The Questionable Authority

Over the last few days, I reposted a series of four articles that I wrote two years ago. Those articles discuss a California lawsuit filed by a group of Christian schools against the University of California. They are suing in an attempt to force UC to recognize some of their classes as meeting the requirements that UC sets for high school students who are applying for admission to the system. Several subjects are involved in the suit, but as a biologist I’m mostly interested in the biology courses that are involved.

At the moment, the next scheduled event in the case comes on September 24th, when the judge will hear arguments on motions for summary judgement. I’m not a legal expert, and I don’t spend as much time following Constitutional Law for fun as Ed does, but I’ve got a feeling that the motion for summary judgement filed by the Christian schools will fail, and the case will go to trial. A motion for summary judgement can only be granted if there are no significant disputes about material facts in the case. In this particular case, at least as far as the science books are concerned, there is a significant dispute about the facts.

The plaintiffs (the Christian schools) claim that their courses, “add to standard content a banned book, a religious viewpoint that God created man and woman, or the viewpoint of creation or Intelligent Design,” and that this constitutes “viewpoint discrimination.” (Brief for Summary Judgement p. 20). Someone from the Association of Christian Schools International, one of the plaintiffs in the case, left a comment on a couple of the old articles that elaborated a bit on that – the case, he claimed, is not about creationism, it’s about “illegal viewpoint discrimination.

When it comes to the biology courses, their claim that they are teaching the “standard material” with a religious viewpoint added had better be disputed – because they’re not. I’ve got a copy of the Bob Jones University textbook that’s used by some of the Christian schools. Biology for Christian Schools does not, in any way, shape, or form teach “standard” biology with religion added. It teaches religion instead of standard biology, and the University of California is absolutely right to refuse to accept courses taught from this book as biology classes.

If you teach, as the Bob Jones book does on page 173, that:

It has been shown that there are many factors that can cause a population to change over time. Some people would take this fact and use it as evidence to support the notion of evolution. However, they should think again about these population changes. In the example above, the deer are still deer; in the photographs the elephant seals and cheetahs are still seals and cheetahs. Creationists and evolutionists would agree that mutations are the only mechanism that creates new alleles; however, most mutations are harmful, and none have created a new type of organism. Population genetic studies are useful in studying how populations change, but they can offer no support to evolution.

you are teaching something quite different from standard biology.

If you teach, as the Bob Jones book does on page 197, that:

Christians need not wonder about the beginning of life, though, since it is clearly outlined in Genesis 1 and 2. Other passages in the Bible give us additional facts about God’s creative act, the history of His physical creation, and even God’s description of what will eventually happen to His creation. Collectively, these passages provide a divinely inspired outline of the history of life. Because God is the source of all truth, all accurate scientific knowledge will fit into this outline. Anything that contradicts God’s Word is in error or has been misunderstood.

you are teaching religion in place of standard biology, and you are teaching that religion is superior to standard biology.

If you teach, as the Bob Jones book advises on page 200 of the teacher’s edition, that:

Evolution, by definition, is change toward the more complex, not merely change. Change can be downward or toward the less complex, which is not evolution but devolution.

you are teaching a definition of evolution that no scientist working in the field would accept.

If you teach, as the Bob Jones book does on page 206, that:

Scientists theorize that the postdiluvian mountains are higher and the oceans deeper than the antediluvian mountains and oceans. They also propose that the rapid movement of water running off the land masses accounts for many of the geologic formations seen today…

you are clearly operating under the mistaken assumption that “scientists” and “charlatans” are synonyms.

If you teach, as the Bob Jones book does on page 207, that:

The average human life span before the Flood (based on Genesis) was 912 years. After Noah, the life span quickly dropped to about 400 years and continued to decline. Some scientists believe this change in life span is also due to postdiluvian changes in the atmosphere. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived well over 100 years, but few men after their time have reached even 100 years. A cause for this decrease could be the loss of the antediluvian atmosphere resulting in more direct exposure to solar radiation. Other Bible scholars believe this decrease in life span to be a result of sin and its effect on the human gene pool.

you have clearly decided that science is an optional component in your science class.

When you tell students, as the Teacher’s Edition of the Bob Jones book does on page 233, that the correct answer to the question:

Anthropologists have found fossil evidence that clearly links humans and apes through a common ancestor. (True/False)

is false, you are lying to your students. You are definitely not teaching biology.

I don’t know what you’re doing when you teach, as the Bob Jones book does on page 618, that, “much of the modern environmental movement seems to be politically motivated by a liberal agenda,” but it sure as hell ain’t science.

At this point, I think at least one thing has become clear. Labeling the Bob Jones book “Biology” is like labeling a five-pound bag of dog droppings a “tulip” – the smell stays the same, and anyone who opens it is in for an unpleasant surprise. They can call a course taught from that book a “biology” class, but that really doesn’t make it one.

Far be it from me, of course, to suggest that the fine folks at the Christian schools do not have the right to teach their students using the five pound ba- excuse me, using the Bob Jones text. As sad as it may be for their poor students, they do. What they don’t have is the right to force other people to agree with their labeling. If they want their students to be credited as having taken biology, they need to teach biology. If they want to continue to exercise their right to deceive and mislead their children, they need to be willing to accept the consequences of that act.

Comments

  1. #1 Ryan
    September 3, 2007

    Perhaps I am not be the most well educated advocate of proper biology, but this small snippet from that textbook makes me feel just awful.

  2. #2 Erp
    September 3, 2007

    I believe Behe in his expert report is arguing that it is a legitimate textbook as it meets the California standards. We could have a side issue of how good the accepted textbooks are (and this is likely to be interesting in the history course). According to Behe the Bob Jones text mostly closely met the standards.

    In my opinion it is pedagogically quite appropriate for a nonpublic high school biology class to present the strengths and weaknesses of Darwin’s theory of evolution, some of which have been discussed in my book Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution (10th anniversary edition, 2006), as well as in Icons of Evolution by Jonathan Wells, both of which are incorporated into this report by
    reference, and for the nonpublic class to discuss alternatives such as intelligent design or creation. The reason is that, if the topic of a class is the question of how life originated or developed, then it is
    pedagogically sound to discuss a range of possible answers to that question, as well as to point out the strong points and weak points of each idea.

    Of course there are no peer reviewed papers referenced showing that the stated weaknesses and alternatives are actually scientifically valid.

  3. #3 Tim
    September 3, 2007

    I’d be interested in knowing what texts and curriculum these private schools are actually using. I have to admit, the Bob Jones text sounds interesting…lots of good laughs.

  4. #4 Jay Andrew Allen
    September 3, 2007

    Behe is involved in this case? Thank God. That means another victory for science is in the works!

  5. #5 mark
    September 3, 2007

    Not only does that textbook not meet the standards one would expect a real university to require, but those who have studied from that book most likely are in dire need of extensive remedial science classes. A real university certainly should discriminate between admitting students having promising bacgrounds from those whose understanding has been so perverted and retarded as to render them laughingstocks, crackpots, and IDiots.

  6. #6 Evan
    September 3, 2007

    I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

    Those excerpts left an awfully bad taste. I would have to agree that it is not in anyone’s rights to forbid such teachings in private, religiously oriented schools. But it is incredibly sad (and terribly frightening) that they would.

    I cannot imagine the Christian Schools winning this case. Not in the slightest. But I wonder if they will cry religious discrimination when they do lose.

  7. #7 Shayna
    September 3, 2007

    As an anthropology student, I can just imagine someone coming in to an Intro to Biological Anth. class who had been taught “Intelligent Design” trying to argue against archaeological evidence of millions of years of evolution. I feel sorry for those students who have learned this as science.

  8. #8 386sx
    September 3, 2007

    Oh great a science book telling people they “need not wonder” about stuff. And all of this is supposed to be at the university level? What the hell kind of a university is that?

  9. #9 386sx
    September 3, 2007

    Seriously that’s just completely idiotic. What the hell?

  10. #10 caerbannog
    September 3, 2007

    In the unlikely event that the University of California loses this case, I hope it has a “Plan B” in the works that would require manditory “bonehead biology” classes for all incoming freshmen who can’t pass a proficiency exam. “Bonehead biology” should be modeled after the “bonehead English” courses that the UC introduced a few decades ago.

  11. #11 Carol Clouser
    September 4, 2007

    Mike, I totally agree with your analysis of those “biology” books but why would we as scientists want to keep these students from attending a REAL university such as UC? It’s actually an opportunity to undo all the damage these poor students have been subjected to.

  12. #12 Larry Fafarman
    September 4, 2007

    Mike,
    So far you have only shown us what is wrong with the fundy biology textbooks and not shown what is right with them. Remember the optimist’s creed —

    As you go through life, my friend,
    Whatever may be your goal,
    Keep your eye upon the donut,
    And not upon the hole.

    The biggest dispute over the biology textbooks is about evolution — though I admit I nearly gagged at the statement that human lifespans have decreased because of exposure to solar radiation.

    We should also remember that the dispute with UC is not just over these biology textbooks but includes other textbooks as well. It is noteworthy that UC rejected the fundy physics textbooks without disputing the science in those textbooks at all. UC also rejected textbooks in history and literature, saying that the Christian focus of these textbooks is too narrow. Calvary Chapel high school sought approval for courses titled “Christianity’s Influence on American History” (page 28 of complaint) and “Christianity and Morality in American Literature.” (page 32). I actually see this apparent narrow focus of the history and literature texts as a much bigger problem than the science texts. However, the complaint argues that other courses with a similarly narrow focus have been accredited by UC (pages 45-52 of complaint).

    caerbannog said,

    In the unlikely event that the University of California loses this case, I hope it has a “Plan B” in the works that would require manditory “bonehead biology” classes for all incoming freshmen who can’t pass a proficiency exam. “Bonehead biology” should be modeled after the “bonehead English” courses that the UC introduced a few decades ago.

