Are Jerry Bergman and Henry Morris Racists?
A Brief Second Response

Author: Dr. Jerry Bergman
Subject: Credibility of Creationists
Date: 6/27/2003

See Original Article by Jerry Bergman
Introduction

            One of the factors that influenced me to move in the direction of orthodox Christianity involved the behavior of those who are involved in the Christian community (and especially the Creation movement), in contrast to those who stand opposed to this world view.  One example that comes to mind concerns the attempts to criticize my work, almost all of which have been primarily ad hominem attacks that irresponsibly denigrate me as a person.  The response by Lippard, et al., (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/bergman-and-racism.html) is no exception.  Instead of focusing on the issue of concern (i.e., whether or not “Jerry Bergman and Henry Morris” are racists), much of the focus is on attacking me as an individual.

For example, my credentials are attacked on the very first page in a side bar that was evidently placed there by the web site maintainers.  It is noted that my degree in human biology is from Columbia Pacific University, which the authors conclude “is a diploma mill.”  They ignore my seven other degrees (and the three additional graduate degrees for which I have completed most of the course work).  I originally pursued a degree from this school because where I now live is a considerable distance away (generally a 2.5 hour round trip) from the closest graduate schools  (the University of Toledo, Medical College of Ohio, and Bowling Green State University).  Consequently, in the late 1980s I inquired about a suitable school where I could complete my graduate work in the science area (I already had a number of graduate credits, all which Columbia accepted).

To make an informed decision on graduate school, I consulted the most authoritative reference in print for alternative education, Bear’s Guide, which Wilson Library Bulletin says is “the authoritative guide in the field.”  The 2003 Tenspeed catalog says, “after 25 years this classic bestseller is still the resource for anyone looking to earn a degree in a nontraditional way.”  This guide highly recommended Columbia Pacific with the following words:

Columbia Pacific is the largest university in the United States and one of the largest in the world offering non-resident Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorates.  Despite the size, students report an extremely high level of personal attention from the faculty and staff.  The faculty numbers more than 400, nearly all with traditional Doctorates.  Two former presidents of major accredited universities serve as two of the deans of Columbia Pacific, and their president, Richard Crews, is a prominent psychiatrist with his medical degree from Harvard….  Degrees are offered in dozens of subject areas, including business, administration and management, engineering, psychology, education, holistic health, health sciences administration, architecture, and nutrition.  Special programs are created for students wishing to work in specialized areas… Work may be done in almost any language….  The University has two campuses: a million-dollar university-owned urban campus in downtown San Rafael (just north of San Francisco) and a 13-acre North Campus in northern Marin County, with library, student housing and other facilities.  There is an office in England, where a special program in travel and tourism is offered Jointly with British Air, and where former Prime Minister Harold Wilson is one of many prominent people serving as honorary fellows of the university.

Bear concluded his detailed review with the following words:

No other non-resident doctorate-granting institution has a staff with the credentials, reputation, and experience of Columbia Pacific.  Many major universities, including Harvard, Yale and Princeton have expressed a willingness to accept C.P.U. degrees.  Hundreds of C.P.U. alumni have written me (more than from any other school) to praise the very personal approach, the valuable learning experience, and the usefulness of their degrees (1985, p. 96).

Bear also rates schools from 1-5 (5 is fully accredited, and Columbia had a 4, which meant it was given the authority by “the superintendent of public instruction of the state of California” to award the degrees being offered). The 1981 edition of Bear’s Guide says the founders and staff of CPU “have, by a wide margin, the most impressive credentials of the people associated with any such school” (1980, p. 49).  The school was founded by three senior academics, two of whom were former presidents of regionally accredited American universities (see www.altepualumni.org).  They now have almost 10,000 alumni in 60 countries. Bear adds:

No other alternative non-residential Doctorate-granting institution has officers who approach the reputation, prestige, and experience of those of C.P.U.  I have had more positive, enthusiastic feedback from students and alumni of C.P.U. than from any other school, accredited or not.  These people praise the very personal approach, the valuable learning experience, the comparatively low cost, and the value of the degree to them.  C.P.U. operates from a large leased building just north of San Francisco and from a 13-acre residential retreat center (with library, student housing, etc.) in Northern Marin County.  There is also a residential psychology program in Santa Cruz, and offices in England.

I also checked with some graduates, and found quite a number of successful people who had graduated from the school.  A few that I recall are John Gray, Ph.D. the award-winning, best-selling author of the Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus series that critics claim was once controversial (but has now moved more into mainstream).  I also came across numerous CPU graduates who have done well in academia, such as Frank G. Shellock, Ph.D., FACC, FACSM, assistant professor of radiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine and a research scientist at the world renowned Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.  I reviewed the publication record of Dr. Shellock, who has his Ph.D. from Columbia Pacific University, and from only a single search located the following articles:

______, D.J. Schaefer, and C.J. Gordon.  1986.  “Effect of a 1.5 T Static Magnetic Field on Body Temperature of Man.”  Official Journal of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine / Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 3(4):644-647.

______.  1986.  “Monitoring during MRI.  An Evaluation of the Effect of High-Field MRI on Various Patient Monitors.”  Medical Electronics, 17(4):93-97.

______, D.J. Schaefer, W. Grundfest, and J.V. Crues.  1986.  “Thermal Effects of High-Field (1.5 Tesla) Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Spine.  Clinical Experience Above a Specific Absorption Rate of 0.4 W/kg.”  Acta Radiologica Supplementum, 369:514-516.

______, C.J. Gordon and D.J. Schaefer.  1986.  “Thermoregulatory Responses to Clinical Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Head at 1.5 Tesla: Lack of Evidence for Direct Effects on the Hypothalamus.”   Acta Radiological. Supplement, 369:512-513.

______.  1987.  “Biological Effects of MRI.”  Diagnostic Imaging, 9:96-101.

______.  1988.  “Corneal Temperature Changes Induced by High-Field-Strength MR Imaging With a Head Coil.”  Radiology, 167(2):809-811.

