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The Lie: Evolution
 

Citizen Complaint


This is the fourth battle fought over allowing students to receive scientific facts about evolutionism. See my testimony for links to the other battles.

A Sunday School classmate of mine (a working widowed mother of a sixth grade daughter) took an interest in what was happening and volunteered to help. This was God's perfect timing because she could complain about the 7th grade books which her daughter would use next year. Also, the books had a heavy dose of evolutionism.

She filed what is called a “Citizen's Appeal” based upon WV Code which states textbooks must be current and information presented accurately”. There were over 30 co-signers, but that is the extent of anything others did. She zeroed in on Miller-Urey, Darwin's finches, the tree of life diagrams, and fossils.

She requested three things as a remedy. 1. Disclaimer labels 2. Purchase of sources for teachers to use to correct errors 3. Consultants to train teachers on correcting the errors

About the only news articles (perhaps all) were in the Daily Mail. There was coverage on World Net Daily and Rush Limbaugh mentioned her.

There were four levels to proceed through for a Citizen's Appeal.

Charleston Daily Mail Article:

Parent files complaint over science textbooks
Woman maintains books inaccurate on evolution

Carrie Smith Daily Mail Saturday November 18, 2000

A Kanawha County parent has filed a citizen's appeal with the Kanawha County Board of Education alleging that the system's science textbooks contain "false and fraudulent" information on evolution.

Patty Pulliam, a South Charleston resident and mother of a sixth-grade student, said the textbooks violate West Virginia state law. Pulliam has 30 co-signers on her appeal, which was filed earlier this week.

State law says adopted materials must be current and contain information that is presented accurately.

Pulliam is concerned that the textbooks her daughter will have to use when she gets to the seventh grade inaccurately portray the concept of evolutionism.

In her appeal, she states that the book presents theory as fact. Pulliam claims that the books are evasive because they use words like "probably" and "thinks."

Bill Courtney, director of employee relations for the county, said a meeting would be set up between Pulliam and one of the assistant superintendents.

"We're at the very beginning stage of this," he said. "A decision will be made regarding Mrs. Pulliam's request after her conference with Cindy Daniel, the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. If Mrs. Pulliam doesn't like it, then she can take it to the superintendent."

Courtney said there were four phases to the appeal process.

First is the meeting with Daniel, then Pulliam has the option of appealing the superintendent's decision to the county school board and then to the state Board of Education.

Pulliam could not be reached for comment.

This is the second time in a year that Kanawha County has faced an appeal over evolution textbooks.

Last year, Karl Priest, a math teacher at Andrew Jackson Middle School, asked the board to pass a resolution amending a policy regarding the teaching of controversial subjects so that science teachers have the administrative backing if they choose to expose students to the "flaws" in the evolution theory.

The school board denied his request.

Priest entered into state-level grievance proceedings against the board in June.

Charleston Daily Mail Article:

Woman takes aim at textbooks
Mother objects to information on evolution

Carrie Smith Daily Mail December 02, 2000

Patty Pulliam said she is hoping that a citizen's appeal she filed with Kanawha County schools will eventually change the way science textbooks are written and evaluated.

Pulliam, who filed a claim early last month alleging that the science textbooks used by the county contain false and fraudulent information about evolution, began the first phase of her appeal process Friday.

But the South Charleston resident and mother of a sixth-grader said she wants the issue to reach the state level.

"I want the state textbook selection committee to know about this," she said. "I realize they have a hard job in selecting these books, but they need to see that there is inaccurate information in them."

The appeal process has four phases. First, was Friday's meeting, which took place with Kanawha Assistant Superintendent Cindy Daniel.

Daniel, who oversees curriculum and instruction, has five days to submit a written decision, which can be appealed to county superintendent, then to the county school board and finally to the state school board.

"I will certainly consider all of the information Mrs. Pulliam gave me," Daniel said. "But I also have to review both the county and the state policies that are already in place regarding the issue."

Pulliam alleges that the textbooks are already in violation of any existing policies. West Virginia law says adopted material must be current and contain information that is presented accurately.

During her meeting with Daniel, Pulliam made a recommendation that warning labels be placed on various sections of the textbooks.

"They are presenting this information as fact," she said. "Words and phrases like "probably" and "the scientist thinks" are evasive especially when there's evidence out there that proves otherwise."

