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When is ‘Creation Science’ most clearly not science?

When someone is attempting to award a degree in it, a Texas federal district court would seem to have ruled. Howard M. Friedman at Religion Clause writes:

In Institute for Creation Research Graduate School v. Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, (WD TX, June 18, 2010), a Texas federal district court upheld the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s refusal to grant the Institute of Creation Research Graduate School a certificate of authority to offer a Master of Science degree with a major in Science Education. The Texas Education Code (Sec. 61.301) authorizes the Board to regulate the use of “academic terminology” in order “to prevent deception of the public resulting from the conferring and use of fraudulent or substandard college and university degrees.” The Board denied ICRGS’s application because its curriculum which was designed to promote “scientific creationism” and “Biblical creationism” does not adequately cover the breadth of knowledge of the discipline taught. The Board’s decision was based on the conclusion by the Commissioner of Higher Education that the school’s program “inadequately covers key areas of science and their methodologies and rejects one of the foundational theories of modern science,” and thus “cannot be properly designated as either ‘science’ or ‘science education.'”

Indeed, Melissa Ludwig of the San Antonio Express-News writes:

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks of Austin found no merit in the institute’s claims and criticized its legal documents as “overly verbose, disjointed, incoherent, maundering and full of irrelevant information.”

Hard times, Southern Baptists? Or does a Creationism MS one way or the other matter to Al Mohler and his allies?

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June 23, 2010 Posted by | SBC, Science | | Comments Off on When is ‘Creation Science’ most clearly not science?

… mumbo jumbo …

April Fool

We apologize to anyone and everyone who was misled through our publication of this.

April Fool or not, it was a mistake and we compounded that mistake.

April 4, 2010 Posted by | Religion, SBC, Science | , , , | 2 Comments

Texas Baptist Standard rediscovers the Texas textbook fight?

The BStd Headline: Texas textbook battles have national impact

Which we and others have endlessly explained. And?

“What we teach in the public schools matters,” [Charles Haynes, senior scholar at the First Amendment Center in Washington, D.C.] told a group at Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas during the “Faith & Freedom Speaker Series,” sponsored by the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund.

Yep. There is a fight in under way. So important a fight that in addition to those linked to above, it has attracted the attention of a Hindu expert, gatherings of geeks and, of course, atheists.

November 14, 2009 Posted by | Education, Uncategorized | , , , | Comments Off on Texas Baptist Standard rediscovers the Texas textbook fight?

Truce, then cooperation in the Creationism/Evolution wars?

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Although the public square resounds with the creationism/evolution debate, Philip Clayton argues that the combatants still are not finally opponents. At Religion Dispatches he writes:

What emerges from the ashes, then, after the New Atheists and the intelligent design theorists have employed their weapons of mass destruction? The deeper questions still call for attention. We still ask what it means to be human, who we are, and how we should act in the world. What stories will we tell about ourselves and the universe? Which of those stories are true and which are false? How should we tell them differently in light of the best empirical data and theories?

This new discussion does not entail a different kind of science, though it does call for science without ideology. It does, however, call for a broader view of religion. John Haught puts it brilliantly in his forthcoming book, Making Sense of Evolution: Darwin, God, and the Drama of Life: “If we measure the movement of life in terms of a narrow human preoccupation with design, evolution seems blind and aimless.” …

Read the rest here.

November 2, 2009 Posted by | Cultural, Religion | , , | Comments Off on Truce, then cooperation in the Creationism/Evolution wars?

Sneaking Creationism into Florida classrooms

Creationism lost a march in Texas while it was trying to quietly steal one in Florida.

Florida state Sen. Steve Wise, R-Jacksonville, introduced legislation which the Florida Academy of Science says “leaves the door open for the introduction in the public school curriculum of nonscientific and covertly religious doctrines.”

Standard Creationist strategy these days.

March 27, 2009 Posted by | Education, Religion, Science | , , | Comments Off on Sneaking Creationism into Florida classrooms

Science ambiguously prevails in Texas education

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Creationism failed when social conservatives brought “strengths and weaknesses” back to the table today. A “compromise” prevailed in a 13-2 vote.