______ and John V. Cures.  1988.  “High-Field Strength MR Imaging and Metallic Biomedical Implants: An Ex Vivo Evaluation of Deflection Forces.”  American Journal of Roentgenology. Vol. 151.

______.  1988.   “MR Imaging of Metallic Implants and Materials: A Compilation of the Literature.”  American Journal of Roentgenology, 151:811-814.

______, J.H. Mink, J.M. Fox.  1988.  “Patellofemoral Joint: Kinematic MR Imaging to Assess Tracking Abnormalities.”  Radiology, 168(2):551-553.

______. and John V. Crues.  1988b.  “Temperature Changes Caused by Clinical MR Imaging of the Brain With a Head Coil.”  American Journal of Neuroradiology, 9:287-291.

______, D.J. Schaefer, and J.V. Crues.  1989.  “Alterations in Body and Skin Temperatures caused by Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Is the Recommended Exposure for Radio frequency Radiation too Conservative?”  The British Journal of Radiology, 62(742):904-909.

______.  1989.  “Biological Effects and Safety Aspects of Magnetic Resonance Imaging.”  Magnetic Resonance Quarterly, 5(4):243-261.

______, D.J. Schaefer and John V. Crues.  1989.  “Exposure to a 1.5 Tesla Static Magnetic Field Does Not Alter Body and Skin Temperatures in Man.”  Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 11:xxx).

______, et al.  1989.  “Kinematic Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Evaluation of Patellar Tracking.” Physician and Sports Medicine, 17:99.

______ and B.D. Pressman.  1989.  “MR Imaging of the Tempromandibular Joint: Improvements in the Imaging Protocol.”  American Journal of Neuroradiology, 10:598.

______ and H. Bierman.  1989.  “The Safety of MRI.”  The Journal of the American Medical Association, 261(23):3412.

______, A.L. Deutsch, and J.H. Mink.  1990.  “Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Injuries to Bone and Articular Cartilage.  Emphasis on Radiographically Occult Abnormalities.”  Orthopaedic Review, 19(1):66-75.

______, T. Fukunaga, J.H. Mink, and V.R. Edgerton.  1991.  “Exertion Muscle Injury: Evaluation of Concentric Versus Eccentric Actions with Serial MR Imaging.”  Radiology, 179(3):659-664.

______ and J.L. Fleckenstein, J.L.  1991.  “Exertional Muscle Injuries: Magnetic Resonance Imaging Evaluation.”  Topics in Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 3(4):50-70.

______, J.H. Mink, A. Deutsch, and B.D. Pressman.  1991.  “Kinematic Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Joints: Techniques and Clinical Applications.”  Magnetic Resonance Quarterly, 7(2):104-135.

______.  1991.  “Patellofemoral Joint Abnormalities in Athletes: Evaluation by Kinematic Magnetic Resonance Imaging.”  Topics in Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 3(4):71-95.

______ and E. Kanal.  1991.  “Policies, Guidelines, and Recommendations for MR Imaging Safety and Patient Management.  SMRI Safety Committee.”  Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 1(1):97-101.

______ K. McCully, W.J. Bank, and J.D. Posner.  1992.  “The Use of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance to Evaluate Muscle Injury.”  Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 24(5):537-542.

______, D. Stoller, and J.V. Crues.  1996.  “MRI of the Shoulder: A Rational Approach to the Reporting of Findings.”  Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 6(1):268-270.

______, D. L. Rubin, D.L.; K.L. Falk, M.J. Sperling, M. Ross, et al.  1997.  “A Multicenter Clinical Trial of Gadolite Oral Suspension as a Contrast Agent for MRI.”  Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 7(5):865-872.

______ and R. C. Hartwell.  1997.  “MRI of Cervical Fixation Devices: Sensation of Heating Caused by Vibration of Metallic Components.”  Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 7(4):771-772.

______, W. Feske, C. Frey, and Michael R. Terk.  1997.  “Peroneal Tendons: Use of Kinematic MR Imaging of the Ankle to Determine Subluxation.”  Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 7(2):451-454.

______, L. P. Bendel, and M. Steckel. 1997.  “The Effect of Mechanical Deformation on Magnetic Properties and MRI Artifacts of Type 304 and Type  316L Stainless Steel.”  Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 7(6):1170-1173.

______ and V.J. Shellock.  1998.  “Cardiovascular Catheters and Accessories: Ex vivo Testing of Ferromagnetism, Heating, and Artifacts Associated with MRI.”  Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 8(6):1338-1342.

______.  1998.  “Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Knee and Patellofemoral Joint.”  Arthroscopy: The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery, 14(6):658-661.

______ and E. Kanal.  1998.  “MRI Interaction with Tattoo Pigments.”  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 101(4):1150-1151.

______, Christopher M. Powers, and M. Pfaff.  1998.  “Quantification of Patellar Tracking Using Kinematic MRI.”  Journal  of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 8(3):724-732.

______, K.R. Stone, and J.V. Crues.  1999.  “Development and Clinical Application of Kinematic MRI of the Patellofemoral Joint Using an Extremity MR System.”  Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(6):788-791.

______, Christopher M. Powers, T.V. Beering, D.E. Garrido, R.M. Goldbach, and T. Molnar.  1999.  “Effect of Bracing on Patellar Kinematics in Patients with Patellofemoral Joint Pain.”  Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(12):1714-1720.

______, and J.M. Horrigan, J.H. Mink, and A.L. Deutsch.  1999.  “Magnetic Resonance Imaging Evaluation of Muscle Usage Associated with Three Exercises for Rotator Cuff Rehabilitation.”  Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(10):1361-1366.

______ and A. Kangarlu.  2000.  “Aneurysm Clips: Evaluation of Magnetic Field Interactions with an 8.0 T MR System.”  Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 12(1):107-111.

______.  2000.  “Effect of a Patella-Stabilizing Brace on Lateral Subluxation of the Patella: Assessment of Using Kinematic MRI.”  The American Journal of Knee Surgery, 13(3):137-142.