Pulliam, a legal secretary, said she became interested in the way evolution is being taught in the schools when she started reviewing the textbooks her daughter would be using when she moved on middle school next year.

She said she began doing some research on her own and found evidence that disputed the claims in the book.

"True science has to be backed up by fact," she said. "And this is not. The bottom line reason I got involved in this is that I want my daughter to be taught credible science in school."

There are 30 co-signers to Pulliam's appeal.

The headline and bulk of the next story was about parking places for a new high school. (Karl)

Charleston Daily Mail Article:

Parking not coming easy
Kanawha County school board

Carrie Smith Daily Mail January 12, 2001

Also at the meeting, school board members rejected a citizen's appeal to remove science textbooks from the schools because the person maintains they contain inaccurate information about evolution. At the third level of her appeal, Patty Pulliam, a South Charleston parent, asked the board at least to place warning labels in the book.

Jim Withrow, school board attorney, said the state compiles a list of acceptable books and the county chooses books from that list. He also said the county sought public input at various hearings last year when the books were being considered.

Pulliam plans to take her appeal to the fourth and final level, which is the state school board.

The following is a report I wrote about Patty before the BOE. (Karl)

At about 5:10, after a hard day at work, she met Rick and I at the BOE parking lot for prayer. I left the scene to prevent giving support to anticipated charges of being a front for local creationists. Rick went into the hearing with her and provided silent support.

The following report is my version of what Patty and Rick later told me. Patty will provide a first hand report when she can. Also, she eventually will have a transcript of the complete hearing.

This courageous lady stood alone before five hostile BOE members, their attorney, and the county science supervisor. She pointed out matters of county policy, state law, and science. She strongly feels if she had had legal counsel and a science consultant present that the feeble arguments of the attorney, science supervisor, and BOE members would have been annihilated. The vote was 5-0 to deny her requests which were (1) Disclaimer labels in books (2) Use media resources that explain flaws in evolution (3) Provide scientific sources to "workshop" teachers on the flaws.

Afterwards a television station interviewed her and asked her to display the Wells book. The Gazette reporter tried to get her to state she knew me (she does) and is a member of the Kanawha Creation Science Group (she is not and never has been).

Following is a report of Patty at the State level. (Karl)

I met Patty at the Capitol Complex for a strategy refresher and prayer. I went over the pros and cons of my staying with her and let her make the call. She decided I should not be part of the hearing and I totally concurred with her decision. Unfortunately, although we had requested supporters show up--none did. This is a sad indictment to Christian parents, especially men who were free to come to the hearing.

I carried Patty's material to the hearing room and left her alone. I have to say this lady has both intelligence and "guts", because she had no one at all present who was friendly. People were cordial, though.

God be praised. We had anticipated them cutting her short, but the hearing lasted over 3 1/2 hours. She was refused a telephone connection with CRS member Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo to act as her counsel. (Dr. Mastropaolo was allowed to do this at my Level III hearing.) She connected with Dr. Jonathan Wells who had to go to an attorney's office and have a notary present. Dr. Wells did a fantastic job. She was refused calling CRS member James Perloff, but James went and got a notary and gave a fantastic testimony. Then the Board attorney had all of Perloff's testimony struck. If we had legal counsel we probably could have successfully resisted that motion (and/or Dr. Mastropaolo's rejection) because there was no (that Patty could remember) written rule applicable to Mastropaolo's ruling and Perloff's ruling was legal wrangling.

Patty had a series of questions prepared for each of four hostile witnesses and some of the questions were disallowed. She had to "think on her feet" on how to deal with the ALJ who made it clear he had to leave town and was already tired.

Charleston Daily Mail Article:

Woman requests labels in textbooks
Mother says books misrepresent evolution theories

Carrie Smith Daily Mail April 26, 2001

A Kanawha County woman has asked state Department of Education officials to place warning labels in science textbooks to alert students and teachers that the books contain inaccurate information about evolution. But most state and county representatives say they're not certain that the books in question -- a seventh grade Prentice Hall series -- contain false statements and say disclaimers would cause too much confusion.

Patty Pulliam, a South Charleston resident, reached the fourth and final phase of her grievance against the state during a hearing Wednesday. Pulliam filed the appeal on behalf of 40 other Kanawha County residents late last year and has already appeared before a local curriculum specialist, the county superintendent and the county Board of Education. She was denied her requests at all levels. A decision is expected in 30 days."I'm just a concerned mother," said Pulliam, who discovered what she calls evolution errors while reviewing the textbooks her daughter would be using next year. "I don't want my child being taught something fraudulent."

