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The Lie: Evolution
 

Of Pandas and People


This is the second battle fought over allowing students to receive scientific facts about evolutionism. See my testimony for links to the other battles.

At the meeting where the Resolution was rejected one Board Member encouraged the pro-Resolution group to “take part in the up-coming text selection process”. Board Member Raglin said, “I can assure you all you'll have a chance to address this issue when we get around, in March, to approving our science textbooks.” Board Member Luoni said, “When we review science textbooks in the Spring if someone believes there is a factual error then please bring it out. On Talk Radio, Board Member Pete Thaw said practically the same thing.

Betty Jarvis placed me and some like-minded folks on the Citizens Advisory Committee for the science textbook adoption.

At the initial meeting County Science Supervisor Bob Seymour (a professed theistic evolutionist) said he “did not want factual errors” in the texts. And would “demand answers” from any publishers if the committee found any. He said the selection would have major economic implications due to the size of the order our county would place.

Charleston Gazette Editorial:

Good grief: More creation science'
Gazette-Mail Sunday January 30, 2000

JUST WHEN everyone thought Kanawha County's "creationist" push had died, it came back to life.

A teacher who leads the fundamentalist Kanawha Creation Science Group failed in his effort to change county school policy, to authorize teachers to denounce evolution in class. But now he and two evolution-hating colleagues have been appointed to an advisory committee that will help recommend new science books for public schools.

The appointment may have little effect. The advisory committee is purely advisory. Its members express their views to a teacher committee, which proposes books to buy. The school board has the final say. Further, the advisory panel contains some supporters of scientific evidence for evolution, such as a Unitarian Universalist minister and two Ph.D. Union Carbide chemists.

Still, it's disturbing that fundamentalist fervor will continue intruding into a subject that should be free of ideology. Biology, astronomy, chemistry and such science courses should be purely factual, not tailored to fit any group's mystical beliefs.

The vast majority of scientists are convinced that life on Earth evolved slowly over billions of years, with simple organisms leading to more complex ones. In contrast, creationists say the planet is less than 10,000 years old, and all living things were created fully developed in just four days as the Old Testament relates. They say fossils were made during Noah's flood.

School board member Cheryle Hall says the creationists "have a genuine interest in pointing out inaccuracies in the textbooks." But these people aren't qualified to "point out inaccuracies" in the findings of thousands of great scientists around the world.

For example, geologists say West Virginia's coal was formed about 300 million years ago when prehistoric vegetation was compressed under silt. Will the creationists call this an "inaccuracy?" Also, paleontologists say some fossils are hundreds of millions of years old. Will this too be called inaccurate?

There's no danger that Kanawha schools will buy science texts saying coal is less than 10,000 years old, or that fossils originated in Noah's flood. No such textbooks exist, as far as we know.

However, there's a danger that the teacher committee and school board will succumb to the creationist pressure and choose watered-down, wishy-washy science books that are silent about evolution. That would be a sad evasion.

Kanawha County students deserve intelligent instruction that entails the best scientific knowledge. If the public school system adopts a "don't ask, don't tell" stance on evolution, it will cheat the children.

Most want religion in schools, poll says: Respondents want Commandments, creation taught

Charleston Daily Mail Article:

Rebecca Catalanello (Daily Mail) February 16, 2000

West Virginians overwhelmingly believe that separation of church and state should not prohibit schools from posting the Ten Commandments or teaching the biblical account of creation over evolution, according to the latest West Virginia Poll.

In the wake of recent controversies involving the Judeo- Christian-based traditions, the majority of West Virginians report they want the religion-based lessons included in schools, the poll shows.

Eighty-one percent of the people polled said the Ten Commandments should be posted in schools or other public buildings either by themselves or as part of a historical display. Only 11 percent said they should not be posted at all.

Fifty percent said they believe the biblical account of creation should be taught in schools over the theory of evolution, while just 14 percent said they feel only evolution should be taught. A full 29 percent, however, said they believe both should be taught, while 3 percent said neither should be included.

Similarly, 57 percent of West Virginians believe the biblical account of creation instead of evolution, while 30 percent said they subscribe to both theories of evolution and creation. Only 9 percent said they believe the theory of evolution exclusively, while 1 percent said they don't believe either.

