A Unique Creationist School of Science (V: ICR, For Such a Time as This)
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.
There is a critical need in this country today for a creationist graduate school of science, and since no other school is providing this, ICR is trying to fill that gap. It is a tragic fact that all secular colleges and most religious colleges in America have become permeated with evolutionism in all their curricula. Having spent over fifty years teaching at the college level and visiting some 200 different campuses, I'm certain that's a true evaluation.
Now, since almost all post-secondary schools—including even Bible colleges and seminaries—offer at least some science-related courses, they all are impacted to some degree by modern science. The instructors in these courses are normally required to have at least the M.S. degree, and the textbooks are all written by authors with M.S. or Ph.D. degrees. All of these writers and teachers have been taught graduate-level science in schools committed to evolutionism, for the obvious reason that no others have been available. Even strong, Bible-believing Christians almost inevitably will be affected to some degree by the evolutionism they are taught.
The science teaching in elementary and secondary schools is also impacted—even in Christian schools—because their teachers also must get their graduate training in secular schools. But that's only the beginning. It is not merely the natural sciences that are affected. The social sciences and humanities are, if anything, more saturated with evolutionary humanism than even the natural sciences. In such courses, evolutionary philosophy is assumed and applied throughout, all based on the assumption that evolution has been proved scientifically. The "science" of evolution is taken as an established fact.
That assumption, of course, is completely wrong. Evolution is about as false scientifically as any theory could ever be. Evolution is not occurring at present, has never occurred in the past, and could not possibly occur in the future, unless the basic laws of science themselves are all wrong. This fact has been demonstrated in numerous ICR books and shown by ICR scientist speakers in literally thousands of debates, seminars, conferences, and other meetings all over the world.
Nevertheless, just about all "intellectuals" still assume it is true because "science" has proved it, so they go ahead teaching and promoting their anti-Christianity and their grandiose plans for the coming world "community" (world government, world religion, etc.) on that assumption.
All of this points up the urgent need for somehow winning the natural sciences themselves back to God and creation. The founding fathers of modern science (Newton, Pascal, Boyle, Ray, et al.) were men who believed in God, the Bible, and primeval special creation, and they did their science with the motive of glorifying God through understanding and describing His creation. We desperately need scientists of that stature and attitude today, but our present science graduate schools are leading them away from God instead.
To some extent, of course, we can win individual scientists back to God and creation through books, seminars, and other such "salvaging" methods. In fact, that is how most of the active creationist scientists today (including myself and the other ICR scientists) were reached.
But a better way, and more Biblical, would be to train them in the truth to begin with. That is the purpose and the goal of the ICR Graduate School. God willing, our graduates may then eventually play a key role in winning "science" to Christ. Many already are doing just this in various ministries to which God has called them.
The immediate incentive to form the Graduate School came when the regional accrediting association (WASC) made it clear that Christian Heritage College (I was president of the college at that time) could not try to add any graduate programs in the foreseeable future if we hoped to achieve and retain accreditation. Our B.S. graduates in biology and geophysics from Christian Heritage College had been doing well after graduation, and so were those in education, so it seemed that it would soon be feasible to start M.S. programs in some of these key fields.
This was the main reason for separating ICR from the college in 1980 and establishing the ICR Graduate School in 1981. I resigned as president of the college and we quickly organized ICR's new structure, deciding to start with four M.S. degree programs, the ones most essential in restoring creationism to its rightful place in science—that is biology, geology, astro/geophysics, and science education.
We knew it would be futile to pursue WASC accreditation (in fact, this was confirmed on direct inquiry to WASC headquarters). We did need state approval for our degree programs, however, and the state's visitation committee was very pleased with our programs when they came to the campus, so quickly gave us full "Approval" status to grant M.S. degrees in the four selected fields. This was in 1981.
We did not have access to government grants like other science graduate schools do, however, and we could not impose large tuition and fee charges on our students, so it has been a real challenge to develop the facilities and high-calibre faculty required for a successful graduate program in science. Nevertheless, in spite of the difficulties, the Lord has enabled us to provide highly qualified Christian professors for all classes, fully committed to the Scriptures and true creationism, as well as a good library and educational building. The degree programs have been at least comparable in educational quality to those in secular schools and far superior in spiritual values.
I have been very thankful for our fine science staff. Some of our people are widely known because of their seminars and publications. Among these are Duane Gish, with a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, and John Morris, whose doctorate in geological engineering is from the University of Oklahoma. My own Ph.D. was from the University of Minnesota in hydraulics
Our present dean is Ken Cumming, who received his doctorate from Harvard University in genetics and ecology. Larry Vardiman (Ph.D. in atmospheric physics, Colorado State University) is head of the Astro/Geophysics Department, and Steve Austin (Ph.D. in geology, Penn State) is head of the Geology Department. All the others likewise have terminal degrees and good experience in their respective fields of science. Our faculty is fully comparable to those at most other schools offering M.S. programs in science. A catalog listing all our full-time and adjunct professors, as well as courses, curricula, and other information is available free on request.
More than 150 students have taken one or more courses for credit in the ICR Graduate School, and 40 have completed their M.S. degrees. Many of these are now teaching in Christian schools and some in Christian colleges. Some have entered full-time creationist ministries of their own. Others are working in a wide variety of other positions, and all, to the best of our knowledge, are maintaining a strong Christian and creationist testimony, in addition to doing a good job professionally.
As many of our readers will recall, the biggest problem for our graduate school turned out to be the attempt in 1988 and 1989 of the California Department of Education, under its then-superintendent Bill Honig, to shut the school down because of our creationism. Until Honig came into office, we had had excellent relations with the state, but he told me personally one day on the telephone that science was not science unless it was taught in terms of evolution. He himself was a lawyer and politician, not a scientist, but his vendetta had been instigated by the nationwide evolutionary establishment, spearheaded by an anti-creationist organization in Berkeley, funded by the Carnegie Foundation specifically to oppose creationism, and euphemistically called the National Center for Science Education.
Space does not allow repeating the story here—the ongoing saga was chronicled in numerous Acts & Facts issues during the years 1988-1990. Suffice it to say that the Lord brought a wonderful victory out of what seemed for a while to be almost certain defeat. The final outcome was a federal judicial declaratory judgment that not only ICR, but also all Christian schools, were free to teach their courses according to their own judgment. Specifically, ICR can indeed teach science at the graduate level in a fully Biblical and creationist framework.
I believe the ICR Graduate School has a strong future and will play an increasingly strategic role in reclaiming science and education in general for Christ and creation. To this end, it is vital that we maintain a strong and clearly Biblical stand, not only on creationism, but also in our Christian character and conduct. That will be my subject in Part VI of this series.
* Dr. Henry M. Morris (1918-2006) was Founder and President Emeritus of ICR.