Survey shows overwhelming opposition to ICR certification
"A survey of science faculty at Texas colleges and universities reveals overwhelming opposition to state approval for a master's degree in science education from a Dallas-based creationist group," according to a press release issued by the Texas Freedom Network on April 21, 2008. The on-line survey, conducted by Raymond A. Eve for the Texas Freedom Network and the National Center for Science Education, polled 881 science faculty members at fifty public and private Texas universities about whether the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board should certify a master's degree in science education from the Institute for Creation Research. Nearly 200 faculty members responded, with 185 (95% of respondents) opposed to certifying the program and 6 (3%) in favor.
"Our universities should be training science teachers who can provide a 21st-century education in Texas classrooms," said Kathy Miller, president of the TFN Education Fund. "Approving degree programs that instead promote a false conflict between science and faith would be a disservice to students and a threat to our state's reputation as a center for science and research." The press release contained a sampling of comments from the faculty members surveyed: for example, Matthew Rowe, a biologist at Sam Houston State University, commented, "The great state of Texas can ill-afford either the cost, or the international embarrassment, of conflating faith-based religious doctrine with scientific empiricism."
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is expected to vote on the ICR's request for certification on April 24, 2008; Texan scientists have been critical of the ICR's request. As NCSE previously reported, the ICR's graduate school was previously operated from its headquarters in California, where it was accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), a group founded by the ICR's founder, the late Henry Morris. But Texas, to which the ICR recently moved its headquarters, does not recognize accreditation by TRACS; if the request for certification is approved, the ICR will have two years to obtain accreditation for its graduate school from a recognized accreditation agency.