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The Lie: Evolution
 

Evolution Resolution


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

Part 1 of an article for "Creation Matters" (a publication of the Creation Research Society) Part 1 of an article for "Creation Matters" (a publication of the Creation Research Society) Volume 4, Number 6 November/December 1999 and Volume 5, Number 1, January/February 2000 (The identity of the Gazette editor was added 9-30-13. Typos are fixed when found.)

GRASSROOTS REPORT

The intent of this article is to display that God is more interested in availability than He is in ability. God has guided local events toward a December show down of national significance in the creation-evolution battle. Following is a narrative of events that have transpired in the most populous West Virginia county (Kanawha) which is also the location of the state capital.

In September of 1998, below the faculty mailboxes, I found a discarded memo regarding the upcoming state science curriculum adoption. My heart was quickened that this was the opportunity to carry the fight into the public school arena, but I was not sure what to do. During October I engaged in an email exchange with an assistant editor at the Charleston Gazette over what I called the Gazette's censorship. The result was that I became inspired to present the Buckna/Laidlaw Origins of Life policy for the board's consideration.

In the first week of November I wrote to the county science supervisor and board president. Neither responded and in subsequent telephone conversations it became apparent neither would support the proposal. The president did invite me to present my request at a board meeting. That month I spoke to our county board of education and was told to take the matter to the State Board. I did (by mail) and the buck was passed back to the local board. (The State will have to face the issue eventually, but I can only fight on one front.)

I spoke (while very ill) at another meeting in March of 1999 and presented data taken from a poll I sent to all county science teachers (about 180 of them received the mailing). 81% of the respondents stated they wanted some type of policy which clarifies what they can do regarding this issue. The matter was referred to the Board's attorney. At this meeting I surprisingly found an ally in board member Betty Jarvis. At the June meeting the attorney used the county's policy on The Teaching of Controversial Issues and presented (with a word of recommendation) the following policy:
____________________________________________________________________
RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, the Kanawha County Board of Education believes that teachers should be afforded the opportunity to teach subjects and theories which are controversial in nature so long as such subjects and theories are relevant to the program of study and are presented in an appropriate, factual and unbiased manner and in a manner which promotes the understanding of all points of view, all as set forth in Board Policy 110; and

WHEREAS, it is the desire of the Kanawha County Board of Education to make certain that all teachers know and understand that they are not restricted to teaching any one or more subjects and theories, just because certain subjects and theories are contained in the approved textbooks and materials, and other subjects and theories are not so contained in such materials.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE KANAWHA COUNTY BOARD OF

EDUCATION, that all teachers are hereby advised that they may teach any and all subjects and theories in their respective subject areas, including, but not limited to, theories for and against the theory of evolution, so long as the following criteria are observed:

a. such subjects are relevant to state and county learning outcomes;

b the subject matter must be appropriate given the age and maturity of the students;

c. there is adequate time available for satisfactory study of the material;

d. the subject matter must be presented objectively and impartially; and

e. any expression of the teacher's opinion or belief must be identified as being his or her own.
______________________________________________________________________

A motion to approve was made and seconded after which a board member (who is an attorney) said that teachers needed to have input and requested the vote be delayed. After some discussion the motion was withdrawn and the superintendent assured the board that the resolution would be placed on the September agenda. (This board member later was to reveal her true intentions during a telephone conversation with me.) September came and I was ready to go to the meeting when I got word it had not been placed on the agenda due to a controversial meeting on consolidation. That controversy did not occur and the two board members who were likely to have voted against the resolution were both absent.

October 6 I spoke at 7:20 and requested the resolution be passed. At 11:00 with only three people (one being me) left in the audience the board voted to postpone a decision until the December meeting! One "problem" expressed by a Board member was the resolution entered a word that is not in the county policy. That word is "evolution". The main excuse was that only the teacher unions were sent a copy and the Board now wanted Faculty Senates and Local School Improvement Councils to get a chance to offer input. I got up and told them this was just a stalling tactic.

