A Master’s Degree In….. Creationism

noahs_ark_photo6Well, those of us in higher science education have long known that standards have been slipping for some time but this latest move from the creationists takes this beyond belief. Actually beyond belief and well into faith.

Texas State Representative Leo Berman has proposed House Bill 2800, which would exempt any private non-profit institution that requires students to complete “substantive course work” from having to acquire a certificate of authority from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). 

What does that mean? Well that any institution can offer higher degrees. Apparently he has the Institute of Creation Research Graduate School in mind who have been trying to get certification in Texas for two years. These are the so-called “Young Earth” creationists who take the Old Testament literally and believe the Earth is no older than 10,000 years. These are the über creationists not to be confused by the intelligent design bunch.

When Michael Shermer and I visited Anthony Bush as his Noah’s Ark Zoo, Anthony was quick to dismiss these Young Earth creationists as “American loonies.” Which was kinda of cute coming from someone who had dedicated his life to teaching intelligent design. And once these young earthers get their MSc degree, it will become increasingly harder to distinguish the scientists from the believers.

20 Comments

Filed under atheism, In the News

20 responses to “A Master’s Degree In….. Creationism

  1. Maybe they’ll be able to tell me where the millions of species of beetles were stored.

  2. dorian9

    the certification would only just be a formality – from what i’ve read and heard creationists all seem to think they know it all anyway. why not go straight to Phd..

  3. Arno

    That.. is absolutely terrifying. Especially combined with the upcoming Texas School Board vote, which, if the creotards succeed, will change the curriculum in such a way that teachers are forced to challenge the concept of evolution in school classes. The school board vote, if they vote to challenge evolution, forces (among things) changes in school books to accommodate the new curriculum. And Texas happens to be one of the largest buyers of school books in the US. It is unlikely that separate editions will be made for Texas and the rest of the USA, so one can see where this will go. Disturbing enough, the board is evenly split!!

    And lol, an intelligent design proponent is just an old earth creationist (if that is even the case) with a fondness for pointing at ‘missing links’ or ‘irreducibly complex organs’ (aka William Paley’s watchmaker argument) and shout that, as “we” (=they) cannot understand how those occurred, god must have done it.

    And Konrad, personally I am more curious how all the different diseases that exclusively require a human host survived in Noah’s ark. Including, of course, the STD’s.

  4. poietes

    This is simultaneously amazing and appalling. For once, I am stumbling for the appropriate words. Not that I censor myself here or anything like that (as you all know), but by appropriate, I mean an intelligent comment on something so completely lacking in common sense, not to mention utterly unworthy for academic pursuit.

    I knew that academe was going to hell when some universities started to offer classes on Madonna and crap like that, but this is beyond the pale. Why bother with accreditation? Let’s just send them all immediate doctorates as a master’s in nothing is the same as a doctorate in nothing.

    I know that I’m ranting, but the fact is that this movement in Texas accurately depicts a large segment of our population that believes in creationism and wants to force it down the throats of people who have sense enough to know better.

    Justifying evolution? Hello. Just bring in a box of cockroaches. Have none of these people been to the Smithsonian and seen the skulls depicting the ages of man? Or do they think that those are just a left-wing conspiracy inspiration: plaster casts to justify evolution.

    Dear god, I’m giving myself a headache just thinking about this. The last time I was so disgusted with sham academics was when I visited Bob Jones University, a baptist institution that offers “degrees” (using the term here very loosely) in cosmetology at the hefty price of about $12,000 a year for the privilege of going to a private school that is not accredited by any reputable accrediting board.

    Walking around the campus was like having a bird’s eye view of a cult: all of the females were not allowed to wear jeans, had to wear stockings all of the time (bare legs really get the opposite sex all hot and bothered) and more insanity. But the biggest offense, in my opinion was that they had a fairly nice museum with a diverse collection of religious art by some well-known painters, mostly from the 1600’s. But this was the catch: male and female students were not allowed to view the collection together. Those naked angels might have given them ideas about sex!!!

    Okay, I’ve worked myself into a lather. I’m stopping now. Next time, though, I’ll try to tell you how I really feel . . .

  5. brucehood

    gosh that is frightening. I keep going on about the mind’s predisposition to belief but fail to appreciate the emphasizing role of culture!

