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Author Topic:   ICR Sues Texas
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 12963
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 1 of 549 (506104)
04-22-2009 4:10 PM


OK, the story so far. The institute for Creation Research wants to offer a Master's Degree in what they call "science education" and I would call "teaching people to tell lies to children". They are of course free to teach what they like, but the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has refused to certify them on the not unreasonable grounds that their course is ... well ... crap. To quote Texas Citizens for Science:

ICR claims it “met or exceeded” the 21 Standards of Certificates of Authority. In fact, ICR did not meet several of those standards which was the basis of the THECB’s refusal to grant the Certificate of Authority. Three of those unmet standards were faculty qualifications, the curriculum, and academic freedom of the faculty and students. The standard of judging these things is comparison with other Texas institutions of higher learning that offer the same Master of Science Degree in Science Education. ICR was in no way comparable to other institutions, which was the original THECB justification for denial of the certification.

The ICR, eschewing the normal bureaucratic channels for seeking redress (or, of course, the option of teaching something that isn't complete shit) have gone running to the courtroom for what they would describe as "an unconstitutional and prejudicial burden against ICRGS's academic freedom and religious liberties" and I would describe as "what those jerks had coming to them".

The idea that it might be "an unconstitutional and prejudicial burden against the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's academic freedom and religious liberties" to force them to say that something they think is crap isn't crap does not appear to have occurred to the self-serving hypocrites at ICRGS.

'Cos they're morons.

Their 67-page statement of their case can be found here. It seems to consist of the usual creationist whining, but there may be some sort of legal argument concealed in there somewhere. Or not. It does, however, reveal them to be incompetent to think about science, much less teach it.

The Dallas Observer, giving the lie to unkind stereotypes about Texans, thinks that the whole thing is hilarious, and has described their voluminous complaint as "reading kind of like stereo instructions". They also have a nice picture of Jesus riding a dinosaur.

The ICR's original Petition For Contested Case Status runs to 755 pages, and has appendices from A to Z. One presumes that they only stopped 'cos they ran out of letters. They request that the court take "judicial notice" of it.


Replies to this message:
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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5145
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 2 of 549 (506106)
04-22-2009 4:20 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dr Adequate
04-22-2009 4:10 PM


OOOH! Nice coloring!!1!

Yes, I'm embarrassed to live in this freakin' state. But I like to eat, and my job is here......

I think - well, I hope - that whole complaint will get thrown out pretty quickly. Pretty bizarre stuff to put in a lawsuit, sez I.


This message is a reply to:
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Stagamancer
Member (Idle past 1412 days)
Posts: 174
From: Oregon
Joined: 12-28-2008


Message 3 of 549 (506121)
04-22-2009 6:55 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dr Adequate
04-22-2009 4:10 PM


I would follow THAT Jesus.


We have many intuitions in our life and the point is that many of these intuitions are wrong. The question is, are we going to test those intuitions?
-Dan Ariely
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Coyote
Member
Posts: 4823
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 4 of 549 (506125)
04-22-2009 8:02 PM


Creationism is anti-science.

And they want a MS in creationism? What a crock!

(See tagline.)


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
Replies to this message:
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bluescat48
Member (Idle past 686 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 5 of 549 (506127)
04-22-2009 8:35 PM


UGGH
I hate frivolous lawsuits


There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002

Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969

Since Evolution is only ~90% correct it should be thrown out and replaced by Creation which has even a lower % of correctness. W T Young, 2008


    
dwise1
Member
Posts: 2192
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 6 of 549 (506133)
04-22-2009 9:08 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Coragyps
04-22-2009 4:20 PM


Yes, I'm embarrassed to live in this freakin' state. But I like to eat, and my job is here......

Well at least Texas is handling the ICR a lot better than California did!

The ICR was founded in San Diego and later moved to Santee, inland from San Diego just past El Cajon. They didn't move to Texas until two years ago in 2007:

quote:
Morris said the move was intended to give the ICR a central national location, Dallas' proximity to a major airport, and a larger population for their ministry

A history of the accreditation of their graduate science program is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_for_Creation_Research#School_and_accreditation In 1981 they got formal approval from the state to offer degree programs. When that approval came up for renewal in 1988, a visitation committee came to inspect their facilities and observe them in action. That committee voted against renewal, which led to the ICR suing State Superintendent Bill Honig and willing, which got them permission to operate until 1995. When that date rolled around, they got a religious exemption from the state. Also, they had created their own accreditor, TRACS, and had accredited themselves. Part of their problem is that Texas does not recognize TRACS accreditation. And I guess that since a lawsuit had worked for them in California, then it will in Texas too.

