A couple weeks before Christmas, we noted that the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Committee on Academic Excellence and Research in Austin was seriously considering a request from the Dallas-based Institute for Creation Research for a certificate of authority to grant degrees in Texas. Turns out, people who believe in something called "science" believe that to be a bad, bad idea -- like several Nobel Prize-winners, whose damnations are scattered in the pages of The Dallas Morning News and the Austin American-Stateman today.
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Both papers got their hands on some 300 e-mails from critics of the proposal, sent to the state's top higher-ed commissioner Raymund Paredes, and, turns out, many, many respected scientists are pretty sure that if the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board gives its OK to the Institute for Creation Research, well, Texas will become little more than a science community punch line. From UT Southwestern cell biologist Joel Goodman, courtesy The News: "I hope you realize that approving such an application would make Texas the laughing stock of the rest of the scientific world." And from Rice University prof Robert Curl, winner of a Nobel Prize in chemistry, courtesy the Statesman: "If this program wins approval ... Texas will replace Kansas as the laughingstock of the nation." Wiping away tear. So ... proud. --Robert Wilonsky