The venerable missionary group known as the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) moved its headquarters from California to Dallas a few months ago. Anyone who follows science education in America is familiar with this group, who deny that the Earth can be more than a few thousands of years old, who argue that geology, astronomy, chemistry and biology are all based on faulty premises.
Dallas is a good location for a missionary agency that flies to churches around the U.S. to make pitches for money and preach the gospel of their cult. DFW Airport provides same-day flights to most of the U.S. Airlines are glad to have their business.
Years ago ICR tried to get approval from the State of California to grant graduate degrees in science, because their brand of creationism is not taught in any research university, or any other institution with an ethics code that strives for good information and well-educated graduates. ICR got permission only after setting up their own accrediting organization which winks, blinks and turns a blind eye to what actually goes on in science courses taught there. It is unclear if anyone has kept count, but there appear to be a few people with advanced degrees in science from this group, perhaps teaching in the public schools, or in charter schools, or in odd parochial settings.
With a new home in Texas, ICR needs permission of Texas authorities to grant graduate degrees. Texas Observer reported that the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board put off consideration of the issue until their meeting of January 24 (no action was planned for this meeting, so failure to grant this authority to ICR should not be taken as any sign that the board is opposed to granting it).
Humor aside, this is a major assault on the integrity of education in Texas. For example, here is a statement on college quality from the Higher Education Coordinating Board; do you think ICR’s program contributes in any way, or detracts from these goals?
Enrolling and graduating hundreds of thousands more students is a step in the right direction. But getting a degree in a poor quality program will not give people the competitive edge they need in today’s world economy. Academic rigor and excellence are essential – both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. We also need to attract and support more research in the state for the academic and economic benefits it provides.
Check out the Texas Observer‘s longer post on the issue, and since comments are not enabled there, how about stating here your views on the issue? Comment away.
Tip of the old scrub brush to Texas Citizens for Science.
No, this is not a joke. Here is the agenda for the meeting this week, in .pdf form.