OUR last report about this was here: Adventist University Battles Over Evolution, when we learned that La Sierra University of Riverside, California, part of the Seventh-day Adventist system of higher education, is having a struggle over teaching evolution and creationism.
A faction led by Shane Hilde wants to require Adventist teaching on creation (God created the Earth in six literal days) in La Sierra’s biology classes, with the likely dismissal of the three La Sierra biology professors. Alternatives were being discussed, such as teaching both evolution and creation in biology class, teaching them both but in separate classes, or teaching creationism only. A trustees meeting was scheduled for 12 November.
In the Press-Enterprise of Riverside, California we read La Sierra University debate over creationism continues. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
La Sierra’s board of trustees last week unanimously voted to endorse Adventist beliefs that the world was created in six 24-hour days and said the teaching of evolution must be “within the context of the Adventist belief regarding creation.”
What does that mean, specifically, regarding science classes? Let’s read on:
The board also proposed that all 15 North American Adventist universities develop a curriculum that includes a “scientifically rigorous affirmation” of Adventist creation beliefs.
A difficult task. We continue:
The presidents of the universities plan to discuss the proposal when they meet in February, said Fred Kinsey, spokesman for the North American division of the Adventist Church.
At least they have a few months to work it out. Here’s more:
Shane Hilde, the Beaumont man spearheading the petition drive, said he will be satisfied only when Adventist creation beliefs are presented as the preferred world view in classes in which evolution is discussed.
“To me, this is a positive statement, but that’s what it is, just a statement,” Hilde said of the board resolutions. “They didn’t do anything about how to hold employees accountable for representing the church’s position.”
Hilde and others say Adventist beliefs must be integrated into all classes in which evolution is discussed. He said faculty statements that God created everything in the world are insufficient, because they don’t specifically endorse Adventist beliefs.
Hilde is clearly a man of faith, with no interest in compromise. He probably doesn’t even want to “teach the controversy.” He ought to move to Texas where he’d fit right in on the Board of Education. Moving along:
The Catholic Church and other Christian denominations teach that evolution — which has been the overwhelming scientific consensus for decades — is not incompatible with Biblical teachings.
The Seventh-day Adventist church is among the denominations that specifically state that creation occurred in six literal days, and that the world was created several thousand years ago, not billions of years ago.
Seems simple enough. If you don’t like the science you’re being taught, then change churches and you can learn a whole new reality. No worries!
Here’s another excerpt:
The chairman of the La Sierra biology department, professor James Wilson, declined to comment, referring questions on the matter to Wisbey [president of La Sierra]. The three biology professors at the center of the controversy have also declined to comment.
Those are the professors who have been teaching evolution. They have a lot riding on this, but they’ll have to wait until the 15 university presidents meet in February. And so will we.
Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.