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ICR challenged in charitable campaign

The presence of a creationist group on a list of charitable organizations approved to receive donations from state employees is under challenge, according to the Austin American-Statesman (November 30, 2011). David Hillis, a professor of biology at the University of Texas, Austin, was surprised to discover that the Institute for Creation Research was included in the list of organizations eligible to receive donations through the State Employee Charitable Campaign. Such organizations are supposed to provide "direct or indirect health and human services."

But, Hillis told the newspaper, the ICR works "to undermine the mission of the university and of science in general, and especially the science that is the very basis for health and human services. How could such an organization possibly be listed as a charitable organization to be supported by state employees?" His colleague John Hoberman, a professor of Germanic studies, added that the ICR's activities "do not qualify as the sort of humanitarian activity we associate with charity in the proper sense of the word."

The ICR is currently described in the list as follows: "Science strongly supports the Bible's authority and accuracy. With scientific research, education programs, and media presentations, we equip Christians to stand for the Truth." Hillis and a number of his colleagues will be asking the State Employee Charitable Campaign Policy Committee, which oversees the State Employee Charitable Campaign, to remove the ICR from the list at its December 2, 2011, meeting. Asked by the American-Statesman for comment, current and former members of the committee were noncommittal.