______ and J.L. Fleckenstein.  2000.  “Muscle Physiology and Pathophysiology: Magnetic Resonance Imaging Evaluation.”  Seminars in Musculoskeletal Radiology, 4(4):459-479.

______ and A.M. Sawyer-Glover.  2000.  “Pre-MRI Procedure Screening: Recommendations and Safety Considerations for Biomedical Implants and Devices.”  Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 12(1):92-106.

______, M.B. Edward, and K.M. Taylor.  2000.  “Prosthetic Heart Valves: Evaluation of Magnetic Field Interactions, Heating, and Artifacts at 1.5 T.”  Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 12(2):363-369.

______, J.M. Bert, H.M. Fritts, C.R. Gundry, R. Easton, and J.V. Crues 34d.  2001.  “Evaluation of the Rotator Cuff and Glenoid Labrum using a 0.2-Tesla Extremity Magnetic Resonance (MR) System: MR Results Compared to Surgical Findings.”  Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 14(6):763-770.

______.  2001.  “Metallic Neurosurgical Implants: Evaluation of Magnetic Field Interactions, Heating, and Artifacts at 1.5-Tesla.”  Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 14(3):295-299.

______.  2001.  “Metallic Surgical Instruments for Interventional MRI Procedures: Evaluation of MR Safety.”  Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 13(1):152-157.

______, K. Kulig, Christopher M. Powers, and Michael R. Terk.  2001.  “The Effects of Eccentric Velocity on Activation of Elbow Flexors: Evaluation by Magnetic Resonance Imaging.”  Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 33(2):196-200.

______, Samuel R. Ward, Michael R. Terk, Gretchen B. Salsich, and Christopher M. Powers.  2002.  “Assessment of Patellofemoral Relationships using Kinematic MRI: Comparison between Qualitative and Quantitative Methods.”  Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 16(1):69-74.

______, Ali R. Rezai, Daniel Finelli, John A. Nyenhuis, Greg Hrdlicka, et al.  2002.  “Neurostimulation Systems for Deep Brain Stimulation: In Vitro Evaluation of Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Related Heating at 1.5 Tesla.”  Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 15(3):241-250.

I also contacted several other individuals who concluded that CPU provided an excellent program for my needs.  The school utilizes faculty from other colleges and universities to supervise students’ graduate work.  My faculty advisor was John A. Short, Ph.D., department of anatomy and histology at the University of Pittsburgh. Some of his many scholarly publications include:

Lieberman and J. Short, Hepatic blood supply and the control of deoxyribonucleic acid synthesis in liver, American Journal Physiology. , 208, 896 (1965).

