Richard Dawkins proposes eliminating theology departments:
We who doubt that “theology” is a subject at all, or who compare it with the study of leprechauns, are eagerly hoping to be proved wrong. Of course, university departments of theology house many excellent scholars of history, linguistics, literature, ecclesiastical art and music, archaeology, psychology, anthropology, sociology, iconology, and other worthwhile and important subjects. These academics would be welcomed into appropriate departments elsewhere in the university. But as for theology itself, defined as “the organised body of knowledge dealing with the nature, attributes, and governance of God”, a positive case now needs to be made that it has any real content at all, and that it has any place in today’s universities.
Given that universities are no longer the important centers of Christian-centered intellectual development that they were founded to be, and given that they are demonstrably almost entirely useless in both professional and pure knowledge terms – tests have shown that the average student at an elite university actually knows less about history, law and economics after she graduates than when she enters – why not get rid of them altogether?
The best computer programmers don’t learn how to program at university. Econ majors can graduate from major state universities without ever learning who John Maynard Keynes was. Real published writers don’t learn how to write by studying English. Sociology, Womyn’s Studies and Art History majors are all self-evidently useless. It’s funny to see all the folks with useless degrees in pointless disciplines at Pharyngula who usually chime in with a hearty atheist amen to everything Dawkins and Myers preach suddenly stopping and saying, “hey, wait a minute, now….”
Coincidentally enough, I’ve developed a new technology design that, according to the gentleman at Oxford responsible for education technology, will likely go a long way towards doing precisely that.