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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Creationism Defeat in Texas

Encouraging news out of Texas this morning: A committee of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has unanimously rejected the Institute for Creation Research's request for state certification that would allow it to offer an online master's degree in science education—a degree that would be based on "creation science" rather than evolution. The ICR had offered graduate courses in California since 1981, but its recent move from San Diego to Texas, presumably to find more congenial politics, requires new accreditation. The full board will take final action on the decision today.
Texas Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes recommended rejecting the ICR's proposal because the institute's program wouldn't prepare graduates to meet the science standards now set for Texas public schools, which include the study of evolution. "Evolution is such a fundamental principle of contemporary science it is hard to imagine how you could cover the various fields of science without giving it [evolution] the proper attention it deserves as a foundation of science," Paredes said. "Religious belief is not science. Science and religious belief are surely reconcilable, but they are not the same thing." —Heather Wax