Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Texas scores a big win!

You might remember that back in 2008 the 'Institute' for Creation Research (ICR) moved their national headquarters to Dallas TX from Santee CA. Once they arrived they tried to start awarding a Master's of Science degree. I blogged about this several times (Texas on a different but related subject, Showdown in Texas, Hasn't Texas had enough, and Yea for Texas). Basically they were trying to award an MS graduate degree with, in my opinion, little science involved -- in particular evolution. In all honesty how can an organization award any type of science degree when everything they do is filtered through biblical colored glasses?

Well the ICR made the request, and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) turned them down. It must have been a small surprise, but remember that they were accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), which requires candidate institutions to affirm a list of Biblical Foundations, including "the divine work of non-evolutionary creation including persons in God's image." TRACS is not recognized in Texas and they were seeking a non religious-based accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The ICR took their case to the court of public opinion and tried to work around the law. They got to one of Texas's more conservative representatives, Leo Berman, who sponsored a bill that would exempt organizations like the ICR from regulation and oversight by the coordinating board. In other words if this bill had passed, they would be able to award whatever degrees they wanted without any oversight! Now isn't that scary. I believe the bill died in committee, but this does go to show you the efforts an organization like the ICR will stoop to to spread their anti-science agenda.

The ICR also filed suit against the TEA claiming, among other things "an unconstitutional and prejudicial burden against ICR's academic freedom and religious liberties." Well the results are in:

  • The proposed course of study in no way ‘adequately cover[s] the breadth of knowledge of the discipline taught.
  • The vast majority of the proposed science courses do not resemble any offered for graduate credit by other Texas colleges and universities in breadth, depth, or content, and they would not be acceptable for transfer or credit as a result.
  • The proposed program of study in no way would adequately prepare students in the field of science education, at any level, and certainly not at the graduate level.
  • It is the position of the institute that…all genuine facts of science support the Bible.
  • The phenomenon of biological life did not develop by natural processes from
    inanimate systems but was specially and supernaturally created by the creator.
  • All things in the universe were created and made by God in the six literal days of the
    Creation Week described in Genesis…[.] The creation record is factual, historical, and
    perspicuous; thus all theories of origin and development that involve evolution in any
    form are false.
While the ICR was whining about prejudice, the Judge Sam Sparks disagreed! Read about it here "Court Smacks Down Creationist Institute Suit" I guess the next step is to look for a new state for their 'national' headquarters. Maybe Louisiana?

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