At least one college is standing up against Intelligent Design nonsense.

The admissions officials at the University of California are facing a lawsuit from the Assn. of Christian Schools International because they have a policy of not certifying high school courses that teach Creationism:

Under a policy implemented with little fanfare a year ago, UC admissions authorities have refused to certify high school science courses that use textbooks challenging Darwin’s theory of evolution, the suit says.

Other courses rejected by UC officials include “Christianity’s Influence in American History,” “Christianity and Morality in American Literature” and “Special Providence: American Government.”

The 10-campus UC system requires applicants to complete a variety of courses, including science, mathematics, history, literature and the arts. But in letters to Calvary Chapel, university officials said some of the school’s Christian-oriented courses were too narrow to be acceptable.

According to the lawsuit, UC’s board of admissions also advised the school that it would not approve biology and science courses that relied primarily on textbooks published by Bob Jones University Press and A Beka Books, two Christian publishers.

Instead, the board instructed the schools to “submit for UC approval a secular science curriculum with a text and course outline that addresses course content/knowledge generally accepted in the scientific community.”

Needless to say the Christian schools aren’t too happy about this and are screaming discrimination:

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

Not true at all. The Christian schools have every right to teach whatever nonsense they want to, but the University of California has the right to not accept those courses as valid credits for students coming into their school.

Wendell E. Bird, an Atlanta attorney who represents the Assn. of Christian Schools, said California was the only state in the nation that had taken such actions against Christian schools.

Hopefully it won’t be the last state. This should be the standard across the board at all state universities. Creationism/Intelligent Design are NOT scientific theories and have no business being taught in science classes. Any school that insist on doing so should expect that only Religious Universities will accept those courses as valid. Teach whatever idiocy you want, but don’t expect higher educational institutions to accept it if you do.

28 thoughts on “At least one college is standing up against Intelligent Design nonsense.

  1. In some ways I support what UC is doing.  I just hope it doesn’t get out of hand.  Having a non-revisionist course on how different religions have affected the development of the US or the world would be very interesting, I think.  I hope UC doesn’t go overboard and start banning legitimate studies on how religions and philosophies affect all aspects of the world.  I don’t have problems with them not allowing credit transfer of courses that include revisionist history and questionable science as long as they aren’t banning any legitimate courses that are just associated with religion.

    My college requires us to take a course in women’s studies.  Personally I find this to be a drag, but I expect it will be enlightening nonetheless.  I’m hoping that the course material and professor are genuinely presenting a truthful representation though and not some sort of feminist agenda or exaggeration of women’s roles/persecution in whatever the specific topic may be.

  2. I’m hoping that the course material and professor are genuinely presenting a truthful representation though and not some sort of feminist agenda or exaggeration of women’s roles/persecution in whatever the specific topic may be.

    So, Theo, who’s going to establish the truthfulness of the representation?  You?

    Here’s this feminist’s agenda:

    1) Go to work to support my family.  (Hopefully making the same amount of money that my male counterparts do.)

    2) Eat lunch.

    3) Get home on time to help my hubby, who’s been home alone all day with the kids.  (Too bad child care is so expensive.)

    4) Eat dinner.

    5) Catch up on housework.

    6) Get some sleep.

    Repeat ad nauseam.

  3. I attended UC Santa Cruz – and I can tell you, the survey-level political science courses there are all about exaggeration and extremism. It doesn’t matter if you can build a good argument for whatever-it-is the paper is discussing; you’ll get a passing mark if you parrot the instructor’s attitudes and platitudes back at them.

    Get into the hard science courses (o-chem, physics, mathematics) and you’ll get one of the better educational experiences available in the US. Get into anything that deals with philosophy and it won’t be what you learn or how you build and defend your arguments, it will be how well you can groupthink. I don’t doubt that there would be the same kind of extremism in any of the gender- or ethnic- studies courses (which I took at the junior-college level and probably got a better overall picture than the UC students).