Her claim is that four pages in one book in the five-book series deliberately misrepresents the theory of evolution. Pulliam cites state code that requires all information in textbooks be current and present information accurately. The textbooks, which were adopted last year by Kanawha County schools, were approved by a state selection committee and later adopted by the county. All of the county's science teachers, as well as members of the community, had a chance to review the materials before the board voted on them.

Pulliam is also asking that additional materials challenging the information in the textbooks be provided to teachers, as well as training from hired consultants as to how to present the information.Bob Seymour, the county's science curriculum specialist, said science teachers already provide balance to the information presented in the text. "I don't think there is a one-sided presentation to evolution in the classroom," he said. "There are many interpretations and the books are not set up to be presented as cold, ard facts. One of the interesting parts of science is that it is always changing."Seymour said warning labels would be an insult to teachers who already know how to do their ob. Jonathan Wells, a scientist and author, testified over the phone from his offices in Seattle that teachers could become confused by the textbooks because it is the science community who is at fault for the errors."I do not think these are random typographical errors," he said. "They are systematic errors to promote their theories. There's a much better way to teach science."Kanawha County board president Bill Raglin said he objected to warning labels because of the effect they could have on the children."It would diminish the validity of the book and create problems for the teacher," he said. "But students would be skeptical about what they could believe and they would never learn anything."As for Pulliam's requests of additional materials, Steve McBride, the state's executive director for instructional materials, said teachers are already encouraged to use a wide variety of materials in their classroom. And McBride and Raglin agreed that consultants would be too expensive.Pulliam said that was why she was not asking that the entire series of books be removed from the classroom. The books are used in three other counties in the state -- Marshall, Nicholas and Marion.

THE HEARING:

WEST VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

FILE NO. 01-12

Re: Level 4 Citizen's Appeal Of Patricia L. Pulliam

PROPOSED FINDINGS OF FACT AND
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW OF PATRICIA L. PULLIAM

Proposed Findings Of Fact

1. Ms. Patricia L. Pulliam is a Kanawha County resident whose daughter will be entering the seventh grader at Dunbar Middle School. Ms. Pulliam appeared in this proceeding on her own behalf and on behalf of more than 40
co-signer of her Citizens Appeal. Tr. p. 6.

2. Ms. Pulliam's complaint is that Science Four Series of the seventh grade Science textbook's presentation and treatment of the theory of evolution is, in several important respects, neither current nor accurate in its presentation, and is therefore in violation of West Virginia Code § 18-2A-1. Tr. p. 7. Code §18-2A-1 provides, in relevant part that "[a]dopted materials [used in textbooks] must be current and information presented accurately." The statute thus establishes a two-part standard: instructional material that is presented to the State's school children must be current and (even if accurate) must be presented accurately.

3. Ms. Pulliam is not requesting that the theory of evolution not be taught or that the textbooks be discarded, but only that the evolution-related inaccuracies in the textbook be corrected through the use of (1) disclaimer labels, (2) the use of other credible scientific sources to correct the inaccuracies, and/or (3) the use of consultants to train
teachers on how to present the theory of evolution accurately. Tr. p. 8. Ms. Pulliam's only purpose is ensure that students are given accurate information. Tr. pp. 8-9.

4. The 1953 Miller-Urey experiment, reporting that conditions on early earth could have led to the beginning of life, is questioned by many geochemists who now believe that the conditions on early earth were not at all like those that were assumed nearly a half century ago in the Miller-Urey experiment. Urey and Miller assumed a gaseous mix of
methane, ammonia, hydrogen, and water vapor in their 1953 experiment. Geochemists now believe, however, that early earth's atmosphere consisted mostly of volcanic gases --- carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water vapor. When these gases are incorporated into the Miller-Urey experiment, they do not form building blocks of life (i.e. amino acids). Tr. p.p. 16-17 (Miller Direct). No mention is made in the text of the scientific community's current understanding of the chemical composition of early earth's atmosphere and oceans, nor is there any mention made of the "hundreds of other trials" that have reached "different conclusions." Tr. p. 12 (Wells Direct); pp. 48-49 (Seymour Direct).

