West Virginia Man Claims Teaching Evolution Hampers Daughter’s Veterinary Dreams; Sues State Dept. of Ed.


In the fruit basket of dangerous and wrong-headed ideas that the religious right has served the United States with since the 1970s, Creationism is probably the least dangerous, especially when compared with real social threat of climate change denialism and anti-vaxxers.

Which isn’t to say that creationism doesn’t harm society; it does. And an example of that comes from West Virginia, where a man is suing the state Department of Education for teaching his daughter — who wants to become a veterinarian — evolution.

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Learning physics without learning Newton

Evolution is the corner-stone of modern biology. Without evolution, there is no biology.

This is what makes the lawsuit filed by Kenneth Smith so confusing. Smith’s daughter has dreams of being a veterinarian, which means having a solid grounding in biology.

Yet, Smith is of the mind that teaching evolution is a violation of the Constitution and the civil rights of his daughter. According to the “Charleston Daily Mail,” Smith believes that by teaching evolution, school officials are “propagating” a “religion.”

From the lawsuit:

Their actions during the 2014-2015 school year affects my child’s future directly through the state grading system to enter college and the ability to earn economic security and a good job in her chosen veterinarian medical field of work, by being taught a faith base (evolutionary ideology) that just doesn’t exist and has no math to back it.

According to his lawyer, Smith filed the suit in the Northern District of West Virginia on May 12, and is suing everyone from the state Superintendent to the United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Learning biology without learning evolution, while theoretically possible, is like learning mechanical physics without learning Newton. It doesn’t matter how much you learn, if you don’t accept the basics, you’re not moving anywhere.


Featured image via Wikimedia Commons

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