Creationism for profit

December 20, 2007

It’s not God driving the creationists to grant degrees in Texas; it’s Mammon.

See the press release from the Texas Citizens for Science, below:

TEXAS CITIZENS FOR SCIENCE

PRESS RELEASE
For immediate release
10:00 a.m., Thursday, December 20, 2007

CONTACT: Steven D. Schafersman, Ph.D.,
President, Texas Citizens for Science
432-352-2265

tcs@texscience.org

http://www.texscience.org/

TITLE: The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) wants the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to Give ICR Certification to Grant Graduate Degrees in Science Education in Texas for Monetary Reasons

In a major report on the ICR’s quest for official certification by the THECB, Texas Citizens for Science (TCS) believes it has identified the major motivation for the rapid, incompetent, and–until now–stealthy process of the ICR site evaluation and approval by two committees of the THECB. ICR is on-track to make millions of dollars by charging Protestant Fundamentalist students from many foreign countries tuition at its new on-line distance education graduate school. ICR says:

“The graduate school of ICR also offers resident Master of Science degrees in astronomy and geophysics, biology, and geology. These degree programs are currently being developed for web-based, distance education platforms to accommodate a growing number of students who desire quality advanced science instruction from a thoroughly biblical perspective.”

The certification to award Master’s Degrees in Science Education will apply to distance degree programs as well as on-site classroom study. In fact, ICR’s Henry Morris Center in Dallas has only a single equipped classroom. ICR, therefore, intends to sell its Young Earth Creationism graduate program to students from all over the United States and foreign countries who would be interested in obtaining a science master’s degree that is legal, authentic, and fully-certified by the State of Texas. With Web-based distance education so powerful and available today, he potential market contains thousands of individuals, and ICR is on-track to make many millions of dollars.

In the Report on the ICR, TCS President Steven Schafersman writes, “The only thing better than offering distance education courses for thousands of Protestant Fundamentalist students in India, China, Africa, and South America is being able to give them certified and legitimate Masters of Science degrees from the United States. And the only thing better than that is charging each of those thousands of Protestant Fundamentalist students all over the world many thousands of dollars for tuition. With a fat Texas-certified Master’s Degree in Science Education thrown in, every student will get super-extra “value added” for their money. ICR stands to earn tens of millions of dollars
from tuition fees if they can award real Masters of Science degrees to thousands of distance students over the world. Likewise, they will lose those millions of dollars if THECB certification is not granted on January 24, 2008, in Austin.”

The financial motivation for the so-far successful progress of the ICR to obtaining its official Texas certification to award legal and authentic master’s degrees in science has not been uncovered until now.

The Report is now available at
http://www.texscience.org/reviews/icr-thecb-certification.htm


Deck stacked against science, against education?

December 20, 2007

Mike Thomas at Rhetoric & Rhythm wonders if the deck was stacked against science: The review team sent to evaluate the science education offerings at the Institute for Creation Research does not look like a fair cross-section of educators, had no science representation, and had an odd surplus of creationism connections, he learned from reading the San Antonio Express-News:

What happened is that a delegation of so-called experts made a formal site visit to the ICS in Dallas and gave them a glowing report which led to a unanimous vote of affermation from the accreditation committee. Now the issue will go to the full committee in January.

But who were these “experts” that evaluated the ICS? The E-N reports thusly:

The trio consisted of two scholars at Texas A&M University-Commerce, reference librarian David Rankin and educational leadership professor Lee “Rusty” Waller, and Gloria White, managing director of the Dana Research Center for Mathematics and Science Education at the University of Texas at Austin.

A reference librarian and an education leadership professor? Where are the scientists?? Oh, and here is the kicker. The educational leadership prof is also a Baptist minister.

And the third person, Gloria White, is a graduate of Abilene Christian University, a private religious school in West Texas.

It certainly sounds like the deck was stacked in favor of the fundamentalist crowd.

I’m still wondering why the legal evaluation does not include a question about whether it would be legal to do what ICR trains people to do. Public schools hiring people with graduate degrees in creationism should probably ask for indemnity from ICR against the inevitable lawsuit that comes when they teach what ICR trains them to teach.

The audacity of this plan takes one’s breath away, doesn’t it?


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