Roger Seheult: At UCR I received a world-class education from …

Comment on LSU not different than secular universities according to LSU student by David Kendall, BMus, MA.

Roger Seheult: At UCR I received a world-class education from professors who had published in Evolutionary Journals. At La Sierra, the biology professors can’t even correctly identify the assumptions that make up Hardy-Weinberg populations. I.e. in the syllabus, one professor incorrectly states that if your population doesn’t look like a Hardy Weinberg population – there must be evolution occuring!!!! (?) And why were all the La Sierra kids coming over to UCR in the summer to take our O CHEM classes???

I do not doubt that you received a world-class education at UCR, as I have received a world-class graduate education there. However, I also received a world-class education at LSU, as can be attested to by the large numbers of quality students we graduate and their subsequent performance in graduate schools and in professional life. The above syllabus example is simply one example of a mistake. Are there others? Are they repeated in a classroom setting? Syllabus mistakes are common; my music theory students know that I will commit at least one major syllabus error every quarter and we derive some entertainment by finding it. One mistake of this kind is not proof of scholarly incompetence, just as I would not be considered incompetent for mislabeling chromatic chords or occasionally sight-singing using the wrong solfege syllables.

There are a number of reasons why LSU students go to UCR (and to RCC) to take Organic Chemistry and other courses during Summer Sessions. One reason is cost, though due to the California budget crisis and subsequent tuition hikes at the UC campuses, LSU is currently costing 2x-3x more, rather than 5x to 10x. Another reason is scheduling, as many students work during summers and find UCR’s class offerings more flexible (as there are more classes/sections to choose from). Still another reason, and a telling one, is that LSU’s chemistry classes (depending upon the professor) are fiendishly comprehensive and some students find it easier to pass them at UCR than at LSU.

David Kendall
Adjunct Professor of Music
La Sierra Univesity

David Kendall, BMus, MA Also Commented

LSU not different than secular universities according to LSU student

Roger Seheult: @David Kendall, BMus, MA:
La Sierra is worse than UCR.I am a Seventh-day Adventist, a graduate of Loma Linda University and also a graduate of UCR.At UCR, I was free to express my religious beliefs.This was accepted on the basis of freedom of thought and diversity.Even fundamentalist beliefs in the SDA context would be treated fairly in the context of diversity.At La Sierra, it is derided as censorship and wanting to take our chruch to the 1950s.
  

I am not sure this is a fair equivalence. While diversity and religious/social tolerance are certainly hallmarks of the UCR student experience (as they are at LSU; the University Motto is “From Diversity, Community), I am allowed to advocate for religious concepts at LSU as an instructor while I am forbidden to do so at UCR in that context. Also, I am unclear as to whether you attended Loma Linda University proper, or the La Sierra Campus (as LSU was known from 1967 – 1990). If the latter, I understand your comparison between LSU and UCR, though it would have to refer to events at least 20 years ago. If not, then the comparison is between a actual experiences at UCR and perceived ones at LSU.

At UCR, I regularly encounter Mormon missionaries and Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as sign-carrying Protestants confronting passersby at the top of their lungs. This is allowed and is part of the greater university discourse. As a student at LSU in the late 1990s I also advocated for more conservative policies by publishing a newsletter (which I cleared through the Office of Student Life, which was not interested in censoring it) and by attending Board of Trustees meetings with other like-minded students. We were always taken seriously and treated with respect, as I take seriously concerns that my students bring related to my own academic sphere of musicology. The statement that a question or concern can be “derided as censorship” may stem from the reality that faculty may choose not to act on a given issue (or they may choose to act in a different way than desired). This is a common state of affairs that all professors and administrators deal with, and we are tasked with making the best decisions possible based on our experience and expertise.

David Kendall
Adjunct Professor of Music
La Sierra University


LSU not different than secular universities according to LSU student
As a faculty member in the music department at LSU, I strongly object to the notion or suggestion that La Sierra is “not different than secular universities.” I received my Bachelor of Music degree from La Sierra, and an MA and PhD (as of this June) at the University of California. I have now been an adjunct professor at LSU for seven years and have also served as a teaching assistant and asst. instructor (adjunct) at UC Riverside over the past five years. There is no comparison. At UCR I have no opportunity to express my faith in an official context; rather I am expressly forbidden to do so. At LSU I have this freedom, which I choose to exercise. As an alumna of La Sierra and a current graduate student in a large public university, I can again say with certainty that there is no comparison between them as far as the student experience is concerned, and I can speak for scores of my colleagues who have followed a similar educational path.

Perhaps this statement (which I have seen repeated in one form or another in comments on this site) is merely a broad generalization expressed in frustration at a perceived lack of response and resolution of this issue. However, I would invite those of you tempted to do so to avoid generalizations of this kind. There are many others, and comments like “this sounds just like LSU” are neither constructive nor are they accurate, as if the university is made up of automatons rather than autonomous individuals. No institution is a monolith and in a sense, I am LSU and I and the many devoted and dedicated members of faculty, staff and administration are not happy to be swept up in a blanket generalization of this sort, regardless of the concerns with individual faculty. Language, however temporal it may seem, has meaning and power and we are all responsible for the ways we use it.

David Kendall, MA
Adjunct Professor of Music
La Sierra University


Recent Comments by David Kendall, BMus, MA

Clifford Goldstein: Seventh-day Darwinians, Redux
@Hope Sekulic

Goldstein, not to long presented a talk at Weimar Institute. I watched him talk, He appeared perplexed his subject of presentation was all mixed up and confusing. It had not foundation and point. He was jumping from subject to subject, he was moving all over the platform, scratching his head, looking in to his I-phone or what ever it was in his hand, passing up and down with a disruptive spirit.
I was sad to see him so discordant and so disorganized in his talk.