    The alternative admission paths that UC has offered to students who have used these disapproved textbooks require — as I remember — that they be within the top 2-4% of high school grads and I think that is unreasonable. A sensible alternative would be to require them to get a certain minimum score on, say, the SAT advanced placement tests in the subjects in question and take a remedial UC course if they fail. Here, for example, are the topics of the SAT advanced placement test in biology —

    I. Molecules and Cells (25%)

    A. Chemistry of Life (7%)
    Water
    Organic molecules in organisms
    Free energy changes
    Enzymes

    B. Cells (10%)
    Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
    Membranes
    Subcellular organization
    Cell cycle and its regulation

    C. Cellular Energetics (8%)
    Coupled reactions
    Fermentation and cellular respiration
    Photosynthesis

    ===============================

    II. Heredity and Evolution (25%)

    A. Heredity (8%)
    Meiosis and gametogenesis
    Eukaryotic chromosomes
    Inheritance patterns

    B. Molecular Genetics (9%)
    RNA and DNA structure and function
    Gene regulation
    Mutation
    Viral structure and replication
    Nucleic acid technology and applications

    C. Evolutionary Biology (8%)
    Early evolution of life
    Evidence for evolution
    Mechanisms of evolution

    =====================================

    III. Organisms and Populations (50%)

    A. Diversity of Organisms (8%)
    Evolutionary patterns
    Survey of the diversity of life
    Phylogenetic classification
    Evolutionary relationships

    B. Structure and Function of Plants and Animals (32%)
    Reproduction, growth, and development
    Structural, physiological, and behavioral adaptations
    Response to the environment

    C. Ecology (10%)
    Population dynamics
    Communities and ecosystems
    Global issues

    — from

    http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/biology/topic.html

    So a relatively small part of the test is specifically about evolution theory, though there is also a lot about related subjects, like genetics and population dynamics.

    In fact, the complaint in this lawsuit suggests the use of standardized tests as an alternative:

    Far less burdensome means are available to ensure that graduates of Christian schools, and applicants to University of California, are suffciently educated using texts and viewpoints of their choice — those are the means that are already used for out-of-state applicants who do not attend schools with approved a-g courses. Those means are standardized tests (without discriminatory score requirements), which actually demonstrate that the graduates of Christian schools are on average better educated than their public school counterparts who apply to University of California, and study of the academic progress of students at University of California from Christian schools compared to other schools in order to see whether they are sufficiently educated. Such methods would not involve or require regulating the viewpoint and content of Christian schools and texts or disqualifying their graduates from eligiibility for the University of California. In addition, far less burdensome means are available to ensure that any deficiency is corrected — those are the remedial courses or tutoring that the University already offers students in a wide range of subjects such as English and mathematics, which do not involve or require regulating the viewpoint and content of Christian schools and texts or excluding their graduates. — page 43 of complaint

    An important factor that courts consider in lawsuits charging unconstitutional discrimination is whether there are less burdensome alternatives.

  13. #13 hoary puccoon
    September 4, 2007

    I’ve taught unprepared students at the college level. It’s heartbreaking– just impossible to undo the damage in the time available. So what can the professors do? Flunk them out and let them try to pay off those college loans without a degree to help them get a good job? Pass them on and let your institution’s reputation go down, down, down?

    I know which way Berkeley would go if the Christian Academies win. The UC professors aren’t going to let a world-class institution be dragged down to the level of Bob Jones U. Kids who thought they were bright (and maybe even were bright, before their good, Christian education left them too confused to think straight) will be out on the street, feeling like failures and with all those loans to pay off.

    Carol Clouser’s suggestion may sound good at first glance, but letting unprepared students into universities is really a cruel, cruel thing to do.

  14. #14 Shawn WIlkinson
    September 4, 2007

    Though I agree with Carol to an extent, at the same time I think a University (especially the respective colleges within the university), even if public, has the ability to discern acceptance standards. Certified education beyond high school curriculum is a privilege that can be utilized, not a naturally given right. And certain criteria must be met before one is considered to be enrolled.

    Don’t get me wrong; education is a right. One cannot force another indidivual to become educated. But the government is not obligated to recognize in an official capacity that indidivual’s education.

    /rambling

  15. #15 Ginger Yellow
    September 4, 2007

    Those quotes are bad enough, but nothing tops:

    The people who have prepared this book have tried consistently to put the Word of God first and science second. To the best of the author’s knowledge, the conclusions drawn from observable facts that are presented in this book agree with the Scriptures. If a mistake has been made (which is probable since this book was prepared by humans) and at any point God’s Word is not put first, the author apologizes.

    You couldn’t ask for a clearer declaration of anti-scientific intent.

  16. #16 Larry Fafarman
    September 4, 2007

    Ginger Yellow said,

    You couldn’t ask for a clearer declaration of anti-scientific intent.

    It’s not “anti-scientific intent” — it’s a “fundy viewpoint.” :-)

    To me, the critical issues concerning the biology courses are the following:

    (1) So far as I can see, UC has not complained that the fundy biology textbooks do not present the core material correctly — UC’s complaint appears to be that these textbooks add a fundy viewpoint.

    An email from Roman Stearns, Special Assistant to the Director of Admissions, said of courses using either the BJU Press or A Beka Book biology/science texts,

    The content of the course outlines submitted for approval is not consistent with the viewpoints and knowledge generally accepted in the scientific community.
    — from page 68 of complaint

    That is too vague — UC needs to be more specific. The ACSI said of a meeting between both sides,

    As the discussion continued about the biology books, it became evident that they were rejected because they appeared to state the perspective that the Bible is revelation and along with faith is more authoritative than the observations of science, especially if there were a conflict over a “factual scientific issue.”

    — from
    http://www.acsi.org/webfiles/webitems/attachments/007875_1.%20Overview%20of%20ACSI%20Law%20Suit.pdf

    (2) Did UC offer the rejected students admission if they would (1) take standardized tests — e.g., the SAT advanced placement biology test — on the subjects in question and (2) take remedial UC courses if they did not get satisfactory scores on the tests?

    I have been reading legal documents in the case and I have not found satisfactory answers on the above two issues. Some legal documents are available at the following two sites (http:// prefixes have been removed to prevent the comment from hanging up) —

    National Center for Science Education —
    www2.ncseweb.org/avs/index.php

    Association of Christian Schools International
    http://www.acsi.org/~UCcase

    UC’s answer to ACSI’s motion for summary judgment might shed some light on the above issues. ACSI’s motion was mailed on Aug. 27, so it is too early for an answer. The hearing is scheduled for Sept. 24.

  17. #17 Christophe Thill
    September 4, 2007

    The best and shortest answer to this, in my opinion, is: science has no place for viewpoints.

  18. #18 Larry Fafarman
    September 4, 2007

    The best and shortest answer to this, in my opinion, is: science has no place for viewpoints.

    That answer may be the shortest, but it is certainly not the best. The Constitution has a place for viewpoints. There are constitutional issues here, not just scientific ones.

  19. #19 harold
    September 4, 2007

    Carol Clouser wrote –

    Mike, I totally agree with your analysis of those “biology” books but why would we as scientists want to keep these students from attending a REAL university such as UC?

    WE WOULDN’T.

    The issue is merely that garbage courses shouldn’t be counted as equivalent to biology prerequisites. By the University of California, in this specific example. There are many options available to these students to take the required prerequisites. Requiring prerequisites does not “keep students from attending university” in any meaningful way.

    The issue here is not whether or not the students should ever be allowd to study science at the university level. Of course they should, if they have the basic decency to achieve the same mandatory preparation required of all other students (and they can take all the creationist claptrap courses they want, too, they just can’t use them for science credit).

    Ironically, I entered university somewhat deficient in science, due to a disrupted high school education (however, I had technically achieved the minimum prerequisites; I didn’t try to con anybody, and I wasn’t delusional about my level of preparation, either). I caught up, and ended up with a science degree, moving on to medical school, but students are far better off with adequate preparation. The ultimate victim of this nonsense, should it succeed, will be the students who are conned into thinking that they’ve been taught biology – until they hit a real classroom.

  20. #20 mary
    September 4, 2007

    A couple of quick points for those who haven’t done a lot of background reading on this case:

    UC has far more applicants who are fully qualified (i.e., took 2-3 real science classes like they were supposed to) than it can accept. Why, then, should it accept a single student who substituted Bible study instead? It’s not as if the Calvary Chapel students add significant diversity to the student demographics. Middle-class Christian kids from suburban Los Angeles are a dime a dozen on any UC campus.

    UC is also the top tier of a three-tier system. It doesn’t do remedial education. Kids who have serious holes in their education would be much better off going to a community college for a few years first, to get the basics straight, and then transferring to a UC campus for their last two years.

    The other disputed courses were just as problematic as the biology class. Most noteworthy, the “American Literature” class read only short exceprts from mostly British authors, and flunked because they weren’t reading any entire books. The history course flunked for the same reason the biology course did: it used a textbook that substituted fundamentalist apologetics for academic subject matter.

    UC’s general standard is that to win certification in a subject area, a course must reflect “material generally accepted in the academic community”. Alternative viewpoints must be presented only in supplimental materials, if at all, so students can clearly distinguish the academic material from the non-academic viewpoint.

    It appears that Calvary Chapel isn’t willing to let its students know that its “viewpoint” is widely rejected as worthless by serious academics who are actually familiar with the primay data. That’s fine–as a private religious school, Calvary Chapel can teach what it likes. However, UC also doesn’t have to accept students whom it considers to be ill-prepared for university-level work.

    Choices have consequences. UC has clearly stated what students have to learn in high school if they wish to be considered for UC admissions. Every high school guidance counselor in California knows the UC guidelines, and exactly which courses at their school meet the requirements. Students who take other courses instead have no one to blame but themselves if UC isn’t interested in taking them.

  21. #21 harold
    September 4, 2007

    Lary Fafarman wrote –

    The best and shortest answer to this, in my opinion, is: science has no place for viewpoints.

    That answer may be That answer may be the shortest, but it is certainly not the best. The Constitution has a place for viewpoints. There are constitutional issues here, not just scientific ones.

    That’s good news of the University of California. If Lary Fafarman supports a side in a case with his “constitutional” arguments, that alone is excellent evidence that the other side will massively prevail.

    Darn good thing, too. The original poster exaggerated slightly – of course there’s room for viewpoints in science, but they have to appeal to and adjust to the evidence to remain relevant. But that’s hardly the point.

    Lary literally can’t differentiate between his perfect right to express any nonsene he wishes, versus his merciful complete lack or right or power to force the taxpayers to have any crazy crap whatsoever taught as “science” in public schools or, in this case, accepted as “science prerequisites” at a public university.