People on both sides of the evolution/creation debate said they see the figures as positive confirmations of what they hoped to be the case.

"That's a really pleasant surprise to see how much progress public opinion is making," said Rev. Terry Jonathan Moore, a Unitarian-Universalist minister who spoke out against a resolution that would have allowed Kanawha County science teachers to teach theories other than evolution.

He said that with 43 percent of people reporting they believe evolution should be taught alone or alongside creation, West Virginia seems to have made a lot of progress in the past decade.

"One hundred years or so ago, people would not have had this understanding of our origins in nature," Moore said.

Karl Priest, who proposed the Kanawha County evolution resolution, said he thinks the figures confirm a nationwide trend.

According to the results of the July 1999 nationwide Gallup Poll, 74 percent of Americans reported they would favor allowing schools to display the Ten Commandments, 68 percent said they thought creationism should be taught alongside evolution, and 40 percent said they think creationism should be taught instead of evolution.

Hilary Chiz, spokeswoman of the West Virginia American Civil Liberties Union, said the results don't really surprise her either.

"I think, like many other places, there are lots of deeply religious people who don't understand the Ten Commandments don't mean a whole lot to people in the rest of the world," she said.

"If we have to post the Ten Commandments in order to teach students not to kill, I would say there are some basic principles that are not being taught," she said.

In a related educational issue, 40 percent of those polled said they feel school officials have not taken seriously enough security measures in the wake of increased school violence. Sixteen percent said they feel the measures that have been taken were overreactions, while 36 percent said they feel the actions have been appropriate.

The West Virginia Poll is a survey of registered voters in West Virginia based on telephone interviews conducted Feb. 2-8 with 405 randomly selected registered voters throughout the state. The poll is co-sponsored by the Charleston Daily Mail, WSAZ Newschannel 3 and The Associated Press and was conducted by the Ohio State University College of Social and Behavioral Sciences' Center for Survey Research. The margin of error is 4.9 percentage points.

Anti-evolution' books touted by teachers panel: Kanawha board must still OK their purchase

Charleston Gazette Article:

March 16, 2000 Eric Eyre Gazette

A committee of Kanawha County science teachers recommended Wednesday night that school officials purchase 47 textbooks that provide "alternative interpretations" to Darwin's Theory of Evolution.

Karl Priest, a member of the Kanawha Creation Science Group, presented the book to the science teachers.

"I want to thank Karl Priest for bringing this to my attention," said Bob Seymour, who oversees science programs for the school system. "This follows science to the letter."

The supplemental books will cost about $564, part of a $3 million science textbook purchase the school board plans to approve April 20.

Professors and teachers throughout the country have criticized the book, "Of Pandas and People," calling it a "product of the creation science movement" and part of a plan by religious fundamentalists to undermine science education in public schools.

"It's not a creationist book," said Priest, who sat on a citizen's committee that advised the teachers on high school science textbook purchases. "It's the best one I've seen that presents alternative science without getting into religion."

Seymour said the books are primarily for teachers, but they may loan them to students. He described the 161-page book as "heavy reading" and "challenging."

The Creation Research Society and other creation science groups recommend the book on their Web sites.

The National Association of Biology Teachers published a recent review of the book, calling it "a product of the anti-evolution movement."

"Many proponents of this movement endeavor to introduce creation science or creationism into biology courses in the public schools," the reviewer writes. "Their effort must by viewed as part of the creationist movement to obstruct the teaching of biological evolution."

Kansas Citizens for Science, a group of parents, teachers and professors that joined together after the Kansas Board of Education removed key aspects of the theory of evolution from the state curriculum last year, also criticizes the book.

Kenneth Miller, a professor of biology at Brown University, calls the textbook "a collection of half-truths, distortions and outright falsehoods that attempts to misrepresent biology and mislead students."

Seymour said the recommendation to purchase the books was not "an attempt to instill an interpretation or doctrine. "

"It gives you all the scientific findings," Seymour said. "Then it will say, Hey, what if rather than A, you took choice B?' There's no science being violated."

The book's authors, professors at Hillsborough County (Fla.) Community College and San Francisco State University, state in the preface that the textbook "is not intended to be a balanced treatment by itself. We have given a favorable case for intelligent design and raised reasonable doubt about natural descent."

