Thursday, January 24, 2008

Texas Master's Program in Creation Research

The Dallas-based Institute for Creation Research is trying to start a master's degree in "science education".  Here is an article from the Austin American-Statesman (thanks DG): Leading scientists oppose creation institute's degree plan.  (see contact info below to take action.)


"Creationism" and "Intelligent Design" are two different words for the same thing (with a bit more window-dressing in the second term).   Creationism is not evidence-based and not, like all good science, open to falsification.  It is a story written by people in a very different time, from within one of many religions the world has seen.  If you choose to believe it as fact, that is your choice, but it is not science and has no place in a science curriculum.  I have no objection to it being discussed in a comparative religion class, though. 

There are real consequences to confusing creationism with science.  For example, to deny the theory of evolution is to deny an understanding of how drug-resistant bacteria arise.  Or avian flu.  So if your physician tells you he is a creationist, I would find another doctor.

Action item:
Here is the contact info for Raymund Paredes (see story):
 
Higher Education Coordinating Board (Texas)
Raymund Paredes, Commissioner
Dr. Joseph Stafford, Assistant Commissioner for Academic Affairs and Research
Contact: Linda Battles
Academic Affairs and Research
P.O. Box 12788
Austin, TX 78711
Phone: (512) 427-6200
Fax: (512) 427-6168
Email: linda.battles@thecb.state.tx.us or cheryl.rosipal@thecb.state.tx.us
Website: http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/

[1/24/08 8pm]
Action item:
Also, the individual mentioned by David in the first Comment, Stephen Schafersman, is part of Texas Citizens for Science.  For some reason, the Wikipedia page for TCS is up for deletion, perhaps due to creationist forces?  If you have a Wikipedia login, please indicate that you do not want the page deleted (whichever side of the debate you are on). 

[Media Credit: Photo Illustration by Jane Pojawa
Every religion incorporates a myth of how the world was created. This illustration depicts the creation myths of Hindism, Navaho, Aztec, Egyptian, Christian, Aboriginal, Jewish and Islam.]

2 comments:

david said...

Wikipedia provides more background on this, including the ICR's recent move from California - likely motivated by the sense of a friendlier (to them) environment.
OOhh.. and at the end of the "School & Accreditation" section there's a reference to Stephen Schafersman, who attended our Houston UU fellowship in the '80s while raising awareness about the power of the Texas textbook committee to influence content of books nationwide- and he occasionally refereed my high school soccer games! Worthy of a profile in UU courage?

eyesopen said...

Thanks David. I have added a link to the ICR Wikipedia page. Also, the Wikipedia page for Stephen Schafersman's Texas Citizens for Science seems to be up for deletion, so I have added another Action item.