    Of course the constitution protects your right to preach it from a soapbox. But public school science curriculum is a matter of expert consensus, based on mainstream science, and ultimately funded by the taxpayers and administered by elected officials or their appointees. All within the framework of respect for the rights of the individual which is ensconced in the US constitution. Sorry.

  22. #22 Christophe Thill
    September 4, 2007

    “Darn good thing, too. The original poster exaggerated slightly – of course there’s room for viewpoints in science, but they have to appeal to and adjust to the evidence to remain relevant. But that’s hardly the point.”

    Well, I, original poster, still agree with myself. A viewpoint is an opinion, a personal choice of perspective, and as such, it’s normal that it’s protected by the Constitution. You have the right to choose your religion, your political options, your favourite car or food, cats over dogs (or vice-versa), etc.

    But science isn’t about opinions. If it was, answers would be decided by voting, instead of using observation, experiments, etc.

    So invoking “viewpoint discrimination” in science is… well, it’s always the same old song in the evolution/creation “debate”. Or, let’s make room for other alternative viewpoints, such as geocentrism, the demonic possession theory of disease, the Babel Tower theory of the origin of languages, etc.

  23. #23 Jeb, FCD
    September 4, 2007

    How is teaching those lies not intellectual child abuse?

  24. #24 Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD
    September 4, 2007

    Could someone please remind me which amendment in the Bill of Rights covers “viewpoint discrimination“?

  25. #25 Grand Moff Texan
    September 4, 2007

    “Viewpoint discrimination”? That’s a nice way to put it.

    Meanwhile, back in reality, working in education actually requires that you discriminate against stupid people. I know, it’s a crying shame.
    .

  26. #26 harold
    September 4, 2007

    Christoper Thill –

    I suppose I included reasonable hypotheses that have not yet been definitively ruled in or out as “viewpoints”. Maybe I shouldn’t have.

    At the level of graduate education and research, science is full of legitimate competing views on cutting edge or detail topics, and surprising findings. That’s what people like about science. But that doesn’t make crackpot nonsense a legitimate “viewpoint”.

    I don’t have any problem with your basic point, to put it mildly. There is no excuse for teaching claptrap as “science”. There is much that is well-established – certainly including the theory of evolution – and “viewpoints” which lie about established fact are just plain wrong.

    Let’s face it – “viewpoint” here is just a creationist weasel word. Any garbage can be called a “different viewpoint”.

  27. #27 Jud
    September 4, 2007

    Mike –

    IAAL, and I don’t see a *factual* dispute in what you’ve related, but a dispute over the legal characterization to be given those facts. That is, there is no dispute over the bare facts of which textbooks the plaintiffs wish to continue to use, nor over the words that appear in those texts, nor over what the UC’s procedures are for applications from students who have used these texts. As such, the case would appear to be appropriate for summary judgment – denial of the plaintiffs’ motion and/or (if the UC hasn’t filed a summary judgment motion of its own) granting summary judgment for the defense on the judge’s own motion.

    I don’t include the possibility of plaintiffs prevailing on their summary judgment motion, because frankly it is laughable to me that it would constitute “viewpoint discrimination” actionable under the Constitution for the state (as the University of California) to impose the criterion that science texts must stick to scientific facts.

    But hey, I could be surprised (astounded would be more like it, actually).

  28. #28 Rob
    September 4, 2007

    On page 14 of the Plaintiffs’ Brief PDF there’s the following extraordinary complaint about UC’s view of history courses:

    A [history] course will be rejected that “attributes historical events to supernatural causes”. … That prohibits even explaining the Great Awakening as an act of God, or the Civil War as a judgement of sin by God.

    Did I read that correctly – someone thinks it’s a bad thing that university history departments won’t accept supernatural explanations of events? Mind you, if such things had been acceptable back when I was taking history exams it would certainly have made my life easier…

    Q: Describe the long-term and short-term causes of the Second World War.
    A: God done it.
    Excellent – full marks!

  29. #29 raven
    September 4, 2007

    One of my minor complainst about fundie cultists is that they are setting their kids up for failure in the real world. It is probably legal but it isn’t moral.

    The Xian textbooks are appalling and a typical example of voluntary ignorance. FWIW, a fundie “viewpoint” of science has to not only toss evolution but also physics, astronomy, geology, and paleontology. Most of modern science.

    Besides which, they shouldn’t be the least afraid to teach real science as real scientific theories. This is where their court case will fall apart. You don’t have to “believe” something to understand and know about it.

    If I studied Buddhist theory and practice, that doesn’t mean at all that I’m a buddhist or going to become one. In fact I have studied fundie cultist theory and practice and concluded that they are completely wrong on just about everything.

  30. #30 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    September 4, 2007

    Thanks, Jud.

    That kind of clears things up.

  31. #31 raven
    September 4, 2007

    A [history] course will be rejected that “attributes historical events to supernatural causes”. … That prohibits even explaining the Great Awakening as an act of God, or the Civil War as a judgement of sin by God.

    Who are these cultists? This isn’t even good fundie theology. Who was the latter day prophet who came up with the above BS? And why are they writing new books for the bible?

    Not sure why they are worrying about their kids getting into Berkeley. They will be lost, deep in culture shock, way behind the rest of the kids, and most likely last a quarter or two.

  32. #32 Dizzy
    September 4, 2007

    Don’t know if this has been posted already, but here’s a link to Prof. Ayala’s expert report (Biology):

    http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/acsi-stearns/expertreports/ayala.pdf

    Other reports can be found at UC’s page about the case:

    http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/acsi-stearns/

  33. #33 Albatrossity
    September 4, 2007

    I also have a copy of the two-volume BJU “Biology for Christian Schools”, and I posted my review on this thread at Thoughts from Kansas. It is comment #240.

    The anti-science nature of this book is obvious from the Introduction (p. xi)

    If your teacher assigns a report on grasshoppers, an encyclopedia would be a logical place to begin. As you find out about the legs and wings of grasshoppers, how far these insects jump, their life cycle, how much damage they cause each year, and what types of insecticides are used to control them, you are gleaning scientific material. The same encyclopedia article may state that the grasshopper evolved 300 million years ago. You may find a description of some insect that the grasshopper supposedly evolved from, and a description of the insects that scientists say evolved from the grasshopper. You may even find a scientific explanation of the biblical locust (grasshopper) plague in Egypt. These statements are conclusions based on supposed science. If the conclusions contradict the Word of God, the conclusions are wrong, no matter how many scientific facts may appear to back them.

    followed on the same page by

    The Christian must evaluate the source of a statement. Scientific statements must be based on observation or else they are mere guesses. There is nothing wrong with a guess, as long as it is clearly labeled a guess or a belief. But Christians must disregard those guesses and beliefs that contradict the Bible.

  34. #34 Phatty
    September 4, 2007

    I’ve read the relevant pleadings in this case, and based on what I’ve reviewed, it seems that there is a pretty good chance of UC losing the case. Most comments here have focused on the biology courses, but UC’s weakest argument concerns the other courses such as History and English. I just can’t fathom some of UC’s policies concerning these types of courses where they disallow any courses that have a Christian viewpoint. For instance, a course focused on feminist authors throughout history would be allowed, but a course focused on Christian authors throughout history would not be allowed. A physics text was banned (until after the filing of the lawsuit) only because there was a bible verse at the beginning of each chapter even though the content of the actual chapters was completely secular and accurate. The plaintiff was able to dig up a lot of comments made by the UC reviewers and policy-makers that pretty clearly show that the UC staff was anti-religious in general when reviewing courses and instituting policies.

  35. #35 Larry Fafarman
    September 4, 2007

    Tegumai Bopsulai FCD said ( September 4, 2007 12:34 PM ) —

    Could someone please remind me which amendment in the Bill of Rights covers “viewpoint discrimination”?

    — after you remind us which amendment in the Bill of Rights covers “separation of church and state.”

  36. #36 Mary
    September 4, 2007

    Phatty,

    I suggest you read through the expert reports on the English, history, government, and physics textbooks before you decide that there was nothing wrong with them besides the addition of a Christian viewpoint. There are links to the reports at http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/acsi-stearns/

    The books had extensive problems, quite apart from the Christian bias. The English anthology was limited to short snippets from each author, often selected in such a fashion as to be irrelevant to any serious discussion of why that author is considered important. (If you’re only going to reprint a few pages of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, shouldn’t you select pages that discuss the problem presented by slavery?)

    The history textbook covered wealthy white Protestant men adequately, but did not offer any significant treatment of the historical contributions of women, minority religious groups, African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, or poor Americans. Unlike mainstream high school history textbooks, there were no sections presenting multiple perspectives of a historical turning point using original sources. How can a student use such a textbook to learn how to examine a historical event critically, as is required in any college-level history course at UC?

    The government textbook was similarly flawed: some material presented was flat out wrong, other material that should have been covered was not, and students were actively discouraged from critically examining the material being presented and perhaps coming to a different conclusion than the authors.

    The “Christian viewpoint” of the physics textbook was not limited to the Bible verses at the chapter headings. Among other serious problems, the book attempts to rewrite the Second Law of Thermodynamics and claims that radioactive decay rates aren’t constant. This is apparently because these aspects of physics, if properly understood, would allow the students to spot certain creationist “criticisms” of evolution as bogus.

    The most interesting part of the expert reports, however, is the analysis in Michael Kurst’s report of a study showing that as a group, UC students who went to high school at ACSI schools (even if they take the coursework UC requires) do not do as well academically as public-school students from similar backgrounds. They score lower on SATs, have lower grade point averages, drop out more often, and if they stay, take longer to earn a degree. All of those are classic indicaters of students who came to college with insufficient preparation in high school.

  37. #37 Ichthyic
    September 4, 2007

    The Clouserbout pooted:

    It’s actually an opportunity to undo all the damage these poor students have been subjected to.

    I nominate, you, Carol, to “volunteer” to undo all that damage when they get to the UC of their choice.

    In fact, why wait? why don’t you go see if you can undo that damage RIGHT NOW.

    idiot.

  38. #38 Ichthyic
    September 4, 2007

    I’ve read the relevant pleadings in this case, and based on what I’ve reviewed, it seems that there is a pretty good chance of UC losing the case.

    care to wager a case of scotch on that?

