So that’s what the ICR is up to

So that’s what the ICR is up to

If you’ve been wondering what’s up with that attempt by the Institute for Creation Research to get accredited by the state of Texas, Texas Citizens for Science has dug up some suggestive information: the ICS is trying to trade up from their past worthless accreditation by an evangelical accreditation board, and they’re hoping to tap into some secular legitimacy.

The story is below the fold.

ICR is listed as accredited by TRACS on the U.S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Programs and Institutions. Information about this database is at
and the Searchable Database itself is at

A search finds the following:

ICR Graduate School, 10946 Woodside Avenue, North, Santee, CA
Accredited by the
Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Commission
Period of Accreditation 9/29/1994 –
Action Accredited

However, if you go to the TRACS website, you find a list of Accredited Institutions, which includes Bob Jones University and Liberty University. However, the ICR Graduate School is not listed. As discussed in previous messages from me, ICR and its founder, Henry Morris, was one of the founders of the TRACS accrediting agency and has long been accredited by it. Today, Henry Morris III is a member of the TRACS Commission that evaluate graduate programs for TRACS accreditation. Now the ICR Graduate School is not accredited by TRACS, and the federal website has not been updated yet. Why?

I phoned TRACS and was quickly referred to the Commission Action Report for November 2007. On page 3 it says:

The following Institution’s letter of withdrawal was accepted and accredited status terminated:

Institute of Creation Research, Dallas, TX, formerly El Cahon, CA, a former Category III institution approved to offer the Master’s degree, was removed from TRACS membership.

It appears that ICR no longer wants TRACS accreditation and association with such fine institutions as Bob Jones and Liberty Universities. TRACS accreditation was the only accreditation that the ICR Graduate School ever had, but it requested only last month, November 2007, to withdraw from TRACS accreditation. Perhaps ICR feels it can get better accreditation in Texas with the help of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. After all, TRACS accreditation is practically useless, since it requires its accredited institutions to follow the fundamentals of Biblical Literalist Christianity, such as “non-evolutionary creation,” “literal existence of Adam and Eve,” “the worldwide cataclysmic deluge,” and similar theological tenets. While no problem for Bible Colleges that teach theology and train ministers, being accredited under such terms removes all mainstream scientific legitimacy and academic acceptance, so any institution that has a vision of being recognized as teaching and researching “real science” would not want TRACS accreditation. It is likely that ICR Graduate School Masters Degrees in Science Education have not been faring well in the mainstream academic marketplace.

Assuming this is the case, then ICR would want to obtain a more scientifically-legitimate accreditation for their scientifically-illegitimate Creationist graduate instruction and research. To do this, they need the help of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Their first goal is winning official state Certification to seek such accreditation. They have already cleared the first two of three hurdles to reach this goal by hosting a site visit for individuals representing the THECB and by receiving a unanimous vote of the THECB Certification Advisory Council to recommend the Board grant the certificate in January. The third hurdle is the vote by the full THECB in January 2008.

There is still time to thwart the ICR plans–apparently in cahoots with the THECB–to start its official accreditation process. First, I request that someone from the press serve the THECB with a FOIA/TPIA request to learn the names and affiliations of the individuals who made the site visit to ICR in Dallas on behalf of the THECB Certification Advisory Council. The purpose of the site visit is to ensure that the graduate school has the physical means to offer graduate instruction. Since the graduate instruction in this case is in science, it would be imperative for the site visit team to consist of legitimate scientists. Was this the case? If not, then the process is corrupt. The site visit was obviously successful for ICR, because on December 14 the Certification Advisory Council voted to recommend that the THECB grant ICR the Certification it desires to seek accreditation. No mainstream scientist on the site visit would have given a favorable report about ICR’s true scientific intentions (which are to corrupt and undermine science, not teach it). If individuals sympathetic to the goals of ICR were selected for the site visit team, then such favoritism and corruption deserves to be revealed to the public.

Second, we need to discover who is on the THECB Certification Advisory Council. The names of the members were NOT listed in the two December 15 newspaper reports, but these should be easier to find out. A unanimous vote by ANY group of public officials supposedly devoted to THECB’s goal “to achieve excellence for the college education of Texas students” is highly suspect. What is going on?

Third, we need to write to Dr. Raymund A. Paredes, the Commissioner of the THECB to express our disgust at how this process has been handled so far, and to object to granting ICR the Certification it desires. The address is:

Dr. Raymund A. Paredes, Commissioner
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
P.O. Box 12788
Austin, TX 78711-2788


  1. says

    I know that I certainly spend too much time reading the publications of the Institute for Creation Research (and Answers in Genesis, too), but I never saw anything about the move to Texas being designed to upgrade the accreditation of ICR’s graduate school. The head honchos at ICR kept talking about the physical and financial benefits (cheaper property, room to expand, lower cost of living).

