We’ve all heard of secular groups suing school districts because taxpayer money was being used to teach Creationism… but have you ever heard of the opposite happening?
A Creationist in Pennsylvania just lost a lawsuit in which he sued a local school district over the fact that evolution by natural selection — science — was being taught at public schools. Plaintiff Thomas J. Harclerode already lost a similar case nearly a decade ago; he tried again in 2016, lost that one as well, and now his appeal has also been tossed out.
Harclerode has asserted in his complaints that he “is a taxpayer…and is extremely distressed that part of his tax money is going to perpetuate (the theory of evolution) that has been scientifically discredited and that the knowledge proving it has been withheld from students.”
Harclerode’s peer-reviewed data showing how evolution has been “scientifically discredited” was, to everyone’s surprise I’m sure, not included in the lawsuit.
He went even further, stating that evolution is not only false but also has a “detrimental effect on society.” I assume he’s referring to Charles Darwin‘s Holy War of 1859 in which atheists massacred millions in the name of scientific advancement… oh wait, that never happened.
He claimed Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and the Columbine school shooters used evolutionary theory as an “excuse” for their crimes. Teaching evolution at Everett “could spawn individuals, similar to those above, to commit crimes locally,” Harclerode insisted.
He added that “Playing Russian Roulette is foolish if there is a possibility of a single loaded chamber,” as if the possibility that someone would be motivated by evolution to commit a crime is enough to stop the teaching of it.
The lawsuit ignores all the facts undermining the plaintiff’s theory. As a result, the entire thing reads like someone using satire to draw attention to secular issues. Unfortunately, Harclerode is completely serious.
Thankfully, Senior Judge Dan Pellegrini saw through Harclerode’s charade.
Pellegrini gave Harclerode the same answer this time that his court handed down in the 2008 case. He backed the county judge’s finding that Harclerode’s mere distress about how his tax dollars are being spent does not give him legal standing to sue.
It’s a sad day when we can celebrate the continued teaching of science in science classes, but there you go.
(Image via Shutterstock)