  39. #39 Mike
    September 4, 2007

    Re: Larry Fafarman’s comments on “SAT” AP Biology

    No such beast. The AP Biology exam can, depends on the testing center, be taken without having taken an approved AP Biology course, which would allow a student to cite an exam score. The SAT exams are a separate affair. However, colleges and educators provide the program for high school instruction, not for a standardized test. Evidence of having taken an approved AP Biology course, combined with a good score on the College Board administered exam as proof the student was awake, is accepted by some colleges for transfer credit for freshman bio. The intent is for the student to take the course.
    I’ve taught AP Biology. Larry’s reading of the topics is misleading. The quote “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” is absolutely true, and doubly so for AP Biology. Evolution is one of the three major themes of the course. It relates to all the topics, and is not restricted to 10% of the course.
    Where in the Constitution does it say that science becomes accepted science by popular vote? Creation science merely drives a wedge between the scientific community and the public. The advancement of science will go on without the propaganda blinded American public. Their loss.

  40. #40 Francis
    September 4, 2007

    IAAL also. First, there’s a serious mistake in the PT post. The motion for summary judgment was by the defendant UC, not the plaintiffs.

    Second, summary judgment motion is only on those issues for which there are no facts in dispute at all. Simply put, the plaintiffs are claiming that any attempt by the UC system to deny certification to high school classes interferes with their religion. (This is called a “facial” claim in law.) The motion for summary judgment does not deal with the “as applied” challenge, in which the UC system denied certification to particular programs.

    I’ll join in betting a case of scotch that UC wins.

  41. #41 Mike Dunford
    September 4, 2007

    Francis:

    If you click on the appropriate link in my post, I think you will find that the plaintiffs have in fact filed a motion for summary judgment. Both motions will be heard the same day.

    The reason that I thought (still think, to a certain extent) that there are facts in dispute is because, at least as far as the biology textbooks are concerned, the plaintiffs are arguing that they do teach all of the standard material. They’ve hired an expert witness to testify that they are doing just that, and to contest the testimony given by the experts hired by the defense.

  42. #42 celdd
    September 4, 2007

    Mary gives an accurate perspective. Admission to the University of California as a freshman is highly competitive. Lots and lots of students who want to go to a UC campus straight out of high school are not accepted. If one has that as an objective, one should make sure that one has completed the minimum requirements for admission. On top of that, their grades and other activities should be outstanding.

    It’s readily available public knowledge, and should be conveyed by the college counselor at the H.S., which courses at each high school (public and private) satisfy these requirements. If you are serious about wanting to attend UC as a freshman, you should be serious about making sure you take accredited courses.

    Otherwise, as someone else said, go to a community college and apply to UC for the junior year. From the experience of my kids’ friends, if you have a decent GPA, it’s much easier to get admission to UC as a jr. college transfer than as a freshman.

  43. #43 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 4, 2007

    Larry blathered:

    We should also remember that the dispute with UC is not just over these biology textbooks but includes other textbooks as well. It is noteworthy that UC rejected the fundy physics textbooks without disputing the science in those textbooks at all. UC also rejected textbooks in history and literature, saying that the Christian focus of these textbooks is too narrow. Calvary Chapel high school sought approval for courses titled “Christianity’s Influence on American History” (page 28 of complaint) and “Christianity and Morality in American Literature.” (page 32). I actually see this apparent narrow focus of the history and literature texts as a much bigger problem than the science texts. However, the complaint argues that other courses with a similarly narrow focus have been accredited by UC (pages 45-52 of complaint).

    It appears from the ACSI’s Motion for Summary Judgment that they are dropping the charges with respect to the American Lit course. It’s quite clear that the course did not meet non-viewpoint-related guidelines – the guidelines required that Lit courses teach primarily from complete works and only secondarily from anthologies, whereas the submitted course was almost entirely anthologies. Only the single term paper assigned a complete work, and most of the books on the list were not by American authors! The history and social science booksappear to have contents that don’t meet to academic standards, and the expert witness reports seem to focus on this. In the event that they do have standard contents with an added religious viewpoint, then ACSI is right, but it looks like the books replace the standard contents with a religious viewpoint. And note that ACSI’s claim in the MfSJ is that they are teaching standard content and adding a religious viewpoint. It looks like both sides are gearing up for clash on the actual contents of the books. An interesting recent development, though. According to the ACSI’s MfSJ, UC is now allowing the physics books as a primary text. This may moot that particular point, if UC can meet its burden.

    The alternative admission paths that UC has offered to students who have used these disapproved textbooks require — as I remember — that they be within the top 2-4% of high school grads and I think that is unreasonable. A sensible alternative would be to require them to get a certain minimum score on, say, the SAT advanced placement tests in the subjects in question and take a remedial UC course if they fail.

    Hmm…. substituting standardized test scores for individual subjects? That’s brilliant! Why didn’t UC think of that? Oh, wait, they did. In fact, according to its Motion for Dismissal and several other briefs filed, UC permits students to substitute test scores for individual classes. SAT II Subject tests, AP tests, IB tests, and even college classes attended while at college can replace a-g classes (except “f” performing arts – no test available) as long as the student places in the top two thirds of test takers. However, UC doesn’t offer remedial classes – that is what California State University and community colleges are for, after all. Across the board, students have to pass rather low minimum standards to get in. And of course, a student can rely solely on test scores to get in under the same requirements used for out-of-state students.

    BTW, viewpoint discrimination is covered by the First Amendment (freedom of speech) and is often a test for religion cases.

  44. #44 Ichthyic
    September 5, 2007

    Larry’s reading of the topics is misleading.

    *gasp*

    Shocker!

    what else is new?

  45. #45 Ichthyic
    September 5, 2007

    Lary literally can’t differentiate between his perfect right to express any nonsene he wishes,…

    brain damage will do that to ya.

    and yes, your statement, if you know larry, is actually more accurate than you might think.

    he really IS incapable of mentally differentiating between the ability to express an opinion vs. supported fact.

    once anyone conversing with him realizes this, he becomes humorous, if entirely pathetic. don’t expect to have a logical conversation with him though. simply not possible.

  46. #46 Larry Fafarman
    September 5, 2007

    Note: http:// prefixes have been removed to prevent comment from hanging up.

    Kevin Vicklund driveled,

    Hmm…. substituting standardized test scores for individual subjects? That’s brilliant! Why didn’t UC think of that? Oh, wait, they did. In fact, according to its Motion for Dismissal and several other briefs filed, UC permits students to substitute test scores for individual classes.

    Instead of politely answering my question and providing a specific citation, Kevin just makes a sneering repsonse. I am not going to waste my time returning the gratuitous insults that have been thrown at me and I am going to concentrate on presenting the facts.

    Here is what the judge’s “Order granting in part and denying in part defendants’ motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) & !2(b)(6)” said:

    . . . Defendants allegedly have stated generally that biology and physics courses relying on science textbooks containing a Christian viewpoint from two particular publishers would not be approved to meet the lab science requirement . . . . . Furthermore, rejection of courses relying on the particular textbooks was said by Defendants to be based on ” ‘the way in which these texts address the topics of evolution and creationism’ and ‘their general approach to science’ in relation to the Bible.” (page 4)

    — from http://www.acsi.org/webfiles/webitems/attachments/007875_4.%20Judge%27s%20Opinion%20on%20Request%20by%20UC%20to%20Dismiss%20Case%208-06.pdf

    So there, from a reliable source, are UC’s reasons for rejecting the fundy science textbooks. The UC apparently did not claim that the textbooks did not present the core material correctly.

    Also, UC’s “Defendant’s memorandum of points and authorities in support of motion for partial summary judgment” said,

    If an applicant has not taken sufficient courses to meet the a-g guidelines, she may test out of missing subject areas by scoring above the bottom third of the test takers on the relevant SAT II subject tests (and in some instances even lower). .Although most students demonstrate proficiency in the a-g subject areas by taking courses in their high schools that have been approved by UC for a-g credit, UC places no limit on the number of students who may demonstrate proficiency in the a-g subject areas through SAT II subject tests (or the other means described in note 5).
    Separate and apart from the a-g guidelines, UC requires that all applicants take two SAT II subject tests. UC permits applicants to use these same SAT II subject tests for a-g credit, and the scores required to achieve a-g subject area credit are generally much lower than the scores that UC typically sees from admitted applicants on the two SAT II tests that are separately required. Dr. Derek Keenan, Vice-President of Academic Affairs for ACSI, agreed that taking an SAT II test in this “scenario” imposed no extra burden on students. Several ACSI schools (including Plaintiff Calvary Chapel) testified that they advise college counselors and/or students of this testing alternative for meeting the a-g guidelines. (citations omitted)

    — from
    http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/acsi-stearns/summaryjudgment0807.pdf
    (pages 4-5 of brief, 9-10 of pdf file)

    I was previously led to believe that the only alternatives that UC offered the fundy students required that they be within the top 2-4% of high school grads as opposed to the normal requirement of the top 12.5-15%, and I thought that was unreasonable. However, considering the unorthodox approach of the biology textbooks in particular, I think that UC is within its discretion in requiring that the fundy students get a satisfactory score on the SAT II subject test in biology if they claim credit for the biology course in satisfying the UC entrance requirements. Also, if the fundy students fail the biology test, I think that UC should still admit them if they agree to take a remedial course in biology. Also, it would be nice if scores on individual parts of the test could be obtained so that it can be determined how well the fundies are learning evolution theory.

    Also, it is noteworthy that UC is asking only for a “partial” summary judgment.

    Mary said,

    UC is also the top tier of a three-tier system. It doesn’t do remedial education.

    UC offered “dumbbell” (“bonehead”) English classes in the 1960’s and might still offer them. Not all UC entrants have strong English skills.

    Mike said ( September 4, 2007 9:13 PM ) —

    The quote “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” is absolutely true

    The problem with you Darwinists is that you have made a fetish out of Darwinism. Most biologists admit that they don’t use Darwinism in their work and a biologist can use the tools of Darwinism without believing that Darwinism is true. Darwinism is just a mickey mouse theory that only tells us that (1) random mutations occur (duh) and (2) fitter organisms are more likely to survive than less fit organisms (duh again). Biologists have an inferiority complex because of Lord Rutherford’s remark “all science is either physics or stamp collecting” and are therefore waging a prestige war against other branches of science by boasting that biology has something that the other branches lack, a grand overarching unifiying “theory of everything,” Darwinism.