5. Darwin's observation that finches on the Galapagos Islands were similar to each other but different from finches living along the South American coast to the east ? thus purportedly demonstrating that a "single species can accumulate enough differences over a long time to become two separate species" -- is also scientifically invalid, a fact which has been known for 20 years. Tr. p. 17 (Wells Direct). Darwin neither studied the Galapagos Islands finches in a scientifically correct manner. His system of identification was flawed, at best -- nor did he personally observe the
finches along the South American coast with which he was attempting to compare the Galapagos Islands finches. Tr. p. 13 & 14 (Wells Direct); See also Tr. pp.25-27 (Wells Cross).

6. The text asserts that the relatedness of two animals (e.g. rabbits and humans) can be partly determined by "look[ing] at the structure of its body and the way it develops as an embryo at the very beginning of its life." [cite] The drawings used in the text to support illustrate that proposition, however, were simply copied from drawings that had been made in the 19th century [Tr. p. 14 (Wells Direct], even though those drawings are now known to be inaccurate. Id.

7. The text also asserts that the major animal phyla are related, and undertakes to present the approximate order in which each appeared on earth (jawless fishes first, mammals last). Fossil evidence, however, strongly suggests that the major animal phyla appeared at about the same time, fully formed. Tr. p.15 (Wells Direct). The fossil evidence does not show that the animal phyla came from a common ancestor or, much less, that they branched off in a different order from each other (e.g. birds branching off, or evolving from, reptiles) Id; Tr. pp. 28-29 (Wells Cross).

8. There is no disagreement that evidence for the evolutionary theory of life should be presented fairly and without distortion, with opposing evidence being presented clearly as well. Tr. pp 43-44 (Seymour Direct). There is likewise no disagreement that students must be taught to examine data critically, considering both favorable and opposing hypotheses. To do otherwise is to short change both the students and the scientific process itself. Id; Tr. p. 117 (McBride Direct); Tr. p. 137 (Raglin Direct).

9. The theory of evolution cannot fully explain or account for the complexity that is observable at the biochemical level. Tr. p. 45 (Seymour Direct).

10. There are many scientists with impeccable credentials, moreover, who are highly critical of many aspects of the theory of evolution. Tr. p. 46 (Seymour Direct) Tr. p. 145 (Raglin Cross).

11. The principal reason for not pointing out and correcting the undisputed inaccuracies in the textbook (such as the Miller-Urey experiment) appears to be the Board's interest in not "confus[ing] the kids with overload data that we still don't know the answer to so why load them up with the data of today." Tr. p. 54 (Seymour Direct). The Board also appears to be of the opinion that simply "glossing over" inaccuracies in textbooks is an acceptable corrective measure since pointing them out " would perhaps draw more attention to the misrepresentation or inaccuracy ...."   " Tr. p. 96 (Barnhart Cross).

12. The Board also contends that "[i]nstruction in the classroom about evolution is balanced by the teacher," but acknowledges that teachers are not provided with any resources or other instructional material that provide the type of information that a teacher would reasonably require to be able to achieve that instructional balance. Tr. p. 58 (Seymour Direct). In addition, "the vast majority of teachers would say they lack time to develop some alternative curriculum [on their own]." Tr. p. 139 (Raglin Cross).

Proposed Conclusions Of Law

1. West Virginia Code §18-2A-1 provides, in relevant part, that " [a]dopted materials [used in textbooks] must be current and information presented accurately." The statute thus establishes a two-part standard: instructional material that is presented to the State's school children must be current and (even if current) must be presented accurately.

2. The presentation of outdated and inaccurate material in connection with the teaching of the theory of evolution, in combination with the failure to implement any measures to correct those inaccuracies, all as documented in this proceeding, constitutes a clear violation of Code § 18-2A-1. Pretending that those inaccuracies do not exist, glossing over them, or simply discounting their seriousness because the theory of evolution is not examined on the test Tr. p. 63 (Seymour Cross) is plainly insufficient.

3. Those inaccuracies, as pointed out by Ms. Pulliam, must therefore be corrected: either by (a) the adoption of a new, revised textbook, (b) the attaching of labels to the textbook pointing out the inaccuracies, and/or
(3) the furnishing of such additional instructional material as may be necessary to enable teachers to point out those inaccuracies and add " balance" to the teaching of the theory of evolution.