  1. Lieberman, J.Gingold, P .Kane and J. Short, Inorganic phosphate and Na+ increases in liver after partialhepatectomy. American Journal Physiology. , 208, 903 (1965).
  2. Lieberman, P. Kane and J. Short, The portal vein and control of liver ribonucleic acid metabolism.Journal Biology Chemistry.240, 3140 (1965).
  3. Short, R.Zemel, J.Kanta and I. Lieberman, Stimulation of deoxyribonucleic acid synthesis in the liver parenchymal cells of the intact rat. Nature, 223, 956 (1969).
  4. Short, R. F. Brown, A.Husakova, J. R. Gilbertson, R.Zemel and I. Lieberman, Induction of deoxyribonucleic acid synthesis in the liver of the intact rat. Journal Biology Chemistry. , 247, 1757 (1972).
  5. A.Pekarthy, J. Short, A. I. Lansing and I. Lieberman, Function and control of liver alkaline phosphatase,Journal Biology Chemistry. , 247, 1767 (1972).
  6. Lieberman, and J. Short, Control of Liver DNA Synthesis,Dermatology, 59, 17 (1972).
  7. J. Gaza, J. Short, and I. Lieberman,Onthe possibility that the prereplicative increases in ornithine decarboxylase activity are related to DNA synthesis in the liver. FEBS Letters, 32, 251 (1973).
  8. Short, N. B. Armstrong, R.Zemeland I. Lieberman, A role for amino acids in the induction of DNA synthesis in the liver, B. B. R. C. , 50, 430 (1973).
  9. J. Gaza, J. Short and I. Lieberman, Transcriptional and translational control of the biphasic increase in ornithine decarboxylase activity in liver,B. B. R. C., 54, 1483 (1973).
  10. Ove, M. L. Coetzee, M.Obenrader and J. Short, Loss of a serum protein from hepatoma bearing animals. Oncology, 29, 13 (1974).
  11. Short, N. B. Armstrong, M. A.Kolitsky, R. A. Mitchell, R.Zemel and I. Lieberman, Amino acids and the control of nuclear DNA replication in liver. In: B. Clarkson and R. Baserga (eds.) Control of Proliferation in Animal Cells, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, N.Y., p. 37-48 (1974).
  12. Short, K.Tsukada, W.Rudert and I. Lieberman, Cyclic adenosine 3′: 5′ – monophosphate and the induction of DNA synthesis in liver, Journal Biology Chemistry. , 250, 3602-3605 (1975).
  13. P. Bailey, W. A.Rudert, J. A. Short and I. Lieberman,Nucleolar changes in liver before the onset of DNA replication, Journal Biology Chemistry., 250, 4305-4309 (1975).
  14. A. Short, N. B. Armstrong, D. J. Gaza and I. Lieberman, Hormones and amino acids and control of nuclear DNA replication in liver. In: R.Leschand W. Reutter (eds. ) Liver Regeneration After Experimental Injury. Stratton Intercontinental Medical Book Corp. , N. Y. p. 296-308. (1975).
  15. Lynch, J. Short and I. Lieberman, The 7S nuclear DNA polymerase and DNA replication in intact liver,Cancer research. , 36, 901-904 (1976).
  16. P. Bailey, M. J.Vrooman, Y.Sawai, K. Tsukada, J. A. Short and I. Lieberman, Amino acids and the control of nucleolar size, the activity of RNA polymerase I, and DNA synthesis in liver, Proceedings of the National Academy Science U. S. A. , 73, 3201-3205 (1976). 
  17. E. Chadwick, J. A.Solan, J. A. Short, K. Morimoto and I. Lieberman, Nuclear DNA synthesis and levels of ornithine decarboxylase,putrescine, and polyamines in the liver of the intact rat. In: A. Campbell (ed.) Advances in Polyamine Research, Vol. II, Raven Press, N.Y. p. 111-121 (1977).
  18. Sort, L.Kibert, R.Wedmore, P. Ove and R. Zemel, Chromatin protein methylation in proliferating liver and hepatoma cells, Cytobios, 25, 115-128 (1979).
  19. Short, Persistence of an increment of additive liver growth induced bytriiodothyronines,Hormone and Metabolic Research, 12, 43, 1 (1980).
  20. Short, R.Zemel, R.Wedmore, and L. Kibert, A reliable cross-circulation model: its use in monitoring humoral agents, Cytibios, 28, 7-16 (1980).
  21. Short, K. Klein, L.Kibertand P. Ove, Involvement of the iodothyronines in liver and hepatoma cell proliferation in the rat. Cancer Research., 40, 2417-2422 (1980).
  22. Short and L.Kibert, Enhanced hepatic chromatin protein methylation induced bytriiodothyronine treatment of the rat, Endocrine Research Community. , 7, 113-119 (1980).
  23. Short and L.Kibert.,Semiquantitative determination of chromosomal protein methylation in vivo: calculation of a methylation index, Journal Applied Biochemical. , 2, 40-44 (1980).
  24. Short, R.Wedmore, L.Kibert and R. Zemel, Triiodothyronine: on its role as a specific hepatomitogen, Cytobios, 28, 165-177 (1980).
  25. Klein, R. Chou, J. Short, and P.Ove, Amounts oftriiodothyronine and a serum protein related to hepatic DNA synthesis in the rat, Hormone and Metabolic Research. , 13, 165-170 (1981).
  26. Ohiand J. Short, A general procedure for preparing messenger RNA from eukaryotic cells without using phenol, Journal Applied Biochemical., 2 393-413 (1981).
  27. Short, D.Truitteand M. Ontell, Lack of a “pleiotypic response” in hepatocyte proliferation induced in the rat be 3, 5, 3′ – triiodothyronine, Cytobios, 31, 191-209 (1981).
  28. Short, P. McDermott and D.Truitte, Humoral modulation of hepatic nucleartriiodothyronine receptors in the cross-circulated rat,  Hormone and Metabolic Research. , 14, 224 (1982).
  29. L.Cotezee, J. Short, K. Klein, and P.Ove, Correlation of the circulating levels of a serum protein with triiodothyronine levels and hepatoma growth, Cancer Research, 42, 155-160 (1982).
  30. L. Coetzee, J. Short and P.Ove, The influence of a humoral factor onhepatoma growth, Process Biochemical. , 17, 12 (1982).
  31. Truitte, P. McDermott, J. Short and L.Desser-Wiest, Reciprocal correlation between the levels of hepatic nuclear binding sites for T3 and enhanced DNA replication in the liver of the rat: a possible unifying concept, Cytobios, 38, 7-19 (1983).
  32. Short and P.Ove, Recent hypothesis advocating a prominent role for the thyroid hormones in mammalian liver cell proliferation in vivo,Cytobios, 38, 39-49 (1983).
  33. Truitte, P.Ove and J. Short, Partial characterization of specific nuclear triiodothyronine binding sites in two transplantable murine hepatomas, Anticancer Research, 3, 417-420 (1983).

Published Abstracts:

  1. A. Short, L.Kibertand R. Wedmore, The role of 3,3′ ,5-triiodothyronine as a specific hepatomitogen, Journal Cell Biology., 83, 231a (Abs.) (1979).
  2. Truitte, J. A. Short and M.Ontell, Paucity of prereplicative alterations in hepatocyte proliferation induced by triiodothyronine.  Journal Cell Biology., 87, 158a (Abs.) (1980).
  3. Klein, J. Short and P.Ove, Levels of a specific serum protein correlated with hepatic DNA synthesis in the rat.Journal Cell Biology., 87, 154a (Abs.) (1980).

Furthermore, my Ph.D. dissertation was published by University Microfilms International in Ann Arbor (see appendix).  When I completed my degree in February of 1992, CPU was fully licensed and authorized by the state of California to award degrees.  Their degrees were accepted not only by industry, but also by education, government, and other areas.  I also found that people with degrees from Columbia Pacific were teaching, or on the staff of, the following traditional colleges and universities:

 

Antioch University, Athabasca University (Canada), Bedford College of Higher Education (England), Boston State College, Brigham Young University, Bryant College (Rhode Island)

California State University, Hayward, California State University, Los Angeles, Central University of Venezuela, Cogswell College (California), College of Female Education (Saudi Arabia), Cuyahoga Community College (Ohio), Edward Williams College (New Jersey)

Exeter University (England), Futtsing Kang College (Taiwan), Georgia Tech, George Watson’s College (Scotland), Golden State University (California), Grand Rapids Baptist College and Seminary (Michigan), Hargrave Military Academy (Virginia), Michigan State University, Moorpark College (California), Morain Valley Community College (Illinois)

Mt. Sinai Medical Center (New York), Nassau Community College (New York), Nebraska Wesleyan University, New York University, North Texas State University, Norwalk Community College (Connecticut), Nova University (Florida), Odessa College (Texas), Oregon Institute of Technology, Pecos Valley Christian College (New Mexico), Pierce College (California), Purdue University (Indiana), San Francisco State University, Schreiner College (Texas), South Florida Community College, Swinburne Institute of technology, (Australia), Tampa College (Florida), Temple University, Umm Al Qura University (Saudi Arabia), Univesidad de Costa Rica, University of Bridgeport (Connecticut), University of British Columbia, University of Hawaii, University of Manchester (England), University of Massachusetts, University of Oregon, University of Salonika (Greece), University of Texas, El Paso, University of Vermont, University of Wales, University of Waterloo (Canada), University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, U.S. Army Reserve School (Illinois), Wake Forest University (North Carolina), Wallace State Community College (Alabama), West Coast University (California), West Virginia Northern Community College, Yeungnam University Medical School (Korea).