  47. #47 Moses
    September 5, 2007

    Mike, I totally agree with your analysis of those “biology” books but why would we as scientists want to keep these students from attending a REAL university such as UC? It’s actually an opportunity to undo all the damage these poor students have been subjected to.

    Posted by: Carol Clouser | September 4, 2007 2:25 AM

    The same reason I wouldn’t let you drive a school bus – you’re simply not prepared and would be a danger to yourself and put the children at an unacceptable level of risk. Now, if you spent a month in the classroom and another two weeks of driving under instruction AND passed the bus driver test, no problem.

    But until then, you’re not competent to a school bus. Even if you think you are.

    Same with these kids. They may be bright, but they’re woefully (at the fault of their parents) unprepared for Berkeley. Send these kids off to a Community College where they can take the necessary coursework to get up to Berkeley’s standards, then let them apply.

  48. #48 Moses
    September 5, 2007

    BTW, Larry and Carol are here! Wow, what a treat…

  49. #49 Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD
    September 5, 2007

    – after you remind us which amendment in the Bill of Rights covers “separation of church and state.”

    Larry, it’s the first amendment. It doesn’t include that specific phrase, but it clearly covers the concept:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    This was extended to state and local governments by the 14th amendment.
    Now, tell me again, which amendment covers viewpoint discrimination? The concept, not necessarily the exact phrase.

    BTW, which book of the Bible contains the word “trinity”?

  50. #50 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 5, 2007

    Now, tell me again, which amendment covers viewpoint discrimination? The concept, not necessarily the exact phrase.

    I already answered this. First Amendment, freedom of speech. Often but not by any means always tied in with religion cases, which are also First Amendment.

    Or to be more explicit: Larry’s point was correct, if circuitous in the reply.

  51. #51 Mary
    September 5, 2007

    Kevin,

    Larry’s point is only partly correct. “Viewpoint discrimination” is only illegal when it is done for reasons such as stifling free speech or prohibiting religious expression. In this case, since UC has attached no penalty to schools which offer pseudoscience courses or to students who take such courses, there is no constitutional issue.

    What UC has done is to determine that particular courses don’t cover the material it wants to see in particular subjects adequately enough to prepare students for college-level work in these subjects. So, the courses can’t be used by a UC applicant as proof of competency in those particular areas. This is discrimination on the basis of academic quality, which is perfectly constitutional.

    The fact that Calvary Chapel wants to teach academically worthless classes full of bogus material in furtherence of its religious agenda is irrelevent. Students who take such classes INSTEAD OF the approved college-prep coursework are not prepared for what they would face at UC, and should lose out to students who are better qualified, of which there are more than enough to fill all ten UC campuses. Students who take the disputed classes IN ADDITION TO a regular UC-approved college-prep curriculum (which Calvary Chapel offers, by the way) will be judged according to their performance in the approved coursework, just like any other applicant.

  52. #52 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 5, 2007

    Mary, please don’t read more into my statemnt than is there. I don’t see any reason not to point out when Larry makes a correct statement or to disregard it merely because he said it.

    Larry’s point was that “viewpoint discrimination” is covered by the same amendment as “separation of church and state”, in response to a rather silly challenge by TB. That was the only point of Larry’s that I was addressing. You, I, Josh, and albatrossity (and others) spent a month last year at Thoughts from Kansas explaining to Larry everything else in your post.

    In fact, several of us, including you and me, detailed the various options students had when applying, which lays lie to his claim:

    I was previously led to believe that the only alternatives that UC offered the fundy students required that they be within the top 2-4% of high school grads as opposed to the normal requirement of the top 12.5-15%, and I thought that was unreasonable.

    In fact, I believe I pointed out that the top 2-4% option was not available because it still requires the full 15(+1) a-g courses to be taken (the option acts to guarantee admission, whereas all the other options act to qualify for admission). If he was led to believe that, it was because he refused to listen to us or read any of the defendants statements – deliberate ignorance.

  53. #53 Ichthyic
    September 5, 2007

    Mary, please don’t read more into my statemnt than is there. I don’t see any reason not to point out when Larry makes a correct statement or to disregard it merely because he said it.

    OTOH, Kevin, pointing out that even a broken clock is correct twice a day isn’t really worthy of noting.

  54. #54 elyse<3
    September 5, 2007

    !! I think I just became homicidal! Hey biology guy you’re smart ;-) I like you…

  55. #55 Larry Fafarman
    September 5, 2007

    Mary said (September 5, 2007 1:26 PM) —

    “Viewpoint discrimination” is only illegal when it is done for reasons such as stifling free speech or prohibiting religious expression. In this case, since UC has attached no penalty to schools which offer pseudoscience courses or to students who take such courses, there is no constitutional issue.

    “UC has attached no penalty”? UC has attached a big penalty — UC has made admission harder for graduates of those schools who took courses using particular textbooks.

    The judge’s “Order granting in part and denying in part defendants’ motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) & !2(b)(6)” said (page 6):

    According to the Supreme Court, “the Constitution’s protection is not limited to direct interference with fundamental rights.” Healy v. James, 408 U.S. 169, 183 (1972). Hence, contrary to Defendants’ assertion that Plaintiffs have failed to state a speech violation claim simply because “Defendants are not stopping Plaintiffs from saying what they choose” (Pls. Mot. 5), outright prohibition of particular activities is not required for a First Amendment speech violation. Instead, the Supreme Court has found in a number of cases (i.e., many of those cases cited by Plaintiffs) that the freedom of speech is violated where government actions had the same effect of impeding the freedom of speech even without explicitly curtailing what was said.

    — from
    http://www.acsi.org/webfiles/webitems/attachments/007875_4.%20Judge%27s%20Opinion%20on%20Request%20by%20UC%20to%20Dismiss%20Case%208-06.pdf

    Mary said,

    What UC has done is to determine that particular courses don’t cover the material it wants to see in particular subjects adequately enough to prepare students for college-level work in these subjects.

    As I said, UC did not allege that the science textbooks do not cover the core material adequately. Again, here is what the judge’s “Order granting in part and denying in part defendants’ motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) & !2(b)(6)” said:

    . . . Defendants allegedly have stated generally that biology and physics courses relying on science textbooks containing a Christian viewpoint from two particular publishers would not be approved to meet the lab science requirement . . . . . Furthermore, rejection of courses relying on the particular textbooks was said by Defendants to be based on ” ‘the way in which these texts address the topics of evolution and creationism’ and ‘their general approach to science’ in relation to the Bible.” (page 4)

    You Darwinists are not going to be satisfied with any biology textbook that does not say that Darwinism is the greatest scientific theory in history.

    Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD said (September 5, 2007 12:11 PM) —

    – after you remind us which amendment in the Bill of Rights covers “separation of church and state.”
    Larry, it’s the first amendment. It doesn’t include that specific phrase, but it clearly covers the concept

    The Supreme Court said in Lynch v. Donnelly (1984),

    The Court has sometimes described the Religion Clauses as erecting a “wall” between church and state, see, e.g., Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1, 18 (1947). The concept of a “wall” of separation is a useful figure of speech probably deriving from views of Thomas Jefferson. [n1] The metaphor has served as a reminder that the Establishment Clause forbids an established church or anything approaching it. But the metaphor itself is not a wholly accurate description of the practical aspects of the relationship that in fact exists between church and state.
    No significant segment of our society, and no institution within it, can exist in a vacuum or in total or absolute isolation from all the other parts, much less from government. “It has never been thought either possible or desirable to enforce a regime of total separation. . . .” Committee for Public Education & Religious Liberty v. Nyquist, 413 U.S. 756, 760 (1973). Nor does the Constitution require complete separation of church and state; it affirmatively mandates accommodation, not merely tolerance, of all religions, and forbids hostility toward any. See, e.g., Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306, 314, 315 (1952); Illinois ex rel. McCollum v. Board of Education, 333 U.S. 203, 211 (1948).

    — from
    supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0465_0668_ZO.html

  56. #56 Natalia
    September 5, 2007

    “You Darwinists are not going to be satisfied with any biology textbook that does not say that Darwinism is the greatest scientific theory in history.”

    Larry, you may be entitled to your viewpoint, but it’s still disgusting. You really think you’re right, don’t you?

  57. #57 Mary
    September 5, 2007

    Larry,

    Just how is admissions to UC harder for a Calvary Chapel student who takes the creationism class than for a public school student who takes, say, astronomy or earth science? Both students still have to take 2-3 certified biology, chemistry, or physics classes to earn admissions.

    Admittedly, a student who has taken the creationism class might have a harder time understanding a real biology class than a student who actually learned how scientists do (a different) science in an astronomy class. However, the admissions process is openly–and quite legally–designed to separate out the students who have proved that they can do college-level work and have a good background in specific subject areas from students who didn’t learn much in high school. Students who deliberately handicap themselves by failing to take the required classes, or by doing poorly in them, would be better off going to a less challenging instution of higher learning.

  58. #58 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 5, 2007

    “Viewpoint discrimination” is only illegal when it is done for reasons such as stifling free speech or prohibiting religious expression.

    After rereading this, I’m going to have to disagree. You are missing a condition. Viewpoint discrimination can also occur if certain viewpoints are permitted while other viewpoints are barred. That is not to say that I think Larry is right. However, if UC is denying cert to courses that teach all the standard content and ADD a religious viewpoint while at the same time granting cert to courses that teach all the standard content and ADD a certain viewpoint (for example, a feminist viewpoint), that qualifies as viewpoint discrimination. Denying a course that REPLACES standard content with a religious viewpoint would not count as viewpoint discrimination, however. It is my hope that the court will have the opportunity to hear arguments as to whether the religious viewpoint is being added to or replacing the standard content, since I think it is rather obvious that the materials in question are replacing standard content.

