W.Va Man Files Lawsuit Over Teaching of Evolution

lawsuit evolution
Image via Wikimedia Commons

On May 12, 2015, a man named Kenneth Smith of Harpers Ferry, W. Va. took it upon himself to file a lawsuit?naming?the Jefferson County Board of Education, W.Va. State Superintendent Michael Martirano, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as defendants.

Smith alleges they violated the United States Constitution by propagating “a religious faith” in “West Virginia public school machinery districts and government at large in [his] jurisdiction.”

lawsuit evolution
Image by By latvian via Wikimedia Commons

According to the lawsuit, the actions of the defendants may have compromised his daughter’s chance at becoming a veterinarian. In his own words:

“[The defendants’] action 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.”

To make matters even more bizarre, Kenneth Smith requests a trial-by-jury in his lawsuit, which he refers to as a “civil rights action.”

Kenneth Smith apparently has a major problem with evolutionary science. He’s sued over it before. From the Charleston Daily Mail:

“In his 2007 federal lawsuit, Smith said the Jefferson County Board of Education restricted the ‘teaching of pertinent scientific and historical knowledge’ by teaching the Human Genome Project. He said the ‘King James version of Christian history was removed’ from the school system.”

“In his 2010 federal lawsuit against the state and the National Institute for Health, Smith claimed the school system misappropriated tax dollars to support an ‘ideology scientific religious belief.'”

Smith is also an author. According to the National Center for Science Education, Smith is the self-published author of the book?The True Origin of Man?(iUniverse, 2013), which claims to represent (as is explained on Amazon) “the truth of man’s origins confirmed by D.N.A. mathematical and scientific facts.”

Kenneth Smith’s lawsuit has no standing on multiple fronts, but mostly on the grounds that various court decisions have affirmed evolution as not being a religious teaching, such as the decisions in?McLean v. Arkansas (1982)?and?Edwards v. Aguillard (1987).?Thus, the teaching of evolution is not in offense of the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution, effectively invalidating the basis of Kenneth Smith’s lawsuit in the first place. I’ll bet anything that this lawsuit gets thrown out like the others.

Honestly, it’s impressive how some people never learn.

Robert could go on about how he was raised by honey badgers in the Texas Hill Country, or how he was elected to the Texas state legislature as a 19-year-old wunderkind, or how he won 219 consecutive games of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots against Hugh Grant, but those would be lies. However, Robert does hail from Lewisville, Texas, having been transplanted from Fort Worth at a young age. Robert is a college student and focuses his studies on philosophical dilemmas involving morality, which he feels makes him very qualified to write about politicians. Reading the Bible turned Robert into an atheist, a combative disposition toward greed turned him into a humanist, and the fact he has not lost a game of Madden football in over a decade means you can call him "Zeus." If you would like to be his friend, you can send him a Facebook request or follow his ramblings on Twitter. For additional content that may not make it to Liberal America, Robert's internet tavern, The Zephyr Lounge, is always open


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