 

I was able to locate faculty members from many other colleges who were graduates of CPU.  An example is Dr. James Yarmus (he has his Ph.D. from CPU), who teaches at Howe School of Technology Management, a division of Stevens Institute of Technology.  His fellow faculty havedegrees from Harvard, Vanderbilt, MIT, Stanford, Columbia, and Cornell. A few more of the many academics and professionals with degrees from CPU include the following:

  1. Tania Bridgeman, Ph.D. RN, University of California Irvine Medical Center, Orange, California
  2. Larry Smith, Ph.D. Senior Computer Engineer United StatesAirforce, New Mexico
  3. JudyPellat, Ph.D. Department of Medical Oncology University of Southampton, England
  4. ErikPodszusPh.D., Assistant Professor New York City College, New York
  5. Ruth Mullins Ph.D. Professor of Nursing California State University, Long Beach California
  6. James Leigh, Ph.D. MA, Assistant Professor Campus Coordinator Languages Intercollege, Nicosia, Cyprus
  7. ConstantinePolychroniou, Ph.D. Adjunct Assistant Professor, College of Business, University of Cincinnati, Ohio
  8. Glen McDaniel, MS, Assistant Administrator of Clinical Operations, Atlanta, Georgia
  9. Jeff Dillon, Ph.D. Adjunct Professor, Azusa Pacific University
  10. TulioOtero, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor Columbia College, Puerto Rico and Elgin, Illinois
  11. Roger Geronimo, Ph.D., Director of Business Services, Central Connecticut University
  12. Glenn Donnelly, Ph.D., RN Assistant Professor, College of Nursing University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
  13. J.PhilipKittel, Ph.D., Computer Applications, Douglasville, Georgia.
  14. Lynn Collins,Ph.D, President Lynn Collins and Associates, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  15. Ravi Shankar, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor, Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio.

While pursuing the course work at CPU, I was very impressed with both the quality and the format used by the school.  I ended up putting more work into this degree than for those I completed at public state colleges.  While taking the courses, I soon noticed that a “spiritual” side was being advocated in some of the readings and assignments.  This, of course, raised a red flag, and my perception in 1990 was that, sooner or later, this would get them into trouble.  I soon was proved correct.  Some of the course work also looked at so-called “alternative” or wholistic medical treatment approaches (alternatives to standard orthodox medicine, which also raised a red flag).

On the other hand, medical heresy sometimes becomes medical orthodoxy.  For example, while I was pursuing these courses, I had high blood pressure.  I talked to my doctor about various alternative techniques used to deal with this problem (specifically nutrition and exercise).  At that time, the nutrition-exercise health solution was still seen as very quackish (Adele Davis and other nutritional gurus had published extensively in this area, but mainline medicine tended to discredit their work, pointing out that many of those who published in this area were not qualified physicians, although some had undergraduate degrees, or even graduate degrees, in nutrition).  Both nutrition and exercise have since moved into the mainstream and, it turns out, that at least this advice was ahead of its time.

Critics of the school spend much time attacking their “alternative” medicine approach.  One Web site (http://www.quack-watch.com/04ConsumerEducation/News/cpu.html) run by a psychiatrist Stephen Barrett (who, according to http://www.altcpualumni.org/wholisticed/hartal2001b.html, lost his medical license) makes it clear that their antagonism to CPU is due to the fact that a few of the almost 10,000 CPU graduates became involved in alternative health activities.  If more were involved then the average graduate of other colleges is not known, but it is implied on this web site that this was the case.  This section of this web site is irresponsible.  For a rebuttal to Barrett, see http://www.altcpualumni.org/wholisticed/hartal2001b.html.

Much of the attack against CPU is also against John Gray, often by radical feminists.  Some people do not like his wildly popular multi-million seller “pop psychology” books, so they attack CPU in order to discredit him.  Could this be jealousy?  Many people would agree that even a Ph.D. from Harvard would not equal the status of a best-selling author, even if the books were in the area of pop psychology.

I was to learn later, according to several individuals who looked into the situation, that the religion and related concerns evidently eventually resulted in revoking Columbia Pacific’s license to operate in California. This event was not too dissimilar to what happened to the Institute for Creation Research Graduate School (they appealed their denial, and eventually prevailed in court).

Evidence that bias was involved in the license loss is indicated by the fact that, as testified by a former employee of the State Council for Private Post Secondary and Vocational Education (CPPVE), Dr. Betty Dow, Sheila Hawkins, then the assistant director of CPPVE, made up her mind to close CPU a full two years before the council inspectors had even visited the school for their on site evaluation!  (Court of Appeals Case AO 8982; Marvin Superior Court Case No. 172634, pp. 19-20 appellants’ opening brief).

Nor is it true that the school is closed down.  They are still operating in Wyoming, and are licensed by the state there as a post-secondary education institution (private schools licensing act w.s.21-2-401).  On their web site, they now openly note the “spiritual” dimension of their educational program.  At this time, president Richard Crews had retired from the school, and several other changes motivated the staff to eventually move the school to Wyoming.

The observations about what happened to CPU correspond with the findings of a recent national study on accreditation.  The study found that “accreditation is a poor indicator of educational quality” (Neal, 2003, p. 1) and that accreditors tend to

focus their attention almost entirely on a colleges inputs and policies, and pay little attention to the quality of the curriculum, instruction, and learning outcomes.  They ask, for example, whether the library is large enough, whether the school has a mission statement, whether the student body is diverse enough, whether the financing appears adequate, and so on.  Educational quality is presumed as long as the school meets the numerous input standards.  It is exceedingly rare for a school to receive any accrediting sanction—much less revocation—on the grounds of poor academic quality.  “The accreditation system has received very little scrutiny despite the fact that the accreditors have the power to decide whether a college is good enough to be allowed to receive federal student aid funds,” Leef said.  “Congress thought it was utilizing a reliable system for separating academically sound institutions from those that would take the money but offer little educational value.  The trouble is that students can now graduate from accredited schools with an education in name only” (Neal, 2003, p. 1).

