13 March 2009

Texas Higher Education and Creation Research, Part 30

The Evo.Sphere blog reports on the latest efforts by the institution for Creation Research (ICR) to be allowed to offer Master's degrees in science education. This is a story I’ve previously blogged about in some detail. The ICR’s latest gambit?

Get someone to rewrite the law just for you.

What most readers don't know is that since the 2008 April hearing in Austin, in which ICR was denied the certification necessary to offer the M.S. degree in Science Education, ICR and THECB have been engaged in mediation to resolve the impasse, but without success. ... ICR has been offered the opportunity to award a M.A. degree in Christian Studies, Creation Studies, Origins Theology, or any other appropriate topic that matches the pseudoscience it promotes, but ICR has refused to compromise. The THECB can't compromise in any way that allows ICR to offer a master of science degree in a science program since Texas law is firm on that point.

Enter House Bill 2800, sponsored by Representative Leo Berman (pictured).

The bill amends the appropriate part of the Texas Education Code that regulates the conditions under which an institution can have the right to award valid, certified, and transferable graduate degrees in Texas. Berman’s bill gives “certain private nonprofit educational institutions” an exemption from this law.

Unlike many pieces of legislation that would promote “stealth” creationism, Berman’s office are straight shooters:

John Kingman... visited Rep. Berman's office in the Capitol. He spoke with Andy on the Legislator's staff since Rep. Berman was not in. When asked if the bill would apply to ICR, Andy said it would. John then asked Andy the key question: what was the objective of the bill? Andy thankfully did not attempt to dissimulate. He replied forthrightly that it was “for institutions that want to teach creation science or intelligent design.”

When you can’t win legitimately, I guess the only options are to cheat or change the rules in your favour.

Yup. The ICR is playing...


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