The Institution for Creation Research was a California-based school that moved to the Dallas area three years ago.
They applied to Texas' Higher Education Coordinating Board for certification to give master's degrees in science; the HECB reviewed their curriculum and turned them down. They sued.
A federal judge in Austin has ruled against the group and in favor of the HECB, in a ruling that stings pretty hard.
"It appears that although the court has twice required [ICR] to re-plead and set forth a short and plain statement of the relief requested, plaintiff is entirely unable to file a complaint which is not overly verbose, disjointed, incoherent, maundering and full of irrelevant information," Judge Sam Sparks wrote.
And then he got to the meat of the case.
The Court notes for the record it enters no opinion here on whether it agrees with the Board's decision. It does not " judge the wisdom, fairness, or logic" of the Board's decision, because it has no jurisdiction to do so. The Court simply comes to the conclusion, which is inescapable, that the decision was rationally related to a legitimate state interest.
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He noted that the ICR is free to teach the course any way they want even with his ruling; they just can't offer a certified master's degree in science to graduates.
And that's probably a good thing. In his summary judgment ruling Sparks said Joseph Stafford, one of the people reviewing the issue for the state:
quoted the following excerpts from ICRGS's program catalog:
1. "It is the position of the institute that...all genuine facts of science support the Bible."
2. "The phenomenon of biological life did not develop by natural processes from inanimate systems but was specially and supernaturally created by the creator."
3. "All things in the universe were created and made by God in the six literal days of the Creation Week described in Genesis...[.] The creation record is factual, historical, and perspicuous; thus all theories of origin and development that involve evolution in any form are false. (emphasis added by Stafford).
Dr. Stafford concluded these statements (and others) constituted a rejection of the fundamental principles which guide what scientists do, because scientists must "remain open to all facts and all observations of natural phenomena in order to refine and improve their comprehensive explanations of how natural processes appear to work."
The National Center for Science Education praised the ruling, calling it "a significant legal defeat" for the ICR.