School board members did not comment on the textbooks Wednesday night.

The teacher committee recommended the book as a "teacher reference and not as a supplement for students because the secondary school science classes should not be investing that much time in the study of biological origins."

"I hope every teacher who has to teach evolution will make use of this," said Priest, a math teacher at Andrew Jackson Middle School.

In December, school board members voted 4-1 against a resolution that would have backed teachers who criticize evolution theory in the classroom. School board member Betty Jarvis supported the resolution.

Charleston Daily Mail Article:

Book gives alternative to evolution: Teachers would receive one copy of the textbook

Rebecca Catalanello (Daily Mail) March 16, 2000

Bob Seymour heard science teachers' complaints and decided this was the year to do something about it.

As science curriculum director for the county, Seymour listened to teachers last December when they told him they wanted a textbook that presents Darwin's Theory of Evolution as theory, not fact. He watched when community members came out to the Board of Education building in droves to support a policy that would have allowed teachers to teach theories for and against
evolution.

So when Seymour and several other teachers and community members began considering textbooks for the six-year science textbook adoption, Seymour was pleased to submit "Of Pandas and People," a Haughton Publishing Company textbook that presents an "alternative" view of the theory.

"This book is not written to shun evolution," Seymour said. "It is written to offer an alternative viewpoint."

If the school board votes to accept the book during its April 20 meeting, 47 teachers across the county will each receive one copy of the book to keep in their rooms for reference in addition to their regular classroom textbooks.

The books will be available for public viewing next week through April 20 at three area libraries: Riverside High School library, South Charleston public library and Cross Lanes public library.

Seymour said the test was whether the book presented the appropriate scientific material without discounting evolutionary theory or presenting an "alternative" theory as doctrine.

The book has received criticism from professors and teachers throughout the country, some of whom have referred to it as a "product of the creation science movement'' and part of a plan by religious fundamentalists to undermine science education in public schools, according to The Associated Press.

Karl Priest, a math teacher at Andrew Jackson Middle School who sat on the citizen's committee that advised teachers on high school science textbook purchases, first brought the book to the committee's attention.

"I want to thank Karl Priest for bringing the book to my attention," Seymour said to the board. Other books "stomped" on the theory of evolution, he said. "This one doesn't."

"It's the best one I've seen that presents alternative science without getting into religion,'' Seymour said.

Priest, who last year pushed for the board to adopt a policy to allow teachers to teach theories for and against evolution, said he was "pleasantly surprised" by the recommendation, but that he isn't finished with his crusade.

"I am still trying to get an answer on how the board will protect teachers who don't want to teach evolution," he said. "That's still on the table."

The books will be on tonight's board meeting agenda for their first reading.

Charleston Gazette Article:

Creation textbook divides board

March 17, 2000 Eric Eyre Gazette

Kanawha County school board members are divided over whether to purchase anti-evolution textbooks that a committee has recommended for science classrooms.

Scientists and teachers throughout the country have criticized "Of Pandas and People," calling it a creationist treatise and a plan by religious fundamentalists to undermine science education in public schools.

But a committee of Kanawha County science teachers and the head of the school system's science curriculum have unanimously endorsed the controversial book.

"It's very unlikely it will get approved," school board President John Luoni said Thursday.

"I was surprised the committee seemed to have no problem with it. It looks like they misjudged this book."

But school board members Betty Jarvis and Pete Thaw said they will vote to purchase 47 copies of the book for teachers on April 20. The books would be given to teachers who may distribute them to high school students.

"If teachers want it, I'm in favor of getting it to them," Thaw said. "If they say it will be helpful to them, I believe them."

"It's very good supplemental text," said school board member Betty Jarvis. "The teachers who chose it and [science curriculum director] Bob Seymour did an excellent job."

Hilary Chiz, who directs the West Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, called on school board members to reject the textbook.

"These are stealth efforts to reintroduce religion to schools," Chiz said. This is a wakeup call. This is an alarm sounding.

"This would be an expenditure of taxpayer money for non-educational materials."

School board member Bill Raglin said he planned to examine the book and consult scientists before deciding how he'll vote on April 20.

"We have 30 days to see what's actually in there," Raglin said.