The adopted compromise says:

In all fields of science, analyze, evaluate and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations so as to encourage critical thinking by the student.

Although that language seems clear, this decades-long battle has a way of knotting itself back up into lawsuits.

Evens so, the “strengths and weaknesses” charade is at this level over. Everything appears to be about implementation now.

March 27, 2009 Posted by | Education, Religion, Science | , , , | Comments Off on Science ambiguously prevails in Texas education

[Update] Texas school board anti-evolutionists lose (again)

Social conservatives failed Thursday to add key creationism-friendly requirements back into the Texas standards for public school science classes and textbooks.

The last-gasp effort died on a deadlocked 7-7 vote of the Texas State Board of Education. The lost motion would have restored a 20-year-old requirement that science classes discuss the so-called weaknesses in the theory of evolution.

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Social conservatives did make less important amendments, but the basic teaching of evolution as accepted science will now be written into science textbooks.

The final decision, expected today, is of overarching importance because the size of the Texas textbook market gives it sweeping, national impact on the way school science textbooks in general are written.

Addendum

Today’s vote is expected to reaffirm yesterday’s, since a board member who was absent yesterday will participate today. She has indicated that she opposes the changes pressed by social conservatives.

March 27, 2009 Posted by | Education, Science | , , , | 1 Comment

Evolution weekend stalks the wild religionist

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The Clergy Letter Project celebrates Evolution Weekend on Feb. 13 through 15. It is an auspicious time, for it is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin’s birth is Feb, 12. This is also the year of the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species.

The letter has been signed some 12,500 clergy who agree, in essence, that:

Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth. Its purpose is not to convey scientific information, but to transform hearts.

There are three versions of the letter: Christian Clergy, Rabbi and Unitarian Universalist. Although there isn’t a specifically Muslim letter, the project is promoted by The American Muslim. Some argue with good reason that the project should be extended to Hindus and other faiths as well.

Some 929 congregations are signed up to participate. They hail from all 50 States, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and
14 countries.Michael Zimmerman of Butler University.The project has three goals:

  • To elevate the quality of the discussion on this critical topic – to move beyond sound bites.
  • To demonstrate that religious people from many faiths and locations understand that evolution is sound science and poses no problems for their faith.
  • To make it clear that those claiming that people must choose between religion and science are creating a false dichotomy.

To sign up a congregation or if you are clergy, to sign one of the letters, contact Professor Michael Zimmerman of Butler University at mz@butler.edu.

Articles, sermons, recommended readings, volunteer scientific consultants to assist clergy in their efforts and other resources are available.

A rejection of creationism and intelligent design, the project has attracted both praise and the ardent criticism typically directed at such efforts.

February 8, 2009 Posted by | Religion, Science | , , | 1 Comment

Darwin’s theory indispensable to biotechnology developers

Creationism doesn’t help biologists, but Charles Darwin’s 150-year-old theory is an indispensable tool.

February 1, 2009 Posted by | Science | , , , | Comments Off on Darwin’s theory indispensable to biotechnology developers

Creationism smuggled into Louisiana classrooms

Creationism stole a march on science via the Louisiana Science Education Act, which gives teachers license to use materials outside the curriculum specifically to teach “controversial” theories.

When state education officials translated legislation into policy that explicitly prohibited teaching intelligent design, the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education pressured them into removing the language. The creationism-safe regulations were approved on Jan. 13, and the rest will almost inevitably end up on court.

Someone, says Barbara Forrest, a philosopher at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, will use Discovery Institute’s creationism-friendly book, Explore Evolution.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has already promised to file a lawsuit if Louisiana public schools start teaching religious concepts in biology classes.

That is the anti-evolutionist’s goal, argues Forest. They hope to find a more creationism-friendly federal judge and mount a better court case than in 1987 when Louisiana law mandating the equal-time teaching of creationism was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

January 28, 2009 Posted by | Religion, Science | , , , , | Comments Off on Creationism smuggled into Louisiana classrooms