A national association has denied accreditation to a liberal arts college that requires six-day creationism to be taught in a biology class. Patrick Henry College, a 150-student school in Purcellville, Virginia, is appealing the decision.

"We teach about evolution," Michael Farris, founder of Patrick Henry College, told Christianity Today. "We just think it's bogus—bogus science, and bogus as a matter of faith."

The college, created for homeschooled students, applied for accreditation with the American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE) when the college began accepting students in the fall of 2000. The AALE sent the college an April 30 letter denying accreditation, saying the biology course does not satisfy the academy's basic knowledge requirement, and limits "liberty of thought and freedom of speech."

"From our perspective, [the denial] was completely out of the blue," said Farris, also founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association. "None of this had been raised at all. "

The college's Statement of Biblical Worldview says, "PHC does not intend to limit biblically based discussion of [origins]; provided, however, that evolution, 'theistic' or otherwise, will not be treated as an acceptable theory."

Education vs. Indoctrination

Jeffrey Wallin, president of the AALE, said his group does not object to member schools teaching creation in their theology classes, but it is not acceptable in biology classes. He says the organization has accredited colleges that teach creationism in theology classes.

Wallin says creationism is not science. "When I went to school, I took a theology course," Wallin told CT, "but we didn't sit around with test tubes and experiment and try to convince ourselves it was science."

Mark Noll, professor ...

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