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Major developments during 2002:

bullet2002-JAN-7: USA: U.S. Supreme Court declines evolution case: The Supreme Court decided to not hear a case involving the teaching of evolution in a public school. Teacher Rodney LeVake sued his employer, the Faribault School District in southern Minnesota. He believes that God created the world recently, over an interval of six days. He wanted to teach students "an honest look at the difficulties and inconsistencies of the theory [of evolution] without turning my class into a religious one." Lawyer Kay Nord Hunt, who defended the school district wrote: "This court has never held that under the First Amendment, schools are the mere instruments of the advancement of the individual agendas of its teachers." The lawyer for the plaintiff, Wayne B. Holstad, told justices that his client "was silenced, not for anything he said in the classroom, but merely for holding a contrary viewpoint and expressing a desire to say certain things that the school district deemed out of step with its officially imposed orthodoxy." This action by the Supreme Court lets stand the dismissal of LeVake's lawsuit by the Minnesota appeals court. 1 The case is LeVake v. Independent School District No. 656, 01-665.
bullet2002-JAN-18: WA: Senate bill to suppress evolution received first reading: Senator Harold Hochstatter (R - 13th legislative district) has introduced a bill calling for the suppression of the teaching of evolution in Washington state public schools. He bases this argument on the Declaration of Independence which "declares the self-evident truth that all men are created....Both the United States Constitution and the Washington state Constitution were instituted to protect rights endowed by the Creator." He concludes that:
bullet"8. The legislature finds that the teaching of the theory of evolution in the common schools of the state of Washington is repugnant to the principles of the Declaration of Independence and thereby unconstitutional and unlawful."
bullet"9. All textbooks and curriculum that teach the theory of evolution shall be removed from the public schools forthwith and replaced with textbooks and curriculum that teach the self-evident truth of creation." 2

You can send an E-mail to Senator Hochstatter from a form at: http://www.leg.wa.gov/senate/members/


2002-MAY-10: VA: Christian college refused accreditation: Patrick Henry College in Northern Virginia aims its services at home-schooled children. The college teaches creation science as truth. According to its "Statement of Biblical Worldview," it requires that evolution, 'theistic' or otherwise, will not be treated as an acceptable theory." Its faculty is chosen on the basis of their belief that God created the universe in six 24-hour days. The college was denied accreditation by the American Academy for Liberal Education. According to the Academy, the College failed to meet two standards:
bulletOne standard requires that: "Liberty of thought and freedom of speech are supported and protected, bound only by such rules of civility and order as to facilitate intellectual inquiry and the search for truth."
bulletAnother standard mandates that "The general education requirement ensures a basic knowledge of mathematics and the physical and biological sciences."

Patrick Henry College President Michael Farris is reported as saying: "I think what they are saying is that because we teach creationism we've introduced what to them is faux science into our courses." 3

bullet2002-MAY-20: MA: Stephen Jay Gould: The New York Times reported that "Stephen Jay Gould, the evolutionary theorist at Harvard University whose research, lectures and prolific output of essays helped to reinvigorate the field of paleontology, died yesterday at his home in Manhattan. He was 60....The cause was cancer, said his wife, Rhonda Roland Shearer. One of the most influential evolutionary biologists of the 20th century and perhaps the best known since Charles Darwin, Dr. Gould touched off numerous debates, forcing scientists to rethink sometimes entrenched ideas about evolutionary patterns and processes." 4

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  1. "Supreme Court won't hear case on teaching evolution," Associated Press, 2002-JAN-8, at: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,42404,00.html

  2. "Senate Bill 6500," at http://www.leg.wa.gov/pub/billinfo/

  3. Art Moore, "College rejected for teaching creationism: Accrediting group: 'Biblical worldview' inhibits 'basic knowledge'," WorldNetDaily at:
  4. Carol Kaesuk Yoon, "Stephen Jay Gould, Evolution Theorist, Dies at 60," at: http://www.nytimes.com/

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Copyright © 2002 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2002-MAY-21
Author: B.A. Robinson

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