West Virginia Evolution Litigation

This news appears in the Charleston Daily Mail of Charleston, West Virginia — the capital and largest city of that state. Their stunning headline is Lawsuit claims evolution is a religion. The newspaper has a comments section. Here are some excerpts from the article, with bold font added by us:

A parent of a Jefferson County student has filed a federal lawsuit against local, state and federal education officials claiming the teaching of evolution, which he says is a religion, violates his child’s Constitutional rights.

Your Curmudgeon is delighted. At last we have a topic to blog about that is worthy of our talents. Then we’re told:

Kenneth Smith, who is representing himself, filed the four-page federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia against the Jefferson County Board of Education, state Superintendent Michael Martirano, National Institute of Health director Francis Collins, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and the U.S. Department of Education.

Four pages! That’s a big complaint. He seems to have named all the right defendants. They’re probably hiding under their desks. Let’s read on:

“His complaint is against all Defendants, who’ve fostered the propagation of religious faith in our West Virginia public school machinery and government at large,” the May 12 lawsuit said. Smith alleged education officials violated the U.S. Constitution because he claimed they are “propagating” a religious faith in public schools.

Is that a quote from the complaint? Does Smith say: “His complaint …” instead of something like “Plaintiff alleges …”? This is very impressive! We continue:

“Their actions during the 2014-2015 school year affects [sic] 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 [sic] (evolutionary ideology) that just doesn’t exist and has no math to back it,” Smith’s lawsuit said.

There’s no math to back up evolution. Hey — that’s brilliant! Here’s more:

While denying the Plaintiff’s accurate scientific mathematical system of genetic variations that proves evolution is a religion, it will benefit our government economically and efficiently increase our judicial and law enforcement departments in many ways,” the lawsuit said.

Wowie — Smith has the math to prove that evolution is a religion! One more excerpt:

Smith’s lawsuit seeks a trial by jury and requests a federal judge declare evolution as violating the U.S. Constitution. A response has not yet been filed to this lawsuit.

We Googled around and found another source that says the suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, and is assigned to Judge Gina Groh. It looks like a PACER subscription is required to see anything at the court’s website.

Aha — we found it through the Justia website. It’s here: Smith v. Jefferson County Board of Education et al , but they also require a PACER subscription.

No problem. The press is certain to cover this case, so we expect to learn more — much more! Stay tuned to this blog.

Addendum: Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) have just posted about the case: Antievolution lawsuit filed in West Virginia. They have a link to the complaint. It only takes a minute to read.

Update: West Virginia Evolution Suit Dismissed.

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36 responses to “West Virginia Evolution Litigation

  1. So studying evolution will ruin her daughter’s chances of doing veterinary course in college? You can’t make this up.

  2. makagutu says: “So studying evolution will ruin her daughter’s chances of doing veterinary course in college? You can’t make this up.”

    I suspect he means that she’s flunking biology, and that’s what will hurt her chances of getting into college.

  3. I think he should be asked to have money upfront to pay for wasting the court’s time. This is a no-brainer

  4. anevilmeme

    So by that logic gravity is a religion too.

  5. Here is the gist of the complaint:

    4. Come now Plaintiff Kenneth Smith, Pro se, and tax-paying citizen, supporting public schools. His complaint is against all Defendants’, who’ve fostered the propagation of religious faith in our West Virginia public school machinery and government at large.

    5. Their actions during the 2014-2015 school year affects my child’s future directly through the state grading system to enter college and 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.

    6. Violators of the United States Constitution are the Jefferson. County School Board, State superintendent Michael J. Martirano, U.S. Department of Education, Arne Duncan Secretary, National Institute of Health, Dr. Francis Collins Director, all Defendant’s acts foster the propagating of a religious faith in our West Virginia public school machinery districts and government at large in this jurisdiction.

