Since you ask....
OK, so my daughter is taking a general ed biology course at home during the summer to get it out of the way. She goes to a Christian university, and she says the teacher is a Christian, but the biology book is strictly secular. So far, she's gotten an A in the course.
First, congratulations to your daughter on her grade.
One thing I recommend to those who attend religious universities it that they check the accreditation of the school. There are many absolutely outstanding universities that are run by religious organizations. There are (too many) others who are little more than diploma mills. One of my mothers students attended a non-accredited religious "university." When she tried to transfer to a state run school, her credits (and degree) wouldn't transfer. Four years of work had to be repeated.
Your comment that a "secular" book is being used indicates the school probably has standard university accreditation, but it only takes a couple minutes to check. Beware of accreditation by organizations focused on religious affiliation.
[rant]Aack! The stinking 3-unit course cost over $1,100 to take, and the stinking biology book, which she bought used on Amazon, was a stinking $108. Aack![/rant]
Yeah... it's really expensive.
Suggestion .... always buy used text books.
1) They are much cheaper than new.
2) Most likely they'll never be used again after the course is completed.
3) Best of all .... you get a book that someone else who probably took the same class has already "marked up" with highlighter. (Watch this... some people highlight almost everything, some accent almost nothing. You want one that is "just right."
She shared with me this morning a conundrum that she is facing as they just finished the section on evolution and the course is winding down. The teacher is basically teaching it straight, ie. evolution as fact, because that's what the biology book does. (Obviously, there are different levels of Christian commitment to the word of God.)
The problem is that part of her grade is her participation in an online group discussion where she must post at least one comment and reply to at least one other person's comment.
Naturally, being as she is a believer, and who her Dad is, she is well-versed in the fallacy of evolution and is committed to the truth of God's word. But she's worried about the test and the online discussion. Should she outright lie and answer in the affirmative to millions and billions of years, mud-to-man and all that, and get a good grade? Or should she answer truthfully and risk getting a poor grade?
My advice to her was to use as many qualifiers as she could, like "alleged," "evolutionists believe," "supposed," etc. in her online discussion. But, the test is a harder nut to crack. If it's multiple choice or true/false and she's only given evolution-type answers to choose from what choice does she have?
My suggestion is you remember the class is an undergraduate introductory(?) level course.... not a debate on science.
The teacher is teaching it straight and from the text book. This implies your daughter's grade will depend on how well she demonstrates her knowledge and understanding of the textbook and lectures.
When I taught biology there was a little speech I would give at the beginning of the section on evolution. It went like:
The material we are about to cover may be in conflict with some of your religious beliefs. You are free to hold those beliefs without it having any impact on your grade. You are completely free once you exit the classroom door to say evolution is a bunch of ****. However, this is a science class and IN CLASS you are expected to know what science says and why science says it.
The important part is..... IN CLASS. My recommendation is that she respond with that in mind. (Oh yeah, forget the qualifiers too.)
Personally, being the argumentative, hard-nosed, rebel son of a biscuit that I am, I probably would have been arguing with the prof long before it even got to the evolution section, but my daughter is a sweety and absolutely does not like confrontation.
I'd be really careful about confronting the teacher.
In grad school, I took a class in SQL. The professor made a comment that core memory was temporary memory because its contents went away when power does. In my 25 years of technical experience I had worked on core memories. I pointed out to the professor that at the Kennedy Space Center, NASA uses core memory to store what computers are doing during a power failure.... something you can't do with a temporary memory. He was adamant and began to get upset, so I let it drop.
Later, I ran across a tech manual that listed core as permanent memory. To avoid confronting him in front of the class, I waited until after class was over and showed him the tech manual. He got extremely angry and forcefully asserted again that core is temporary. At that point, I left it alone......
Fast forward to the midterm exam. I've always been able to tell within 5 points my grade on a test. I figured my midterm was in the high 80's. When I got the paper, it was a 28 ! ! ! ! There was a 20 point question asking we list and explain three points. The person next to me had the same three points in a different order and with essentially identical statement concerning our explanations. He lost 2 points, I lost 16.
The next day I dropped the class.