    I would have no problem with the UCs accepting courses that teach intelligent design as electives or philosophy – but not as science.

  4. Im glad to see that their are people who are not scientists questioning the validity of ID. That is a hood thing. Hopefully it wont end here.

    Cheers BunBun

  5. Get into anything that deals with philosophy and it won’t be what you learn or how you build and defend your arguments, it will be how well you can groupthink.

    Citizen L, that’s a vast over-generalization and a complete misuse of the term, ‘groupthink’ (which is a model of defective decision-making—e.g., the Bush administration in their approach to just about anything).

    Philosphy courses are about a particular perspective on the world and if you’re in a course that teaches about a specific philosophy, you can expect that you’ll be taught that philosophy. If you’re in a course on critical analysis or argument in philosophy, you’ll be expected to critique it in depth.

    In general (and in virtually any discipline) critical analysis is a step beyond learning about the basics. Unfortunately, students often believe that their uninformed personal opinions have merit—they don’t.

    I absolutely agree that no college should ever accept a philosophy course (intelligent design) as science.

  6. Hi Shelley,

    At UCSC, that’s what the political science, philosophy, and many other similar courses were: groupthink. Massive exercises in defective decision-making. Or, more to the point, following along with the professor and adopting their views wholesale rather than learning to evaluate arguments independently and then construct your own arguments.

    My entire post dealt with courses as taught at UCSC, based on my experiences there.

  7. Hi CitizenL,

    Sorry, but you’re really not using groupthink in the proper context. Yes, it does have to do with conformity and social pressure but groupthink generally has to do with the elite making concrete decisions about specific actions (e.g., Let’s invade Iraq! Let’s invade Cuba! Let’s buy a Ferrari!).

    It is a social process around a concrete decision. It is certainly intolerant of dissent, but is not defined solely by the mindless adoption of an authority’s views.

    (Sorry too, for the digression.)

  8. Originally posted by GeekMom:
    So, Theo, who’s going to establish the truthfulness of the representation?  You?

    The same caliber of people that establish the truthfulness of the idiocy of ID.  I don’t expect to become educated on feminist antics and such before I take the class.  All I am saying is I hope I don’t have some crazy femnazi for a teacher and that whatever is taught is actually historicly accurate and not femnazi revisionist history.  GeekMom you may be a feminist, but you don’t seem like a femnazi.  I have no gripe with you.

  9. Femnazi”?  “Feminist antics”? Wow. Interesting choice of words.

    I’d sure like to hear about some of your “revisionist history,” Theocrat.

    Can you give us an example? We could even start a new topic, if you like.

  10. intelligent design is flexible and can be adapted to include such obvious observations as natural selection.  Not all Christians follow “answersingenesis” blindly.

    A course that teaches ID over Natural selection probably shouldn’t be recognized, a course that skips evolution and natural selection in favor of ID isn’t valid.  Whether or not they are discriminated against shouldn’t matter.  Teach the material the college wants, if you want to tack on something at the end it shouldn’t matter as long as you cover the required material.  It is only logical that there are probably other deficiencies present in the text books that UC rejected, but of course everyone is going to get into the same old rhetoric about “Christians are stupid hicks” and so on.  same ol’ same ol’, never ends, just nail us all to crosses and get it over with.

  11. Shelley, I think Theocrat has a point.  One woman in my college bio dept was what I would call a femnazi.  She deliberately gave preference to female students and treated the boys like crap, no matter their intelligence or effort.  There are women out in the world who give feminism a bad name by claiming to be feminists when they’re really just as sexist as can be.

  12. just nail us all to crosses and get it over with.

    Unnecessary.  We’ve found that quite a few of you are perfectly willing to climb up and nail yourselves to them.

