Quote of the week: Biology for Christian Schools

14 08 2008

If the conclusions contradict the Word of God, the conclusions are wrong, no matter how many scientific facts may appear to back them.

From Biology for Christian Schools, a publication of Bob Jones University Press, also responsible for the Christian Student Dictionary. It was the inclusion of this and similar textbooks on the syllabus of several fundamentalist Christian schools in California which prompted the University of California to reject their faith-based biology courses as inadequate preparation for the, you know, reality-based courses offered at the university. The schools wailed “viewpoint discrimination!” and filed a federal lawsuit against UC in 2005; Biology for Christian Schools played a key role in the recent ruling in favour of UC and science education.

Rejecting claims of religious discrimination and stifling of free expression, U.S. District Judge James Otero of Los Angeles said UC’s review committees cited legitimate reasons for rejecting the texts – not because they contained religious viewpoints, but because they omitted important topics in science and history and failed to teach critical thinking. [. . .] UC denies credit to courses that rely largely or entirely on material stressing supernatural over historic or scientific explanations, though it has approved such texts as supplemental reading, the judge said. (San Francisco Chronicle)

The plaintiffs, who are appealing the decision, accuse UC of “attempting to secularize public schools.” The university replies that the plaintiffs are simply seeking a “religious exemption from regular admissions standards.”

Via Friendly Atheist