The Charleston Daily Mail printed a reasonably objective news story on October 8. This sent the self-described militant, atheist, evolutionist Gazette editor (James Haught) into a tizzy and the Gazette printed a stinging editorial entitled "Evolve" the following morning saying my efforts were just one more attempt to turn public schools into churches. A former Gazette assistant editor, who is currently a co-host of a statewide radio talk program, ripped me on the program on the 14th. That morning the Gazette did an article with quotes from the ACLU, a Methodist minister, and a school counselor who said, "It scares me." The article quoted me in a semi-stupid statement although I was never interviewed. In this article, Betty Jarvis was quoted as making a comment about giving creationism the same treatment as evolution.

Her comments were used by the Associated Press to draw national attention to this issue as CNN and USA Today picked up the story. It is interesting that one small West Virginia paper carried more of the original AP article. The part omitted was that opinions varied among 1000 teachers at the West Virginia Science Teacher Association convention.

Interspersed with all this activity were dozens of letters in both papers, the governor stating that we need to look at all theories to decide the truth, and well meaning conservatives attaching the issue to their agenda. ortunately, these people have been helpful. I only mention this to point out what others should be aware of. For example, school prayer, posting the Ten Commandments, anti-homosexual efforts, and political groups could divert the real debate.

I wrote letters to both NEA and AFT state presidents and neither replied. The county teacher association NEA affiliated president was quoted, by the Gazette, as saying we would open ourselves to national ridicule. She refused to return my phone calls. I spoke to each board member by telephone. The attorney (mentioned previously) immediately told me she would not support the resolution no matter what I said because creationism is not a scientific theory. When I told her that creationism is not the issue she said, Its in the resolution. We had a lengthy cordial conversation during which she admitted the Supreme Court has not banned the teaching of creation science.

On October 20 the Gazette ran a long editorial that cited the 1987 Supreme court decision and pointed out that 72 Nobel Prize winners had supported it and one of them had said the creation movement arose from forces of ignorance and superstition. The editorial said, (Board) President John Luoni wisely told (Gazette reporter): When in science class, we need to focus on science, not get off on other tangents. It accused the Governor of being unaware of the Supreme Court decision which outlawed creation science. Again, the Gazette continued its efforts to persuade the board to trounce the resolution.

Two anti-resolution speakers appeared at the October 21 board meeting. One was a soft spoken former parent who was afraid of religion in the schools. He pointed out that he was part of a religious group (unnamed) which had unusual beliefs about healing and he had never tried to get his views into his son's classes. The other speaker was a pulpit pounding Unitarian* minister who happened to be the pastor of the church attended by the Gazette editor James Haught. He was loaded with legal case citations and went over his allotted speaking time despite being reminded by the board president.

In the meantime the board sent the resolution to principals, Faculty Senate presidents, and Local School Improvement Councils. The memo called it a policy change and was attached to the board policy which banned the teaching of creation science. My pleas for correction and clarification were unheeded. At my schools Senate meeting, the president (whom I had not said a word to on this subject) presented it as a policy change that allows teaching of creation science.

The Gazette continued its frenzied attacks by publishing a five column article on November 10 by Dr. Karl Fezer, emeritus professor of biology at Concord College. Fezer, who once had the unfortunate and embittering experience of debating Dr. Duane Gish, has been previously used by the Gazette to counter efforts by the local Kanawha Creation Science Group, is now billed as the West Virginia liaison for the National Center for Science Education. After assuring readers he is aware of a large number of creationists arguments; all have been shown false by scientists... Fezer warned that the board would be exposed to first amendment lawsuits.

This has been a battle of long hours, out of pocket expenses, and intense criticism. The most difficult part was when a prominent resident (non-parent) of my school community launched a movement to attack me professionally. Her efforts resulted in several anonymous phone calls to my principal (an ex-science teacher who adamantly opposes my efforts). An influential Jewish parent (who is a university professor of psychology) was contacted by this vigilante lady. I remain in a precarious situation because I am new to my present school.

