This is good news.
Saying that a belief in creationism — the theory that God created the Earth in six literal days, as recounted in the Bible — falls outside the realm of science, the state’s commissioner for higher education has recommended that a Dallas-based organization not be authorized to offer a master’s degree in science education.
A committee of the Higher Education Coordinating Board unanimously backed the recommendation by Commissioner Raymund Paredes on Wednesday. The full board votes today.
Paredes said his decision wasn’t an attack on creationism or religion, but an attempt to defend science education.
“Religious belief is not science,” he said. “Science and religious belief are surely reconcilable, but they are not the same thing.”
Well said. It boggles my mind that we’re fighting these stupid battles, but such is the state of things. Here’s a statement from Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller:
“The issue before the Coordinating Board isn’t about academic freedom or free speech. The issue is whether the state will sanction the teaching of religion as science. Committee members today recognized that doing so would be a disservice both to science and to faith.
Just as important, our state’s leaders have said that they want our public schools to do a better job preparing students for college and the jobs of the 21st century. If we’re serious about that goal, then we must be serious about how we train our teachers. Approving an advanced degree in science education from an institution that doesn’t really teach science would represent a huge step backward.”
I know this won’t be the end of it, but I’m going to hope for that anyway. The Observer blog has more.