Respectfully submitted,

Patricia L.. Pulliam

May 30, 2001

BEFORE THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA

PATRICIA L. Pulliam

V

KANAWHA COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION

On the 25th day of April, 2001, a hearing was conducted by Adam J. Sponaugle, Assistant State Superintendent of Schools, VVest Virginia Department of Education, as the designee for Dr. David Stuart, State Superintendent of
Schools, to hear a grievance filed by Patricia L. Pulliam. Ms. Pulliam represented herself at the hearing. The Kanawha County Board of Education was represented by James Withrow, Esquire, Council for Kanawha County School Board and Robert G. Seymour, Curriculum Specialist, Kanawha County Schools.

Upon hearing the testimony and receiving the evidence In this grievance, I do hereby make the following finding of facts:

1. Ms. Patricia L. Pulliam is a Kanawha County resident whose daughter will be entering the seventh grade at Dunbar Middle School. Ms. Pulliam appeared at the proceeding on her behalf and on behalf of more than 40 cosigners of her citizens appeal. Tr. p. 6.

2. Ms. Pulliam's complaint is that Science Four Series of the seventh grade science textbook's presentation and treatment of the theory of evolution in several important aspects are neither current nor accurate.

3. Ms. Pulliam is not requesting that the theory of evolution not be taught or that textbooks be disregarded, but that the evolution related alleged inaccuracy in the textbook be corrected through the use of: a) disclaimer labels; b) other scientific resources to correct the inaccuracy; and c) consultants to train teachers how to present the theory of evolution accurately.

4. Experts agree that it would be practically impossible to publish a science textbook that was completely without error or one that everyone would agree was accurate

5. Since new scientific information is being discovered on a regular basis, it would be impossible for science textbooks to be completely up-to-date.

6. There are a total of fifteen (15) textbooks in the science series for grades 7, 8, and 9. Five (5) textbooks are used at each grade level.

7. The fifteen (15) science textbooks series contains approximately 3,000 pages. The accuracies that are alleged by the grievant includes only a few pages in the total series.

8. There is agreement that students should be taught in their science classes to examine data critically considering both favorable and opposing hypothesis. To do otherwise, is to short-change both the students and the scientific process; and,

9. It is the role of the teacher to present an instructional balance as it relates to various theories that are included in the textbooks.

Based upon the above finding of fact, the examiner does make the following conclusions of law:

1. The West Virginia Board of Education's Policy 7211 provides for relief to citizens who can establish a violation by a county board of education of a state statute or a State Board policy.

2. The grievant has failed to establish that Kanawha County Schools has violated any state statute or State Board policy.

3. The relief proposed by the grievant to correct alleged inaccuracies in the few pages of the science series textbook would not be an efficient or effective way to address the issue.

WHEREFORE, based upon the above, the grievance is HEREBY DENIED.

Adam J. Sponaugle
Assistant State Superintendent
West Virginia Department of Education

Karl's Comments

The Kangaroo Court ruled.

A "judge" who was a subordinate of the state superintendent who was very hostile to my efforts to fight evolutionism ruled as we expected.

(UNBELIEVABLE!) “The grievant has failed to establish that Kanawha County Schools has violated any state statute or State Board policy.”

(SILLY!) “The relief proposed by the grievant to correct alleged inaccuracies in the few pages of the science series textbook would not be an efficient or effective way to address the issue.”

There were a couple of nuggets. After all, to find gold one must sift through a lot of murk and mud.

“There is agreement that students should be taught in their science classes to examine data critically considering both favorable and opposing hypothesis. To do otherwise, is to short-change both the students and the scientific process.”

“It is the role of the teacher to present an instructional balance as it relates to various theories that are included in the textbooks.”

Note:  Dr. Jonathan Wells testified via telephone on behalf of Mrs. Pulliam during the final hearing.

-------------------------------------

More "battles" can be found in my testimony.

IMPOTANT NOTE: I have demonstrated that teachers in West Virginia can criticize evolution. There is no evidence that any of them have done so. There is no question that children will continue to be indoctrinated with evolutionism. Students face even worse dangers in government schools and parents MUST rescue their children without delay!

Be sure to see “Evolution is a Lie”.

There is a COMMON THREAD connecting evolutionism and the One World Religion.