    7. Through proper legal correspondence as described by law the Defendants have wrongfully violated established clauses. They refused to cease their violations, clearly described in Plaintiff’s exhausted administrative remedies [Exhibits 29, 34, 25, 23, 36, and 94], While denying the Plaintiffs accurate scientific mathematical system of genetic variations that proves evolution is a religion. It will benefit our government economically and efficiently increase our judicial and law enforcement departments in many ways.

    This dufus also has a self-published book entitled “The True Origin of Man” where he claims to have mathematically disproven evolution:

    http://www.amazon.com/The-True-Origin-Kenneth-Smith/dp/1475989660

  6. Sorry about the image, SC, I didn’t know the link would do that.

    Also note in paragraph 7 he says”Defendants have wrongfully violated established clauses” when he probably meant the Establishment Clause.

  7. Oh, BTW, this isn’t his first time either. Back in 2007 he sued just the school district and that case was dismissed 3 months later. In doing so, the judge said:

    After review of the plaintiffs complaint and attached filings, it is the understanding of this Court that plaintiff contends he has disproved evolutionary theory by discovering the “genetic normal-the missing link between man and ape.” In plaintiffs own words, the “Public School Systems will have to contemplate removing all its evolutionary exhibits and declare that an American has discovered the genic normal.” While the Court fails to understand the precise workings of plaintiff s contention, it is abundantly clear that the plaintiff has failed to state a claim for violation of 20 U.S.C. § 4071. [Which is the Federal statute allowing religious student clubs access to school facilities as non-religious student clubs enjoy … and had nothing to do with his claims there]

  8. John Pieret, where did you find a copy of the complaint?

  9. I used Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature to browse the book that John Pieret provided. As the kids would say, that’s the craziest [beep beep boop]ing thing I’ve read all week.

    The math that disproves evolution is – hold on to your hats –
    100% + 100% = 200%/2 = 100%.
    and:
    100% + 50% = 150%/2 = 75%

    Also, Cain fooled around with some apes, there’s a whole lot of Genesis Fan Faction, and the dude’s a proud racist and bigot.

    All in all, a strong showing. It has a good beat and the creationists can dance to it, but no mention about how teh gayz are destroying ‘Murica. B+.

  10. Even if Evolution had acceptable Math to back it up, there are no transitional fossils that lend support to Mathematics. You’ll never see a Fast Fourier Transformation weave it’s way through a junk yard and produce Calculus as a result will you? Pi is a religion unto itself!

    Oh and numbers are only useful for counting donations and the number of days until further donations are expected.

    I think I’m ready to flood amazon with vanity titles. Being crazy for profit is too easy.

  11. Stephen Kennedy

    Mathematics actually supports evolution. The Theory of Evolution predicts that all life forms will be part of nested hierarchies. When Mathematics is applied to Biology what we see are indeed nested hierarchies.

  12. docbill1351

    Thank you, Amazon Look Inside! Now I need to bleach my brain.

  13. SC: I went to the Court’s site where you can look up and get copies of all filed documents in a lawsuit. You need what’s called a “Pacer account” and there is a 10 cent charge per page.

  14. John Pieret says: “there is a 10 cent charge per page.”

    Ten cents? But it’s a four-page complaint. That’s forty cents! No way!

  15. Charles Deetz ;)

    I love these self-published geniuses … Amazon book published almost two years ago and NO reviews. Not his wife, his pastor, his daughter, his leader.

  16. I just added this to the post:

    Addendum: Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) have just posted about the case: Antievolution lawsuit filed in West Virginia. They have a link to the complaint. It only takes a minute to read.

  17. anevilmeme

    I just read the complaint, It gets a 10 out of 10 on the Hovind Level of Insanity.

  18. I want to be surprised that this guy’s not only a yahoo, but also a bigot. I just don’t have it in me.

  19. I would write more, but I’m off now to attend services at Cornerstone Evolutionary Tabernacle. I don’t want to be late — that would give the other attendees an evolutionary advantage.

  20. I looked at the “look inside” for the book on Amazon. That guy’s crazy as a (insert your own adjective that won’t upset the Curmudgeon’s meter) loon! His writing is totally meaningless.

