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NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2009/04/24

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear Friends of NCSE,

In the latest from Texas, the ICR filed suit over the state's decision
not to certify its graduate school.


The Institute for Creation Research Graduate School filed suit over
the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's decision to deny the
ICR's request for a state certificate of authority to offer a master's
degree in science education. The complaint, filed on April 16, 2009,
in the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Texas, named Raymund Paredes, the Texas Commissioner of Higher
Education, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and its
members as defendants, in both their official and individual
capacities, accusing them of imposing "an unconstitutional and
prejudicial burden against ICRGS's academic freedom and religious
liberties" (p. 63) and asking the court for declarative and injunctive

As NCSE's Glenn Branch explained in Reports of the NCSE, "When the
Institute for Creation Research moved its headquarters from Santee,
California, to Dallas, Texas, in June 2007, it expected to be able to
continue offering a master's degree in science education from its
graduate school. ... But the state's scientific and educational
leaders voiced their opposition, and at its April 24, 2008, meeting,
the Texas Higher Education Coordination Board unanimously voted to
deny the ICR's request for a state certificate of authority to offer
the degree." Subsequently, the ICR appealed the decision, while also
taking its case to the court of public opinion with a series of press
releases and advertisements in Texas newspapers.

Although the ICR continues to pursue its appeal, the complaint
explains that the ICR deemed it necessary to file the lawsuit now
because "(a) waiting a couple months [sic] to do so would miss the
Statute of Limitations deadline; and (b) SOAH [the State Office of
Administrative Hearings] has insufficient jurisdiction to remedy or
otherwise resolve all of the serious legal problems involved" (p. 14).
(Unmentioned in the complaint is Texas's House Bill 2800, introduced
in the Texas House of Representatives on March 9, 2009, which would,
if enacted, in effect exempt institutions such as the ICR's graduate
school from Texas's regulations governing degree-granting
institutions. The bill is still in the House Higher Education

The sixty-seven-page complaint teems with various factual claims and
legal arguments, leading a blogger for the Dallas Observer (April 20,
2009) to quip that it "reads kind of like stereo instructions." It
also teems with unabashed creationist rhetoric, citing articles from
the ICR's publication Acts & Facts along with case law, explaining
that Paredes — born as he was in 1942 — was not a witness to the Big
Bang, asserting that discussions about the origin of life and the
formation of the earth "do not become 'empirical science' simply
because those discussions emit from the oral cavities of 'scientists'"
(p. 33), and insisting that the Big Bang "should not be confused with
the 'great noise' mentioned in 2nd Peter 3:10" (p. 21).

For documents from the case, visit:

For Glenn Branch's report in RNCSE, visit:

For the blog post at the Dallas Observer, visit:

And for NCSE's previous coverage of events from Texas, visit:

Thanks for reading! And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- -- where you can always find the latest news on
evolution education and threats to it.


Glenn Branch
Deputy Director
National Center for Science Education, Inc.
420 40th Street, Suite 2
Oakland, CA 94609-2509
510-601-7203 x310
fax: 510-601-7204

Eugenie C. Scott's Evolution vs. Creationism -- now in its second edition!

Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools

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