Texas' higher education board to hear Dallas group's 'creation science' degree proposal

Texas' higher education board to hear Dallas group's 'creation science' degree proposal
From Staff Reports - Dallas Morning News - 4/23/2008 - original
The state board that oversees higher education will consider today a Dallas group's proposal to train science teachers in creationist thought, a proposal that some scientists say dangerously undermines the theory of evolution.

The group, the nonprofit Institute for Creation Research, wants to use online courses to offer teachers a master of science degree. A state advisory group signed off, but a committee of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board will hear public testimony and make a recommendation this morning in Austin. The full board would vote Thursday.

The institute was created in 1970 by the late Henry M. Morris, a Dallas native. He is known as the father of "creation science," the view that science not just religion indicates that a divine being created the Earth and all living things.

Some advocacy groups say the group is trying to undermine the teaching of science in public schools. Officials with the institute say they teach both sides of the evolution debate.

A team of educators and officials from the state coordinating board visited the campus in November. The group decided that the institute offered a standard science education curriculum. In December, an advisory group comprising officials from two public colleges and four affiliated with religious institutions approved the plan.

Also, the board received hundreds of e-mails from people around the world weighing in for and against the proposal.