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+--Forum: Antievolution, Politics, and the Law
+---Topic: proposed antiID tactic started by "Rev Dr" Lenny Flank

Posted by: "Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on Feb. 07 2005,20:09

I posted this on t.o this past summer. I'm re-posting it
because I think the creationist loss in Georgia and their soon-to-be loss in Pennsylvania has increased its relevance and made it even more necessary that we begin taking the fight TO the creationists.

Over on another email list, I am having a discussion about a proposal of mine for an anti-creationist campaign that will, I think, cut away the creationist support in local school
districts and will, I think, pound the final nail into their coffin.

My proposal is this:

Most states in the US have, in the past years, either
srengthened or added in their state curriculum standards a
requirement that evolution be taught as a part of a good
science education. While some states have very strong
detailed standards and others have brief ambiguous ones,
the fact remaisn that they have decided that evolution is an
important part of biology and must be taught as part of any
good science education.

Creationist, on the other hand, have still been able to
intimidate many local schools into dropping mention of
evolution as "too controversial", and this local base of
support is the only thing holding the creationists up right

So I propose we kill it.

I propose we find a state which has very strong detailed
standards requiring evolution, find a district within that state which is NOT teaching evolution (either because the local school board "doesn't believe in it" or because they "don't want to offend parents" or because the subject is "too controversial"), and then sue them on the grounds that they are not meeting the state's educational standards and are therefore, by the state's own definition, providing a sub-standard science education to its students.

Here is why I think it's a good tactic to take:

(1) we can't lose. The district has no defense to offer ----
they must meet the state standards, and they are not. Case closed.

(2) It will accomplish what we all have said for years that we want -- it will get evolution into all our schools and
textbooks, and it will make it impossible for creationists to
intimidate or pressure anyone into keeping it out.

(3) it will establish the legal precedent that evolution is
standard part of any good science education and that any
school which does not teach evolution (for whatever reason)
is not meeting its obligation to teach good science

(4) it will negate the fundie's power in local school board
elections by making those elections irrelevant to the issue -- state school standards apply to every school in the state,
and those districts MUST comply, no matter WHAT their
local school board wants to do. Even if the fundies capture
the entire local school board and they ALL vote to drop
evolution, they can't do it -- they *must* comply with the
state education standards.

(5) Winning in one district will establish the legal precedent, and force every school district in the state to comply. It will also send the message to all the other districts in other states, sicne they will all be equally vulnerable to such a lawsuit. At that point, the fundies will have a choice; they can either choose to contest us in each and every state, which will lead into a long drawn out legal fight for them which will drain their resources and disrupt their own plans, all for a fight that they cannot possibly win anyway; or they can choose to not waste their resources and to cede the field to us, giving up their influence in local districts. Either choice makes me happy. We win either way, they lose either way.

(6) such a strategy disrupts the fundies' coherent national
strategy. For too long, the fundies have been calling all the
shots, free to pick and choose fights when and where they
want, and the anti-creationist movement has just been
following behind them, reacting to what they do. It's time we stop being defensive with them and go on the attack, forcing them to react to *us*.

As I noted before, the fundies are in retreat everywhere.
The local school board is their last remaining power base.
So let's take that power base away from them.

Whaddya think?
Posted by: Wesley R. Elsberry on Feb. 09 2005,13:13

I think this definitely has potential as a strategy, Lenny. I will see what some of the legal minds think about this.
Posted by: "Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on Feb. 09 2005,18:11

I'd be perfectly willing to do the deed myself, but alas I live in Florida, which has only a weak requirement for teaching evolution (without using the "e" word).  And in any case I don't have any kids, and hence would probably have no legal standing to file suit.
Posted by: Sheikh Mahandi on May 19 2005,07:20

Can either of you please clear up a couple of points for me on this? Could this be made to work in say Pennsylvania where "I" am at the other end of the state from say Dover, or would it have to be raised by someone in the Dover district? This is assuming of course that you consider Pennsylvania's state standards to be "strict" enough.
Which states could be considered to have strong enough standards?
Posted by: acriticaleye on May 28 2006,16:27

why is there somthing wrong with beliving in God? i think its ok to teach evolution but why is it so bad to belive in a creater? because in the end you will be exposed? or is it not rational?
Posted by: Henry J on May 28 2006,18:26

Why do you think God is obliged to share some people's personal aversion to the idea of biological evolution?

Posted by: acriticaleye on May 29 2006,03:14

i know that if i didnt belive in God then i wouldnt have hope for the future. if we were just a mistake what is there to live for besides our own sadisfaction? the Bible is filled with help that has kept me from suicide multiple times. also all the human nature in it suprizes me. and all the prophecy that has happened. the phisical fetures that point to cataclysms pointed out in the bible. it goes on and on. i think all the imorality is because people now belive that all there is to live for is there own desires. and there is no right and wrong.
Posted by: skeptic on May 29 2006,03:20

acriticaleye, it is the American way, when in doubt SUE!
Posted by: acriticaleye on May 29 2006,04:18

lol only in america are you rewarded for stupidity.
Posted by: Ichthyic on May 31 2006,17:07

the Bible is filled with help that has kept me from suicide multiple times.

I hear it works well to keep folks who are alcoholics from drinking too, especially when used in combination with a program like AA.

that's not hope.

that's "artificial support" to aid in recovery.

in all seriousness, good luck with your recovery.
Posted by: Spike on June 07 2006,09:52

This rather interesting strategy in light of Jack Krebs' post to PT today.

If Lenny's strategy were adopted in KS, then all the schools would -have to- use the crappy KBOE state standards, rather than the non-approved but recommended standards of the legally disbanded SSWC.

Not a bad thing, perhaps, because as it stands, the KBOE can push the creationist agenda without much worry of the consequences. If their standards -were- being used, then I'm pretty sure some rational parents would file a suit in the same vein as Kitzmiller (Can't cite it as precedent, since it's not the same Federal Circuit). The parents may be able to name the KBOE in the suit, thereby, finally, making them responsible for their shenanigans.

The downside would be the cost to the school district where the suit was filed, unless the ACLU were to act like good citizens and waive their fees (as they ought to do for Dover).
Posted by: stevestory on Jan. 21 2009,11:40

Posted by: Henry J on Jan. 21 2009,11:51

Test? There's a test? But I haven't studied!

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