FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Institute for Creation Research
Dallas – On February 28, 2008, Nature magazine featured an editorial titled “Lone Star vs creationism” concerning the application of the Institute for Creation Research Graduate School (ICRGS) to the THECB for a certificate of authority to grant degrees in Texas. This unsigned editorial, offered in a prestigious scientific journal, unfortunately contained certain inaccuracies and also omitted relevant information, thus creating an imperfect impression of the work of ICRGS.
The first inaccuracy relates to the editorial’s claim that the state of California “had been battling the ICR over accreditation since 1981,” implying that California spent 26 years opposing the ICR graduate program. In fact, California granted approval—not accreditation—in 1981 for ICRGS to grant degrees because ICRGS fulfilled all the legal requirements and demonstrated all the necessary qualifications to obtain its approval. This approval was re-evaluated in 1988, and the issue was again decided in favor of ICRGS. At all other times, ICRGS was in good standing with the state of California, a situation that remains true today.
The second misstatement regards the report that ICR’s primary reaction to opposition was “to send out a call for prayer.” While ICR did issue such a call to its constituents—many of whom are people of faith—the editorial disregards the steps ICR has taken to document its scientific proficiency in response to THECB requests for further information on its research and curriculum.
While accurately stating that the THECB advisory panel has recommended the acceptance of ICRGS’ application, the editorial neglected to mention that this recommendation was based on a determination by a THECB Site Evaluation Team that ICRGS meets the requirements in Texas for granting degrees. The editorial also calls into question the curriculum of ICRGS, while overlooking the Evaluation Team’s report emphasizing the strength of ICRGS’ course offerings, which teach the full spectrum of the physical and life sciences, including the theory of evolution.
Nature also refers to “high-powered scientists” who have written to ask THECB commissioner Raymund Paredes to deny ICRGS’ application. Of the roughly 200 email messages recently released by the THECB under the Freedom of Information Act, 160 individuals—including scientists and educators—expressed their support for ICRGS to teach science education in Texas. Only 40 messages, sent by just 34 individuals, opposed approval of ICRGS’ application. In addition, the editorial does not offer factual evidence for why such approval should be denied.
The goal of ICRGS is to provide teachers with the scientific knowledge and teaching skills necessary to actively engage their students and prepare scientifically literate graduates. ICRGS looks forward to partnering with Texas, as it has with California since 1981, in reaching this goal.
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