oh wait, they're still serious?

April 21, 2009

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.

intelligent design cartoonThe 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.

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  • Excellent Post but that makes me so mad. Here we fight for freedom and liberty for all of this, and we will accept every other religeon as to not offend anyone yet Christianity the general religeon this country was based on is thrown out with the bathwater to say. I’m doing a series on my blog on this too. It’s called The Pride of America, The Hard Way. http://dahack.wordpress.com America is coming to her senses and going, ” Whoa, wait, time out.” It’ll be interesting I’m sure when all is said and done to see where it all goes.

  • Greg Fish

    “Christianity the general religeon this country was based on is thrown out with the bathwater”

    Really? It is? Because as far am I’m aware there’s still at least three churches in every American neighborhood, they’re still tax free non-profits, the Bible is the most read book in the U.S. and everyone rushes to accommodate the whims of Christian televangelists, from presidents to most lawmakers.

    I also seem to recall that while a number of the American founding fathers were indeed Christians, the leaders who shaped the country from birth were actually Deists who had very unflattering things to say about Christianity. In fact, they pushed for a secular government for two important reasons:

    1. They knew that a theocracy, in which religion and its dispensers have power and authority, is incompatible with the democratic experiment. Of what use is voting when God will show you the way?

    2. Allowing organized religions to hold sway over lawmakers would make whoever was the head of the religion, the nation’s de facto ruler. If they remained with the Church of England, they would have to answer to King George once again and the Revolution would’ve been wasted. If they chose Catholicism, they would have to answer to the pope. And so on and so forth…

    And funny thing that on your blog you mention the alteration to the Pledge of Allegiance which was nothing more than a demonstration of religiosity promoted by another Red Scare. I’ve written about American perceptions of the Soviet Union from a religious standpoint since I have firsthand experience of what life was like behind the Iron Curtain.

    Bottom line here is that no one says to ban or get rid of Christianity. Some of us just don’t want religious zealots indoctrinating our children because they feel they’re on a divine mission to save our souls. And having a strong belief in something, doesn’t make it the truth. There are many commonly and dearly held beliefs which we know to be false.

  • Bob

    I like how they use arguments like: “Were you there to see it?” but if we used that to explain that god couldn’t exist let alone create the universe we’re told we don’t understand. The difference is that our explanation takes more than faith, it takes hard work and dedication to verify. Science doesn’t proclaim that the Big Bang is the only way the universe could have been created or that Evolution is the only way life changes on this planet. Science says that these are the best explanations we have right now and the evidence supports them both. If there are better explanations later, then we’ll drop these and go with the better ones. That’s how science works.

  • Heidi

    “we will accept every other religeon [sic] as to not offend anyone ”

    Tell that to the Wiccans.