Anti-creationists threaten another teacher's liberty

July 27, 2005

Roger DeHart is a biology instructor who lives north of Seattle, Washington. For a number of years, his public high school allowed him to teach the evidence both for and against evolution, and also permitted him to teach the alternative view of “intelligent design” (i.e., that the incredible complexity of living things shows that they are designed).

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Origin of Life

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Mr. DeHart informed AiG that two years ago he was “forced” by his new school superintendent to stop teaching his students about intelligent design (ID), but he was still allowed to discuss the problems with evolution theory. This policy change came after a threatened lawsuit by the (so-called) “American Civil Liberties Union” (ACLU), promising it would take legal action against the school board if Mr. DeHart continued to teach ID. By the way, students in his class (according to World magazine, June 24) declared that Mr. DeHart never mentioned God or religion in class, and some students admitted they weren’t even sure what Mr. DeHart really believed about origins.

In May, Mr. DeHart asked the school for permission to distribute articles from major science journals that would correct wrong and outdated information found in his science textbooks. Incredibly, the principal denied the necessary permission.

Here are two of the textbook “facts” that Mr. DeHart tried to refute:

  1. That the “peppered moths” in England were evidence for evolution (for information on this now-discredited evidence for evolution, see our peppered moths article from a recent Creation magazine. Mr. DeHart sought to distribute an article from the prestigious journal The Scientist that stated that evolutionists should no longer use this false argument.

  2. He wanted to present an article to his students from Scientific American that shows that the famous “life-in-a-test-tube” experiment by Stanley Miller in the 1950s should be dismissed as insignificant, for this experiment has little to do with how life might have evolved millions of years ago. Permission to distribute the article was denied (for more information showing that that life could not have evolved from nonliving chemicals, see Q&A: Origin of Life).

Mr. DeHart is only attempting to develop the critical thinking skills of his students, showing the evidence both for and against Darwinism, especially now that he is not allowed to present arguments for intelligent design. Why should students not be permitted to read articles from prestigious pro-evolutionary journals and to decide for themselves what their views should be regarding biological origins?

Published: 15 February 2006