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Bill in Texas would allow creationists to grant Masters of Science degrees
If a private college doesn't receive funds from any governmental organization, should they have to be held to any standards or requirements when they award degrees? No, one Texan lawmaker is insisting.
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). “If you don’t take any federal funds, if you don’t take any state funds, you can do a lot more than some business that does take state funding or federal funding,” Berman says. “Why should you be regulated if you don’t take any state or federal funding?”
Because creationism isn't science, critics argue.
Berman admits that his 'inspiration' for the bill was the Institute for Creation Research Graduate School, a Young Earth Creationism institution that has been trying to achieve certification in Texas for two years. Young Earth Creationism, much more popular than the recent Intelligent Design Creationism, is essentially Biblical literalism – Earth is 10,000 years old, Noah's Flood occurred, Adam and Eve were real people. ICRGS insists that they teach more than just “Biblical Creationism," which is based only on the word of the Bible; they also have incorporated tenets of “Scientific Creationism” into their bylaws. Most of these relate to origins of Earth and the evolution of species. Originally the creationist research branch of Christian Heritage College in San Diego, the ICRGS was forced to split from that college when California regulators threatened to take away its certification. Now, the ICRGS operates mostly online, and its Masters of Science Degree is recognized by California and federal law. According to its website, however, Texas residents cannot receive a degree.
Degree-granting colleges and universities in Texas currently must be issued a certificate of authority by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The certificate allows the holder to grant a degree that a graduate would need to apply for a teaching position in a Texas public school. If House Bill 2800 was made into law, only state-funded colleges and universities would have to report to THECB; everyone else would be free to design their curriculums without any regulation.
A Master of Science (Latin: Magister Scientiæ; abbreviated MSc, M.Sc., M.S. or S.M.) is a postgraduate academic master's degree awarded by universities in a large number of countries. The degree is typically studied for in the sciences.