The issue concerning WASC was NOT the teaching of creation …

Comment on “Autonomy and Academic Freedom”: WASC’s 2010 Review of LSU by Professor Kent.

The issue concerning WASC was NOT the teaching of creation or evolution, it was the EXTERNAL PRESSURE that could threaten academic freedom and autonomy of the institution.

WASC has NO issue with religious institutions teaching their religious views. WASC only has an issue when the university calves to outside pressure and disciplines or fires faculty members outside of the university’s established policy. The university can certainly discipline or fire faculty so long as they remain with established policy.

Professor Kent Also Commented

“Autonomy and Academic Freedom”: WASC’s 2010 Review of LSU
It’s sad the way so many of you wish to make a mountain out of a molehill. Take off your tainted glasses and read the actual standards that WASC wanted to make sure that LSU maintained. Note that there is nothing, absolutely NOTHING, in the WASC guidelines that prohibits the teaching of SDA beliefs. And the endorsement of LSU by WASC says nothing, absolutely NOTHING, about whether LSU teaches or does not teach LSU beliefs.

CFR 1.4 – The institution publicly states its commitment to academic freedom for faculty, staff, and students, and acts accordingly. This commitment affirms that those in the academy are free to share their convictions and
responsible conclusions with their colleagues and students in their teaching and in their writing.

CFR 1.6 – Even when supported by or affiliated with political, corporate, or religious organizations, the institution has education as its primary purpose and operates as an academic institution with appropriate autonomy.

CFR 2.2a – Baccalaureate programs engage students in an integrated course of study of sufficient breadth and depth to prepare them for work, citizenship, and a fulfilling life. These programs also ensure the development of core learning abilities and competencies including, but not limited to, college-level written and oral communication; college-level quantitative skills; information literacy; and the habit of critical analysis of data and argument. In addition, baccalaureate programs actively foster an understanding of diversity; civic responsibility; the ability to work with others; and the capability to engage in lifelong learning. Baccalaureate programs also ensure breadth for all students in the areas of cultural and aesthetic, social and political, as well as scientific and technical knowledge expected of educated persons in this society. Finally, students are required to engage in an in-depth, focused, and sustained program of study as part of their baccalaureate programs.

CFR 3.8 – The institution’s organizational structures and decision making processes are clear and consistent with its purposes, support effective decision making, and place priority on sustaining effective academic programs.

“Autonomy and Academic Freedom”: WASC’s 2010 Review of LSU

The Adventist Accrediting Association, or AAA, will examine the highly charged debate over the teaching of origins at La Sierra University during a visit the week of November 15 to the school.

This is excellent. But I have a prediction: no matter what the conclusion or recommendations of the AAA, there will be people at EducateTruth who pick apart and find fault in any report that is made.

“Autonomy and Academic Freedom”: WASC’s 2010 Review of LSU
Sorry, Sean, but you simply don’t understand academic accreditation issues (because you’re not an academic, though you likely think otherwise) and you don’t know what you are talking about. WASC has no issue with doctrinal teachings, so long as the university makes clear in its policies what is acceptable and what is not.

WASC might indeed “have a cow” if teachers were restricted from sharing their honest beliefs. And this is where you get upset. Teaching SDA beliefs respectfully is not good enough to satisfy you. As you have made abundantly clear, every teacher must BELIEVE exactly as you insist, for the exact SAME REASONS you insist (scientific evidence, and not because of faith in the Word of God), and TEACH exactly as you insist–that the weight of evidence clearly favors SDA beliefs.

I have met many highly-educated Seventh-day Adventists in my lifetime, including a handful of scientists, and I am doubtful that many believe as you do that the weight of scientific evidence favors the Church’s position on origins and the flood. If you were to fire all of those who disagree with you, I think that would be a FAR BIGGER PROBLEM for the Church than your paranoia about WASC. The Seventh-day Adventist Church does NOT require that its teachers believe or even teach that the weight of evidence favors its interpretation. And just because YOU insist these should be the Church’s policies doesn’t mean they are or ever will be.

You’re an angry man.

Recent Comments by Professor Kent

Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
Nic&#032Samojluk: No wonder most creationist writers do not even try to submit their papers to such organizations.
Who wants to waste his/her time trying to enter through a door that is closed to him/her a priori?

You have no idea what you’re writing about, Nic. As it turns out, there are in fact many of us Adventists who “waste” our time publishing articles through doors that open to us a priori. Even Leonard Brand at Loma Linda, a widely recognized creationist, has published in the top geology journals. I mean the top journals in the discipline.

The myth that creationists cannot publish in mainstream science is perpetuated by people who simply do not understand the culture of science–and will remain clueless that they do not understand it even when confronted with their misunderstandings. Such is human nature.

Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit

Your questions about conservation genetics are very insightful. I don’t understand how all these life forms were able to greatly increase in genetic diversity while simultaneously winding down and losing genetic information to mutations. Sean seems to insist that both processes happen simultaneously. I had the impression he has insisted all along that the former cannot overcome the latter. But I think you must be right: God had to intervene to alter the course of nature. However, we can probably test this empirically because there must be a signature of evidence available in the DNA. I’ll bet Sean can find the evidence for this.

I’m also glad the predators (just 2 of most such species) in the ark had enough clean animals (14 of each such species) to eat during the deluge and in the months and years after they emerged from the ark that they didn’t wipe out the vast majority of animal species through predation. Maybe they all consumed manna while in the ark and during the first few months or years afterward. Perhaps Sean can find in the literature a gene for a single digestive enzyme that is common to all predatory animals, from the lowest invertebrate to the highest vertebrate. Now that would be amazing.

Wait a minute–I remember once being told that SDA biologists like Art Chadwick believe that some animals survived on floating vegetation outside the ark. Now that would solve some of these very real problems! I wonder whether readers here would allow for this possibility. Multiple arks without walls, roof, and human caretakers.

Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit

Ellen White said, “In the days of Noah, men…many times larger than now exist, were buried, and thus preserved as an evidence to later generations that the antediluvians [presumably referring to humans] perished by a flood. God designed that the discovery of these things should establish faith in inspired history…”

Sean Pitman said, “All human fossils discovered so far are Tertiary or post-Flood fossils. There are no known antediluvian human fossils.”

Ellen White tells us that humans and dinosaurs (presumably referred to in the statement, “a class of very large animals which perished at the flood… mammoth animals”) lived together before the flood. Evolutionary biologists tell us that dinosaurs and humans never lived together. You’re telling us, Sean, that the fossil record supports the conclusion of evolutionists rather than that of Ellen White and the SDA Church. Many of the “very large animals which perished at the flood” are found only in fossil deposits prior to or attributed to the flood, whereas hunans occur in fossil deposits only after the flood (when their numbers were most scarce).

Should the SDA biologists, who are supposed to teach “creation science,” be fired if they teach what you have just conceded?

La Sierra Univeristy Fires Dr. Lee Greer; Signs anti-Creation Bond
For those aghast about the LSU situation and wondering what other SDA institutions have taken out bonds, hold on to your britches. You’ll be stunned when you learn (soon) how many of our other schools, and which ones in particular, have taken out these bonds. You will be amazed to learn just how many other administrators have deliberately secularized their institutions besides Randal Wisbey, presumably because they too hate the SDA Church (as David Read has put it so tactfully).

Be sure to protest equally loudly.

Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
@Sean Pitman:

So clearly you believe that science can explain supernatural events. Congratulations on that.