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What do they teach at the University of California, San Diego?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Recently I came across an article by the opinion editor of the UCSD (University of California, San Diego) Guardian Online regarding the University of California system move to reject students who have been taught high school science from books that teach Creationism, such as books from A Beka Books and from Bob Jones University Press.

What I found particularly interesting was the lack of understanding displayed by this particular author.

Imagine walking into a college calculus course on the first day only to have the lecture interrupted by a student who rejects the mathematical tenet that 2+2=4. Or watching your study partner struggling with physics assignments because she refuses to acknowledge the law of gravity. Or listen to your roommate creating a ruckus in his history class when he publicly disavows the existence of Nazi concentration camps.

Sound absurd? Sure it is. It goes without saying that to grasp certain subjects at a college level, one must accept the keystones of various disciplines from which all else follows: the syntax of the English language for a writing class; properties of numbers in a math class; or evolution in a biology class.

First of all, she wrongly equates laws of science and math (gravity, 2+2=4) with the theory of evolution.

Second of all, she assumes that to grasp biology, one must accept evolution. Not only is an acceptance of evolution not necessary to grasp biology, it is not even necessary in order to grasp evolution.

A little while later she offers this gem.
When a student’s high school education is so obviously lacking, the University of California is hardly displaying “hostility towards Christianity” (as the suit alleges) in rejecting such courses or such students. It is displaying hostility toward ignorance and closed-mindedness.

Again, it seems that the University of California is hardly displaying enough hostilitiy towards ignorance and closed-mindedness when this lady has been admitted and allowed such a prominent position.

Talk about ignorance - she does not even consider the fact that many times the students educated with the very textbooks in question actually have a better grasp of evolution that the typical student entering college. A lack of acceptance of evolution does not equal a lack of understanding of evolution. In fact, I would say that in many ways the opposite is true, but that is the subject for another post sometime, perhaps.

Talk about closed-mindedness, she is unwilling to even check out the facts regarding what is being taught in these schools, as she so aptly demonstrates with the following comment.

What, then, are these kids being taught,... A few words of Spanish between Bible study and chapel, perhaps?

It seems that if the University of California system is genuinely concerned about the understanding of its students regarding evolution, they could provide a profiency test for the students desiring to enter the school who have been educated using the texts that they are questioning. Of course, a similar test by all incoming freshman may be very revealing.

Just some thoughts.


File under Education_, Culture_War, Hot_Issues