"Bob Seymour gave me a copy of a chemistry book to look over last night. I wish he would have given me a copy of Pandas.'"

Seymour could not be reached for comment Thursday.

School board member Cheryle Hall was out of town Thursday and unavailable for comment.

The book has sparked debate in school districts throughout the country. In one Ohio school district, parents purchased 100 copies and donated them to the schools after board members rejected the books.

Karl Priest, a member of the Kanawha Creation Science Group, presented the textbook to the county teacher committee that recommends science textbooks. Seymour personally thanked Priest for bringing the book to his attention, saying it "follows science to the letter."

But numerous national groups, including the National Association of Biology Teachers, The Textbook League and National Center for Science Education, have criticized the book as "bad science."

"Clearly this is a group of teachers that needs to be second-guessed," said Eugenia Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education. "Believe me, Of Pandas and People' is a religious view. It's telling some students in the classroom that their religious view is wrong."

Nonsense, said Priest.

"They're overreacting without enough information or they have an agenda to indoctrinate children to evolutionism," Priest said Thursday.

The textbook is not on a list of textbooks approved by the state Department of Education. Department officials say they are unaware of any county school system in the state that has purchased copies of the book.

"According to the reviews by scientists we have, the book is riddled with inaccurate information," said Steve McBride, textbook coordinator at the education department.

The book advocates "intelligent design" - the idea that life is so complex and remarkable that it could not have happened randomly. The authors, professors at Hillsborough County, Fla., Community College and San Francisco State University, argue that there had to be an intelligent, purposeful guiding hand that created living things.

In December, school board members voted 4-1 against a resolution that would have backed teachers who criticize evolution theory in the classroom. Jarvis supported the resolution.

In the meantime I found out the teacher committee was withdrawing it's endorsement based upon propaganda sent by the NCSE.

A highly qualified attorney from “The Discovery Institute” send legal information to the KCBOE attorney.

I wrote to the State Superintendent and his two subordinates and called them on their deceit. I received no response. Remember this when we get to the section on the Standards battle.

I also wrote to the teachers' committee and provided them with the facts to counter the NCSE propaganda.

Charleston Gazette Article:

GROUP ABANDONS "CREATION TEXTBOOK"
Federal court ruling on intelligent design changes minds of science teachers

Eric Eyre (Gazette) Front page of the 4-4-00 Charleston Gazette.

(Note: The reporter called, before I contacted him, and told me he would print a correction because my quote was not in context. I was referring to the ACLU.)

A committee of Kanawha County science teachers has withdrawn its support for a controversial anti-evolution textbook.

The science teachers unanimously recommended last month that the school board purchase Of Pandas and People for 47 high school science teachers. Teachers had permission to loan the books to students.

But science committee members recently changed their minds. They cited a federal court ruling that found proposals to teach intelligent design a theory advocated by the authors of Of Pandas and People are equivalent to proposals for teaching creation science.

We can't put this school system in legal jeopardy, said schools Superintendent Ron Duerring. We cannot do that to our school system.

School board members planned to decide whether to purchase the books at an April 20 meeting. But without the textbook committee recommendation, its unlikely they'll vote on the book.

I'm glad they took another look at the book, said school board President John Luoni, who opposed the textbook. I think they felt it wasn't a book based on scientific reason and analysis.

School board member Betty Jarvis criticized state Department of Education officials, saying they had threatened and intimidated county science teachers and told them the textbook was illegal.

This is the ultimate form of censorship, Jarvis said Monday. This is pure censorship. When you can’t put a resource tool in the hands of adult teachers, something is wrong. Terribly wrong.

Karl Priest, a Kanawha Creation Science Group member who brought the book to the attention of science teachers, called the committee’s reversal shameful and shocking.

It’s a devious display of religious bigotry and intellectual hypocrisy, said Priest, who teaches math at Andrew Jackson Middle School in Nitro.

Scientists and teachers throughout the country have criticized Of Pandas and People, calling it a creationist treatise and a plan by religious fundamentalists to undermine science education in public schools.

The book advocates intelligent design, the idea that an intelligent, purposeful guiding hand created living things.

The National Association of Biology Teachers and the National Center for Science Education have criticized the book as bad science.

