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Failing the science test

STUDENTS WHO HEAD OFF TO COLLEGE knowing nothing about evolution except that they shouldn’t believe in it, and thinking that dinosaurs and people lived together, are not ready for university-level science courses. That is why the University of California is justified in rejecting a Christian school’s creationism-based science course as college-prep material.

The course relies on textbooks that openly say they put religion before science. Yet Calvary Chapel Christian School in Murietta, along with a nationwide group of Christian schools, filed suit against the UC system, seeking to force its approval of this and other courses that baldly lack the required academic muscle.

One of the textbooks used for the course, published by Bob Jones University Press, teaches that the world is no more than 10,000 years old. The other, titled “Biology: God’s Living Creation,” has a 40-page section about evolution, all of it an effort to debunk Darwin’s theory while ignoring or denying a century of scientific discovery. Dinosaurs lived alongside people, it claims, and might have gone extinct in the Noah-era flood. How to account for evidence that shows they died off millions of years ago? You just can’t trust scientists’ dating techniques, the book informs youngsters.

It’s one thing to supplement the teaching of science in private schools with religious beliefs, or to give arguments against evolution as well as for it. It’s another to leave teenagers ignorant of the most basic scientific knowledge and still declare them fit for entry into a top mainstream university.

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The school also claims that UC rejected its literature course, “Christianity and Morality in American Literature,” because the university is biased against Christians. UC says it rejected the course because it taught solely from an anthology using excerpts of texts instead of the complete original texts that UC demands from all literature courses.

The six students in whose names the suit is filed are supposedly shocked that these courses aren’t accepted by UC. But it’s up to parents and students to pick coursework, both in private and public schools, that meets the requirements for UC admissions. People can teach and learn what they want on their own dime, but that doesn’t give them the right to push publicly supported schools into doing the same.


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