Hope,

Are you suggesting that Goldstein’s difficulties in speaking at Weimar are a result of Satan sowing discord and confusion in the church generally, or an attack on him specifically? I was not sure.

Read and see Who are the Wolfs in the Sheep’s skin and where they like to graze.

I am familiar with the theories stating that Jesuit infiltrators are everywhere, seeking to destroy the church. An SDA pastor friend of mine had his church’s website “denounced” by the “Adventist Liberation Front.” I am familiar with Fr. Alberto Rivera’s testimony that the Jesuit order is the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Interestingly, I get testimonies from a number of friends who have left the SDA church asserting that Adventism is the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Which am I to believe, as both sides have equally heart-wrenching horror stories to tell? Maybe both of them, or maybe neither. I am friends with a number of Jesuit and other Catholic priests through my research in the Philippines (my wife is Jesuit-educated), as well as very many Adventists of different backgrounds (having been a life-long SDA in Arizona, Southern California, Taiwan and the Philippines). I have to say in all honesty that when I look for Christ-centered attitudes, kindness and service towards one’s fellow man, I have often noted these attributes to be significantly stronger among the Catholic priests. Some have told me that this is their deception, their apparition as Satan as an angel of light. However, I have only Christ’s statement, to know them by their fruits. This does not cause me to want to leave my church, but rather expect it to be better; to bear sweeter fruit.

Pax,

David Kendall, PhD
Adjunct Professor of Music
La Sierra University


Dr. Geraty clarifies his “Challenge” to literal 6-day creationism
@BobRyan

unbiased objective readers

objective unbiased reader

Bob,

I have made this query before, but as I have noticed your increased use of the above term (and related variants) both here and in other forums, and I ask again: Who is this unbiased objective reader? How does this reader remain objective and free from bias? I understand that you are using the phrase as a rhetorical device to impart value to your arguments and responses vis-a-vis opposing arguments; by appealing to a supposed authority (objectivity). The only truly objective authority to which we can appeal is God, and as none of us can claim that identity, I am unsure as to the reasoning behind your continued and consistent use of the term.

@Ron Stone, M.D.

Professor Kent, You’re right–there is no point in your “sharing” anything here, as you are pointedly shot down whenever you do! Good bye!

Dr. Stone,

This statement does not, to my mind, seem to be a very efficient process toward convincing others of the rightness of your position. It is this very type of discourse that proves to non-Adventists, non-Christians, and other interested observers that our faith and the commands of Christ to love one another are of a low priority in our everyday lives. I am asking my delegate to the GC session to call for a broad-based, civil, open and honest discussion on origins in the Adventist church, without polemics, threats, and un-Christian language. This is the very minimum we should expect of ourselves and of others who call themselves by Christ’s name.

Pax,

David Kendall, PhD
Adjunct Professor of Music
La Sierra University


Catholic School Fires Math Teacher for Expressing Atheistic Views
Geanna,

I encourage you to go get a PhD, if you can find a good, supportive department (and some funding, hard to come by these days, at least in California), either inside of or outside of the SDA system. I found all of my graduate work to be incredibly rewarding and I strongly recommend it to my own students, though they should always be prepared to open their minds and question their assumptions, despite what others have warned about the dangers of such a route (reading infidel authors, engaging in philosophical debates in the religious sphere, etc.).

One suggestion for working at an SDA institution is to prepare a syllabus and approach a department chair and offer to teach an introductory class, a lab or something else in an adjunct capacity. Working for the church is likewise very rewarding (but not usually in a monetary sense!), though a bit less so in the current environment. Having the privilege of helping to guide and mentor students in an Adventist Christian environment (just as I was in turn guided and mentored) is enough for me. Go for it!

Pax,

David Kendall, PhD
Adjunct Professor of Music
La Sierra University


Dr. Geraty clarifies his “Challenge” to literal 6-day creationism
@Former LSU Student

I am interested in when you attended LSU, because it sounds like you must have been there around the time I was a student (1998-2002). I remember the land sale, etc. that you mentioned, though I may have been serving as a student missionary in Taiwan (2002-2003) when the sale was final. I also do not know what floor of Sierra Towers you lived on (I was on 2nd floor from 1998-2001, then South Hall), but my experiences there, as well as everywhere else on campus, were very different from yours.

Also, not to be confrontational, but it would not be wise to suggest that Dr. Geraty served at LSU due to his inability to perform in the public, secular academic world (if that is what you were suggesting). A cursory glance at his CV will show that he would be a very big fish in any pond.

Pax,

David Kendall, PhD
Adjunct Professor of Music
La Sierra University


Clifford Goldstein: Seventh-day Darwinians, Redux
@ Kevin Paulson

David Kendall seems to view the “teasing out” of various viewpoints in the present controversy as a harmless exercise–the necessary full airing of a particular concept in the name of fairness. This is fine if we are talking about human theories and philosophies or some debate in the secular realm (e.g. politics).

Pastor Paulson,

I did not mention that the “teasing out” of viewpoints is either a harmless exercise or that it is done in the name of fairness or for any other reason; I said simply that this is what scholars do as part of a venerable (or venerated) academic tradition.

In matters spiritual we are not dealing with the harmless interchange of ideas, where any number of varied conclusions might be embraced with innocence.

No mention was made of embracing varied conclusions, be they innocent or otherwise, but rather I advised that “we should keep in mind that philosophers and other scholars often discuss and theorize concepts at great length without necessarily espousing those concepts as truth.”

Do you consider certain lines of inquiry to be off-limits? What kinds of scholarship should be forbidden when our primary concern is the salvation of our souls? Is the very knowledge of “wrong ideas and wrong practices” that which can and will lead to eternal damnation? What do you propose we do about this?

Pax,

David Kendall, PhD
Adjunct Professor of Music
La Sierra University