After a small school district in upstate New York received a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) that one of their biology teachers recently ‘undermined the theory of evolution to students’, the teacher was disciplined and forced to go along with the notion that evolution is ‘settled science’ and that it is ‘unconstitutional’ to ever question any of it:
FFRF sent a letter to Holland Patent Central School District Superintendent Jason Evangelist on Feb. 18, advising that a “concerned parent” had alerted them to the classroom talk at Holland Patent High School.
It said that biology teacher Phil Lucason told students that when they take the Regents Exam, they will have to “play the evolution game, where evolution is the answer to everything.” He explained that none have been “able to find when something becomes something else” and that evolution is contrary to genetics, such as if a dog “underwent several mutations and became a cat.”
Lucason also reportedly told his class that polar bears could mutate among themselves from brown fur to white fur, but that the eye, for example, could never have evolved because of its complexity and the necessity for a series of mutations.
“So, what that means is that you have to play the evolutionary game because the people writing this are married to that idea, despite the new proofs and the science coming out,” he is quoted as saying about the exam.
FFRF claims that it is illegal for Lucason to speak against evolution in the classroom and rather teach creationism.
“Mr. Lucason’s attempt to undermine what he was teaching is both unconstitutional and pedagogically deplorable,” it wrote. “Teaching creationism or any of its offshoots, such as intelligent design, in a public school is unlawful because creationism is not based on fact.”
The atheist and agnostic organization pointed to various court rulings that held that teaching creation science in the classroom would violate the Establishment Clause by promoting religion.
“Any attempt to teach that there is a controversy about evolution is fraught with legal peril,” it claimed. “Evolution, like gravity, is a scientific fact. … No controversy exists in the scientific community regarding the fact of evolution, and the teaching of alternative theories or a controversy is not only inappropriate and dishonest, it is unconstitutional.”
FFRF requested that the district conduct an investigation into the matter and take corresponding corrective and disciplinary action.
“Mr. Lucason must be directed to refrain from promoting religion or attacking evolution to his students,” it opined. “If he cannot do this, he cannot be a teacher in a public school.”
…Superintendent Evangelist responded to FFRF’s letter on Feb. 26, advising that the district discussed the matter with its attorney and subsequently addressed the teacher, who agreed to comply.
“We have consulted with our legal counsel to confirm a clear understanding of the constitutional requirements referred to in your letter regarding instruction on evolution,” he wrote. “We have addressed these requirements with Mr. Lucason who has indicated his understanding of the requirements and his commitment to them. We are confident that his presentation of the curriculum will comply with the New York State Education Law and the U.S. Constitution.”
Lucason likewise told the Observer-Dispatch, “Having taught about evolution for 20 years, I know that our students hear various theories on the origins of species. I enumerated some of them by way of example. My mention of those other theories led to the concerns that have been articulated. In the future, I will not refer to other, non-scientific explanations and will clearly teach the science and theory of evolution as the explanation for the development of life on earth as provided by the New York State standards.”
Evolution is not science at all — it is a metaphysical proposition that can never be tested, and no experiments can be conducted to prove its validity. Never the less, it is taught as fact.
What could be so harmful about teaching children that evolution is merely an untestable proposition rather than a scientific fact?
And notice that they don’t merely object to the teaching of Creationism — they also object to sharing any information with the students that could possibly undermine their unquestioning belief in the religion of evolution.
The students must never find out that there is an independent organization of over 1,000 scientists who object to evolution on a scientific basis.
Darwin himself admitted that the theory of evolution could never account for the complexity of an eye, but apparently it is now ‘unconstitutional’ to even let students know that Darwin doubted his own theory.
But the biology teacher in question actually gave his students some very practical advice: learn about evolution because that’s what the ‘powers that be’ want to hear, even if it isn’t true.
Ironically, that advice applies to almost everything children are forced to learn in school these days.