Thursday, April 23, 2009

The ICR Criticizes the THECB

The ICR has an article on their website called Censorship in Texas: Fighting Academic and Religious Discrimination by James Johnson J.D. He writes:
Dr. Raymund Paredes, in his official capacity as Texas Commissioner of Higher Education, has assumed and officially favored his personal viewpoint that the Big Bang was an "astonishing event" that "was initiated some 14 billion years ago,"1 and imposed that personally-held belief on a private school. No eyewitness or forensic evidence was presented by Dr. Paredes last April to support his assumption; he relied only on his ardent belief in this theory that is professed by some scientists, but not all.
The call for "eye witness" information is a variant of the Ken Ham "Were you there?" argument, implying that without an eye witness account, we have no evidence that some event occurred. This statement displays a basic misunderstanding of science, and is an astounding statement for someone with a degree in jurisprudence. Has he never been in a courtroom where the prosecution reconstructed a capital case in front of a jury?

But is there religious discrimination? As Paredes, himself wrote in the final ruling:
My recommendation to the Board is based on two considerations, the first of which is that ICR failed to demonstrate that the proposed program meets acceptable standards of science and science education. As indicated in a faculty job announcement, ICR requires that applicants “be committed to young earth creation science and the Bible;” in its current general catalog, ICR states that its mission “is to study, teach and communicate the works of God’s creation.” Also in the catalog appears this statement: “All things in the universe were created and made by God in the six literal days of the Creation Week described in Genesis…and confirmed in Exodus….The creation record is factual, historical and perspicuous; thus all theories of origin and development that involve evolution in any form are false.” ICR’s catalog also states “The phenomenon of biological life did not develop by natural processes from inanimate systems but was specially and supernaturally created by the creator.” This statement runs counter to the conventions of science which hold that claims of supernatural intervention are not testable and, therefore, outside the realm of science

If it had been me, I would have written that the science standards of the ICR are unacceptable and untestable and left it at that. It is not like there is no evidence for that. By dragging in the fact that they are biblically-based, Paredes brings in a possibly legitimate discrimination case. No mention of the fact that it is biblically-based, no case.

The arrogance of the last paragraph is truly breath-taking:
Expect to see more about ICR in the news as we seek justice. Now is a good time to pray for ICRGS, for due process, and especially for the God-ordained leaders involved in applying the law to the facts that are placed before them (Romans 13:1-7).
How does Dr. Johnson know the religious backgrounds of the people on the board? How can he assume they are not "God-ordained?" I am an evangelical Christian and I would have voted the same way they did. How would Dr. Johnson feel if another Christian referred to the ICR as a cult? There are some out there that view them and the flat earth movement in the same vein. Amazing.

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