  59. #59 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 5, 2007

    As I said, UC did not allege that the science textbooks do not cover the core material adequately. Again, here is what the judge’s “Order granting in part and denying in part defendants’ motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) & !2(b)(6)” said:

    Congratulations, Larry, you have discovered that the judge did, in fact, read and comprehend the allegations of the plaintiff. The claims of the plaintif, however, do not necessarily paint the full picture of what the UC has or has not alleged. In a motion for dismissal, the judge can only consider fact claims made in the complaint, not the claims made by the defendants. The fact claims are evaluated to determine whether they a) might support a claim for which b) the court can grant relief. It is an extremely low burden placed on the plaintiffs. Since the plaintiffs are alleging that the defendants said things that could be interpreted as viewpoint discrimination if you squint hard enough, the case must go forward (and I agree with the judge – the allegations clearly meet that criteria; see my previous post). The judge is barred from considering any of the fact claims of the defendants, so the decision can’t possibly include any allegation that UC has made in terms of course content – unless ACSI included it in their complaint, which would have been incredibly stupid on their part.

    I should note here that, at least according to the ACSI’s Motion for Summary Judgment, UC has submitted a list of errors in the biology book.

  60. #60 Larry Fafarman
    September 6, 2007

    Natalia said,

    “You Darwinists are not going to be satisfied with any biology textbook that does not say that Darwinism is the greatest scientific theory in history.”
    Larry, you may be entitled to your viewpoint, but it’s still disgusting.

    If my viewpoint is disgusting, that’s because the Darwinists’ viewpoint is disgusting.

    You really think you’re right, don’t you?

    I don’t just think I’m right — I know I’m right. :-)

    Mary said,

    Just how is admissions to UC harder for a Calvary Chapel student who takes the creationism class than for a public school student who takes, say, astronomy or earth science?

    I’ve already explained that.

    The solution is just to require the fundy students to get a satisfactory score on the SAT II advanced placement biology test. And if they flunk, IMO they should be admitted on condition that they take a remedial biology course.

    Kevin said,

    The claims of the plaintif, however, do not necessarily paint the full picture of what the UC has or has not alleged. In a motion for dismissal, the judge can only consider fact claims made in the complaint, not the claims made by the defendants.

    The judge is required to tentatively accept as true the plaintiffs’ allegations of facts, but that doesn’t mean that the judge cannot state the defendants’ allegations of facts when describing the background of the case.

    It is your job to present evidence to support your claim that UC claimed that the fundy science textbooks do not adequately cover the core material.

    The judge is barred from considering any of the fact claims of the defendants, so the decision can’t possibly include any allegation that UC has made in terms of course content – unless ACSI included it in their complaint, which would have been incredibly stupid on their part.

    I should note here that, at least according to the ACSI’s Motion for Summary Judgment, UC has submitted a list of errors in the biology book.

    If including UC’s allegations about course content (I presume you are referring to allegations of specific errors in the presentation of core material) in the complaint would have been incredibly stupid of the ACSI, then why did the ACSI include those allegations in the ACSI motion for summary judgment? And why can’t you provide a quotation and/or a page number, like I do when citing long sources?

  61. #61 Ginger Yellow
    September 6, 2007

    Larry, whether you like it or not, evolution is a (the) core topic in biology. The judge says UC did not adequately cover evolution.

    Furthermore, rejection of courses relying on the particular textbooks was said by Defendants to be based on ” ‘the way in which these texts address the topics of evolution and creationism’ and ‘their general approach to science’ in relation to the Bible.”

  62. #62 Mary
    September 6, 2007

    Larry, your solution for Calvary Chapel kids who haven’t taken a real biology class, “The solution is just to require the fundy students to get a satisfactory score on the SAT II advanced placement biology test. And if they flunk, IMO they should be admitted on condition that they take a remedial biology course.” isn’t realistic.

    First of all, it assumes that a kid can pass a subject SATII or AP biology test after studying only from the disputed texts. I’ve tutored high school kids taking AP biology and chemistry. Believe me, the amount of detail in the material they’re required to master, and the critical thinking skills they’re required to display, aren’t taught in the disputed texts. The Calvary Chapel kids would have about as much chance to pass the biology exam on the strength of what they learned from taking the rejected course as they would to pass the French exam after taking only Spanish.

    Then you suggested that when Calvary Chapel students do flunk the biology exam, they should be given a remedial biology class at UC. Unfortunately, UC doesn’t offer remedial biology. It doesn’t have to, because the California public schools which provide most of its students generally teach biology quite well. So do the certified biology classes at Calvary Chapel, for that matter. It’s just the uncertified creationism class that’s inadequate. So why should UC set up a special remedial course for the half dozen or so fundamentalist kids who were too lazy to sign up for the right college-prep classes at their school?

    As I’ve said before, UC has far more qualified applicants than it can admit. Admitting a Calvary Chapel kid who didn’t take the required science classes means rejecting another applicant who did take the required classes. How could UC possibly justify admitting the less qualified applicant in this instance?

    The admissions office will sometimes make an exception for a less qualified student who has exceptional talent in a particular area, or particularly interesting life experiences, or who come from an underrepresented area. None of these apply to Calvary Chapel students. They are mostly white, upper middle class, Los Angeles suburbanites. None of the biographies in the ACSI complaint list any extraordinary achievement, like a year abroad or playing a musical instrument well enough to win a major contest. What about these particular students distinguishes them from the thousands of other white, upper middle class, Los Angeles suburbanite kids who apply? I mean, besides the fact that they are poorly educated and statistically likely to be underachievers in college? Qualities which make them less desirable applicants, not more?

  63. #63 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 6, 2007
    Just how is admissions to UC harder for a Calvary Chapel student who takes the creationism class than for a public school student who takes, say, astronomy or earth science?

    I’ve already explained that.

    Indulge us. Please explain it again, we appear to have missed the original explaination.

    The solution is just to require the fundy students to get a satisfactory score on the SAT II advanced placement biology test. And if they flunk, IMO they should be admitted on condition that they take a remedial biology course.

    Your first part of the solution is already granted. If they pass the SAT II or the AP biology tests (note: these are separate tests, Larry, and there are other similar options), they get credit for a “d” biology course if they didn’t already have one. As for the second – why should fundies be granted special privileges denied to all other students? If a public high school student goes to a school that for whatever reason doesn’t offer an approved bio course (or takes an unapproved bio course instead of the available approved bio courses) and then fails the standardized test, he will be denied admission under the a-g admission route. What’s so special about a fundy that a fundy ought to be allowed in despite failing to meet the admissions criteria? For every two available spots under the a-g admission route, there are three students who meet all the criteria. Why should one of these students be denied admission in favor of someone who couldn’t even meet the criteria?

    The judge is required to tentatively accept as true the plaintiffs’ allegations of facts, but that doesn’t mean that the judge cannot state the defendants’ allegations of facts when describing the background of the case.

    However, the judge is not required to state the defendants’ allegations of facts, and to do so would be superfluous. The judge didn’t even comment on most of the plaintiffs’ allegations of facts, just those necessary to deny the motion for dismissal. Why would you expect the judge to identify irrelevant allegations of facts by the defendants? I should also note that the because the defendants moved to dismiss some but not all of the claims, they were not obligated to file a complete answer to the complaint until after the motion to dismiss was resolved (“Defendants have twenty (20) days to answer the remainder of the Complaint.” – Page 25 of the Order). The defendants waited until after the dismissal to answer the portion of the complaint that dealt with their reasons for denying specific courses – which would obviously include any allegations that they denied the biology course because it didn’t teach standard content.

    It is your job to present evidence to support your claim that UC claimed that the fundy science textbooks do not adequately cover the core material.

    That’s really quite simple. From the biology course evaluation, which Larry has cited numerous times:

    “The content of the course outlines submitted for approval is not consistent with the … knowledge generally accepted in the scientific community.”

    The course evaluations only have room for a couple of sentences, Larry – you aren’t going to get a dissertation-length expose on everything that is wrong with the book. That sentence is sufficient evidence that UC did, in fact, claim that some core concepts weren’t being taught.

    But let’s not stop there. UC put together a list of their expert witnesses and a summary of what they planned to testify on. Here are the biology expert witnesses:

    “Francisco Ayala is a University Professor and the Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences at UC Irvine. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, former President and Chairman of the Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a 2002 recipient of the National Medal of Science. Professor Ayala reviewed two biology textbooks that are at issue in the plaintiffs’ lawsuit against the University. He concluded that neither book is appropriate for use as the principal text in a UC-preparatory high school biology course because each presents information that is contrary to generally accepted scientific knowledge and because each rejects accepted scientific methodology.”

    “Donald Kennedy is the Bing Professor of Environmental Sciences at Stanford University and the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Science. He is a member of the National Academy of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. From 1980 to 1992, he served as President of Stanford University. Professor Kennedy reviewed biology texts at issue in the case with particular attention to their treatment of evolution. He concluded that the texts do not appropriately teach evolution or the scientific evidence for it and thereby fail to teach students material that is necessary for an understanding of biology as a whole. Furthermore, by teaching students to reject scientific evidence and methodology whenever it conflicts with a particular interpretation of the Bible, the texts fail to teach critical thinking and the skills necessary for careful scientific analysis.”

    Because of a vagary of this computer, I can’t provide a direct link, but the file can be located at UC’s site on the case.

    If including UC’s allegations about course content (I presume you are referring to allegations of specific errors in the presentation of core material) in the complaint would have been incredibly stupid of the ACSI, then why did the ACSI include those allegations in the ACSI motion for summary judgment? And why can’t you provide a quotation and/or a page number, like I do when citing long sources?

    Because a Motion for Summary Judgment has to deal with both parties claims. ACSI had to justify why the judge should ignore UC’s list of errors, as that would normally indicate that there was a dispute of fact, which a summary judgment is not permitted to resolve (in fact, this is why UC only filed for partial summary judgment, because they do dispute the facts that ACSI is alleging in support of their as-applied claim). I don’t think ACSI did a very good job of it, but they had to make the attempt. The list of inaccuracies is mentioned at the bottom of page A-15 (the 20th page) of the Plaintiffs’ Brief in Support of the Motion for Summary Judgment, which is not a machine-readable file. I didn’t link earlier because a) Larry had already provided the link, and b) over the past year, Larry has systematically refused to read links provided to him when discussing this case. Not worth the extra effort.

  64. #64 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 6, 2007

    “The judge says UC did not adequately cover evolution.”

    I think Ginger Yellow meant ACSI, not UC. I’ve caught myself making the same mistake.

