ICR Lawsuit Against Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board


The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) has filed a lawsuit against the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) for denying it authority to issue masters degrees in science education. The ICR, of course, is a young earth creationist outfit that recently moved to Texas from California. It’s been running what it calls a graduate school for several years, issuing worthless pieces of paper that it calls advanced degrees in various sciences. Sadly, the ICR’s “graduate school” was officially accredited by a nationally recognized accreditation agencysomething I consider something of a scandal. But when ICR moved, it withdrew from that national accreditation because it expected that it would get accreditation from the state of Texas. That turned out not to happen: THECB unanimously denied ICR’s request for authority to grant degrees purporting to be scientific degrees.


What THECB wants is respectability, without earning it, and without having a constitutional right to it.

There is an error here (~ paragraph 8), as it is the ICR, not THECB, that wants respectibality without earning it.

Aren’t there laws against applying for licenses under false pretenses?


I’d still love to be on a search committee that came across someone who claimed a degree from the ICR. The interview would be worth the expense of flying them in.

(But, you’re right, probably not worth the expense to science education)

These nut jobs have already tried the routine of legislating academic standards. It didn’t work last time and it won’t work this time. If they were to succeed, it would open the door for all manner of quackery. Is that really what they want to do to the educational system in thes country? Why aren’t they content with brainwashing young people in their tax-free churches? Of course, if Texas wants to lose half it’s citizens when they realize what this will do to their state, I guess it might be difficult to stop them.

One nation, under threat, with no justice or liberty at all.

DS said:

…Of course, if Texas wants to lose half it’s citizens when they realize what this will do to their state, I guess it might be difficult to stop them.

When you say “lose half it’s citizens,” do you mean loss as in the aforementioned half of the population leaving the state physically, or by having their citizenship stripped from them?

“One nation, under threat, with no justice or liberty at all.”

Come, now. Surely this is a bit of an exaggeration. We still have an awful lot of justice and liberty in this country.

The Institute of Creation Research should never have gotten accreditation in the first place. I always thought that accreditation was based on several criteria (all relating to quality of education).

The accreditation of the ICR in science undermines the accreditation process in American. However, this was restored by the withdrawal from that national accreditation.

It is good news that the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board denied ICR’s application for accreditation.

There is nothing wrong with the ICR being accredited in Theology or similar discipline.

It would be no surprise when ICR loses the lawsuit.

According to Timothy Sandefur, the ICR

makes it extremely difficult to understand the exact legal theories being advanced here.… Sort of typical of the sloppy thinking and the rhetorical tricks of creationists in scientific discourse as well.

I think you should omit the phrase “Sort of”.

I wrote:

“One nation, under threat, with no justice or liberty at all.”

Tim replied:

“Come, now. Surely this is a bit of an exaggeration. We still have an awful lot of justice and liberty in this country.”

Of course you are correct. It is a pretty big exaggeration, I just wanted to make it sound good.

However, if this bunch of charlatans is actually able to force the government into granting unearned accreditation then the situation will indeed be very dire. Consider that this would make a mockery of the entire educational system and pretty much turn it into just another pulpit for fundamentalists to spew their hatred. Consider how it would cheapen every degree earned at every institution in the future. Consider how unjust it would be for all of the institutions that actually have some academic integrity and all of the real scholars whose credentials will be unfairly called into question. Consider what type of nonsense might eventually be considered acceptable if even the most outlandish disproven nonsense is declared “science” by governmental decree.

There is a reason why there is an accreditation system. There is a reason why there are academic standards for institutions of higher learning. If we abandon all reason for the sake of “political correctness” or “religious freedom”, then we have condemned our entire nation to a quick and steady decline. In that case, there may well be no liberty or justice at all, at least not for very long.

Science is not a democracy. Trying to pretend that it is is the quickest way to faliure. Trying to legislate sceintific realities is essentially scientific suicide. We already have examples of what happens to such societies. History shows us that we usually do not learn the lessons of history.

Why, if the state would give accreditation to a pseudoscience outfit like that, would the state have any cause to demand good evidence in the courtroom?

Obviously at some point the state simply has to take a stand in favor of evidence and honest evaluation and interpretation of that evidence. It really can’t be consistent in following forensics in the justice system, while accrediting woo for students who could (let’s hope they won’t be, though) end up running the courts.

Or, will I get to say in a Texas court, hell no, your honor, I didn’t steal the Hope Diamond, God picked it up and gave it to me? You’re a materialistic atheist by claiming that its arrival in my house was due to known “material causes.” Just read my Holy Scriptures, which tell of how the Hope Diamond properly belongs to me, and that God will give it to me by miracle, if the Smithsonian does not willingly give it to me.

Never mind the jurisdiction problems (it could be at an extradition hearing, of course), but it makes no more sense to say that the state should accredit their anti-science woo as science than it makes sense that they’ll accept my Holy Scriptures and claim of my miraculous possession of the Hope Diamond.

Glen D


To see what kind of science these idiots propose, take a look at the Petrified Human Brain:


Institute for Creation Research is displayed prominently in the background of one of these pictures.

The closeup of the “brain” reveals it is nothing more than a rock. Creationists use this as propaganda for “rapid fossilization” in an attempt to justify young earth creationism.

How does Liberty University get away with it ?

It is a religiously-controlled institution of higher learning:

Peter Henderson said:

How does Liberty University get away with it ?

However, unlike other, far more respectable, religiously-controlled institutions of higher learning such as Notre Dame, Fordham and Georgetown, it seeks to indoctrinate its students within its own parochial relgious worldview.

I absolutely love how the ICR asks that the court simply modify existing law. Of course, there’s no question they’ll conveniently omit this example the next time they criticize a judge for being a godless liberal activist. The hypocrisy might be infuriating, but the irony is delicious.

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This page contains a single entry by Timothy Sandefur published on April 20, 2009 8:56 PM.

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