Through it all, thanks to prayer, my wife's support, counsel of friends (like those on CRSnet), I have persevered. The battle is the Lords and, no matter the outcome, I pray that others throughout the USA will say, Here am I Lord, send me

Part 2 of an article for "Creation Matters"

In the last issue we left off with the Board's attempt to garner support for rejecting the resolution by sending a comment request to Faculty Senates and Local School Improvement Counsels. The way the memo was worded was an obvious attempt to generate a backlash against creation science which was not even the issue. On December 6 the media, without fanfare, revealed the results were highly in favor of teaching creation science. This caused the board member who had insisted on the comment period to spin the results by saying, "I don't think any of them really understood the intent of the resolution."

Also, unknown to me when I prepared the first Grassroots Report, Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo, of Huntington Beach, CA had gotten word of our battle. He, not knowing the Gazette editor was a bitter enemy of local creationists, had contacted the editor and offered to come here to speak as a scientist. After being rebuffed Dr. Mastropaolo mailed an incorrectly addressed letter to the only other name he knew of--board member Betty Jarvis. Someone took the letter and carried it to Betty's apartment building, up three flights of steps, and put it under her door. I was awed when Betty called me for I had just ordered 100 copies of a current Impact article Dr. Mastropaolo had written.

Dr. Mastropaolo began an email exchange with local evolutionists challenging them to debate. This sent them into a panic because they had never heard of him. The details of their attempts to avoid debate would make an interesting article. Dr. Mastropaolo had a knack for revealing their religious prejudice and academic cowardice. As a result of a challenge I made to the Unitarian minister Dr. Mastropaolo was allowed to speak at the Unitarian "church".

That was an experience. The place was standing room only and included most of the "big time" evolutionists of the area. After listening to a witch lead part of the opening service, and avoiding a trap laid by the Unitarian minister (intended to ridicule his credentials) Dr. Mastropaolo presented his case that evolution was biologically impossible and was, in reality, an occult religion. When he concluded Dr. Mastropaolo was surrounded by questioners, many of whom were friendly because their eyes had been opened. As I tried to get close to Dr. Mastropaolo the local ACLU director got in front of me, poked her finger close to my chest and threatened to sue me.

Afterwards, I invited Karl Fezer, the WV liaison for the National Center for Science Education to lunch. The Gazette editor, James Haught, tagged along and what transpired was amazing. Dr. Mastropaolo and Dr. Fezer debated for over two hours and Fezer was so overwhelmed that the atheist James Haught later said that evolution seemed silly, but he could not accept anything else due to the suffering in the world.

During the week Dr. Mastropaolo was here, and after he left, the Unitarian minister and Gazette tried to slander him by claiming he was only a physical education teacher. They did not see the irony in this because, even if true, they were admitting they were afraid to debate a P. E. teacher. Dr. Mastropaolo, a gentleman's gentleman, calmly went about his business and impressed a skeptical talk show host so much that in separate programs the talk show host criticized the Unitarian's ethics and ridiculed the evolutionists for failing to academically defend their sacred cow.

Space does not allow a detailed report of what transpired between Thanksgiving and the Board's vote on December 16. There were statewide and local radio talk shows, one sided television reporting, front-page newspaper coverage including an onslaught of Gazette articles seeking to cast the debate as being between science and fanatical Christianity. Dr. Mastropaolo, at age 72, had a grueling speaking schedule and was banned from one high school and forced to march down the street with interested junior high kids to meet at a local church.

By the time the board meeting date had arrived the Daily Mail had "lost" an article I submitted, the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State had threatened to sue, and the board attorney had circulated a secret memo requesting board members vote against the resolution he had prepared! We had contacted two board members who had expressed open mindedness and presented legal and scientific facts to counter every argument they presented. Sadly, the board member (Pete Thaw--search his name there, name added 4-15) who attended a “Bible” church and originally had told me he would support the resolution reneged on his word. He was always in the media’s eye, especially on talk radio and chose the glory of the world over the truth. Now, it was obvious that the vote was going to be 4-1 against the resolution.