At a March 15 meeting, science teachers and school system science curriculum director Bob Seymour gave the book a glowing endorsement.

Ten days later, they reversed the decision.

The group felt there was no sense upsetting great numbers when it was intended for so few, Seymour said Monday. There was no point in carrying it further.

Meanwhile, leaders of a Seattle-based conservative organization criticized the West Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, saying the group wants to ban textbooks, promote censorship and trample academic freedom.

Its disgusting that the ACLU, typically a defender of free speech even for racists and extremists, is preventing teachers from being exposed to anything but strict Darwinian orthodoxy, said Jay Richards, program director for the Discovery Institute, a group that rejects parts of Darwins theory of evolution.

Hilary Chiz, who heads the states ACLU chapter, called the Discovery Institutes criticism a silly attack.

This shows you how evil that side can be, Chiz said. The ACLU has never participated in banning a book. We dont intend to start. Their contention that the ACLU wants to ban free speech is as unbalanced as their view of science education.

Chiz had urged school board members not to purchase Of Pandas and People.
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This appeared on 9A of the 4-5-00 Gazette. I am a member of the Kanawha Creation Science Group, but this battle has been totally independent of that group. Any help members gave has been as individuals. The opposition wanted to tie this issue into "creation" which they hoped to persuade the public equaed us to Bible thumpers.

<< Priest was quoted out of context in Tuesday's Gazette. Priest's criticism of an anti-evolution textbook was aimed at the West Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and its director, Hilary Chiz--not at Kanawha County school science teachers.>>

AMAZING!

On April 20 I attended a BOE meeting and the results could not have been better written by a script writer. I was the first speaker and urged the BOE not to censor the book "Of Pandas and People.

Shortly after me, a very professional looking and well-spoken parent addressed the BOE. (I had received email from this fellow, but had never met him and had not planned any strategy with him.) He began to read from a book which had been assigned to his daughter (a high school junior). Before he read a paragraph the BOE president stopped him because of the sexually explicit material. This gave Betty Jarvis an opening and a long debate resulted over why students were required to read material that could not be read at that meeting (which is televised locally by tape delay). In the discussion, Betty pointed out the BOE was preventing teachers from being exposed to "Pandas" while allowing students to read material that is highly offensive. (Video of this meeting can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UueQpSoMBYM.)

See “The Book” below for an idea of what was in the book.

Finally, the BOE decided to put the issue on the May 11 agenda.

After the parent finished, the Unitarian minister got up and started attacking me. Finally I raised my hand in objection and the BOE president asked him to stop. The Unitarian started criticizing me again and was stopped a second time. Then he got on to the pornography issue and ended up saying he would approve of his 9 year old son reading pornography if it would encourage his son to read. This remark set the audience (there for educational reasons not related to this discussion) into a minor uproar.

(Note: The parent has went through a long administrative process to object to the book and finally reached a stonewall.)

Ultimately the BOE voted to accept all recommended texts except "Pandas".

Note: All BOE meetings were recorded for telecast the next week on a local cable channel.

The Daily Mail (4-25-00) reported Board's discussion of how to handle the situation regarding the book excerpt read by the parent.

" I thought we should bleep out the offensive words since children are going to be watching," Luoni said.

This one generated BOE discussion over cutting the parent's reading, but they settled on a pre-telecast warning viewers about “offensive language”.

The following was a "secret" memo discovered after the teacher committee vote.

To: Ron Duerring, Superintendent

From: Secondary Science Selection Committee
Marty Burke
Greg Dodd
Richard Ferrell
David Jones
Jerry Marsili

Subject: "Of Pandas and People" Teacher Resource Recommendation

Date: March 20, 2000

The Secondary Science Selection Committee selected the "Of Pandas and People" as a teacher resource to improve instruction relative to the Theory of Evolution. In light of the legal interpretation brought forth by Phyllis Barnhart, WV-SDE, we respectlly request to remove the "Of Pandas and People" from the list of science instructional materials recommended for adoption by Kanawha County Schools.