I had gotten a copy of the 1988 visitation committee's report through the NCSE. On thing I remember was that they observed a graduate class in biochemistry, I think, and it had been pointed out to them that the class used the same textbook as most other colleges and universities. But the way that they were using that textbook! The entire class was going through the book page-by-page and crossing out everything that the professor was telling them to ignore. "We don't believe that. And we don't believe that either."

You Texans stand your ground and keep them in their place, y'hear? Somebody's got to explain to them how the cow ate the cabbage.


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subbie
Member
Posts: 3358
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 7 of 549 (506134)
04-22-2009 9:16 PM


A summary
I throw myself prostrate before the good people of the EvC forum and beg your forgiveness and understanding.

I tried to read the Complaint. I really did. But after about 10 pages or so, my brain hurts. Thus, I shan't have any brilliant commentary on the merits vel non of the lawsuit, other than this: Pfhbhtphbfttbttt! (thanks, Bill!)

I think that there is often a general impression among those not learned in the law that legal writing is impenetrable except to those who've joined the club, and that it's done that way on purpose. I can tell you in my practice, I made conscious efforts to write clearly and in everyday language that anyone could understand. But I've seen enough bad writing by bad, lazy, stupid, overworked attorneys to understand where the general impression comes from.

If anyone here is inclined to take a shot at reading the Complaint, please don't assume that part of the problem is that you don't speak legalese. There's no legalese in that Complaint. It's crap, not to put too fine a point on it. I wholeheartedly concur in the opinions expressed by Andrew in his piece, with the marvelous title, You Don’t Trust Creationists With Your Science Education… Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Trust Their Lawyers, Either.


For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and non-believers. -- Barack Obama

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat


Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 12963
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 8 of 549 (506135)
04-22-2009 9:47 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Coyote
04-22-2009 8:02 PM


Creationism is anti-science.

And they want a MS in creationism?

No, that's not the problem.

I don't have the links to hand right now, but I've seen the Texas Board say that they'd have no problem in accrediting them to teach Creationism or Christian Apologetics, since that is what they are in fact doing.

The problem is that they want this to be an MS in "Science Education", which it manifestly isn't. So they can't pass this off as being equivalent to an actual MS in science education. That would be wrong.


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subbie
Member
Posts: 3358
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 9 of 549 (506136)
04-22-2009 9:50 PM


Here is another piece on the suit, a bit richer in analysis for those who want to learn a bit more about the law involved.

As an aside, I'm curious to see if anyone else can identify the source of the quote at the top of his blog, without the assistance of Google.


For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and non-believers. -- Barack Obama

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat


Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by monkey boy, posted 04-24-2009 3:30 PM subbie has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 12963
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 10 of 549 (506137)
04-22-2009 9:52 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by subbie
04-22-2009 9:16 PM


Re: A summary
Thanks. Having read various legal briefs and decisions I did have the impression that their complaint was batshit crazy from a legal point of view. But I am glad to have it confirmed by one who knows.
This message is a reply to:
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subbie
Member
Posts: 3358
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 11 of 549 (506138)
04-22-2009 10:08 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Dr Adequate
04-22-2009 9:52 PM


Re: A summary
A long time ago in a galaxy far away, I used to do some civil rights defense work, handling pro se prisoner cases. Often times, the biggest challenge was trying to figure out what they were complaining about and how it might conceivably fit into a recognizable legal claim. None of the pleadings that I ever saw in that work was nearly as incomprehensible as this Complaint. And I mean that seriously and literally. Words fail me in trying to fully describe the atrociousness of this turd of a document.

And my brain still hurts.


For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and non-believers. -- Barack Obama

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat


This message is a reply to:
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monkey boy
Junior Member (Idle past 1945 days)
Posts: 24
Joined: 01-20-2009


Message 12 of 549 (506265)
04-24-2009 3:30 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by subbie
04-22-2009 9:50 PM


The source of the quote is an episode of the original "Star Trek". I forget which one. By the way I did not use google I recognized the quote immediately
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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 4664
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 13 of 549 (506268)
04-24-2009 3:39 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by monkey boy
04-24-2009 3:30 PM


Yangs and Kohms?
As soon as you said "Star Trek" a deep hidden memory surfaced. I am not going to google it till we hear from subbie.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
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subbie
Member
Posts: 3358
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 14 of 549 (506270)
04-24-2009 3:44 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by monkey boy
04-24-2009 3:30 PM


Hmmmmm......

I'm tempted to only give you half credit without an episode name, but I'm feeling generous.


For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and non-believers. -- Barack Obama

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat


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Replies to this message:
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subbie
Member
Posts: 3358
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 15 of 549 (506271)
04-24-2009 3:45 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Theodoric
04-24-2009 3:39 PM


Re: Yangs and Kohms?
I'm tempted to also give you only half credit because of monkey boy's hint, but I'm still feeling generous.


For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and non-believers. -- Barack Obama

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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