Mike Dunford has some follow up information on the UC lawsuit, including a link to the actual complaint filed in court. He offers a few choice excerpts from that complaint along with some analysis. This part is particularly on-point, I think:
“Content discrimination”. What a wonderful phrase. It makes it sound like there is somehow something wrong with evaluating the worth of courses based on the material that is being taught. I wonder what comes after this. The next step doesn’t even need to be from one of these creationist groups. Instead, it could be a homeopath suing a state medical board for a license on the grounds that the state board exams constitute an unfair “content discrimination” favoring conventional medicine over the spiritual doctrines of homeopathy. After that, let’s go ahead and license the bloodletters and spiritual healers.
In researching the situation, I have now received through the kindness of a friend some portions of the science textbook in question, in addition to what is available on the BJU Publishing website. It certainly supports the university’s contention that this course does not meet any reasonable criteria for credit as a science class. To begin with, it redefines science to make the claim that if something happened in the past, it can’t be studied scientifically and one must rely on “faith”. From p. 172:
Explaining the earth’s origin and development by looking at the earth is scientifically impossible. Recall that science is the observation of the physical universe. The origin of the physical universe was not observed by human eyes, nor can men go into a laboratory and create a universe to see how our universe might have originated. The beginning of the world and of life and the past changes in them are actually beyond the scope of science. What a person believes about these things is not the result of scientific facts but of faith. One will naturally interpret scientific data according to his faith.
This is blatantly false and it rules out entire fields of science as being non-scientific, including anthropology, paleontology, archaeology and cosmology. It also explicitly endorses a young earth on page 185 when it says, “Probably more accurate, and acceptable within the Bible’s framework, is that creation was between 8,000 and 10,000 years ago, although some creationists admit that it might be several thousand years older than that.” And it continues on p. 191 to say, “Biblical creationism is accepted by faith. A creationist, however, should not feel that science contradicts his faith in God’s Word. Rather than being disproved by science, the Scriptural concept of a young earth is actually verified by science.”
There is no idea more thoroughly disproven in science than the notion that the earth is only a few thousand years old. It is every bit as absurd and unsupportable as the claim that the earth is flat or at the center of the universe (and incidentally, not a few young earthers also believe those two things). For a reputable university to accept such material and give credit to it as a science class would be as unjustified as giving credit to an astrology class as an astronomy credit.