The Evolution Debate

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From Adventist Today a progressive Seventh-day Adventist magazine, comes news that the faculty of an Adventist-affiliated college has unanimously defended the teaching of evolution. From the article:

The Faculty Senate of La Sierra University (LSU) has unanimously approved a resolution that affirmed faculty commitment to the “preservation of academic freedom with intellectual and moral integrity in the context of our heritage, and service as a Seventh-day Adventist Christian University.” It issued this declaration in the context of their “strong support for our colleagues in the Department of Biology.”

The resolution comes after Adventists unaffiliated with the university protested the teaching of evolution and circulated a petition against the school to try and change the curriculum.

La Sierra University is a 2000-student liberal arts Seventh-Day Adventist college located in Riverside, California.

The official Seventh-day Adventist Church position supports the literal interpretation of the Bible’s account of a six day creation and a subsequent flood. Young Earth creationism as a modern theory actually originated with the 1923 writings of George McCready Price, a Seventh-day Adventist.

Members of the Adventist church, however, have long been very strong advocates of science and medicine. There’s the church’s official anti-evolution stance, but it is an ecclesiastical one, not a scientific one. Adventists don’t generally pursue or advocate this position very far into the realm of policy.

Teaching evolution at a Seventh-day Adventist-affiliated colleges appears to be roughly analogous to teaching it at a Catholic institution (well, in about 1958), which was done all the time.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer