share a common ancestor, a conclusion based on the fact that most of the essential genes are domain-of-life specific.
In other words, most of the required genes were very different, producing an impassable gap between prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
The more she studied and researched the genomes of different organisms, the more she became convinced that all organisms on Earth are better represented diagrammatically as a forest of separate phylum trees, instead of only one evolutionary tree as taught by Darwinism.
She also studied orphan genes, genes unique to a specific species that are not found in other species. Tan documented that approximately 29.8 percent of the total protein-coding genes were orphan genes while < 0.01% were universal genes (genes with homologs in each of the 317 species she analyzed). This was the exact opposite of what evolution predicted, and a stunning indictment of the theory!
Her major problem was that her opposers found out she was publishing articles critical of evolutionary naturalism. One of her main co-authors was the head of the genetics lab at Clemson University.
Her book on genetics was co-authored with Dr. Rob Stadler, a Ph.D. in medical engineering from Harvard.
The book was very well-received, earning 115 reviews on Amazon, with 90 percent three-star ratings or better, and 80 percent 5-stars.
When the knowledge of her “heresy” was made public, her grant re-application was rejected. Her laboratory and office were moved from a modern and well-equipped building to an old and deteriorated building.
Subsequently, the then interim dean informed her that the University decided to dismiss her. At that time she was one of the most productive associate professors, with excellent student ratings.
Nonetheless, her peers disparaged any publication that took umbrage with Darwinism. The interim dean said that she could resign to avoid the dismissal process or could request a hearing.
She chose the hearing with little idea about what would transpire. In addition to members of the University of Missouri Campus Tenure Faculty Committee, a court reporter, a videographer, and six lawyers were in the room.
In addition, the committee had a lawyer, and her dean had three lawyers. She was there alone. The vague charges for which she was being fired claimed there was “adequate cause for dismissal related directly and substantially to your fitness or performance in a professional capacity of teacher or researcher. [And for failing to] perform her responsibilities in research at levels satisfactory to maintain her tenured appointment.”
It was clear from the academic hearing that the root issue was her molecular biology research which documented that the life-from-non-life belief, and the evolutionary notion that eukaryotes evolved from prokaryotes, were both at odds with the experimental evidence. She presented at the meeting some of the evidence that led her to question the validity of Darwinism.
No one could dispute the indisputable facts she presented. She did not accept Darwinism and that was her problem.
On June 29, 2022, the Board of Curators informed her that they had decided “to sustain the decision by the Hearing Committee” to dismiss her.
She has been unemployed since then and may go back to China where they are looking for highly trained Harvard educated scientists.
Dr. Bergman is a multi-award-winning teacher and author. He has taught in the science and psychology area for over 40 years at the University of Toledo Medical College, Bowling Green State University, and other colleges. His 9 degrees include a Doctorate from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He has over 1,800 publications in both scholarly and popular science journals that have been translated into 13 languages. His publications are in over 2,400 college libraries in 65 countries. Bergman has spoken over 2,000 times at colleges and churches in America, Canada, Europe, the South Sea Islands, and Africa.