Three major legal battles affecting creationists have been in the news lately.
First, the Institute for Creation Research was unsuccessful in winning certification for its 29-year-old master’s degree in science. When ICR moved from California to Texas a few years ago, the state education authorities surprised school leaders by denying certification. ICR took the case to court, and in June 2010 a U.S. district judge upheld the denial.
Second, a U.S. circuit court has upheld a lowercourt ruling that state universities in California can refuse to acknowledge science credits from any private Christian high school that teaches creation in its science courses. The Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) had originally filed the lawsuit in 2005 and appealed a negative court decision in 2008.
As a result of the January 2010 decision, ACSI students are essentially shut out of the University of California system because, in the view of evolutionists, they do not have enough “real” science credits to be prepared for college. ACSI has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court.
These court cases remind us that evolution is not just widely accepted but also vigorously protected from alternative views.
And third, elsewhere in California, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory demoted a computer systems specialist who shared science-based DVDs on intelligent design with colleagues. David Coppedge was accused of being disruptive in the workplace because he was supposedly promoting religion.
Coppedge, a team leader on the JPL Cassini space probe until his demotion in 2009, filed a lawsuit in a California court in April 2010. Coppedge asserts that he was illegally harassed, demoted, and humiliated for advancing ideas that superiors labeled “unwelcome.” The final outcome of Coppedge’s lawsuit was not yet available at press time.
The taxpayer-funded laboratory sends spacecraft into the universe to make discoveries about the origin of stars and life and “the beginning of time,”* but it is closed to an alternative to the evolutionary story. Apparently, JPL wants to discourage free inquiry into the possibility that the universe’s vastness and complexity are the work of an intelligent designer.
*http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/fact_sheets/jpl.pdf; see page 2.