Vote today: Committee recommends against graduate creationism degrees


Good news:  A subcommittee of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Committee yesterday voted against letting the Institute for Creation Research award graduate degrees in science education because of their rejection of evolution.  The full committee will vote today.

ICR promises to fight it.

Dallas Morning News reporter Terrence Stutz’s report is worth reading.

Citing the group’s teaching of creationism rather than evolution in its science curriculum, Dr. Paredes said it was clear the school would not adequately prepare its graduates to teach the scientific principles now required in Texas public schools.

“Evolution is such a fundamental principle of contemporary science it is hard to imagine how you could cover the various fields of science without giving it [evolution] the proper attention it deserves as a foundation of science,” he said.

“Religious belief is not science. Science and religious belief are surely reconcilable, but they are not the same thing.”

Henry Morris III, chief executive officer of the institute, contended that the school would prepare students to “understand both sides of the scientific perspective, although we do favor the creationist view.”

After the adverse vote from several coordinating board members meeting as a committee, Mr. Morris said the institute may revise its application or take its case to court.

“We will pursue due process,” he told the board. “We will no doubt see you in the future.”

Quiet and educational efforts from Texas Citizens for Science and the Texas Freedom Network probably helped turn the tide on this issue.

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3 Responses to Vote today: Committee recommends against graduate creationism degrees

  1. […] But when they got to Texas, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) had a couple of alert people who blew the whistle on the process of getting a permit to grant degrees.  Real scientists and science educators were brought in to evaluate ICR’s programs.  They said the programs were not scientific and do not deserve to be accredited. […]

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  2. Ediacaran says:

    This is good news, and I hope the ICR request is ultimately rejected as the subcommittee recommends.

    I am curious if there has been (or will be) a review of the actions of the initial 3-person on-site review team that initially recommended the ICR be granted their request. Given the ICR’s track record of promoting anti-scientific nonsense, the initial 3-person review team does not seem to have done an adequate or competent job of evaluating the ICR. I don’t know if their actions rise to the level of submitting a fraud/waste/abuse report, but the process needs to be fixed to avoid a recurrence if some other anti-science diploma mill wants to grant science degrees. At the very least, more scientists trained in the relevant fields should be part of the initial review team for future evaluations.

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  3. James says:

    Graduate education, in principle, requires the aspirant to demonstrate the capacity to publish research. It is hard to imagine legitimacy for a graduate degree rooted in a topic for which even the professors have so far failed to publish in peer reviewed scientific journals. Perhaps an MA in Creationist rhetoric and apologetics would be appropriate, but not graduate degrees in science education.

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