About the beginning of this year, I discovered The Teaching Company. They are a company that creates college-level DVD and CD courses on hundreds of topics, featuring the top professors in the country. I currently own eight of their courses, and am definitely planning to buy more once I am finished with these.
However, I would have liked to find conservative reviews of these courses before I bought them, but none seemed to be available. So I thought that it might be helpful if I reviewed the courses that I have taken, for anyone who is thinking of purchasing any. This is my first attempt at doing so, and if you are interested in seeing more course reviews, do let me know!
My first course was entitled The Human Body: How We Fail, How We Heal. This will not be a surprise to those who know me well, as all my friends are well aware of my odd penchant for medical and anatomical details. I worked my way through it in about a month’s time, and learned so much that I just might have to go through it again at some point to really take it all in.
The course is laid out in a very organized fashion, building from an understanding of the cells themselves, then moving through the basic responses of our bodies, and from there on to different types of diseases and the way our bodies handle them. The final lecture wraps it all up with a lesson on wound healing, which brings together the knowledge gained in the previous lessons in a helpful and illuminating way. Despite the intense pace and wealth of detail, I found the information easy to follow.
The professor was professional, easy to listen to, and good at explaining things. The visual aids were well-chosen and very helpful, and the quality of the sound and video was excellent.
There are a few issues that one should be aware of, however. Most obvious and problematic is the constant taking-for-granted of the theory of evolution. Nearly every lesson contained at least one reference to Darwinism, including at least one explanation of the idea that “phylogeny recapitulates ontogeny” (the long-discarded theory that a child goes through evolutionary stages in the womb). In a couple of lectures the professor states his belief that we need to get out and force everyone to be immunized against certain diseases, so we can wipe the diseases out. I personally hold to the view that such a decision must be up to individuals, not the government or the medical community.
More mild concerns, especially for children, would be his occasional mention of “personally” transmitted diseases (which he handled in a professional, inoffensive manner at all times), a handful of visual aides which depict nudity (simple drawings intended only to illustrate, still, I covered parts of the screen), and some visual aides during the lesson on worms that could be disturbing to some (these are among the only photographs shown). The word “hell” is used as an expletive once or twice.
Overall, I recommend this course to the mature student who wishes to learn more about the wonderful ways our bodies are designed to heal themselves. Ironically, even though the course was full of evolutionary assumptions, I left it feeling more in awe of the Creator’s work than ever. I truly don’t understand how any medical doctor can deny the presence of Design, imprinted so clearly on every aspect of our bodies.