It’s been a year since we last reported on the big creationism battle that was ripping apart La Sierra University, a private university in Riverside, California, which is part of the Seventh-day Adventist system of higher education.
As you may recall, the university had been teaching evolution, which is contrary to their church’s belief in young-earth creationism. There were online petitions signed by thousands, and charges that biology classes were being guided by Satan. Three biology professors were singled out for teaching evolution, and many wanted them to be removed from the faculty. Our last post on this topic was Adventist University: Evolution Battle Continues. At that time we reported:
the Adventist Accrediting Association board … declined to extend La Sierra’s Adventist church accreditation for a full five years. Instead, the university received a provisional one-year extension, to Dec. 31, 2012, to give the university more time to infuse Adventist religious beliefs into science classes and make other changes.
At the same time, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, a federally approved accreditation agency, was pushing La Sierra to teach science, not creationism, in order to retain accreditation. Nothing was resolved last year, but now, in the Press-Enterprise of Riverside, California, where La Sierra is located, we read La Sierra professor, board members dismissed. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
A La Sierra University professor and three university trustees said they were dismissed for trying to resolve a years-long controversy over creationism and evolution that has threatened the religious institution’s accreditation.
Dismissed? We believe that in such cases, the appropriate term is Expelled! Let’s read on:
Lee Greer, an assistant professor of biology, said the Riverside university refused to renew his three-year contract. The three trustees said their fellow board members booted them from the panel. The university declined to comment.
Here’s Greer’s page at La Sierra: Dr. Lee Greer. It seems to have been purged of all information — or maybe it never had any. Wait — here’s Greer’s Lab. He’s obviously not a creationist. We continue with the news story:
The dismissals appear to be the latest chapter in a struggle by the Seventh-day Adventist institution to reconcile the church belief that God created the Earth in six days with the scientific consensus supporting the theory of evolution.
And it looks like the creationists have been triumphant. Here’s more:
Greer said he initiated discussions that led to a statement proposing that creation be taught in university classrooms as faith, rather than science, and that students be told that it could not be proven with scientific methods.
What’s wrong with that? Too rational? The newspaper says:
Before the board voted on the proposal, it dismissed three of the four trustees who supported it.
Yup. Too rational. Another excerpt:
Greer said he’s considering a lawsuit against the university alleging, among other issues, a violation of his contractual right to academic freedom. But he said he’d prefer to stay at La Sierra and have his contract renewed rather than resort to legal action.
It would be fun to watch the Discoveroids’ reaction to that, but it would be better for everyone if this mess were resolved without litigation. La Sierra seems to have chosen to go all creationist, all the time. That’s their right. They don’t want Greer, so perhaps he should consider a position at a different institution. Anyway, here’s how the article ends:
The professor said he only wanted to help La Sierra and its students. “I’m concerned for the university,” he said. “And I’m concerned for the students, that they have a quality science education. … The controversy is not good for the prestige of their degrees.”
La Sierra doesn’t want Greer’s help. In our humble opinion, they don’t deserve it. He’s wasting his time there. You can’t teach spherical earth at a flat earth academy.
Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.