August 28, 2005

Those damn secularists are at it again.

Or that's what a fundamentalist Christian education group is claiming, anyway.

The LA Times reports on a lawsuit against the University of California, which wants the court to order UC to give admission credit for high school science courses the embrace the creationist worldview. The suit was filed by the Association of Christian Schools International, which claims that the university's year-old policy of denying credit for classes that use textbooks that challenge the reality of evolution discriminates against 'Christian' schools and attempts to secularize the schools. The suit specifically objects to UC's refusal to accept courses that use science books pubished by Bob Jones University Press and A Beka Books.

The Questionable Authority went looking to see just what was in some of these books, and found some interesting stuff in this 10th-grade biology text:

Biology for Christian Schools is a textbook for Bible-believing high-school students. Those who do not believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God will find many points in this book puzzling. This book was not written for them....

The people who prepared this book have tried consistently to put the Word of God first and science any point God's Word is not put first, the authors apologize....

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....

After Pasteur's swan-necked flask experiment and thousands of other experiments supporting biogenesis, do people today still believe in spontaneous generation? Yes. Anyone who believes in evolution believes that spontaneous generation has occurred. ... If they can create life, they think they can support their belief in life's beginning without God....

The idea that life comes from similar life is important. God created humans and all of the other kinds of organisms with the ability to reproduce after their own kind (Gen. 1:12, 21, 25, 28); therefore, humans reproduce humans, oak trees reproduce oak trees, and cats reproduce cats. The idea of all life forms descending from a common ancestor cell that originated from non-living chemicals is absurd.

And these all come from what's supposed to be a science text, not a religious tract.

We took a quick run through the catalog for the Bob Jones University Press and found these additional gems:

  • The description of a grade 7–12 book on the fossil record:
    A discussion of the evidence from the fossil record, which supports the biblical view regarding the Flood and disproves the evolutionary view.

  • From the introduction to a text on space and earth science:

    The answers to important questions such as those above can be found only in Scripture. It seems proper, then, that whenever you are faced with a question you should first find out what the Bible has to say about it. If the Bible speaks clearly onthe issue, then you have your answer. If it is silent, then you must use the reasoning ability that God has given you to find an answer that is consistent with what Scripture says.

It looks to us like UC has good reasons to be leery of courses that use texts that contain stuff like what we've just presented. And it looks to us that the ACSI's claim of religious discrimination is no more than a smokescreen for yet another attempt to to start easing the fundamentalist Christian worldview into all US schools, not just the 'Christian' ones.

Posted by Magpie at August 28, 2005 05:03 PM | Religion | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |

Yeah, we're talking about some kids who'd be failing their lab science classes and you usually have to take at least one. Though I'm willing to bet that these same people would be the first to jump on someone from another religion who took the same attitude.

Posted by: natasha at August 28, 2005 06:59 PM

nice article. and yes, no way is that science. you can't have it both ways.

Posted by: kid oakland at August 28, 2005 09:06 PM