Joined: Jan. 2008
KF wants "to build an alternative independent education system" because:
|The need to remove oneself from institutions that are violating their proper role is thus the key motive; out of concern for one’s children and a need to go to where one will be educated not propagandised, indoctrinated and manipulated or even intimidated. |
An "education system" that is put together by people who can't even agree on the age of the earth or whether or not uniformitarianism is a necessary assumption for doing science.
But there won't be any indoctrination or intimidation going on, all academic freedom and so on...
|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.|
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.
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.
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges, which accredits universities, last year expressed concern that pressure from outside groups to infuse more religious teaching into the curriculum threatened the university’s autonomy — and could eventually imperil its accreditation.
La Sierra also is facing criticism from an Adventist church body, which contends the university does not do enough to expose students to the Adventist worldview.
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.
The university board in October voted to affirm the proposal and encouraged faculty to consider it in discussions on changing the curriculum. But the board also said the backers of the proposal should have consulted the full board and the university administration before publicizing it in Adventist Review, an official church publication.
Before the board voted on the proposal, it dismissed three of the four trustees who supported it.
Carla Lidner Baum said she was rushing back to La Sierra from an East Coast trip when board President Ricardo Graham called her. She was in a La Sierra parking lot when he told her to not enter the meeting room because she had been kicked off the board.
“I told him, ‘I can’t even come in and defend myself?’ and he said, ‘No,’” she said.
Graham did not return phone calls for comment.
Baum, a Riverside dentist, said she supported the proposal because it was a faculty-led effort to solve the controversy. Greer and five other faculty members signed the statement.
The faculty involvement seemed to address concerns from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges that La Sierra was subject to too much pressure from the church and outside groups, Baum said. The association does not allow non-academic forces to determine curriculum, but it does permit faculty to determine ways to incorporate religious teaching in the classroom.
“We thought we were helping fix the problem,” Baum said.
Another trustee, Kathryn Proffitt, said she was at the meeting when fellow board members voted to dismiss her without allowing her to reply to the allegation that the proposal breached “established governance protocols.”
“It makes no sense for someone like Mr. Greer to lose his position after five years of stellar performance,” said Proffitt, a former U.S. ambassador to Malta who now lives in Arizona. “He was trying to resolve a problem that has plagued the university for years.”
The third dismissed trustee was Marta Tooma.
La Sierra spokesman Larry Becker said the trustee dismissals occurred in executive — private — session and cannot be discussed publicly. The university does not comment on personnel decisions, such as Greer’s employment, he said.
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.
Greer released what appeared to be certified letters documenting that he will be dismissed after the June 30 end of his contract.
The university has rebuffed his request to explain his reasons for spearheading the proposal and to refute allegations against him, he said
In Greer’s La Sierra office, a bookshelf contained volumes such as the Bible and “The Five Gospels” above texts such as “Religion and Science” and “Finding Darwin’s God.”
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.”
Dr. Greer himself issued a press release:
|Dr. Greer’s Joint Proposal suggested continued inclusion of evolution by “teaching and research in the various disciplines of the modern sciences according to the most up-to-date and rigorous standards of the published science . . . including the data which highlight the strengths and weaknesses of various models.” The proposal also suggested that biology faculty affirm and incorporate “the Biblical concept of creation, including the Seventh-day Adventist understanding of Genesis 1 and 2, as a faith position at the classroom level, when questions of origins are discussed.” The proposal noted that “creation is not a scientific construct. It is a faith construct. The conviction of Divine Creation lies beyond the purview of the methods of empirical science, and cannot be subjected to them. Nevertheless, faith and science can and should interact.”|
|Unfortunately, the Administration’s response to the independent proposal was not positive. “It seemed to me that President Randal Wisbey was upset that biology faculty, such as myself, had independently exercised our academic freedom by proposing a solution,” Dr. Greer said. In addition, three of the four Trustees who signed were removed because of their role in the Joint Proposal.|
The Administration insisted that the biology faculty sign a hastily-written, official apology memo over the release of the informal proposal. Because of the memo’s mischaracterizations and errors of fact, Dr. Greer refused to sign giving his reasons in summary—despite several warnings communicated to him that failure to sign would place his faculty position in jeopardy.
Not to forget Dembski's change of mind, out of his own free will:
|At that meeting, Dembski was quick to admit that he was wrong about the flood, Patterson said. “Had I had any inkling that Dr. Dembski was actually denying the absolute trustworthiness of the Bible, then that would have, of course, ended his relationship with the school,” he said.|
"Random mutations, if they are truly random, will affect, and potentially damage, any aspect of the organism, [...]
Thus, a realistic [computer] simulation [of evolution] would allow the program, OS, and hardware to be affected in a random fashion." GilDodgen, Frilly shirt owner