  13. Could you guys stop your circlejerk for a second and think about this objectively? 

    Having taken the science course in both Christian and Public schools, I have to say there’s about three page’s difference in them, maybe a chapter if you’re lucky.  Though Evolution is a better theory overall (IMHO), it is just that, a theory, because it takes far too long to happen to observe well enough to use the scientific method on it.  The closest we can ever come to observing Evolution is natural selection within species, or if we’re really lucky some wonky stuff in micro-organisms.  Creationists happily accept these things as science, though because they’re generally not an entire species change, they call them ‘Micro Evolution’ or just Natural Selection. 

    This is going to screw over a lot of students, and unless there’s some sort of timetable on this, there will be exiting highschool students of this year that already have far too many credits invested in Christian High School courses for them to go back and start over at a Public High School now. 

    This is a pretty bad thing, and while I do think that teaching ID in public schools is a load of BS, I think this is reactionary and even more despicable.  I hope they win in their discriminatory cases if only for the students who will be screwed over by this decision.

  14. it is just that, a theory

    Please, please, please! We’ve been over this many times—In Scientific terms, a THEORY is a complex explanatory system, (and in the case of evolution in particular it is) supported across multiple scientific domains. It is not a big question mark in our understanding of how the world works.

    Yes, it is sad that the adults in these kids lives managed to screw up their education by embracing dogma rather than science. But it is NOT the job of colleges and universities to do remedial education with kids who should have been taught the basics long ago.

  15. Here we go again…

    Though Evolution is a better theory overall (IMHO), it is just that, a theory

    Let’s say it again altogether now: EVERYTHING is JUST a THEORY. Gravity, Light, Ocean Salinity, are all JUST THEORIES. The Theory of Evolution, like the Law of Gravity, has a shit load of evidence backing it up. Intelligent Design has nothing to back it up because it’s not even a PROPER THEORY. Evolution is the cornerstone of modern day biology and there are whole fields of science that wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t real. Name me ONE field of science that has Intelligent Design as it’s basis?

    Having taken the science course in both Christian and Public schools, I have to say there’s about three page’s difference in them, maybe a chapter if you’re lucky.

    There’s plenty of Christian schools out there that teach a perfectly acceptable science course and I doubt they’ll be affected by this policy as it’s quite specific about what courses and materials won’t be accepted.

    This is a pretty bad thing, and while I do think that teaching ID in public schools is a load of BS, I think this is reactionary and even more despicable.  I hope they win in their discriminatory cases if only for the students who will be screwed over by this decision.

    I disagree. All this means is that anyone who took the unacceptable Christian science courses will need to take proper science classes in the University once they get there. This doesn’t bar those students from attending, it just refuses to acknowledge the validity of the science courses taught.

  16. Yes, it is sad that the adults in these kids lives managed to screw up their education by embracing dogma rather than science. But it is NOT the job of colleges and universities to do remedial education with kids who should have been taught the basics long ago.

    Yes, the adults screwed up the kid’s lives by sending them to schools with arguably better education than many of the public schools.  rolleyes

    Every single thing that is taught in public school science courses that is not covered in Christian school science courses takes up about all of three to five pages at the most.  It’s little enough anyone with half a brain can pick it all up just by sitting through a few college courses, or reading a page or two on the internets, but no there has to be a big reactionary huff about it, because some of the more crazy fundamentalist Christians which are by no means representative of the whole, decided that they didn’t like that public school science courses were teaching Evolution and not religion. 

    If all of you think this is entirely justified, then you are as rabid as the fundamentalist Christians who wanted ID to be taught in public school classrooms.

  17. Yes, the adults screwed up the kid’s lives by sending them to schools with arguably better education than many of the public schools.

    This may or may not be true depending on WHICH public schools you’re comparing to WHICH Christian schools. Not all public schools are horrible nor are all Christian schools exemplary.

    Every single thing that is taught in public school science courses that is not covered in Christian school science courses takes up about all of three to five pages at the most. It’s little enough anyone with half a brain can pick it all up just by sitting through a few college courses, or reading a page or two on the internets, but no there has to be a big reactionary huff about it, because some of the more crazy fundamentalist Christians which are by no means representative of the whole, decided that they didn’t like that public school science courses were teaching Evolution and not religion.

