School teaching creation denied accreditation

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Chip, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    This from Discover Magazine.
    My guess is they were California-approved. You'd think they would have checked whether they'd have problems before moving to Texas. But the judge sure gave them a beat-down.
  2. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    A well deserved beat down at that! :D
  3. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Creation = True
    Creationism = False

    Those people not only have no clue about how science works, they also have not even the most minute idea what the Bible teaches. I don't think that everything that they do is bad, and there are times that they make some compelling points (ones which mirror my own reasons for believing in creation). However, if they truly had as much faith as they claim to, they wouldn't have to expend their funds and energy trying to destroy the reputations and livelihoods of sincere hard-working scientists.

    I know that not everything presented in science textbooks is correct. Anyone who can think independently should know at least that, but waging a war against the entire scientific community is not just frivolous, its unchristian.

    Besides, I don't think they need accreditation to carry on their mission. They, their supporters, and potential students, all believe that they have a greater purpose to what they are doing. This isn't necessarily a defeat for them as much as it is a victory of the no-life internet skeptics.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2010
  4. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

    Wow! That article couldn't possible be the least bit biased, could it? Calling one side the "good guys" instantly removes any ounce of credibility from the article. Presumably, the side with a differing opinion are the "bad guys?"
  5. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    It's a blog from Phil Plait. I am a fan of his website, but after reading that article and a few others from that blog, I have less respect for him. He is divisive, arrogant and like most of the internet skeptics I have come across, narcissistic and immature.
  6. Caulyne Barron

    Caulyne Barron New Member

    Not sure how it works in TX, but if it were the state board, wouldn't it be their license, rather than accreditation? If they refuse to give them a license to grant degrees in the state (required by most accrediting bodies before they'll even look at you), that's a big problem that they should have figured out before moving!! Wow.
  7. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I'm suprised that 'Discover' printed something like this.

    The ICR has a history in California that the author might have tried to learn about.

    ICR were California approved. When the ICR rolled out graduate programs that were ostensibly in the sciences, but were actually in Biblical apologetics, the BPPVE (or its predecessor) withdrew their state approval. The ICR took the state to court and the court found for the ICR, ruling on academic freedom grounds that the state has no authority to mandate academic program content, on the university level at least.

    So not only did the state have to restore the ICR's state approval, it was effectively prevented from looking at program content in future approval decisions.

    That sentence sounds confused.

    Texas has a religious exemption I believe, so if ICR simply wanted to award degrees with religious degree titles, presumably it could.

    This argument is more subtle than that. There have already been a number of threads about this ICR v. TX case, and if I recall the details correctly, the issue is a degree program that's ostensibly in the subject of 'Science Educationx'. I'm guessing that the ICR's intention is to produce people who are formally qualified to teach science subjects in Texas K-12 schools, at least in the more fundyish private Christian schools.

    The THECB doesn't grant accreditation. It licenses schools to legally operate. I believe that they responded as the state of California did earlier, denying a license to ICR as long as it insists on offering the Science Educationx program. (Which exceeds the scope of a religious exemption.) And the ICR reacted just as they had done in California, by going to court.

    So ICR wasn't "beat down". The ICR's suit hasn't even resulted in a judgement yet. This was just a mid-course motion in which the ICR asked for permission to operate while the case continued. The judge denied that.

    Apparently the motion was denied for procedural reasons.

    And our science journalist at 'Discover' finishes off with insults that I've snipped.

    My own opinion is that 'creation science' is pretty much an oxymoron. I think that I agree pretty emphatically with the THECB's position on this.

    But with allies like this 'Discover' idiot, it's just embarassing.
  8. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    That 'Discover' idiot is Phil Plait, one of the world's most well-known and prolific skeptics. He's a part of the James Randi/Derren Brown/Penn and Teller/Richard Dawkins inner circle. To his credit, he is the main voice in the anti-Lunar Hoax Conspiracy campaign. To his detriment, well yeah, you read what he wrote.
  9. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    You can add John Bear to the skeptics list. He's a member of the Skeptic Society or whatever it's called. :)

    I have no problem with skepticism, and John and I have had a number of interesting (and polite) discussions (I wouldn't even call them 'debates') on various issues that are controversial with the skeptics (homeopathy, etc.)