A report summarized the study as follows:

Lawmakers largely criticized the country’s 50-year-old accreditation process, claiming that it fails to ensure academic quality, lacks accountability and drives up college costs for administrators and students—Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 2, 2002 (quoted in Neal, p. 1).

Interestingly, the state agency that attacked CPU was itself shut down about a year later by the governor of California.  According to the governor, it was shut down for carrying out a “vendetta” against certain schools.  Governor Pete Wilson’s veto of AB 2960 Assembly Bill regarding the then Council for Private Post Secondary Vocational Education is part of his June 9/30/96 letter where he states, in part:  “I am concerned about the number of schools, all of whom are still operating, that have described a pattern of reprisals and their only recourse is to take their questions and objections to court.  Surely, the Council itself should provide some administrative appeal process short of litigation.”  (The complete letter can be read on http”//www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/95-96/bill/asm/ab_2951-3000/ab_2960_vt_960930.html).  This Neal study also found that “accrediting associations have clearly adopted a political agenda” and have tried to force colleges to confirm to this agenda. Also available is a document titled The Birth and Death by Execution of California’s CPPVE  which is found at: www.altcpu-alumni.org/chronicles/cppveorigins.html.  All of the information regarding the actions of the Council is public information available in the California government archives.

The reasons given for closing down CPU include awarding a degree without the professor reading the thesis.  This was also a problem I am personally aware of at two universities at which I have taught.  It is so common that I have often felt the professors should be tested on the content of the thesis they were supposed to have read!  The same thing is true of papers written for class.

Another reason given for closing CPU was that the university “failed to employ duly qualified faculty” (a claim that was never qualified or quantified).  This was also a problem that I have seen at several colleges where I have taught.  At one school, all six faculty who were hired in one year alone lacked Ph.D.s—but all were minorities (and the white males with Ph.D.s who applied were not hired).  There may be several reasons for this, including the fact that some small colleges tend to hire “known entities”—mostly part-timers or female spouses of current faculty.  And most men cannot support a family on part-time teaching, which usually pays below $10,000 a year for the equivalent of full-time work.  As a result, their wives teach part-time (often for years) earning poverty wages until they are hired full-time (which, at times, some of them are).

The last claim was that CPU “awarded excessive experiential learning to many students.”  This is also becoming a problem in some universities (especially at large state universities), and especially for classes called “readings” or “directed study,” which, as is well known, usually entails far less work than a normal class.  For three semester hours, one can fulfill the class requirements by doing a 15-page paper that may require as little as a total of a week’s work in a normal class (or 1/16 the total work), or even less for some independent study classes.  Fortunately, some professors have high standards, and this does not happen in their classes.  At my college, we have caught students who turned in papers printed off the Internet (and, no doubt, many others who did this were not caught). A published student complaint about CPU of interest is as follows:

 

When Margaret Chester decided to get her doctorate in health and human services in 1996, Columbia Pacific University sounded perfect.  Based in San Rafael, Calif., the distance-learning institution offered a self-paced curriculum that would allow Chester to earn her Ph.D. …The beauty of the school was its flexibility.  Each student prepared “learning contracts” that defined his or her own path of independent study. …Things went smoothly at first.  The 25 or so papers Chester wrote garnered good grades and complimentary comments.  But once she began preparing her dissertation, Chester began to worry.  She said her faculty adviser rejected three proposals without providing meaningful advice, except to urge her to buy yet another book on how to write a dissertation proposal. …After much soul-searching—Chester had worked hard and already spent $8,600 in tuition alone—she withdrew (Mannix, 2001, p. 68).

 

It would seem that her major concern was that, after completing the heavy level of requirements (25 or so papers), she was frustrated with getting her thesis accepted (I had a very similar experience at Wayne State University in Detroit with my Ph.D. thesis, and was not given much help either, so consulted friends, including a professional writer, for help). The implication of other critics is that the requirements were minimal, while this student implies that they were too stiff.  Mannix continued: “The judge who ruled to yank the school’s approval cited such flaws as the failure to develop course objectives.”  This, if true, seems easy to fix (all my CPU courses had objectives, so I doubt if this is true).  The article concludes that degrees granted before 1997 “are valid in the state’s view” (Mannix, 2001, p. 68).

If these concerns were real, CPU should have been given time to remedy them.  At all of the colleges where I have worked, numerous shortcomings were noted by the on-site visit team.  The agency did not close the school or deny accreditation, though; rather, we were allowed to work on remedying the perceived shortcomings.  Interestingly, nothing was said in the report about the quality of instruction or the satisfaction of the students with the program—a concern that conforms with the report on accreditation cited above!  Mannix concludes:

 

For most of the time she was enrolled, Chester had no clue that her school’s status was in jeopardy.  Indeed, some graduates of the school, which had been awarding degrees for two decades, have been stunned and angered to learn that the quality of their alma mater was in question.  “We found the academic rigor to be extremely stringent,” says a clinical analyst at a major California health system who earned a Ph.D. in 1999.  The school’s attorney, Orrin Grover, says he hopes to file a lawsuit to overturn the decision.  “I don’t want to criticize the Court of Appeals, but they are just wrong” (2001, p. 70).

 

Nonetheless, regardless of where this lawsuit leads, my degree is fully legal.  A state education memo dated May 23, 2000 said that

 

Students Who Received Degrees From CPU Before June 25, 1997:  Your degree, and any certificate or license you received by virtue of the degree, should not be affected.  CPU had legal approval up to June 25, 1997, and the degrees it issued on or before June 25, 1997 are legal (http://www.bppve.ca.gov/press_releases/cpuweb.htm).