  6. Bruce, did you just write ‘gosh’ non-ironically? That is frightening.😉 I keep thinking that the best evidence for evolution is the fact that humans keep behaving like stereotypical monkeys in suits, creationists being a damned good example. And, Arno, STDs would not have been a problem. Noah had a large family (for some reason God allowed more than just two of Home sapiens sapiens aboard). I figured out somewhere that given an average space of 10 x 10 x 10 cm cubes per species and the number of species that exist, the ark only had to be about the size of the HMS Queen Mary. At which point I think, never mind the animals, I want to know about the greatest engineering marvel of all times!

  7. brucehood

    Actually .. I use profanity all the time,
    Holy Shit.. Jeeez .. For Christ’s sake.. Religion has given us such a wonderful vocabulary for emotional emphasis.

  8. poietes

    You forgot Dear god . . . Jesus f*cking Christ . . . mother of god . . . Holy crap, Batman . . .

  9. Arno

    I am not that much a fan of god-related swearing (except for the occasional god dammit), and more a fan of the beautiful “fuck”, which I use with such passion, that I don’t even consider it swearing any more (though I do tend to not use it around strangers or during job interviews too much). Then again, I never understood how a simple mentioning of copulation was a rude thing anyway; it was the process that got all of us here in the first place, I am just paying it tribute.

    By the way, for things that make you curse, spot the illusory correlation, the teleological reasoning and the interesting definition of compassion that the author has.

  10. I know a fellow who had been with one of the network news programs for years then became a professor of journalism at Columbia Univeristy. He says that whenever there is no news, reporters turn to Texas and Florida because something absurd and/or alarming is always happening in Texas and Florida. This recent legislative effort proves his point yet again.

  11. Embarrassing private information moment… I like to say ‘Hell’s Bells!’ as an expletive. It has wonderfully Old World feel to it and it is better when my 4 year old daughter picks it up from me than when she starts saying ‘fuck’. What I find quite curious is that people in Poland, where I live, keep commenting on the fact that I sometimes will say “Oh, God!” They seem to think that it is somehow wrong for atheists to use that phrase, perhaps because they think of it as an exhortation rather than as an expletive. Which is strange on the whole as, for atheists, the word is perfectly fitting in the second function.

  12. One more expletive related note. I love the Australian tradition of putting expletives in the middle of abso-bloody-lutely everything, especially other words.

  13. Is it just me…

    Or are the American religious right(eous) getting more airtime these days?

    I’m never sure whether they are forcing themselves upon our everyday lives more and more, or whether I just happen to be visiting blogs, sites etc. in which they feature, more than I used to.

    Excellent observation btw, Konrad. I never realised that ‘Talmont’ was an Orstrayleean expletive.

  14. On the subject of expletives…

    I used to work with a bloke who was a Methodist lay preacher. Fred was a real nice chap, who came fully equipped with an amazing arsenal of non-offensive expletives.

    Getting out of my car one day, he cracked his knee on the edge of the door, and to my extreme amusement went hopping across the car park clutching the offendng knee whilst yelling “Giddy gumdrops!”

  15. I swear like a trooper. Especially when thinking about creationists.

  16. poietes

    My mother has long bemoaned my affinity for cursing. She claims that I have a mouth like a sailor.

    I have toned it down since having kids, but when I was at work, if something was really pissing me off or going wrong, I had no problems with letting out a very loud FUCK or FUCK ME or Jesus-fucking christ.

    As someone who is not religious, I don’t have a problem with religious filled swearing, but I try not to do it in front of people who would be offended–like my fundamendalist Ohioan in-laws.

  17. NobblySan, I was toning down my language for the sake of the non-Australians. The name, pronounced in the proper strine fashion, is actually Taleffingmont.

  18. Splitting up one word with a curse is also a time honored tradition in the American south.
    Abso-fucking-lutely, No-fucking-where, Guaran-damn-tee, etc.

  19. Arno

    Pfew! And with pfew, I mean pfew!!

  20. Arno

    ..okay, now I mean AAAARRGGHHH!!!
    This is no longer an issue of belief versus science. This is an issue of politics, word games and blind, stupid ingroup loyalty.

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