Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Sandefur has an amusing post at the Panda’s Thumb about the Institute for Creation Research lawsuit against the state of Texas for refusing to give them official accreditation to hand out advanced degrees to their ill-educated victims.

You’ll recall that the Institute for Creation Research–the creationist outfit that purports to award advanced degrees in the sciences–has filed a lawsuit against the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, objecting against its decision not to authorize the ICR’s granting of degrees. As I observed earlier, the original complaint in the case was 67 single-spaced pages long, and included 86 footnotes, including one that took up an entire page. It was a masterpiece of how not to write a complaint.

Well, the federal court didn’t take lightly to that, and ordered the ICR to file an amended complaint that complies with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the ICR has now done so. The new complaint is 20 double-spaced pages…but it is 20 pages of non-stop, thigh-slapping hilarity. It contains language that appears to be randomly cobbled together through some sort of Lawyer Phrase Generator, and which I defy any member of the bar to explain in sensible terms: “There are still 2 state statutes that are potentially dispositive (in a manner favorable to the [ICR]) as to issues of ‘first impression’, so this Court needs to make some Erie v. Thompkins guesses thereon.” What the hell does that even mean?


You got me. And it gets worse:

The word “herein” is sprinkled randomly throughout, rather like the way Miss Teen South Carolina sprinkles “such as.” It occurs four times on page 2 alone-including “venue herein,” whatever the heck that means. There are italics, boldface, ALLCAPS, and all sorts of different combinations herein, of course. There are delightful spelling errors (“advertizes”), rhetorical flourishes (“as if with a ‘scarlet letter’”), and neologisms (I can’t decide if “favoritistically” or “applicational bounds” is my favorite). Of course it quotes the Bible. It even has rhetorical questions! In a complaint!

It sounds like creation law is every bit as funny as creation “science.”

It seems to allege that the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board violates the monopolies clause of the state Constitution, the Fourth Amendment’s searches and seizures clause, the due process clause, the equal protection clause, the freedom of speech clause, the freedom of the press clause, the freedom of association, the Texas Government Code, laws against defamation, the public emoluments clause, the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, anti-discrimination laws, the Texas Education Code, and even the “no titles of nobility” clause of the U.S. Constitution! The complaint even argues that for the state of Texas to regulate higher education “interferes with interstate commerce” (emphasis original, natch).

Yep, that’s creationist law – throw a bunch of shit at the wall and hope something sticks. Same thing they do with science, because if you make 40 bad arguments that equals at least 5 good arguments.