 

Columbia Pacific has now proven to be a forerunner of a major educational movement.  The requirements of many college classes now often involve on-line study.  Hundreds of colleges now offer so called distance-learning classes on the Internet (schools that use regular mail are referred to by the derogatory term “correspondence schools,” while the use of electronic mail is now accepted as “distance learning”).  Graduate schools now offer MBA’s or other graduate degrees that require only one night a week class time for a mere 18 months!  In comparison, my masters degree from a medical school took over three years, often three days a week in the lab, and much time in class and in the library!  Even some of America’s leading universities now offer “on-line” degrees, including Johns Hopkins, which has a MPH on-line (their “in class” MPH is considered the best in the business).

The BGSU case

On Lippard, et al., also is a link to the appellate court decision in my BGSU case, but they do not list any documents submitted in my behalf in this case, such as the court brief (see https://rae.org/BergmanTenure.htm ). I am now preparing a detailed response to the court ruling in this case.

They Admit We are Not Racists

In their response, Lippard, et al., admitted a number of mistakes made by the people whom I cited, but endeavored to argue that they were not claiming that either Henry Morris or I were racists.  This, though, was not the interpretation of numerous people who read the article. To them, it clearly implied that both Dr. Morris and I were racists. Would they be willing to publish a clear statement on talkorigins.org that they are not accusing or implying that either of us is a racist?

They also make much of my past use of pseudonyms, but ignore the fact that creationists often have to use pseudonyms in order to survive in academia today (see Halvorson, 2003).  The real concerns related to termination, denial of degrees, or other concerns, necessitated my response.  The authors do not spend any time decrying the problems that creationists face in academia, but seem to focus on making fun of (and trying to find fault with) creationists as individuals and scholars.  Do they agree that creationists should be denied degrees because of their beliefs?  Or that individuals should be denied tenure solely because of their beliefs?  They nowhere speak out against this reality (nor do they deny it).

Reverse Discrimination

Lippard, et al., fault me for not noting the reverse discrimination concerns when I discuss my situation publicly.  Although I admitted I had knowledge of possible reverse discrimination in 1984, I continued to assert that my dismissal from Bowling Green State University (BGSU) was due solely to my religion because this was the only conclusion for which I had documented evidence—I had no direct evidence that my termination was specifically due to reverse discrimination (I believe that reverse discrimination may have occurred, but I do not know that my terminationwas specifically because of reverse discrimination).  I have heard individual comments that were made by faculty, but these were relatively few and far between (and their intent was not always clear), compared to the religious discrimination concern.  If Lippard, et al., have documented evidence of reverse discrimination, I would very much like to learn of it.  In private letters and discussions with others, I have discussed the possibility that reverse discrimination was involved, but until I have clear, documented evidence, I feel it best to discuss only the evidence I do have.  Now that Lippard, et al., have broadcast this concern, I have no choice but to make it public and discuss it.

On the other hand, since I began teaching at Bowling Green State University, there was constant concern and discussion about my religion, especially my creationist beliefs.  This discussion was not brief and superficial, but involved hours of in-depth discussion about what I believed religiously, and concerns that my beliefs might have seeped into the classroom (there was no evidence of this—just concerns that it might have).  All of this is well documented in scores of memos, letters, sworn statements, court testimony, taped conversations, and other documents.

Furthermore, I have many many letters, signed affidavits, and the testimony in both the depositions and the court record that extensively discussed my colleagues’ concerns about religious discrimination in my case.  This was, by far, the most pervading concern and it was made clear to me by numerous BGSU faculty that this was the reason for their negative decision in my tenure case.  It is true that other issues have been brought up (such as wearing white socks—a charge that is not true because I am color blind and all of my socks were then black to avoid color clashing problems—and numerous other similar trivial matters), but I do not perceive these were major reasons for my tenure denial.  Thus, when I discuss my case, I stress that it is my conclusion that the reason was my religious beliefs, specifically my involvement in creationism, and not the putative sin of wearing white socks.  Why don’t Lippard, et al., write articles claiming I am hiding the fact that the real reason for my dismissal was my alleged wearing of white socks?

Actually, to be more accurate, I should stress the reason was religion (although since creationist critics classify creationism as purely religion, some may argue that the two terms are synonymous).  Nonetheless, at times other religious issues were discussed, aside from creationism, so it is more accurate to stress that religion was the issue.

The Letter Published in a Racist Magazine

I noted that I once wrote to racist organizations to request information as part of my research.  Lippard, et al., claimed that the letter “appears to have been written as a letter for publication, and makes no request of information.”  Until I see the original letter, I do not know if this is true.  It could be that the letter requested information and also included other information (which was published), but the section requesting information was not published.  I have had numerous letters published in my career, and many were edited for content, typically for longevity.  Furthermore, the letter appears to me to be a draft of a paper I was writing that was never published (and never went beyond the draft stage).  It is possible that the draft was published without my expectation or approval. The letter I thought was originally being referred to was a short paragraph or two letter, evidently published by another racist newspaper (it seems they publish almost everything people send them).  Thus is the first time I recall seeing the letter referred to in the Lippard et al. document.

The details about the letter that I allegedly wrote are not clear because I have no access to this journal and have not been able to find the original publication.  Furthermore, I do not know if it was altered, and would not know unless I had a copy of my original letter (which I do not).  If I could obtain the original letter and a photocopy of the paper, I could better evaluate the situation.  In that I have been researching racism for a number of years, I have found (which may not be surprising) that the honesty and the integrity of these groups leaves much to be desired (and I assume that Lippard, et al., would agree with me on this).

I have had a number of students research these organizations (as a result of my experiences with them, I do not now even write to these organizations for information), and my anthropology students have likewise had similar negative experiences (although they concluded that those involved in white supremacist or various racist organizations tend to have social, emotional, or adjustment problems—a conclusion that fits with what I’ve read about some of these groups).  Of course, I have not completed a scientific survey, and am only repeating student comments. Nonetheless, this is also my experience, and if anyone has any studies that show otherwise, I will be glad to retract these statements.

