The Questionable Authority

The Consequences of Creationism

From the archives – the following article was originally posted on my old blog back in August of 2005. For reasons that will become clear shortly, I’m going to repost this and a couple of follow-ups to the story over here.

It appears that yet another creationism-related lawsuit is in the works. This time, the venue is in California, and it is the Creationists who are doing the suing. Apparently, the Association of Christian Schools International and Calvary Chapel Christian School of Murietta are no longer satisfied with being able to teach their students creationism instead of real biology. Now, they also want to make sure that their students will not have to suffer the consequences of this decision, and they are suing for that “right”.

The University of California System, quite reasonably, requires that the students that they accept have a certain educational background. Several courses, including biology, offered by Calvary Chapel were determined to be insufficient to meet the UC standards. According to the LA Times article cited above, UC directed Calvary Chapel to instead, “submit for UC approval a secular science curriculum with a text and course outline that addresses course content/knowledge generally accepted in the scientific community.” Typically, the creationists don’t see this as a university excercising it’s duty to ensure that its students are properly prepared for admission. Instead, they see it as yet more evidence of the anti-Christian “bias” that they see anytime they do not get things their own way. From the LA Times article:

“It appears that the UC system is attempting to secularize Christian schools and prevent them from teaching from a world Christian view,” said Patrick H. Tyler, a lawyer with Advocates for Faith and Freedom, which is assisting the plaintiffs.



Bird said the schools have no objection to teaching evolution alongside creationism but consider the UC regulations a violation of their rights. “And a threat to one religion is a threat to all,” he added.

That is an interesting take on the situation, but one that is not reality-based. The UC system is not expressing an opinion on whether or not the creationists should be permitted to mis-educate their children. They are simply declining to consider such courses as having been an acceptable science education. The creationists do not have to expose their children to the evils of evolution if they do not want to. They just have to recognize that this decision has consequences.

Comments

  1. #1 J-Dog
    August 29, 2007

    Pretty Tardariffic! The Calvary Christian School Website should NOT to be viewed by those with weak stomachs.

  2. #2 W. Kevin Vicklund
    August 29, 2007

    Oooh, is the trial about to start? I’ve been looking forward to this one for awhile.

  3. #3 hoary puccoon
    August 29, 2007

    What are the Christian school administrators thinking, that their graduates can go waltzing into a college-level biology class, inform the professor that evolution is ‘just a theory’ and the professor will say, ‘duh, I nevah t’ought o’ dat,’ and give them an A?
    There’s a thread over on Panda’s Thumb discussing whether Christians ever practiced child sacrifice. Apparently in California they do.

  4. #4 Erp
    August 29, 2007

    I believe the trial is fairly soon.

    Note it is not just bad biology but bad history. The English course though included in the lawsuit was mostly rejected because it failed to include enough info on readings and other assignments and did not apparently include readings of complete longer works.

    Note also this is for admission in one way to the university not to particular courses. The UC has alternative methods for students who don’t or can’t take approved courses.

  5. #5 h3nry
    August 29, 2007

    Recently I have been involved in a debate with an ID proponent in the blogosphere about the dangers of teaching creationism/ID in our education system. My answer is basically that creationism offers absolutely nothing to be taught – it offers no educational value (not to mention it is basically a propaganda for creationists’ own beliefs as well as an insult to science).

    I feel that my answer is somewhat short and simplistic… so pheraps one day, if you haven’t already done so, can write an essay of the ramification and consequence of teaching creationism in our schools.

    Thanks.

  6. #6 Burt
    August 30, 2007

    It seems that there is a great deal of misinformation about the ACSI court case against the University of California. To really understand what is going on, please go to: http://www.acsi.org/~UCcase and do some reading. Item #1 gives a brief 4-page overview of why the case was filed. Item #6 is a 14-page brief that summarizes the legal issues. This is not a creationism case, per se. It is a case of illegal viewpoint discrimination by UC against private school students.

  7. #7 Erp
    August 30, 2007

    I’ve read the material. Calvary Chapel school is absolutely free to teach Young Earth Creationism or a history course packed full of false quotes. What it can’t do is force the UC system to consider those courses as real science or real history. Any more than a different school can force the UC system to accept a course on astrology or the Hindu creation myth as real science.

  8. #8 MartinM
    August 31, 2007

    I can’t help but notice that Burt posted his comment on both this and the next post quite some time after the third post in the series was up. Yet he didn’t bother to copy his comment a third time.

    I guess it’s harder to claim that your critics are spreading misinformation when they’re quoting from your own complaint.

  9. #9 hoary puccoon
    August 31, 2007

    Burt claims, “illegal viewpoint discrimination” ???!!?

    Where do these people GET these things? I can see it now:

    Judge to Kidnapper: “You were caught with $20,000 in marked bills, and your fingerprints are all over the ransom note. Guilty as charged.”

    Kidnapper to Judge: “I’m suing you for illegal viewpoint discrimination. I don’t consider kidnapping a crime. I consider it a form of free enterprise.
    And devout Christians invented illegal viewpoint discrimination, so that puts it above the mere legal system.”

    Gee whiz, won’t life be fun when the Christian Dominionists finally win?