    Again, that may or may not be true depending on WHICH schools you’re talking about. You’re assuming that all Christian school curriculum are the same and that’s just not the case. Hell, that’s not even the case for public schools (though it’s more likely there).

    Again those Christian schools that are teaching valid science courses, and there are plenty of them out there that are, have nothing to fear from this policy at UC.

    If all of you think this is entirely justified, then you are as rabid as the fundamentalist Christians who wanted ID to be taught in public school classrooms.

    I must be rabid then as I think you should only get credit for courses that are valid.

  18. Slick,

    Where’s your evidence that the education is better in Christian Schools?

    I’ll say that I teach at a University and my personal experience with students does not suggest any advantage whatsoever to those from ‘Christian Schools’—but then, I’m a stastitician and researcher, so I’ll happily defer to the evidence. Please cite your source.

  19. The good Christian schools that provide excellent educations have nothing to fear from this policy.  I know my Catholic elementary school science books made no mention of Creationism (ID wasn’t around at the time).  Nor was any mention of any god made in the science books (same went for the history books, except for the effects of religions on history).  Religion class was entirely separate from the other courses.  Hell, the nuns there viewed the Biblical story of creation as more allegorical than historical.

    Shelley, FWIW, I’ve taken a philosophy course about sexism and racism that was as maddening as what Citizen L suggests, full of exaggerations and intolerant of opposing viewpoints, even if well argued (the TAs often thought some of the prof’s views were a bit much, not to mention how many black students thought his views were rather extreme).  I wouldn’t say this course was taught by a “feminazi,” as the prof was a white heterosexual male.  OTOH, at the same school I took a GWS course taught by a feminist lesbian professor who was quite open to new perspectives provided you could back them up with reason.

  20. Let’s say it again altogether now: EVERYTHING is JUST a THEORY. Gravity, Light, Ocean Salinity, are all JUST THEORIES. The Theory of Evolution, like the Law of Gravity, has a shit load of evidence backing it up. Intelligent Design has nothing to back it up because it’s not even a PROPER THEORY. Evolution is the cornerstone of modern day biology and there are whole fields of science that wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t real. Name me ONE field of science that has Intelligent Design as it’s basis?

    There isn’t.  Intelligent Design is based in religion, Evolution is based in science.  I chose Evolution, but at the same time, as a Christian won’t begrudge others for choosing to interpret the Creation story literally however absurd it seems to me.  It doesn’t belong the in the publis schools, as per the seperation of church and state.  I never said anything different. 

    What I did say, was that it’s really stupid what the UC colleges are doing. 

    As small a part of an overall science course as the section on Evolution is, it’s stupid not to count the cruddy, fairly basic science courses taught in highschool.  If Evolution took up half the book, sure, but it does not.  Anyone can pick up Evolution and learn well enough on their own if they want to, I’m proof of that, having taken highschool courses in a Christian school, but opting for Evolution instead as it made more sense to me. 

    Shelley, I don’t know about your statistics, but I know there are maybe five or so really good school districts in California, other than that, the rest are pretty cruddy.  There are however Christian schools all over California, many (not all) of which provide better education than the public schools. 

    My particular school district is good as far as academics go, but there are heavy drug cultures in them, which is one of the reasons my parents sent us to Christian schools most of our lives.  I opted out of it after I got sick of the hypocrisy within them, so I’ve seen it from both sides.  I’ve seen the standard text books for the Public schools, and I’ve seen the Beka textbooks which many of the Christian schools use. 

    I’m of the opinion that as much of the full textbook as both the Intelligent Design, and the Evolution bits take up, it makes no sense to discredit an entire course, and make them take an entire new one.  I could see giving them a booklet, having them study it, and answer questions on a test that would tell whether they were competent enough to count it pending that the textbooks used were all well aside from the method of creation, but discounting an entire course, and making them take a new one is unreasonable, reactionary, and takes up uneeded time and money of the student. 