    I even made some snarky comments at the time (in my post Creationists flee California) about ICR’s on-line master’s degree program and the refusal of the University of California to accept units from Bible academies, but I failed to realize the seductive appeal of “real” accreditation from the Texas state education authorities. I should have known! It was probably a major factor in ICR’s decision to pull up stakes in California and high-tail it to the Lone Star state.

  2. raven says

    I told you the fix was in. Probably why they moved to Texas in the first place.

    Given the theocratic takeover in Texas, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board will soon change its name to the Texas Higher Powers and Education Coordinating Board and Defender of the One True Faith.

    This is a real insult to the universities and legitimate colleges in Texas, many of which are quite good.

    ICR seems to just be a fundie diploma mill. How hard is it to get a Masters in pseudoscience? Probably all online and they send you your diploma when you send them a check.

    To answer a question on another thread. Is lying the only trick fundies know? Well, they can kill people. Steal. Run diploma mills. Control state legislatures and make them sit up and wag their tails on command. Scam. Set up social clubs in restrooms. Destroy civilizations. Quite a talented group really.

  3. says

    Gads! These Christians and their Jebus sure are sneaky. But, if Texans are dumb enough to buy the bullshit the ICR is peddling, who’s to stop ’em?

    Part of me wants to say let the dumb, bilked morons rot in their stupidity as they’ve allowed themselves to be cheated out of a competitive science education. But, a part of me also genuinely pities the poor people of Texas.

  4. Jim Battle says


    Because president Bush managed to become president, does it mean that all Americans are dumb and deserve the consequences of this disastrous administration?

    OK, some creationists managed to load a small board, apparently enough to produce a bad result. Do you think that this could only happen in Texas? And how does that make the rest of us here in Texas dumb, bilked morons?

    On the other hand, if ICR does get certified, then I will appreciate the pity.

  5. Troublesome Frog says

    It seems to me that the fastest way to get to the bottom of this is to circulate this among the legitimate universities that currently hold that accreditation. My guess is that their administrations will not be happy that their accreditation may become worthless.

  6. raven says

    “Do you think that this could only happen in Texas?”

    Yes, so far. Texas is leading the way back to the Dark Ages. A lot of states have laws against diploma mills and diploma mill degrees. Texas will end up as fundie diploma mill heaven, rate it is going.

    And how does that make the rest of us here in Texas dumb, bilked morons?

    It makes some Texans look like theocratic fascists who are incredibly dishonest and stupid. It victimizes most of the state. I’m sure there are many in Texas who are appalled by what is going on. Who wants to live in a third world, fascist trash heap? Besides the fundies that is.

    Sounds like you are in denial. That won’t work for very long.

  7. says

    We feel your pain in South Carolina. Only by the glory of the cosmic muffin have we been spared so far from this exact type of chaos. Trust me, the foundation for this is being laid here as well. We have the population to support it for sure. We have just selected a homeschooling mother as the Chair of the State Board of Education.

    If there’s a hell and a bucket, we’re in it too.

  8. says

    But, a part of me also genuinely pities the poor people of Texas.

    Once granted, the degree is good in all states, all nations. ICR relocated to Dallas to take advantage of the city’s central location, and great airport access to the rest of the nation, in order to spread their message farther, faster.

    No state is an island. Ask not for whom the idiot bell tolls . . .

  9. Koshchei says

    If #3 is correct and this is a diploma mill, it might be an interesting plan to simply get REAL scientists degrees from it online. This would open up the world of fundamentalism to REAL scientists in disguise who hold diplomas from their precious institutions. When they are hired, the REAL scientist simply teach what is correct and to hell with creationism. If they are found out, then this foundation would have the problem of discrediting them (and maybe some of their own). An embarrassing situation for them in the long run.

  10. nkb says

    I don’t have the article in front of me, but the Dallas Morning News already commented on the backgrounds of the board members that visited the ICR, and, if I remember correctly, none of them had scientific backgrounds.

    Shouldn’t be too hard to find.

  11. Jim Battle says

    Raven (#8) —

    Your response to my statement confuses me. You seem to be disagreeing and agreeing with me when you say: “Yes, so far.” It seems that you agree that it could happen places other than Texas in the future. Exactly my point.

    “Texas is leading the way back to the Dark Ages.” Huh? A board of three or four people got loaded with creationists and you feel fit to pass judgment on the entire state? I think you don’t get around too much. Perhaps you also think all Californians surf and talk like valley dudes, and all Georgians drive cars that look like the one from The Dukes of Hazzard.

    “Who wants to live in a third world, fascist trash heap?” Is condescending scorn really a substitute for having a reasoned opinion? Try harder next time, or I shall quote the raven nevermore.