Lippard, et al., implies a racist organization is more to be trusted than a creationist one (and some have claimed a creationist is worse than a racist).  As Charles A. Weisman states in  Not of One Blood (Weisman Publications, Apple Valley, Minnesota), “the worst thing that you can be called today in America is a ‘racist.’  It is worse than being called a traitor, a thief…or even a murderer.”  Obviously, in the minds of some, a creationist is worse.

Lippard, et al., also suggest that I should retain an attorney to deal with my concern about a racist publication using this letter.  I have now done this.  The attorney noted that, to win a defamation case, one must prove:

  1. A defamatory statement (no clear evidence exists of defamation in this case)
  2. That the article identifies the plaintiff (this is probably proven in this case)
  3. The article was published (this is proven in this case)
  4. That damage to my reputation occurred (some evidence of this exists in this case but it is a matter of opinion.  If my reputation refers to opinions held by the common “man in the street” it has not been clearly “damaged” because few people even know about the letter—although, thanks to the publicity given byLippard, et al., many more now know of it.)

Furthermore, he noted that this case would cost many tens of thousands of dollars and, even if we won, we probably would not be able to collect anything (especially now that David Duke is in jail and has few assets).

Summary

I have yet to read in the talkorigins.org archive anything positive about any creationist anywhere.  Their sole purpose is to criticize creationists (which, of course, is their right, but in most cases they have not given any space to those who they criticize so freely).  In reviewing my discussion of Walter Bergman, Lippard, et al., seem to approve of the discrimination that occurs against creationists.  They include not one word of condemnation of this obviously pervasive phenomenon—a response that implies approval.

I have contacted talkorigins.org several times, and they have not once even given me the courtesy of a reply.  I can only conclude that they are unwilling to print my responses to either this article (or to any other article).  They are interested only in slandering critics of Darwinism, and have no interest in objective evaluations of the subject.  Thus, the huge readership of talkorigins.org will likely read only one side of the story, and many will probably never review the site on which I am forced to publish.  This is how misinformation is spread.  A good example is the totally false conclusions about Galileo that have now been circulating for several hundred years.  Details of his actual situation are widely known among scholars, but the public has a totally inaccurate perception that has been spread by groups that are not willing to carefully look at the other side.

The current battle in the public schools is essentially over beliefs about where life came from.  The two possible choices are, we were created by a creator, usually called God, or we were created by natural forces, most prominently chance, time and a mixture of chemicals and energy (such as lightening).  Once living cells were formed, mutations (primarily mistakes in copying of the genetic code) were selected by the contingencies of the natural world, usually for their ability to survive in a particular environment.  One side argues that both basic world views should be taught to enable students to understand of the merits and demerits of each so they can choose the worldview they want to accept.

The other side argues that one view is religion and, therefore, only the other view can be presented in the schools.  This is echoed by headlines and editorials that have been printed about the Ohio standards controversy.  Many editorials argue that “school is not church, and religion should be taught in science class.”  Yet two sides exist to the same question.  Others argue that, if one position is taught, so too should the other position.  Anything else is indoctrination.  Those who tend to hold the latter view are subject to endless personal attacks (such as those to which this paper is responding).  Rather than let the evidence speak, they try to suppress the evidence (or suppress those that are researching the other side).  In the long run this approach will back fire.  As the evidence against Neo-Darwinism builds up, the opponents of design have become more vicious in their attacks.  The paper by Lippard, et al., is only one example.

References

Bear, John.  1998.  Bear’s Guide to Non-Traditional College Degrees.  Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press.  Also 1985 edition and 1981 edition published by Bear’s Guides, Mendocino, CA.

Leef, George C. and Roxana D. Burris.  2003  Can College Accreditation Live Up to Its Promise?  Washington, DC: American Council of Trustees and Alumni.

Mannix, Margaret.  2001.  “Buyers Be Wary.”  U.S. News and World Report, October 15, p. 68.

Neal, Anne.  2002.  Can College Accreditation Live Up to Its Promise?  Washington, DC:  American Council of Trustees and Alumni.

______.  2003.  “ACTA Puts Accreditation Under the Microscope.”  Inside Academe, 8(2):1,3,6.

Halvorson, Richard T.  2003.  “Confessions of a Skeptic.”  The Harvard Crimson, April 7.

My Responses to My Critics

One helpful respondent correctly noted that talkorigins.org does include “prominent links to creationist sites in their side bars, etc.”  My response is, this is true and commendable, but is usually to refer to articles that they are attempting to refute. In my article I was referring to them printing articles that are supportive of the other side on their web site. I was told that the reason why they do not is because they assume that doing this may give creationists and other critics credibility that talkorigins.org does not want to give to critics. After all, many Darwinists, such as Richard Dawkins and the now deceased Steven Gould, have made clear in print that they will not debate creationists (or even appear on the same platform with them) because they do not want to give any credibility to this world view.  Another respondent wrote:

I read the letter you supposedly wrote to the racist paper and, while one should not give fuel to racists, I see nothing that even hints that you are a racist in the letter. It sounds like you were miffed after not getting a job (or losing a job) and had good evidence that it was due to reverse discrimination. I do not know if such occurred but I would not be very happy if this occurred to me and I can not imagine anyone who would if he felt the reason was reverse discrimination. How is one supposed to feel in this situation? Happy that one was passed over to help someone else in our society become more prominent? Don’t be so defensive about the letter.  You were probably upset when you wrote it (if you did) and, frankly, I would not be so charitable to those who I had evidence slighted me in this way. We have to treat people fairly and I know  nothing that upsets people more than being unfairly treated. To me, if you wrote it or not is a non issue: your critics are scraping the bottom of the barrel to find flaws to discredit you, and this is obvious.  If they can not see this, they own the problem, not you.

My reply is that she has made several good points that I need to explore.