The night of the meeting the Unitarians were there in force and their minister orchestrated their offense. As soon as Dr. Mastropaolo sat down a reporter knelt to interview him and the Unitarian minister got right in Dr. Mastropaolo's face angrily accusing him of being from ICR. I had to place my body between them and force the minister away. Later the minister was caught reading my notes and writing something as he read them.

The meeting lasted over four hours. There was an overwhelming majority in favor of the resolution. Here is video of my speech. Here is video of Dr. Mastropaolo’s speech. I had only requested six other speakers, besides myself, to speak. Some of the others were a great asset to my side, but many were well intentioned people who sought the teaching of creation science. The opposition had its expected quota of college professors and liberal ministers.

The vote went as expected, but I am tremendously encouraged. We ran a strategy that could be refined and used elsewhere. It just takes a small group of dedicated people. First, present something like the Buckna-Laidlaw Origin of Life Policy and force the board to reveal its philosophical position. In order to reject such a policy board members will have to say some things that are totally illogical and biased. All of these things can be used to our advantage in future battles. If possible, use a capable individual to challenge evolutionists to debate. This is a no win situation for evolutionists.

The battle was worth fighting because I found friends I never knew were there. Despite the difficulties faced there were many inspiring moments that will be forever cherished. Every battle puts a small hole, below the water line, of the ship of evolutionism. Eventually it will sink.

As for us locally, to quote Dr. Mastropaolo: "The events prior to the board meeting were just a warm-up period, the meeting was the starter's pistol, now the race has begun. Stay tuned.

Note: Many professing Christians worked against this resolution. One of the most disappointing was BOE member Pete Thaw who originally expressed support during a telephone conversation. Unfortunately Thaw remained a darling of local conservatives because of his fiscal positions. When I urged the board to stand against blasphemy of Jesus Christ, Thaw played political games and did nothing. Also see the July 5, 2009 entry of WV School News. Besides his political motivations, it is likely that Thaw heeded the advice of his pastor who probably told him that no souls would be saved as a result of passing the resolution. A pastor saying something like that would have failed to see the many souls led toward destruction as a result of Darwinism in the public schools. That kind of pastor is an example of why I say the problem with America is in the pulpit. Thaw is a fake friend of Bible believing Christians.

Postscript: Betty Jarvis was defeated for re-election due to some very underhanded tactics by the media and teacher unions motivated by her support of the Resolution. Also, in the Pandas Battle, Thaw became even more hypocritical.

*The religion of Unitarians has guided government schools since their founding. Dr. Charles Francis Potter, was a Unitarian minister who (in 1925) advised Clarence Darrow on the Bible during the Scopes Trial..

Potter said, "Humanism is not the abolition of religion, but the beginning of real religion. By freeing religion of supernaturalism, it will release tremendous reserves of hitherto thwarted power. Man has waited too long for God to do what man ought to do himself and is fully capable of doing….a religion of common sense; and the chief end of man is to improve himself, both as an individual and as a race." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Francis_Potter)

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More "battles" can be found in my testimony. For video of this battle and others see “See for Yourself”.

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!

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

Be sure to see “Evolution is a Lie”.

Also see:

“Book Binds”
Jan. 12, 2000 Education Week Vol. 19, Issue 17, Pages 29-33 pgs. 29-33 http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2000/01/12/17kanawha.h19.html. That national publication contained a photo of me wearing an ape mask at the conclusion of the meeting. I donned the mask as a symbol of the silliness of the final vote which was a done deal. Also, when the Unitarian evangelist of evolutionism ran up to shake my hand for a photo-op, he was forced to pose with a comical representation of what evolutionism is all about.