The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) is one of the two largest creation science groups in the United States. (The other is Answers in Genesis, now a US-UK group headquartered in Petersburg, Kentucky.) To supporters and detractors alike, ICR stands out among groups promoting young earth creationism for the prominence of its research activities.
Dr. Henry M. Morris II first established ICR in 1970 as the research division of Christian Heritage College (now known as San Diego Christian College), in El Cajon, California, east of San Diego. ICR's initial focus was on research, communication, and education in the fields of origins science. In 1981, ICR became an autonomous institution. (CHC had planned to seek accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and Dr. Morris did not wish to complicate his group's educational mission by being part of any institution seeking a secular accreditation.)
Also in 1981, ICR founded its own Graduate School and began its first course offerings. ICR received formal State accreditation almost immediately upon becoming autonomous. A propaganda campaign against the group and school ensued almost at once. In 1989 the school lost its accreditation and had to sue the State of California for reinstatement. The federal court sided with ICR in 1992. In 1995, California recognized the Trans-national Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) as an accrediting agency, and the ICR Graduate School obtained its accreditation through TRACS.
In 2006, the Institute decided to relocate the bulk of its operations to Dallas, Texas with the museum alone remaining in California. ICR opened its first distance-learning program in Dallas in the summer of 2006. ICR's stated reasons for the move are threefold:
- High cost-of-living in California and especially the cost of housing. Living expenses in northern Texas are much less.
- Desire for a more-central location with respect to ICR's national and international donor base and speaking engagements.
- Likelihood of a higher level of community support in northern Texas than in southern California.
In 2006, Henry Morris II died. The new headquarters of ICR, the Henry M. Morris Center for Christian Leadership, is named in his honor. In January 2007, Dr. Morris' eldest son, Henry Morris III, took over as chief executive officer of ICR. Dr. John D. Morris serves ICR as President.
The relocation of the Graduate School in particular has necessitated a re-application for State accreditation from the Texas Higher-Education Coordinating Board, primarily because TRACS is not recognized in Texas. ICR Graduate School has already passed a preliminary review, but widespread publication of the process has prompted an anticreation group calling itself Texas Citizens for Science to mount another propaganda campaign against accreditation. The Texas Higher-Education Co-ordinating Board scheduled a hearing on the ICR Graduate School application on April 24, 2008. Although approval was recommended at all levels, Texas chose to deny ICR accredidation. ICR is considering its options. ICR remains confident of winning accreditation and plans to relocate nearly all of its operations to Texas. In the meantime, they also tried to extend their ability to grant degrees temporarily while the lawsuit continued. In June 2010 the extension was denied . Comments from the court were as follows:
- It appears that although the Court has twice required Plaintiff [the ICR] to re-plead and set forth a short and plain statement of the relief requested, Plaintiff is entirely unable to file a complaint which is not overly verbose, disjointed, incoherent, maundering, and full of irrelevant information.
ICR Discovery Center
ICR is planning on building a museum, the ICR Discovery Center for Science and Earth History, in Dallas that will present solid scientific evidence affirming the biblical account of creation. The planned facility will have a very high quality in every aspect, and it will have a 3D planetarium, and auditorium, an outdoor park, and a museum store where people can buy resources concerning Christian apologetics and evidence for creation. The exhibits will cover a wide variety of subjects, ranging from the history of science and the Garden of Eden to DNA and dinosaurs. Construction has started, and the museum is scheduled to open in early 2019.
ICR operates its own museum, the Museum of Creation and Earth History, located at Santee, California. This museum, with 4,000 square feet of exhibit space, was formerly the largest creation-oriented natural-history museum in the United States. Today that honor belongs to the Creation Museum and Family Discovery Center, owned and operated by Answers in Genesis.
The ICR Graduate School offers M.S. degree programs in the fields of Astro/Geophysics, Biology, Geology, and Science Education. Its programs include traditional classroom courses and distance-learning programs.
ICR is a theologically orthodox Christian organization that believes that faith alone in Jesus Christ alone is necessary for salvation, among other things. ICR opposes the Intelligent Design movement because it does not specifically recognize God of the Bible as the Creator, rather being vague.
Publication information and archives can be found on the ICR web site
- Acts & Facts ICR's monthly newsletter containing news along with scientific, theological and legal articles.
- Impact Articles Semi-technical, in-depth discussions about scientific, philosophical or historical issues. They are often cited in online debates and by other creation ministries such as Answers in Genesis.
- Back to Genesis Non-technical articles intended to demonstrate a need for a literal Biblical world view.
- Dr. John's Question & Answers Series of short articles in a question-and-answer format designed to answer questions about Creation, Evolution and Theology.
- Days of Praise Short writings of Bible verses meant to offer theological inspiration.
- President's Column News articles and miscellaneous writings discussing recent creationist news highlights.
- Origins Issues Focus on Creation and Evolution as historical sciences.
- Research Papers Currently, over 30 research papers are available on ICR's website. Most of the papers are technical criticisms of radiometric dating or mainstream geology.
- Tracts and Pamphlets In-depth, but non-technical explanations of ICR's scientific and theological positions.
- Schafersman, Steven. "The Institute for Creation Research and It's (sic) Quest for Official Texas Certification to Award Masters Degrees in Science Education." Texas Citizens for Science, December 17, 2007; updated January 6 and January 28, 2008. Accessed March 19, 2008.
- "Creation Science Rebuttals: Institute for Creation Research." Answers in Creation. Accessed March 19, 2008.
- "A Short History of ICR." Institute for Creation Research. Accessed March 19, 2008.
- Bergman, Jerry. "The Religion of Vague: An Unsuccessful Attempt by the State of California to Close a College." Revolution Against Evolution, May 22, 2003. Accessed March 19, 2008.
- ICR materials
- Morris, John D. "Moving God's Way." Institute for Creation Research, October, 2007. Accessed March 19, 2008.
- Carlson, Cindy, curator, Museum of Creation and Earth History. Telephone interview conducted March 19, 2008.
- ICR Discovery Center for Science and Earth History. ICR.org. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
- Online Tour of the Future Discovery Center. ICR.org. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
- Foundational Principles. ICR.org. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
- Johnson, James J. S., .D., Th.D. (2010). The Intelligent Designer Movement. ICR.org (from Acts & Facts. 39 (2): 19). Retrieved October 26, 2016.
- Whitcomb, John C., Ph.D. (2006). The History and Impact of the Book, "The Genesis Flood". ICR.org (from Acts & Facts. 35 (5)). Retrieved October 26, 2016.