Institute for Creation Research loses bid to give creationism degrees in Texas


Remember the Institute for Creation Research?

Institute for Creation Research offices in Texas

Institute for Creation Research offices in Texas

This hoary old fundamentalist institution moved from California to Texas, hoping to take advantage of the generally fundie-friendly environment, and continue a practice of granting masters and doctorate degrees in science education to people who would get jobs in schools and teach creationism instead.  They had achieved that goal in California with a lawsuit the state regulators rather botched, and by setting up a special accreditation association that would give a pass to the teaching of non-science.

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.

THECB stuck to the rulesICR threatened a lawsuit.  THECB stood fast.

ICR sued.

And then God intervened. At God’s instructions ICR filed legal papers so bizarre that they would, by themselves, expose ICR as a wacko group.  ICR’s loss came on the merits of their case, which were nil — it was summary judgment against ICR.  Summary judgment means that, even with all the evidence decided in favor of the losing party, that party loses on the basis of the law.

The court took note of just how bizarre were the papers ICR filed.  Frosting on the cake of embarrassment.

Judge Sam Sparks, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division, stopped short of admonishing ICR for the briefs, and instead sifted the briefs to find judiciable claims — an act that will probably prevent ICR from getting a friendly hearing in any appeal.  Sparks wrote:

Having addressed this primary issue, the Court will proceed to address each of ICRGS’s causes of action in turn, to the extent it is able to understand them. It appears that although the Court has twice required Plaintiff to re-plead and set forth a short and plain statement of the relief requested, Plaintiff is entirely unable to file a complaint which is not overly verbose, disjointed, incoherent, maundering, and full of irrelevant information.

Whom God destroys, He first makes mad.

Sparks ruled ICR has no free exercise right to grant non-science degrees, no free speech right, and no due process claim to grant them, either.  ICR lost on every count of their complaint.

More:

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Cartoon on ICR suit against Texas, Babble.com

From Babble.com (Do you know who is the cartoonist?)

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4 Responses to Institute for Creation Research loses bid to give creationism degrees in Texas

  1. Stuart Robbins says:

    Ah — sorry, should’ve looked this up first. NCSE has all the court papers that ICR filed here: http://ncse.com/creationism/legal/institute-creation-research-graduate-school-v-paredes-et-al . Reads like some papers that I graded from my intro astro class last weekend — kinda like a conversation you would have with a friend at a party after you’ve had 10 too many beers.

    Like

  2. Stuart Robbins says:

    I actually remember seeing the first page of their lawsuit a few months ago. It was on a lawyer’s blog who was making fun of it for the use of bold, italic, underlined words/phrases/sentences as well as spelling and grammar mistakes.

    Like

  3. Ryan says:

    Best news I’ve heard in quite awhile!

    Like

  4. Elf Eye says:

    “…Plaintiff is entirely unable to file a complaint which is not overly verbose, disjointed, incoherent, maundering, and full of irrelevant information.”

    How does a lawyer hold up his/her head after receiving a rebuke like this?

    Like

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