September 13, 2007

Creationist's Frivolous Lawsuit Kicked to the Curb

Judge tosses out evolution lawsuit
Ruling says man had adequate access to school officials.

A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit against the Roseville Joint Union High School District that was filed by a Granite Bay man unhappy with how evolution was being taught in his children's school.

The father, Larry Caldwell, spent much of 2003 and 2004 trying to persuade the Roseville high school district to alter its biology curriculum to include arguments against evolution. After many meetings and discussions about his proposals, the school board rejected them.

Caldwell then sued the district, four administrators and two school board members, alleging they had violated his constitutional rights in the process of considering his proposals. School district officials denied Caldwell access to certain meetings and discriminated against him for being Christian, Caldwell claimed...

Caldwell "failed to proffer any evidence that he was treated differently than other similarly situated individuals," [US District Judge] Damrell wrote.

The judge shot down every claim Caldwell made in the suit. He found that the school board and administrators did not discriminate against Caldwell and instead gave him extensive opportunities to present his ideas on changing the evolution curriculum.

And he made a point to clarify that the case concerned administrative processes, not the merits of the biology curriculum Caldwell had proposed.

"This case is not about how biology, including discussions of evolutionary theory, can or should be taught in public schools. More specifically, this case is not about whether a theory of intelligent design can or should be included in the science curriculum for schools in the District," Damrell wrote. "Rather, this case is about whether Larry Caldwell was denied access to speak in various (forums) or participate in certain processes because of his actual or perceived religious beliefs..."

The attorney for the Roseville school officials welcomed Damrell's ruling.

"The facts clearly show that the school district bent over backwards and tried very hard to provide Mr. Caldwell with an opportunity to present his ... proposals in the various ways that were structured for parents to present ideas to the district," James Ward said.

Jim Joiner, a former Roseville school board member, said he wasn't surprised by the decision.

"The board and the district gave him special treatment beyond what we would typically give anyone," Joiner said. "I always felt confident that a court would reach that conclusion."

School board member Jan Pinney said Caldwell's lawsuit amounted to "sour grapes."

"For two years all our energy was spent fighting this issue," Pinney said.

"He had more time before the board than anybody has ever had in my 12 years on the board."
In a nutshell (which is exactly where nuts like Larry Caldwell and Kevin Snider belong), yet another Creationist got a chance to present his alleged evidence against evolution in an attempt to shove the supposedly non-religious "theory" of intelligent design into science classrooms. When his arguments were considered and rejected, he cried religious discrimination. This has become a regular pattern with these people, and by now it should be clear to anyone watching this debate that there is no such thing as a secular intelligent design theory, firstly because there is no theory in intelligent design and secondly because, with the exception of a very small group who ascribes the origin of life to alien spacemen, every single person who advocates intelligent design does so on the basis of their religious beliefs. Caldwell didn't subscribe to the theory and then have a religious conversion; he signed on precisely because intelligent design provided a cover under which to inject theology into public school science curricula — or so he thought, until he had to present his arguments. I wasn't there, but I'd wager that they were the same tired lines of nonsense that we've all heard, and which have been debunked, over and over again, ad infinitum, for years now.

One of these days, a judge is going to do the right thing and put his or her foot down in a ruling that will stop the mythology-believers from tying up valuable judicial and educational resources by stating that there can be no more of these meaningless, jejune lawsuits. There is simply no basis for these suits to continue being heard for the reasons I've stated above. There is absolutely no evidence in favor of intelligent design creationism. There's no research to support it, no valid argument, and no secular basis for it at all. Until and unless at least one of these three conditions is met, there is no more reason to waste further time in the courts on this non-issue than there is justification for attempting to have the ocean punished for knocking down a bridge.

Sphere: Related Content