    My problem with James Randi is that he isn't a skeptic, he's a grumpy, closed-minded guy who won't let scientific data get in the way of whatever beliefs he happens to hold.

    As John told me once, a true skeptic says "prove it to me" but believes that anything he knows (or thinks he knows) is subject to change if new data comes in. My experience with everything I've read of James Randi's work is that he decided long ago what he does and doesn't believe in, and isn't interested when he runs across facts that contradict his world view.
  10. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Then that would make me a skeptic, too. Would they hate to know that one of them was not an atheist? :D

    I stay out of the debates themselves for the same reason I go to another train car when an individual or group is making a scene. Its just not worth it.
  11. leo

    leo New Member

    Move to Off Topic discussions Please

    I think this thread should be moved to the "Off Topic discussions".
  12. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I'd rather leave it here and let it naturally progress back to its original topic. However, I don't think there is much more to say than what Bill already laid out in his post.
  13. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    Even on the original topic it doesn't belong here and should be moved to the accreditation board. I think the negative religious view would warrant a move to off topic as well but that is for a Moderator to decide ;-) .
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2010
  14. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    I belong to the Skeptics Society also; although their magazine does discuss religion (not all negatively) it covers a wide range of other topics.
    Check out an issue of their magazine at your local library or review its contents on line at Skeptic
    In the last issue (Vol. 15, No. 3) there were great articles on medical screening tests and on language software programs.
    Authors bios are included and many articles include source references.
  15. leo

    leo New Member

    I still fail to see the connection with "distance learning" in this thread.?!

    Oh well...
  16. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Now that I think of it, you and JB are right. Unfortunately, I still haven't learned what all of these extra little buttons do, so we'll see if another, less newbian mod, can move it (and teach me how). That is, unless, you don't mind me accidentally clicking the unlabeled Implode Universe button that Chip installed somewhere on this site.
  17. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    The Science Education* program that the THECB is apparently objecting to is a DL program.

    ICR also offers what appears to be a B&M degree in Biblical Apologetics, in the Dallas area.

    Here's another interesting tie-in with subjects that we periodically discuss here.

    It seems that ICR once hoped to become regionally accredited with WASC. When it became apparent that wasn't going to happen, ICR's owner, the well known creationist author Henry Morris, and some of his associates created their own unrecognized accreditor, called the Transnational Association of Christian Schools (TRACS).

    It applied to the US Department of Education* for recognition as an accrediter. Reportedly the Department's staff recommended against recognition, but the Education* Secretary overruled his advisors and recognized TRACS on his own personal initiative. (The fact that accreditor recognition is ultimately the decision of one Washington political appointee is troubling to me, but that's how the USCode sections read.) Adherence to Biblical creationism remains among TRACS' accreditation standards today.

    Unsurprisingly, TRACS duely accredited ICR. But subsequently the accreditor appears to have grown much more independent of ICR. That was revealed in recent events.

    ICR was eventually sold to its new Texas owners. It isn't clear what actually changed hands beyond the right to use the school's name, and ICR has reemerged in new premises offering brand new programs.

    Significantly (and perhaps ironically) TRACS proceeded to revoke ICR's accreditation, reportedly at the request of Henry Morris' son. I'm speculating, but it's possible that TRACS concluded that the new ICR was so different from the old ICR that it would need to apply all over again like a new school. Times have definitely changed.

    Here's a Wikipedia thing that decribes these events.
  18. thomaskolter

    thomaskolter New Member

    What is wrong with giving them issuing degrees in Creation Science its the same bullpucky as degrees in Ministry which are often fine with folks?

    I think they are being singled out due to having a simple mission that happens to be science directed to support faith.
  19. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    No. Without evidence, there is no reason to thing there was a "creation." A beginning? Sure. But a "creation"? I'm cool, as long as we establish how it all was "created" and by whom.

    And what was there before "creation"? I think everything was just there. No creation, no creator. It just was and is. Occam's Razor.
  20. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Yes. Texas is very strict regarding the approval of schools to award degrees. Considering the state's conservative and religious bent, I suspect this decision was about educational quality, not content. The school just couldn't cut it, which is also puts California Approval in a bad light--as if it wasn't already.

Share This Page