  65. #65 Karl
    September 6, 2007

    I don’t see why the fundies feel they have a right to get all uptight and indignant about this issue. After all, they are the ones who chose to live behind their walls of ignorance and fairy tales. They chose to make their bed in this manner so now they have to lie in it.

    Now back to the matter at hand, to ask for special treatment based on religious views regarding UC admissions is both unfair and unconstitutional and cannot be viewed as equal to preferences given to underprivileged and under-represented minorities (although for the record, I am against race-based preferential treatment as well). Given that these Christian schools are private institutions that are attended by children of parents who willingly pay a fee to indoctrinate their children on creationism and rejection of conventional science, the product of these schools are students who are intentionally crippled in the comprehension of biological sciences. This end product is not a result of financial hardship, or race-based circumstances, but by the efforts of an institution that provides this science-crippling service for a fee willingly paid by the parents.

    Oh, and now I see Larry is here trolling around as usual. Could this be his next big thing now that his crusade for Cheri Yecke’s creationist agenda is in shambles? I find his “solution” for testing the students of Christian institutions laughable, especially the part about admitting them even after failing the test. If Christians should be given a pass on failing biology, why can’t another group be given a pass for failing math? What about physics? If some aspect of their religion teaches its followers to reject a certain educational discipline, where does it end? I certainly don’t want someone who religiously objects to math working as my cashier… Get your head out of the sand Larry, or at least try to remember where you last buried it.

  66. #66 Larry Fafarman
    September 6, 2007

    (http:// prefixes were removed to prevent comment from hanging up)

    Ginger Yellow said,

    Larry, whether you like it or not, evolution is a (the) core topic in biology.

    I disagree. The reasons are in the following posts on my blog:

    im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/08/darwinism-is-grossly-overrated.html

    im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/09/darwinism-is-grossly-overrated-ii.html

    im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/10/darwinism-is-grossly-overrated-iii.html

    im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/09/jonathan-wells-accuses-darwinists-of.html

    The judge says UC [do you mean the fundy biology textbooks?] did not adequately cover evolution.

    The judge said no such thing.

    Mary said,

    The Calvary Chapel kids would have about as much chance to pass the biology exam on the strength of what they learned from taking the rejected course as they would to pass the French exam after taking only Spanish.

    You are simply not being reasonable. You are just making wild speculations about the Calvary Chapel students’ ability to pass the SAT II biology test — that’s not very scientific, is it? UC accepts the SAT II biology test results of out-of-state students whose biology courses are not UC-accredited, and UC does not even require such students to take and pass the test in order to get credit for biology. Many public school biology courses teach little or nothing about evolution theory.

    Then you suggested that when Calvary Chapel students do flunk the biology exam, they should be given a remedial biology class at UC. Unfortunately, UC doesn’t offer remedial biology.

    “Remedial” is not the right word — I should have said “beginning” or “elementary.” UC presumably offers such biology courses because a high-school course in biology is not an entrance requirement — the entrance requirements say,

    Two years of laboratory science providing fundamental knowledge in at least two of these three foundational subjects: biology, chemistry and physics.

    As I’ve said before, UC has far more qualified applicants than it can admit.

    Irrelevant.

    Kevin said,

    Just how is admissions to UC harder for a Calvary Chapel student who takes the creationism class than for a public school student who takes, say, astronomy or earth science?
    I’ve already explained that.

    Indulge us. Please explain it again, we appear to have missed the original explaination.

    Stop playing stupid — that’s central to the lawsuit.

    Your first part of the solution is already granted. If they pass the SAT II or the AP biology tests (note: these are separate tests, Larry, and there are other similar options), they get credit for a “d” biology course if they didn’t already have one.

    I have not seen this possible solution suggested until now, and I have been following this court case for a long time — see my “Dover Ain’t Over” series —

    im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2007/05/dover-aint-over-iii-update-on-fundies-v.html

    And what are the “similar options”?

    why should fundies be granted special privileges denied to all other students? If a public high school student goes to a school that for whatever reason doesn’t offer an approved bio course (or takes an unapproved bio course instead of the available approved bio courses) and then fails the standardized test, he will be denied admission under the a-g admission route.

    That cannot possibly be true, because UC applicants are required to take only two of the SAT II advanced placement tests whereas out-of-state students — including foreign students — have in many cases taken several courses that are unaccredited by UC. For example, an out-of-state applicant who took a biology course that is not accredited by UC is not required to take the SAT II AP biology test — he/she can choose two other subjects for the SAT II AP tests. If anything, the discrimination would be against the fundy students if they are specifically required to take the SAT II AP biology test because their biology courses are not accredited by UC. I have nonetheless agreed that it is OK for UC to require the fundy students to take the biology test because the fundy biology textbooks’ approach is unorthodox.

    However, the judge is not required to state the defendants’ allegations of facts, and to do so would be superfluous.

    The judge cited other UC defenses, so why not cite a defense that the textbooks did not present the core material adequately, if such a defense was made? Citing such a defense would have contributed to the presentation of the background of the case.

    The ID-as-science section of the Dover opinion was superfluous, too.

    “The content of the course outlines submitted for approval is not consistent with the … knowledge generally accepted in the scientific community.”

    The course evaluations only have room for a couple of sentences, Larry – you aren’t going to get a dissertation-length expose on everything that is wrong with the book.

    UC didn’t just use standard course evaluation forms — UC also communicated by letter.

    But let’s not stop there. UC put together a list of their expert witnesses and a summary of what they planned to testify on.

    So far as I know, none of these expert witnesses participated in the decision-making. That is why the courts refused to hear expert witness testimony in Edwards v. Aguillard.

    Because a Motion for Summary Judgment has to deal with both parties claims. ACSI had to justify why the judge should ignore UC’s list of errors, as that would normally indicate that there was a dispute of fact, which a summary judgment is not permitted to resolve

    What “UC’s list of errors”? We still haven’t established that such a list exists.

    Nothing in the rules says that a summary judgment is not permitted to resolve a dispute of fact — it all depends on how difficult it is to resolve the dispute of fact.

    The list of inaccuracies is mentioned at the bottom of page A-15 (the 20th page) of the Plaintiffs’ Brief in Support of the Motion for Summary Judgment

    I couldn’t find any page A-15 in that brief, which is at

    http://www.acsi.org/webfiles/webitems/attachments/007875_6.%20Plaintiffs%27%20Statement%20of%20Facts%208-07.pdf

    Karl driveled,

    Oh, and now I see Larry is here trolling around as usual. Could this be his next big thing now that his crusade for Cheri Yecke’s creationist agenda is in shambles?

    Jerko, why are you bragging about Wickedpedia’s screwing me up by falsely stating that Yecke was a candidate in an upcoming public election? That is nothing to be proud of.

    If Christians should be given a pass on failing biology, why can’t another group be given a pass for failing math? What about physics?

    Under the “Subject A” requirements, students in general are allowed to correct English language deficiencies by taking UC English courses after enrolling. UC-Santa Barbara has special requirements. See —

    http://www.peralta.edu/apps/pub.asp?Q=76&T=Planning%20to%20Transfer&B=1

    — and —

    http://www.writing.ucsb.edu/courses/transfer/suba.html

  67. #67 Larry Fafarman
    September 7, 2007

    It will be helpful to see (1) UC’s answer to ACSI’s motion for summary judgment and (2) ACSI’s reply to UC’s answer. These documents should be out within a few days.

  68. #68 Bad
    September 7, 2007

    However, they should think again about these population changes. In the example above, the deer are still deer; in the photographs the elephant seals and cheetahs are still seals and cheetahs.

    Omgosh, they’ve nailed us! Cats are “still” mammals, and birds are “still” vertebrates too!

    Seriously: this classic creationist trope is so unintentionally insightful that it’s flat out hilarious.

  69. #69 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 9, 2007

    I have not seen this possible solution suggested until now, and I have been following this court case for a long time…

    And what are the “similar options”?

    Well, then let this be a lesson to you. You steadfastly refused to follow any links to UC’s side of the story, relying solely on ACSI for your information. I provided at least three different links to official UC sites that had this information, and spent a week mocking you for refusing to visit them. If you have pie dripping down your face, it’s because you didn’t have the sense to duck flying objects.

    But beyond that I happen to know that you are lying. In the comments of your Dover Ain’t Over III post, you tried to refute me by referring to an USAToday online article. Not only did you refer me to that article, but the section you referred me to had this paragraph (emphasis mine):

    “Christopher Patti, a lawyer for the university, says UC isn’t stopping Calvary Chapel or its students “from teaching or studying anything.” He says students are free to take courses uncertified by UC, and there are alternative paths to admission — including taking extra SAT tests in specific subjects.”

    As far as the similar options, I listed them when I first informed you of the solution on this very page. It’s an unimportant side issue. If you can’t be bothered to pay the slightest bit of attention when I’m talking to you, why should I hold your hand?

    What “UC’s list of errors”? We still haven’t established that such a list exists.

    The list of inaccuracies is mentioned at the bottom of page A-15 (the 20th page) of the Plaintiffs’ Brief in Support of the Motion for Summary Judgment

    I couldn’t find any page A-15 in that brief, which is at

    http://www.acsi.org/webfiles/webitems/attachments/007875_6.%20Plaintiffs%27%20Statement%20of%20Facts%208-07.pdf

    Not surprising that you couldn’t find page A-15 in the Plaintiff’s Statements of Facts (short name), because that wasn’t the brief I was talking about. It is instead found in the Plaintiff’s Amended Memorandum in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment, which ACSI identifies on their website (for which you provided the link) as the Plaintiff’s Brief for Summary Judgement. Mike also provided a link to the file in the opening post. However, if you wish to insist on only looking at the filing you brought up, it is item 130 on page 23.

    Under the “Subject A” requirements, students in general are allowed to correct English language deficiencies by taking UC English courses after enrolling. UC-Santa Barbara has special requirements. See —

    http://www.peralta.edu/apps/pub.asp?Q=76&T=Planning%20to%20Transfer&B=1

    — and —

    http://www.writing.ucsb.edu/courses/transfer/suba.html

    I’d wondered what Larry was blathering on about re: Subject A requirements. I’ve taken the liberty of bolding a word in the two links Larry has provided. You see, Larry’s brilliant detective skillz have uncovered UC’s dirty little secret. Students transferring from other universities must either test out or have taken equivalent courses in order to avoid taking regular freshman English.