    Maybe I’m just pissed off that this is gonna screw over my sister really hard if she decides to go to a UC (which she’s been heavily considering), but I think what I’ve said stands to good reason. 

    I am not arguing about the science, I’m arguing about whether or not what they are doing is reactionary and overblown.

  21. What I did say, was that it’s really stupid what the UC colleges are doing.

    What UC is doing isn’t stupid, it’s their prerogative. Colleges make decisions on what high school courses they’ll accept as valid all the time.

    Hell, even high schools make such determinations. When I transferred from three years at Pontiac Central to Lake Orion high school for my senior year it was decided that the physical education credits I’d gotten previously weren’t up to Lake Orion’s standards so I ended up having to take another semester of gym class. I was the only senior in the whole damned school that was in gym class. There were two other courses that also weren’t accepted as valid totaling up to a credit and a half and I ended up having to take night classes in order to graduate on time.

    As small a part of an overall science course as the section on Evolution is, it’s stupid not to count the cruddy, fairly basic science courses taught in highschool.  If Evolution took up half the book, sure, but it does not.  Anyone can pick up Evolution and learn well enough on their own if they want to, I’m proof of that, having taken highschool courses in a Christian school, but opting for Evolution instead as it made more sense to me.

    You’re not getting it. Evolution is the foundation of all modern day biology courses. The concepts in it are touched on throughout many text books and not just in the section dealing specifically with the theory. That was true over 20 years ago when I was still in high school. Classes in biology which attempt to teach that Evolution is false are undermining the very foundation of that scientific field itself.

    There have already been lawsuits from various Christians who weren’t happy with the grades they got in their college biology courses because of their belief in Intelligent Design leading them to put down wrong answers on their exams. One way for a school to head off such idiotic lawsuits is to declare ahead of time what previous education is acceptable as valid for taking courses at their school.

    I’m of the opinion that as much of the full textbook as both the Intelligent Design, and the Evolution bits take up, it makes no sense to discredit an entire course, and make them take an entire new one.

    You’ve pretty much justified the college’s stance right there. If Evolution really does take up that small a portion of the book then it’s focus is, as the college stated, “too narrow to be acceptable.”

    I could see giving them a booklet, having them study it, and answer questions on a test that would tell whether they were competent enough to count it pending that the textbooks used were all well aside from the method of creation, but discounting an entire course, and making them take a new one is unreasonable, reactionary, and takes up uneeded time and money of the student.

    If the course is flawed then it’s not unreasonable nor reactionary. Would you feel the same way if the course in question was medical? Or would you be just fine with someone who had a flawed medical education performing surgery on you?

    If the policy isn’t to someone’s liking they’re always free to attend any number of Christian colleges that would presumably have no qualms in accepting those courses as valid.

  22. You’ve pretty much justified the college’s stance right there. If Evolution really does take up that small a portion of the book then it’s focus is, as the college stated, “too narrow to be acceptable.

  23. I’ve not seen California’s public school text books so I can’t comment on them, but the folks at UC have and if they find them acceptable then that’s all that matters. It’s their school they get to determine what high school courses they will accept as valid.

  24. Meh. 

    I think we should agree to disagree, because having seen their texts, all I can see it as is reactionary. 

    Your opinion is they’re honestly doing what they think is best. 

    We’re not going to agree on this however many times we go around in circles.

  25. Found this.  This is what I mean by femnazi.  I brought it up in reference to a class I have to take by this professor.  I have heard she’s biased against guys so I hope whatever she teaches isn’t going to be biased towards any of her views.  I would say that about every professor, I just brought it up to enforce my original point that public schools should be devoted to truth and whatever is known to be false, revisionist, or against tested and proven methods should not be allowed in schools.

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