Saying that a belief in creationism — the theory that God created the Earth in six literal days, as recounted in the Bible — falls outside the realm of science, the state's commissioner for higher education has recommended that a Dallas-based organization not be authorized to offer a master's degree in science education.
A committee of the Higher Education Coordinating Board unanimously backed the recommendation by Commissioner Raymund Paredes on Wednesday. The full board votes today.
Paredes said his decision wasn't an attack on creationism or religion, but an attempt to defend science education.
"Religious belief is not science," he said. "Science and religious belief are surely reconcilable, but they are not the same thing."
Henry Morris III, CEO of the Institute for Creation Research, said the program teaches creationism and evolution. But he and others at the institute believe creationism is the correct explanation. He said there is no proof for evolution.
If the full board agrees with Paredes, Morris said, the institute may appeal or file a new proposal, perhaps changing the proposed master's degree from science education to a more general "teaching" degree. It could also file a lawsuit, he said.
Without the approval, the institute can offer only an unaccredited degree.
Morris and other representatives of the institute, which moved to Dallas from California last year, said they simply hold a minority view in a scientific world dominated by followers of "naturalism," which espouses a belief in evolution.
The institute's lawyer, James Johnson, told the committee that the issue was one of free speech and academic freedom.
Free speech, huh? I guess this bozo thinks that any word vomit he spews should be a candidate for a master's degree? OK, then I think we need a divinity doctoral degree on the homosexuality of Jesus and its lingering anti-gay impact on christianity... or something equally as ridiculous.