Archive for the ‘Institute for Creation Research’ Category

Creationism as Charity?

December 1, 2011

Texas state Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, clearly has a problem with scientists who — go figure — support science. Rep. Berman is calling on the University of Texas at Austin to fire a tenured biology professor who objects to including an anti-science creationist group on a list of state-approved charities that are supposed to be involved in delivering health and human services.

The Austin American-Statesman has reported that biology professor David Hillis and other UT-Austin faculty members are trying to get the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) removed from the charity list. Employees can have donations to charitable organizations on the list deducted from their paychecks.

According to the Statesman, state law requires that charities eligible for the list provide “direct or indirect health and human services.” But that’s not what ICR does. The Dallas-based nonprofit promotes biblical creationism and rejects mainstream science about evolution.

Hillis told the Statesman:

“The Institute for Creation Research is an anti-science organization. They work to undermine the mission of the university and of science in general, and especially the science that is the very basis for health and human services. How could such an organization possibly be listed as a charitable organization to be supported by state employees?”

Rep. Berman on Thursday sent a statement to the Austin-based political news website Quorum Report (subscription required), charging that Prof. Hillis “fears debate on evolution vs. creationism” and that “Godly professors of science who are creationists fear retribution” from scientists like Hillis:

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Turn Texas Universities over to the SBOE?!?!

November 17, 2010

It’s bad enough that politicians on the Texas State Board of Education have decided that promoting their own personal agendas is more important than the education of millions of children in public schools. Now a member of the Texas House of Representatives wants to give oversight of the state’s college and universities to the SBOE!

State Rep. Fred Brown, R-College Station, wants to abolish the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. His plan would turn higher education over to the Texas Education Agency and the SBOE.

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Court Smacks Down Creationist Institute Suit

June 23, 2010

An effort by an anti-evolution “institute” to dumb-down science education in Texas hit a brick wall in federal court last week. On June 18 federal district Judge Sam Sparks refused to force Texas to grant authority to the Dallas-based Institute for Creation Research Graduate School (ICRGS) to offer master of science degrees in science education.

In 2009 the ICRGS filed a lawsuit against the Texas commissioner of higher education, Raymund Paredes, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board after the coordinating board refused to approve an application for authority to grant the degrees. The ICRGS claimed that the coordinating board had engaged in “viewpoint discrimination” and thereby violated the “institute’s” constitutional rights to free exercise of religion, free speech and equal protection. Judge Sparks disagreed:

“(T)he Court finds ICRGS has not put forth evidence sufficient to raise a genuine issue of material fact with respect to any claim it brings.”

Actually, Judge Sparks used much sharper language throughout his ruling, noting the rambling and confusing complaint filed by the ICRGS:

“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.”

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Creationists Take It to Court in Texas

April 20, 2009

The Dallas-based Institute for Creation Research Graduate School has filed its long-threatened lawsuit against Texas’ commissioner of higher education, Raymund Paredes, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Last year the coordinating board rejected the ICR’s application to offer master’s of science education degrees in Texas. The board said the ICR — which argues that the concept of biblical creation is backed by science while evolution is not — failed to meet required academic standards. (Well, yeah.)

According to the complaint (available here), the ICR is charging that the coordinating board Dr. Paredes are working to

perpetrate viewpoint discrimination and censorship, inter alia, in violation of the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the 14th Amendment (and in violation of other laws), especially as the 14th Amendment is recognized as applying to the constitutional rights of free speech (including academic speech and religious speech), freedom of the press (including freedom from “prior restraint” censorship of academic speech associated with freedom of the press), freedom from viewpoint discrimination (as well as content discrimination), free exercise of religion, freedom of association, freedom from hositility toward religious viewpoints), freedom from arbitrary and abusive governmental discrretion, freedom from anti-accommodational evolution-only-science enforcement policy practices, freedom from unequal protection (especially in academic “evolution-only-science-credentialing” politics that act like a government-controlled “titles of nobility” monopoly scheme in postsecondary Science Education), and reputation injuries, etc.

You can read the whole complaint for yourself, but here are some excerpts:

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Using the Law to Undermine Science

March 11, 2009

Creationists are taking their efforts to undermine science education to the Texas Capitol.

In April of last year, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board rejected an application from the Dallas-based Institute for Creation Research to offer master’s degrees in science education in Texas. Members of the coordinating board clearly recognized the ICR’s program as simply an attempt to cloak the promotion of biblical creationism in science. A survey by the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund also found overwhelming opposition to the application from university science faculty in Texas.

ICR officials, charging that they were the victims of “viewpoint discrimination,” have said they will seek help from the courts to overturn the coordinating board’s decision. Now they are also looking for help in the Texas Legislature.

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Party Poopers

February 18, 2009

Not everyone was in a festive mood for Evolution Weekend this year. While more than a thousand religious congregations from a wide variety of faith traditions gathered last weekend to celebrate a more positive relationship between religion and science, the Dallas-based Institute for Creation Research (ICR) wanted no part of it.

In fact, the ICR used the occasion to broadcast their belief that any Christian who accepts evolution is inviting “swift destruction,” even implying that pastors who participated in Evolution Weekend are “false teachers…who privily shall bring in damnable heresies.” (Apparently they continue to speak the “King’s English” over at the ICR, naturally preferring the King James Bible.) Read the latest e-mail alert from our young earth creationist friends at the ICR after the jump. (more…)