The critical portion of the legal interpretation presented by Phyllis Barnhart was as follows:

Freller V. Tangipahoa Parish Board of Education . The decision is also noteworthy for recognizing that curriculum proposals for "intelligent design" are equivalent to proposals for teaching "creation science "

This committee made this decision in a special evening session, Monday, March 21,2000. The role call vote for the removal of the book from the recommended list was
as follows:
+ MartyBurke,YES
+ GregDodd,YES
+ Richard Ferrell, Proxy vote of YES, Absent due to family commitment
+ David Jones, YES
· Jerry Marsili, Absent

5. Webster V. New Lenox School Distrkt: In 1990, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals found that a school district may prohibit a teacher from teaching creation science, in flilfilling its responsibility to ensure that the First Amendment's establishment clause is not violated, and religious beliefs are not injected into the public school curriculum. The court upheld a district court finding that the school district had not violated Webster's free speech rights when it prohibited him from teaching" creation science," since it is a form of religious advocacy. (Webster V. New Lenox School District #122,917 F. 2d 1004)

6. Peloza V. Capistrano School District: In 1994, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court finding that a teacher's First Amendment right to free exercise of religion is not violated by a school district's
requirement that evolution be taught in biology classes. Rejecting plaintiff Peloza's definition of a "religion" of 1tevolutionism", the Court found that the district had simply and appropriately required a science teacher to teach a scientific theory in biology class. (John E. Peloza V. Capistrano Unified School District, (1994)37 F. 3rd 517)

7. Freiler V. Tangipahoa Parish Board ofEducation: In 1997. the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana rejected a policy requiring teachers to read aloud a disclaimer whenever they taught
about evolution, ostensibly to promote "critical thinking". The Court wrote that, "In mandating this disclaimer, the School Board is endorsing religion by disclaimning the teaching of evolution in such a manner as to convey the message that evolution is a religious viewpoint that runs counter to... other religious views. The decision is also noteworthy for recognizing that curriculum proposals for "intelligent design" are equivalent to proposals for teaching "creation science". (Freiler v Tangipahoa Board of Education, No.94-3577 (E.D. La. Aug. 8, 1997). On August 13, 1999, the 5th circuit court of appeals affrmed the ruling.

Charleston Daily Mail Article:

Friday May 19, 2000 (Daily Mail)

In other matters at Thursday's meeting, attorney Rob Muise, from the Michigan-based Thomas More Center for Law and Justice, offered the board free legal services should they choose to adopt the textbook "Of Pandas and People" to teach evolution in science classes.

The book teaches the concept of "intelligent design," which emphasizes the religious element in the theory of evolution.

"Those who suppress these ideas are not interested in education. I am here to encourage the board to put this text in the hands of the teachers. The primary obligation is to teachers, parents and students to promote education," Muire said.

Duerring said the textbook adoption process was over.

Board President John Luoni added that the reason the book was not ordered was because intelligent design did not belong in the classroom.

"It's just not a part of the science curriculum. It's not a science-based theory," he said. "The point is that in science class, we stick with the best available science theories."

School board won't buy anti-evolution textbook: 2 percent pay raise also OK'd for administrators

Charleston Gazette Article:

Eric Eyre Friday June 16, 2000 (Gazette)

Kanawha County school board members refuse to use taxpayer money to buy copies of an anti-evolution textbook, "Of Pandas and People."

But outgoing board member Betty Jarvis plans to pay for at least 14 copies out of her own pocket.

She promised Thursday night to donate the books to middle and junior high school libraries.

"I'm going to make the purchases, " Jarvis said after board members voted 3-2 against buying copies for all middle and high school science teachers.

"I'll take care of the junior highs and middle schools."

School board members also approved a 2 percent pay raise for principals, assistant principals and central office administrators.

The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Thomas More Center, a conservative think tank, will buy copies of the controversial textbook for the county's seven high schools, Jarvis said.

A committee at each school will decide whether to accept the textbooks.

The book advocates a theory called "intelligent design," which pokes holes in
evolution theory.

Several national science teacher groups oppose the book, calling it "bad science."

Jarvis wanted the school board to pay $624 to buy 48 copies of the book and put them in science classrooms.

"Some of the top scientists in the world praise this," she said.

School board member Pete Thaw said he read "Of Pandas and People" and had "no problem" with it. But he predicted the purchase might prompt book requests from other groups.

"Who's here next month?" Thaw asked. "I assume it might be an Islamic temple. And right after them, the Buddhists would be here. And right after them, the Zen Buddhists."

