Some faculty are under fire at a California Bible college for allowing the E word to be uttered. Alumni, parents, and church leaders at the Seventh-day Adventist La Sierra University in southern California’s “Inland Empire,” are worried about the content of the school’s science classes:
The stark question being asked by some alumni, parents, and church leaders: Is the Adventist Church’s fundamental belief — “God is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity” — being taught, or are some of La Sierra’s biology instructors presenting evolution as an explanation of origins?
And now of course all the creationist and intelligent design institutions across the nation will swing into action and demand the school Teach the Controversy™, like they do when the shoe is on the other foot. Right? The social conservatives on the Texas State Board of Education started a good old fashioned shoot out last year over teaching the ‘weaknesses in evolution’, which happen to be a carbon copy of long debunked creationist talking points. The good citizens of Dover, PA., were dragged into to court by local school board members seeking a ruling to allow science students to hear about alternatives in the interest, of course, of ‘encouraging critical thinking’. No doubt the flagship creationist Discovery Institute, which sounds the alarm on the vital need for science students to hear ‘both sides’ about evolution and ‘make up their own minds’ about the controversy will issue a press release supporting the evolutionary minority in this case — in the interest of the balance they so intensely support.
Here’s one perfectly representative sample of that collective response from our creationist friends:
Private schools can teach whatever pseudo-scientific nonsense they want to teach. They’re under no obligation from the state board of education or subject to Constitutional restraints on promoting a specific religion. They have the right to be wrong. The Seventh Day Adventist Church has adopted Young Earth Creationism as its official position and they can certainly teach it as they see fit.
But the silence from otherwise vocal creationists in cases like this tells us one thing loud and clear: Teach the Controversy isn’t some kind of lofty principle they hold dear. It sure as hell has nothing to do with their interest in improving science or helping children learn critical thinking skills — critical thinking skills are the last thing any creationist wants students to pick up. It’s just a PR gimmick. One that only gets wheeled out by creationists, when it helps creationists.