In the end of March, I wrote about the Institute for Creation Research applying for the authority to issue science degrees and being denied right after the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board could catch its breath after laughing. After the huge debate died down and the story dropped from the radars of social bookmarking sites, I thought that would be the last we hear of the ICR’s bizarre quest. I was wrong. The ICR is back and they’re suing the Coordinating Board into handing them the right to give science degrees in creationism.
On what grounds? Apparently, the Board violated their freedom of speech, freedom of press and freedom of religious exercise. Right. Which is exactly why they’re free to complain about the decision, continue to run their institute in peace, publish whatever they want on the subject and keep believing in Christian fundamentalism. Essentially, the ICR is complaining that those in charge of making sure that education is based on sound facts rather than personal opinions of preachers disagree with their ideas and that disagreement is somehow tantamount to persecution. It’s like a spoiled child throwing a temper tantrum when he doesn’t get a shiny new toy that catches his eye.
The complaint itself is some 80 pages and contains even more of the same facepalm- inducing arguments I’ve taken to task before. According to the sharp legal minds at the ICR, since the Board’s Commissioner wasn’t alive during the Big Bang, he had no authority to have it taught as fact. Really? In that case, those who weren’t alive during the American Revolutionary War can’t possibly have the authority to teach it. Do you know any living person who was stationed in Valley Forge with George Washington? No? No one at all? Well, let’s strike that from the curriculum. Without eye-witness knowledge, it’s all just the opinion of school board members and mainstream historians.
But what’s that you say? We have documents and evidence for the Revolutionary War? Well, funny you should mention that because thanks to the laws of physics, we can look back in time and get a good idea of how the visible, known universe started out. The ICR might want to read up on some actual science before they go around issuing science degrees. The fact that the speed of photons in a light beam is finite and when we look at the sky, we’re looking back in time is part of a basic middle school science class. It’s hard for me to imagine a college graduate with a B.S. or M.S. degree who isn’t aware of this fact.
Just because you think something is true doesn’t make it so and no matter how devoted you are to your idea, it doesn’t give you the right to arbitrarily issue science degrees. The THECB’s Commissioner isn’t randomly coming up with whatever he wants to be taught in colleges. Dr. Raymund Paredes relies on hundreds of thousands of peer reviewed papers and meticulously researched books by experts based on evidence ranging from genetics to the fossil record, to zoology and laboratory experiments. The ICR, on the other hand, uses nothing but blind faith and fiery but empty rhetoric devoid of any scientific fact. Of course, if they want to drag out a second rejection and waste hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, nobody will stop them.