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ICR GRADUATE SCHOOL UNDER ATTACK!
The ICR Graduate School is currently in serious danger of losing
its state approval to offer graduate degrees in science because
of the creationist orientation of these programs. It is the
contention of California Superintendent of Public Instruction
Bill Honig that science is not science unless it is taught in a
framework of evolutionism, even in private Christian institutions
such as ICR.
The ICR Graduate School has been offering M.S. degrees in
astro/geophysics, biology, geology, and science education since
its establishment as an ICR division in 1981. A total of 16
students have received degrees during that period and about 40
others are currently in the program at one level or another.
State approval is given to degree programs by the
California State Department of Education when an appointed review
committee visits the campus and so recommends. The ICR Graduate
School had received unanimous recommendation from two previous
review committees. However, a change in California's education
laws made it necessary that a new approval visit be made early
this past August. This time, a 3-to-2 majority voted for
approval, but two members of the five-man committee were strongly
opposed to ICR, even before they came on campus. One filed a
"minority report," and Superintendent Honig then proceeded to try
to get the other committee members to change their votes. He
finally succeeded with one of them.
The basis for this disapproval, however, was not the
quality of the programs, but that they constituted "creation
science" programs and that, as such, they were religion rather
than science. He offered to let ICR continue them if they were
called degree programs in religion or creation, but not science.
The fact is, however, that the ICR programs are strictly
science with all courses taught by highly qualified scientists,
containing essentially the same materials as in other graduate
science programs. It is the small amount of creationist
interpretive material, however, to which Mr. Honig and other
doctrinaire anti-creationists object.
This is a dangerous attack on freedom of speech and
religion and even on true science, but it is strongly supported
by such groups as the Committees of Correspondence and others who
are firmly committed to this new "state religion" of evolutionary
humanism in education. The decision by Mr. Honig to eliminate
the ICR graduate degree science programs was spread far and wide
through the national news media even before ICR had been
officially informed of that decision on December 9th.
In order to avoid costly litigation of uncertain outcome,
and yet continue to offer M.S. graduate programs in the four
fields, ICR proposed a modification of the course structure in
these programs, and this has been tentatively accepted by the
State Education Department pending another review this coming
summer. This modification would still retain the creationist
interpretation of the scientific data that are given in all
courses, but would separate the interpretive material from the
body of "factual" data on systems, processes and methods.
If this modification should still be found unacceptable
at the time of the coming summer evaluation, there is a standard
process of appeal from such actions in California, and this
process of appeal will be pursued, with Wendell Bird serving as
lead attorney. If the appeal fails, it could then be taken to
court, if necessary. The latter is undesirable from an economic
standpoint, as ICR currently has no financial resources with
which to wage a costly legal battle.
Nevertheless, this case involves much more than the
continued existence of the ICR Graduate School. The future of
Christian education may well be at stake, and Christians
everywhere need to be alerted to this unprecedented encroachment
of humanism, in the name of evolutionary "science," on our
traditional freedoms of speech and religion.