Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Article on the UC Lawsuit

The Sacramento Bee has an article about the upcoming trial over the University of California’s rejection of certain courses from a Christian school for credit in their admissions process. I reviewed the biology textbook when the suit was first filed and there is no question that it should be rejected for credit by any serious school. You cannot pretend to seriously be teaching science when you claim, without evidence, that virtually everything taught in modern science is wrong and that anything that conflicts with their interpretation of the Bible must be wrong regardless of the evidence. It turns out that the physics textbook does the same thing:

While “the university has no opposition to questioning current scientific points of view,” he said, certain ways of questioning aren’t legitimately academic because they aren’t subject to scientific testing.

The Bob Jones physics text, for example, teaches that “the only sure truths are found in God’s Word, which is settled forever in heaven. … The Bible, written by an omniscient God, can never be proved wrong.”

That’s not science, it’s anti-science. Accepting that course for academic credit would be as absurd as accepting a Madrassah class in science that taught that anything that conflicts with the Quran must be wrong. And as the article points out, the plaintiffs just don’t have much of a case:

Among many issues to be sorted out at the trial is whether UC’s admissions criteria, which permit students to qualify via routes other than approved course work, such as standardized testing, leave Christian school students at a disadvantage.

“We’re clearly not trying to keep these kids out,” Patti said.

He said graduates of the school in Murrieta have had a particularly high admission rate in recent years. He also said UC’s approval rate for courses taught at Christian schools is identical to the rate for schools overall.

The trial is expected to take place sometime in 2007.


  1. #1 The Ridger
    October 31, 2006

    What “leave[s] Christian school students at a disadvantage” is requiring science standards for science courses. If the kids went to schools that taught science, they wouldn’t be at disadvantage. Philosophical debates about causality aside, actions have consequences; these kids should be taught that much at Bob Jones, even if it’s couched in terms like sin and damnation.

  2. #2 DragonScholar
    October 31, 2006

    Anyone want to bet that some folks will be screaming this is religious discrimination? Requiring people to know things ouside of their belief system and all is obviously bias.

    . . . I’ve clearly been reading UD too often.

  3. #3 CPT_Doom
    October 31, 2006

    The Bob Jones physics text, for example, teaches that “the only sure truths are found in God’s Word, which is settled forever in heaven. … The Bible, written by an omniscient God, can never be proved wrong.”

    I think Gallileo might have a differen opinion on that topice, since the Bible claims the world is flat and the sun revolves around it.

  4. #4 Turcano
    October 31, 2006

    I myself was subjected to these textbooks when I was in high school, and I can personally attest that, although some things are covered fairly well (such as metabolic processes), they do foster a strong anti-science mindset. Their discussion on evolution, as anyone who has read them can tell you, is pure YEC garbage that was almost certainly cribbed from Hovind (no one else still makes claims that crazy). Although these textbooks thankfully did not destroy my interest in real science, it did help put blinders on my studies that persisted for quite some time. I’d hate to imagine what they would do to a non-inquisitive person.

    Their history books were even worse (or at least more apparently bad). Most of the sections about the history of foreign cultures ended by saying that these people were rotten sinners who needed Jesus; even my history teacher, who was a member of the right-wing fringe, knew that this has no place in a history textbook.

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