  21. abeastwood says: “His writing is totally meaningless.”

    You say that because you’re blinded by Darwinism. You should keep an open mind. Wait until there’s a decision in his lawsuit.

  22. Here is an example of an evolutionary book heavy on the math:
    http://www.amazon.com/Speciation-Its-Consequences-Daniel-Otte/dp/0878936580
    As an added bonus you’ll learn about a type of antelopes called a dik-dik, renown for producing offspring with odd chromosome numbers. You’ll also learn how their semen is ethically harvested with an electroejaculator, for use in genetic studies.

  23. Troy mentions: “how their semen is ethically harvested with an electroejaculator, for use in genetic studies.”

    Megalonyx has one of those, but I don’t think he’s involved in any genetic studies.

  24. dweller42 said:
    I want to be surprised that this guy’s not only a yahoo, but also a bigot.

    Judging from the “The True Origin of Man” book cover, both Adam (who looks quite feminine BTW), and Eve are 100% Human and 100% White. Does that imply that everyone else is not 100% human? And those of different shades of color are lesser humans than whites? Yes, it appears he’s quite the bigot.

  25. It is something worse than sad when someone suffers from electrojaculator envy…

  26. I just noticed that it says “Jury trial requested”.

  27. Yes, TomS, but in his “Conclusion” he seems to be asking for a declaratory judgment. I don’t think that’s something a jury can do. He seems a bit confused.

  28. anevilmeme writes> “So by that logic gravity is a religion too.”

    Hail Gravity, full of Mass.
    Our Weight is with you.
    Blessed are you among fundamental forces,
    and blessed is the target of your fruit,
    Newton.
    Holy Gravity, Attracter of Mass,
    pull for us temporary satellites,
    now and at the apogee of our orbit.
    Aaaaarrrggghhhhhh {SPLAT!!!}.

  29. Ah, the crimson sphere returns.

  30. It may be reasonable to consider that the convolution demonstrated by the filed statement may be intended to create a case that won’t even be allowed into a courtroom.

    This will make for a perfect opportunity to claim martyrdom and the usual oppression of religious freedom claims. Another pseudo defender of the faith attempt by someone who may have further political goals in mind or it may simply be another example of fundie media trolling.

  31. Mark Germano

    DavidK, to save you from reading the book:

    Yes, he says that the first humans (Adam and Eve, duh) were 100% white, and says so on numerous occasions. Sure, that’s racist, but he adds that extra touch of crazy by claiming that they were literally white from head to toe, including their hair. Like super albino Caucasians, which of course is better because reasons. But, that only lasted until Cain had a fling with some apes. (Which really doesn’t adequately explain why there are still apes.)
    So, needless to say, the only way to purify humanity is for whites to over-reproduce.
    I don’t know, it all seems totally legit.

  32. Ah, so he throws in the Director of the NIH for good measure – I certainly hope that Francis is keeping a record of all of the crazies that have taken aim at him; it would no doubt make a fascinating list.

  33. “No math to back it up” – I guess his daughter isn’t doing too well with Hardy-Weinberg intro population genetics. Some of the most confusing math I’ve had to learn was in pop gen courses! And that’s the entire backbone of modern evolutionary theory, funny how creationists never seem to get past old Darwinian conceptual framework and into modern mathematical concrete theory.

  34. Ken Phelps

    Curmudgeon: “Ten cents? But it’s a four-page complaint. That’s forty cents! No way!”

    Ha! Fool! That’s phony evolutionary math! Reading it will actually be like planting seeds of truth and you will be repaid an hundredfold! That’s like, twelve, if I follow his creationist percentage stuff correctly.

  35. Hey, this guy would even be an embarrassment for Ken Ham.

  36. Aarrgh! Please help, Oh Great Hand From Above. I was not paying attention while typing. I meant to bold Ken Ham. Thank you, over and over!

    [*Voice from above*] I stretched forth my mighty hand, and all is well.