Dragon Wins ICR’s Texas Accreditation Case

WE were scooped again by the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). They report that ICR concedes defeat over its graduate school. If you already know about this case, you can skip this indented paragraph, otherwise here’s the background:

The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) has sued the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. They want the Board to be ordered to give the ICR graduate school a Certificate of Authority to grant Master of Science degrees in Science Education. We’ve written about this a few times. See: ICR v. Paredes: Second Impressions.

All the pleadings in this case are conveniently available at the NCSE website. You can find them here: Institute for Creation Research Graduate School v. Paredes et al. They’re linked at the bottom of that page.

Our last post on this topic was The Meaning of ICR’s Courtroom Defeat. We said that although the Discovery Institute wasn’t involved in this case, it was likely to be important to their long-term litigation strategy. ICR used all the creationists’ magic phrases like “discrimination, free speech, free exercise, equal protection, and due process,” and nothing worked for them. This trial-court decision isn’t binding elsewhere, but the court’s reasoning is available to judges facing similar issues.

We also said something that we still like very much, especially in contrast with ICR’s own summary of litigation on this issue which appears later in this post. Here’s what we said:

[W]hen you get right down to it, every one of these cases involves the same thing — creationists claiming a constitutional right to force their way into places where, by definition, they don’t belong.

Turning to the news, all that was going on since ICR lost their case was that we were wondering if they’d appeal. That hasn’t been a concern lately, because the trial court had ruled against them on 18 June and the time for filing an appeal passed weeks ago; the matter was effectively over. But it’s always good to get confirmation. NCSE says:

It was not until the September 2010 issue of the ICR’s Acts & Facts, however, that the ICR seems to have publicly commented on the decision, with Henry Morris III, the ICR’s chief executive officer, writing, “ICR’s legal battle is over.”

NCSE gives us a link to ICR’s concession statement, but without revealing what a delightful read it truly is. Even the title is entertaining: Fighting the Dragon . Let’s see what ICR says:

The Bible describes our ultimate Enemy as “the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan” (Revelation 20:2), who wages war against the saints with his many “ministers” (2 Corinthians 11:15) who do his bidding. What is his primary strategy? To thwart the impact of God’s Word.

We always admire a gracious loser. Let’s continue, as ICR reminisces about their decades-long battle with the Dragon:

The initial success of The Genesis Flood, published in 1961 by Drs. John Whitcomb and Henry Morris, created an uncomfortable stir among evolutionary and secular scientists. It was the first serious effort to deal with the scientific evidence for Noah’s Flood and thus struck at the core of the “old earth” theories that dominated academic and scientific thinking.

Right, they struck at the core. Here’s more:

The numerous public debates in the 1970s and 1980s by Drs. Morris and Duane Gish openly challenged, and often humiliated, evolution’s proponents, but also encouraged Christians to look for ways to insert creationist thinking back into the public schools.

Humiliated! Moving along:

In the early 1980s, two major lawsuits were filed, one in Arkansas and another in Louisiana, in an attempt to gain legal permission to teach creation science in the public schools. … Unfortunately, by the time these suits went through the various legal channels, the legal precedent against creation science in public schools was so firmly established that the courts had no difficulty in negating those efforts.

Ancient history, but the creationists are still bitter over it. Another excerpt:

During the late 1980s and 1990s, the ID movement gained prominence, using the term “intelligent design” rather than “creation science.” Although its proponents tried desperately to avoid being labelled “creationists,” the courts and various school boards refused to buy into their reasoning.

Oh, those evil courts! They weren’t fooled by the masquerade. Hey, the Dragon isn’t stupid! On with the article:

All of the various attempts over the past 25 years had one focus in common: an attempt to legalize the teaching of creation — in one form or another — in the public schools.

That’s ICR’s summary which contrasts with ours. It’s a refreshing bit of honesty. One rarely encounters that from creationists. Well, the young-earth types sometimes acknowledge their purpose — unlike a certain “think tank” in Seattle. Anyway, that’s enough history from ICR. Let’s get to their acknowledgment of defeat in Texas. First, they distort (or fail to understand) the court’s ruling:

Now, with the federal ruling against ICR, the Texas government may mandate that any private sector college, even those that accept no government funding, may be regulated by the THECB [Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board], even to the extreme that the THECB may reject a science education program because it features a creationist viewpoint.

Then they grudgingly admit that the ol’ Dragon has beaten them:

ICR will have more to say on the ramifications of these issues next month. However, please know that, while ICR’s legal battle is over, we will not retreat from other public efforts to fight the “Dragon” and his minions. The battle is raging as never before.

We can imagine what the Dragon would say to ICR: “I’ve had better meals, but none that were so easy to catch. Burrrrrp!

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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5 responses to “Dragon Wins ICR’s Texas Accreditation Case

  1. I guess if you’re a creationist then everybody else on the freaking planet, OK, the Universe is a dragon.

    Good for them.

    The ICR is run by some seriously stupid people and I suspect this reflects on their students, too, who pay upwards of $13,000 for a worthless degree. I’d be glad to sell them a degree just as worthless for $50; I’m very charitable, just ask me.

    Here in Texas the ICR couldn’t get it through their thick, barely evolved skulls that for a person to be classified a “science teacher” that person must have passed a certain number of “science courses.” It’s that simple. Upon reviewing ICR’s course catalog the question was asked, “Where’s the beef, er, science?”

    ICR responded with blah, blah, blah, Ginger, blah, blah, Bible, bafflegab, followed by academic freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to arm bears, fluoridation is a Communist plot, viewpoint discrimination, Lemonade test, and on and on.

    The point was an Establishment Clause violation, as the ICR cried about not accepting public money means Pass Go, rather what was at issue was NO FREAKING SCIENCE IN YOUR FREAKING COURSE CATALOG!!!

    Well, at least the ICR is open about their creationism. Sort of hard not to since it’s their middle name!

  2. Doc Bill says:

    I’d be glad to sell them a degree just as worthless for $50; I’m very charitable, just ask me.

    I’m already in the diploma mill business: Earn a Degree in Creationism Today!

  3. Quoting The Curmudgeon’s quote of the Dragon: “I’ve had better meals, but none that were so easy to catch. Burrrrrp!“ . . . . . .

    Beautiful.

  4. But the ICR and the DI aren’t the same group. In fact, they don’t appear to even like each other very much. So, this will have zero impact on the real nutjobs.

    I’m glad the Higher Ed Board has its head on straight, I wish the K-12 board was the same.

  5. Though I come from the land of St George, Im damn glad to be on the side of The Dragon.