School board member Bill Raglin voted to buy the books, saying the person he appointed to a committee that reviewed the book had approved it.

NOTE: (updated 5-3-2011)

Raglin is a retired chemist. His appointment was a science expert of some type. The vote was 3-2. Pete Thaw, a self-proclaimed “man of faith” who has captivated conservatives and many Christians, cast the vote that sunk us. Thaw had also compromised his integrity during the Evolution Resolution by not backing up his principles expressed to me in a telephone conversation.  Latter, (in a matter not related to evolution) Thaw called another board member an SOB (not abbreviated).  When I urged the board to stand against blasphemy of Jesus Christ, Thaw played political games and did nothing.  During a telephone conversation he angrily accused me of bothering him about "religious issues."  I told him that was a ridiculous accusation and followed up with the following email to which he did not respond.

I would like to clarify some things that we discussed via telephone.

First, I must reiterate that your statement that I bother you with religious issues is ridiculous. I would like to see why you would say such a thing. If you would like to verify that your statement is accurate we can discuss it further. If you do not respond, I will assume that you agree the statement was in error and the matter will be dropped.

Second, at the board meeting and in a follow-up email, I asked each board member to publicly state whether or not he/she supports my request that my book be used in AP classes. I realize that the decision is not yours. I simply request a clear statement about your position. Do you think that my book should be used by AP classes? YES or NO

Of by far the most important matter I placed before the board (all five of you) is whether or not you will firmly stand against blasphemy of Jesus Christ. It is irrelevant whether or not a specific example can be provided. The fact is that it was done in the past (A Prayer for Owen Meany) and, unless the board says "NO!" it can be done again. Will you strongly, voice objection to blasphemy of Jesus Christ and pledge to do your best to end that disgraceful practice? YES or NO

Also see the July 17, 2009 entry of WV School News.

Charleston Daily Mail Article:

June 16, 2000 (Daily Mail)

Also during Thursday's meeting:

The board voted down a motion to spend $623 on 48 copies of the anti- evolution book, "Of Pandas and People." Outgoing board member Betty Jarvis said she would instead personally donate the books to all the junior highs and middle schools while the Thomas Moore Center for Law and Justice, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based conservative think tank, has offered to donate books for each of the high schools.

Charleston Gazette Editorial:

The following is an editorial in the Gazette. During all the battles they ran malarkey like this.

Design? The book dilemma

Saturday June 17, 2000 Gazette

TRYING to solve the battle over evolution, Kanawha County school board member Cheryle Hall wants to let a fundamentalist teacher give each high school library a book that says the universe and life were created by "intelligent design" (which means "God did it"). Such books espouse theology.

That's fine - as long as all viewpoints are allowed equal access to school libraries.

What if an atheist group wants to donate books to school libraries, or a Hare Krishna temple, or a Scientology unit, or a Wicca witch coven or the like? Is the school board prepared to accept books from all groups?

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In August 2014 I had occasion to review my file from the Panda’s battle. The deception by the opposition was shameful. The deceit by the narrow-minded bigot sensors masquerading as open-minded educators interested in scientific facts is despicable.
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The Book

From above regarding the book that the Board allowed while rejecting Pandas:

In other business, the board agreed to place a written parental warning on the televised version of a regular school board meeting taped last Thursday, during which a delegation read aloud from the John Irving novel, "A Prayer for Owen Meany."

"I thought we should bleep out the offensive words since children are going to be watching," Luoni said, before conceding that he probably didn't have the votes for such an action.

Luoni halted Nitro parent Brad Liston in mid-reading last week when the text he read began making reference to male genitalia.  (Daily Mail April 25)

This is only a hint of how bad the content actually was.

For more about this book see "The Books".

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More "battles" can be found in my testimony. For video of this battle and others see “See for Yourself”.

IMPOTANT NOTE: I have demonstrated that teachers in West Virginia can criticize evolution. There is no evidence that any of them have done so. There is no question that children will continue to be indoctrinated with evolutionism. Students face even worse dangers in government schools and parents MUST rescue their children without delay!

Be sure to see “Evolution is a Lie”.

There is a COMMON THREAD connecting evolutionism and the One World Religion.