    Let the mocking commence.

  70. #70 Mary
    September 9, 2007

    Kevin,

    Since even Larry doesn’t usually pretend never to have heard of documents he’s cited himself, how long do you think it will take him to backpeddle and claim that:

    1) some other paragraph of the USA Today article lacks information on taking SAT subject tests to overcome deficiencies in coursework,

    2) he can’t download the Plaintiff’s Amended Memorandum in Support of Motion for Summary Judgement because his connection is too slow, and

    3) UC’s rules for evaluating whether transfer students from other universities need to go back and take freshman English are somehow relevant to the question of whether applicants for the incoming freshmen class should have to know something about science ?

  71. #71 W. Kevin VIcklund
    September 9, 2007

    It’ll probably be a mixture of he didn’t notice it because the text is not large print or bold (after all, he appears to have all the visual acuity of a blind mole rat) and can’t be counted on to remember something he brought up so long ago.

  72. #72 Larry Fafarman
    September 9, 2007

    Once again, Kevin and Mary show their inability to engage in debate without insulting people. And they expect me to be able to read their minds.

    Kevin quoted,

    “Christopher Patti, a lawyer for the university, says UC isn’t stopping Calvary Chapel or its students “from teaching or studying anything.” He says students are free to take courses uncertified by UC, and there are alternative paths to admission ? including taking extra SAT tests in specific subjects.”

    That is not in writing, so it is not binding on the university.

    As far as the similar options, I listed them when I first informed you of the solution on this very page. It’s an unimportant side issue.

    You still haven’t told me what the “similar options” are.

    Not surprising that you couldn’t find page A-15 in the Plaintiff’s Statements of Facts (short name), because that wasn’t the brief I was talking about.

    It was just a misunderstanding — and you were to blame for it because (1) you did not provide a link and (2) you did not give the brief’s full name. Anyway, here is what the brief said on page A-15 —

    UC did not base its rejection on inaccuracies (which all texts have) — it only cobbled a list of alleged inaccuracies 3 years later in 2006. (Ex. 324.)

    So UC did not prepare the list of alleged inaccuracies until well after the lawsuit was filed.

    You see, Larry’s brilliant detective skillz have uncovered UC’s dirty little secret. Students transferring from other universities must either test out or have taken equivalent courses in order to avoid taking regular freshman English.

    There were no “brilliant detective skillz” involved — I went to UC-Santa Barbara and took the Subject A test myself, so it is something I hardly could have missed. The Subject A English requirement is for all undergraduates, not just transfer students.

    Mary said,

    UC’s rules for evaluating whether transfer students from other universities need to go back and take freshman English are somehow relevant to the question of whether applicants for the incoming freshmen class should have to know something about science ?

    As I said, the Subject A requirement is for all undergraduates, not just transfer students. And the Subject A requirement has nothing to do with repeating freshman English — it is a prerequisite for freshman English. I used the Subject A requirement as an example of where UC allows entrants to correct deficiencies after enrolling.

  73. #73 Mary
    September 9, 2007

    Ah, Larry appears to have chosen a varient of Excuse #1. After having his nose rubbed in the fact that UC does have multiple alternative pathways to admissions besides the a-g coursework, from a source that he himself cited and which therefore he can’t claim not to be able to find, he is now claiming that the UC lawyer’s explanation of UC admissions policy “isn’t binding” because it “isn’t written”.

    All of which is nonsense. While it’s true that UC’s lawyers don’t set admissions policy (a claim that no one was making), it is also true that what the lawyer said about UC admissions comes directly from the (written and binding) official UC admissions policy as outlined on the UC admissions web site.

    Larry has been given the link to that site numerous times over the past year and more, and has steadfastly refused to visit it. Apparently, he’s afriad that learning something about UC’s actual admissions policy would spoil his ability to indulge in wishful thinking about what might happen to the case if the particulars were more favorable to Calvary Chapel’s position.

    Unfortunately for Larry, Judge Otero will be judging the merits of the suit according to UC’s real admissions policy, as outlined on the web site Larry refuses to visit.

  74. #74 Larry Fafarman
    September 9, 2007

    Mary,

    I don’t care what UC’s admissions website says. All I know is that I have been carefully following this lawsuit for a long time and now is the first time I am seeing discussion of the possibility of the fundy students taking the SAT II AP biology test to get credit for the fundy biology course. For example, this possibility was not mentioned in UC’s dismissal motion briefs in 2005.

  75. #75 Mike Dunford
    September 9, 2007

    For example, this possibility was not mentioned in UC’s dismissal motion briefs in 2005.

    Larry: next time, read the briefs before you cite them.

    “There is a significant additional option – not mentioned in the Complaint – for an applicant who wants to become eligible for admission based upon standardized test scores and a-g coursework but who has not, for whatever reason, completed all of the a-g requirements: The applicant may instead take an SAT Subject Test in any subject for which the applicant has not taken the required a-g class An applicant can satisfy an a-g class requirement with an SAT Subject Test even if she scores in the bottom third of the test takers (and in some instances even lower than that).” [citations omitted, emphasis mine]

    You can find that quoted material on pages 4-5 of UC’s 2005 motion to dismiss.

  76. #76 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 9, 2007

    For example, this possibility was not mentioned in UC’s dismissal motion briefs in 2005.

    Kindly turn to pages 3-4 of the Motion to Dismiss.

  77. #77 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 9, 2007

    Sorry, Mike, I didn’t mean to step on your toes (although it is pages 3-4, not 4-5).

    Larry’s goalposts are motorized.

  78. #78 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 9, 2007

    For Larry’s info: that should be the 11th and 12th pages of the pdf file.

  79. #79 Larry Fafarman
    September 10, 2007

    Mike Dunford said,

    Larry: next time, read the briefs before you cite them.

    One of the problems you people have is that you throw accusations before hearing the other side of the story.

    You can find that quoted material on pages 4-5 of UC’s 2005 motion to dismiss.

    The reason why I didn’t find this material was that the “search PDF” feature (the binocular icon in the top bar) is not working on this file. I entered ‘test,” “SAT,” and “exam” and got no hits.

  80. #80 Mike Dunford
    September 10, 2007

    Larry:

    I accused you of not reading the file. You then said:

    One of the problems you people have is that you throw accusations before hearing the other side of the story.

    You then proceeded to explain that you had, in fact, not actually read the file – in short, that my accusation was absolutely correct.

    For the record, though, now that I have heard your side of the story, here’s my accusation/recommendation:

    Next time, read the briefs before you cite them. If you do not, you risk having people think that you are a moron, when you in fact actually are.

  81. #81 Larry Fafarman
    September 10, 2007

    Next time, read the briefs before you cite them. If you do not, you risk having people think that you are a moron, when you in fact actually are.

    For someone who demands civility of visiting commenters, you obviously don’t practice what you preach.

    I did not read the whole brief because I was only checking for the argument about the SAT II AP biology test. The “search PDF” feature usually works but did not work in this case.

  82. #82 Monado
    September 13, 2007

    Why would Bob Jones U think that the material in its approved textbooks was university level and deserved a university course credit? It reads as if aimed at a Grade 7 or 8 student – and it’s wrong, to boot. Giving someone a credit in a course in apologetics like this does not make them a top academic achiever in the sciences. A student who thinks that “men lived longer before the Biblical Flood” is science would be hopelessly lost with scientific logic at the university level: you know, where the prof comes in and says, “Read chapter 12 of your biochemistry text before the next lecture.”

    I wonder, also, why Christian activists think that different viewpoints should be taught in science courss. I don’t hear them advocating for different viewpoints in their religious studies. A dissenting opinion there might point out that believing that a book is true because it says it’s true is more than a little circular. If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you — no, wait, you already bought it.

  83. #83 Larry Fafarman
    September 14, 2007

    Why would Bob Jones U think that the material in its approved textbooks was university level and deserved a university course credit?

    Sheeesh — why do you call the textbooks “approved” when UC has disapproved them? And they were not intended for the university level.

    It reads as if aimed at a Grade 7 or 8 student

    Sheeesh — the book is aimed at the high school level — i.e., grades 9-12. UC never claimed that the book is below high school level.

  84. #84 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 17, 2007

    Update: Judge Otero has issued a continuance on the summary judgment hearing and trial dates. In other words, the hearing is indefinitely delayed while he reads through the hundreds of documents filed in conjunction with the motions for summary judgment.

    BTW, the reply briefs have all been filed. Unfortunately, they are not available through PACER. Hopefully the parties will upload the documents to their respective sites.

    A side note: four law professors at a Christian law school have filed an amicus curiae brief (in favor of plaintiffs), which Judge Otero accepted.

  85. #85 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 17, 2007

    A side note: four law professors at a Christian law school have filed an amicus curiae brief (in favor of plaintiffs), which Judge Otero accepted.

    Actually, that appears to be somewhat of a misrepresentation, caused by the PACER summary. The ACSI site has a copy of the amicus curiae supporting brief if people are interested in the details – I’m not interested in transcribing it, since, like most of the documents in the case, the pdf is merely a scan and is therefore neither searchable nor amenable to copy-and-paste.

  86. #86 Bongo
    September 21, 2007

    So does this mean that if I have course credits in Evolution I will have no problem with them being accepted at Bob Jones University?

  87. #87 Leroy Walters
    October 24, 2007

    Denying admission to Christian students who have been taught scientific facts which support creation sounds to me like indoctrination. I read in the LOCAL the following: “The Swedish government is to crack down on the role religion plays in independent faith schools. The new rules will include a ban on biology teachers teaching creationism or ‘intelligent design’ alongside evolution.”
    Wikipedia defined indoctrination: “Indoctrination is the process of inculcating ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional methodology. It is often distinguished from education by the fact that the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically examine the doctrine they have learned.
    If California gets away with this, it is a sad day for critical thinking. It is more on the order of propaganda, mainpulation and brainwashing characteristic of totalitarian societies.
    If some of you are ignorant of science which supports “Intelligent Design,” take a look at Dr. Michael Behe’s book, Darwin’s Black Box. There are many, many others of equal quality.

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