Academically Adequate

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The big news today--at least, today's the first I've heard of it--is a ruling concerning the University of California. It seems that kids who take Christian science courses that do not teach evolution have not been given enough "critical thinking skills necessary to succeed at the University," and these courses are "academically inadequate."

Reading the rest of the article on this ruling, it turns out that the texts they are referring to are mostly Bob Jones University Press and A Beka books. Sonlight was, thankfully, not mentioned. Maybe we're just too insignificant because we don't publish textbooks.

In another article on the subject, I can see why the court would rule this way.

[They rejected] a history course called Christianity's Influence on America [which] "instructs that the Bible is the unerring source for analysis of historical events" and evaluates historical figures based on their religious motivations.

Another rejected text, "Biology for Christian Schools," declares on the first page that "if (scientific) conclusions contradict the Word of God, the conclusions are wrong."

I'm not surprised at all that a secular university would consider such statements "academically inadequate" in regards to critical thinking. In fact, I'd say that the Bible is not a good analytical tool for historical events because the Bible itself does very little historical analysis. And while I firmly believe the Bible is inerrant, most scientific claims from the Bible are based on our interpretation of certain passages.

Is that all that is going on here?

Probably not.

And this is certainly a dangerous path to walk down, especially if this becomes widespread: You are not "educated" until you have bought into the "party line" on this or that subject. And while I am wary of overly religious texts that squelch honest questioning, I am equally concerned when the "educational system" begins to pretend that it knows what is academically adequate. Such claims don't seem to promote critical thinking either.

Thoughts?

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

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