A recent article published at EducateTruth.com made allegations that new La Sierra University assistant biology professor Raul Diaz was an atheist, a hardcore evolutionist, and an antagonist of Adventism and Christianity. However, Diaz said he is not an atheist or opponent of Christianity or any religion that does not follow Jesus Christ. He said, “I am a humanitarian and conservationist above everything, and people and nature come first, not silly debates.” He stated he is an evolutionary biologist, but suggested it had nothing to do with creation or religion.
When asked what he thought of Diaz’s response to his allegations, Educate Truth’s Sean Pitman said, “All I want to know is if he believes in and will teach neo-Darwinism, that life has existed and evolved on this planet over hundreds of millions of years? Or, will he promote the Adventist position on origins to include a recent arrival of the diversity of life on this planet and limited evolutionary potential to the lowest levels of functional complexity?”
Diaz attended La Sierra for part of his undergraduate degree, but transferred to University of California, Berkeley, to finish a bachelor’s degree in integrative biology. Diaz received his PhD from the University of Kansas. His thesis was on frog skeletal development and evolution. He now teaches a class called “Genetics” (BIOL 302) at La Sierra, and is currently working out an adjunct position at Loma Linda University Medical Center.
La Sierra was put on probation by the Adventist Accreditation Association (AAA) in Oct. 2012 because it had deviated from the philosophy and objectives of Seventh-day Adventist education. However, AAA granted an extension of accreditation to Dec. 31, 2012 in order for the university to act upon its commitments and implement changes and enhancements. According to Vice President of Education for the North American Division Larry Blackmer, a visit to La Sierra is planned for March 2013.