Today’s letter is another response to the newspaper articles we wrote about a couple of weeks ago: Ten Years After the Kitzmiller Case, about several articles in the York Daily Record, located in York, Pennsylvania, which were written for the coming ten-year anniversary of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.
The creationists aren’t happy, and the York Daily Record is allowing them to rant. We wrote about the first letter from one of them in #615: Kitzmiller, a Travesty. Today’s letter-to-the-editor is another, and it appears in the same newspaper. It’s titled Lessons from Dover ID case. The newspaper has a comments feature, but so far there’s only one comment.
Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. We Googled around and found that he may be a hog farmer, or perhaps he raises feed for hog farms, but that doesn’t qualify for full-name treatment. His first name is Harlan. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!
He begins by vaguely referring to one of the newspaper’s articles celebrating the Dover case and an unnamed participant in the litigation, possibly Tammy Kitzmiller, about whom he says:
[S]he is still proud to be so narrow-minded to think it’s only one side to a story and it’s her side. If I was so narrow-minded, I would be hiding not smiling in the Sunday News photo.
Why wouldn’t Harlan be smiling? He tells us:
The people of Dover had faith in our judicial system and the outcome would be that the school did not teach intelligent design but gave the students a chance to see the other side by reading a book in the library.
Harlan sees himself as a fair-minded man. All he wants is to give the students a chance to read the other side. What library book does he have in mind? The Kitzmiller decision leaves little doubt. Starting on the first page of his opinion, Judge Jones wrote about the event that triggered the case:
On November 19, 2004, the Defendant Dover Area School District announced by press release that, commencing in January 2005, teachers would be required to read the following statement to students in the ninth grade biology class at Dover High School:
The Pennsylvania Academic Standards require students to learn about Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and eventually to take a standardized test of which evolution is a part. Because Darwin’s Theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations.
Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view. The reference book, Of Pandas and People, is available for students who might be interested in gaining an understanding of what Intelligent Design actually involves.
And of course we all know about Of Pandas and People — a wretched creationist tract. What Harlan wants is the same thing the creationist school board wanted, and ten years later he’s still furious that his side lost. Let’s read some more from his letter:
It seems that Judge Jones came out of the same mold Kitzmiller did. Narrow-minded and one-sided and the knack to shuffle the facts to his thinking instead of the people’s rights to justice.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Harlan continues:
His decision cost the Dover school system $1 million of educational funding. And by the way, where did all this money go? The case couldn’t have cost this amount.
Really? What’s Harlan’s basis for saying that? Litigation is time-consuming and expensive. The trial itself lasted 40 days, and that was just the tip of the iceberg. The case generated an ark-load of papers, before and after the trial, all of which required time to research and prepare. The list of exhibits submitted by both sides is enormous, all of which had to be studied and when possible, rebutted. Witnesses had to be interviewed, deposed, and many had to travel to the courthouse and stay in hotels. $1 million doesn’t seem unreasonable for an effort of that magnitude. Here’s more:
Jones states no other school system challenged the intelligent design problem since. My answer to that statement is what other school system has a million dollars to gamble on a judge who scrambles the facts. (Duh.) If any other school system is faced with the same problem, don’t depend on our justice system (it only works sometimes).
Harlan seems oblivious to the facts brought out in the trial about the undeniably religious nature of intelligent design “theory,” and he’s also oblivious to the Constitutional prohibition of teaching religion in pubic schools. His position is simplicity itself: Hey, give the students a chance! Oblivion seems to be a requirement of creationism.
Ah well, now we come to the end:
Wake up, silent majority, and make your presence be known. The loudmouth minority is ruling and this has got to change.
So there you are. Harlan is unhappy. He’s not alone. To him, and all of those who agree with him, we say: BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
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