US: Texas board rejects 'creation science' degree

A bid by the Dallas-based Institute for Creation Research to train future science teachers - focussing on creationism instead of Darwin's theory of evolution - has been flatly rejected by Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board members, reports the Dallas Morning News. The decision to turn down the proposal, subject to final action by the full board, came despite arguments from institute officials and faculty that teaching of creationism to students would not hurt their future effectiveness as science teachers.

A lawyer for the Bible-based group also warned that the coordinating board could eventually face legal action for suppressing the free-speech rights of the institute.

Texas Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes paved the way for the board action by recommending rejection of the ICR request for a state certificate of authority to offer an online master's degree in science education. Citing the group's teaching of creationism rather than evolution in its science curriculum, he said it was clear the school would not adequately prepare its graduates to teach the scientific principles now required in Texas public schools.

"Evolution is such a fundamental principle of contemporary science it is hard to imagine how you could cover the various fields of science without giving it [evolution] the proper attention it deserves as a foundation of science," he said.
Full report on the Dallas Morning News site