At the Texas State Board of Education‘s science curriculum hearing on November 19, creationist board members repeatedly claimed that forcing phony arguments against evolution into public school science classrooms is simply a matter of “academic freedom.” They were really falling back on another version of the tired (and very disingenuous) “teach the controversy” and “it’s only fair to teach both sides” arguments — as if it’s fair to handicap our kids with a 19th-century education in their 21st-century science classrooms.
Now the Institute for Creation Research is jumping into the game. Remember the ICR? That’s the Dallas-based outfit that tried to get the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to approve its application to offer master’s of science education degrees. Of course, the ICR’s program is designed to promote biblical creationism, not science, and the coordinating board wisely said no. Anyway, now the ICR is attacking the TFN Education Fund’s report that shows biology faculty at Texas colleges and universities overwhelmingly reject arguments that “intelligent design”/creationism is based on science, that creationist-fabricated attacks (“weaknesses”) against evolution are based on science and that “intelligent design”/creationism has any place in a science classroom. The ICR whines that the report is simply another attempt to “oppose academic freedom in public schools”:
Unfortunately, the cold, hard facts of science do not support the evolutionary account. Forensic evidence from nature easily aligns with a creation model. TFN and the evolutionary establishment’s efforts show that in the absence of real scientific evidence, molecules-to-man evolution must be propped up by monopolistic bullying.
You can read the whole screed here, but it’s not pretty. So here’s a real “cold, hard fact”: ICR wants the “academic freedom” to dumb down science education in public schools by teaching ideological arguments instead of sound science. But more and more parents, teachers, scientists and clergy are standing up to say: not anymore, not with our kids, not in our schools.