Creationists Take It to Court in Texas

by TFN

The Dallas-based Institute for Creation Research Graduate School has filed its long-threatened lawsuit against Texas’ commissioner of higher education, Raymund Paredes, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Last year the coordinating board rejected the ICR’s application to offer master’s of science education degrees in Texas. The board said the ICR — which argues that the concept of biblical creation is backed by science while evolution is not — failed to meet required academic standards. (Well, yeah.)

According to the complaint (available here), the ICR is charging that the coordinating board Dr. Paredes are working to

perpetrate viewpoint discrimination and censorship, inter alia, in violation of the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the 14th Amendment (and in violation of other laws), especially as the 14th Amendment is recognized as applying to the constitutional rights of free speech (including academic speech and religious speech), freedom of the press (including freedom from “prior restraint” censorship of academic speech associated with freedom of the press), freedom from viewpoint discrimination (as well as content discrimination), free exercise of religion, freedom of association, freedom from hositility toward religious viewpoints), freedom from arbitrary and abusive governmental discrretion, freedom from anti-accommodational evolution-only-science enforcement policy practices, freedom from unequal protection (especially in academic “evolution-only-science-credentialing” politics that act like a government-controlled “titles of nobility” monopoly scheme in postsecondary Science Education), and reputation injuries, etc.

You can read the whole complaint for yourself, but here are some excerpts:

ICRGS [Institute for Creation Research Graduate School], which conspicuously affirms its Biblical creationist viewpoint as an institutional distinctive, should not be required to academically “shut its mouth” or “go to the back of the [postsecondary science education] bus” just because it affirms the truth of Genesis 1:1, or because ICRGS corroborates the Biblical account of the Genesis Flood (the historicity of which as been repeatedly corroborated).

(A)lthough ICRGS teaches typical topics of evolutionary science (albeit analyzed in comparison with creationist thinking, analyzing empirical science evidence by forensic science principles), ICRGS has itself deceived no prospective students or employers into thinking that ICRGS is a proponent of evolutionary science, because ICRGS publicly and conspicuously identifies itself as the creation science-promoting “Institute for Creation Research” (and not as the “Institute for Evolution Research”).

(D)efendants revealingly and religiously relied (in part) on the non-empirical idea of a cosmic “Big Bang” which supposedly exploded some 14,000,000,000 years ago, — while simultaneously conceding that “science has no answer to the question of how life on earth began or how [as Commissioner Paredes religiously assumed on 4-23-2008] the Big Bang was initiated some 14 billion years ago.”

As a matter of institutional viewpoint, ICRGS has sincerely taught its students that the theory of evolution, and the proposed notion of billon-of-years-old “geologic time,” is “science falsely so-called.” See, accord, 1st Timothy 6:20. . . . This Bible-informed viewpoint is not an exotic or recently invented tenet which ICRGS affirms. ICRGS simply agrees with, and thus adopts, the Bible-transmitted view of the apostle Paul, who wrote that the natural creation so effectively displays proof of God’s creatorship that anyone who rejects that evidence is “without excuse.”

The historic fact that the triune God of the Bible, acting through Christ, created the cosmos slightly more than 6,000 years ago, is a religious belief. That religious belief is a sincerely-held institutional viewpoint of ICRGS, qualifying how ICRGS teaches science and science education.

ICR is defending its civil rights to teach a non-atheistic view of “science.”

The ICR complaint asks, among other things, that the court declare a private educational institution is exempt from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board oversight if the organization accepts no state funding, is a not-for-profit entity, and “is not operated as a degree mill.”

As an aside, check out the header at the top of the ICR’s home page today: “Does Twitter Twiddle with Morality?”