Following passage of Louisiana’s “Science Education Act,” “the leading expert on the book of Genesis” has posted a letter that he has sent to Louisiana offering his help in preparing science teachers there. (The letter was originally posted at http://www.theconservativevoice.com/article/33882.html. That page has disappeared, so the link for the letter has been updated to another page where it is posted now. Tthat site has also posted another letter that he sent two years later to the Livingston Parrish [sic] School Board.)
First, as the letter-writer introduces himself:
Hello. My name is Herman Cummings. I am the leading expert on the book of Genesis. There is no “close second”.
I expect there are some scholars in Jerusalm and elsewhere who need instruction from this guy.
Right away, it looks like a spoof. Then there is this:
With the freedom to entertain alternatives to evolution, it is a given that the text of Genesis will be discussed.
So you think this must be something written by some anti-creationist, out to expose the fraudulent pretenses of the Louisiana law. It turns out, though, that this guy seems to be in earnest.
As he informs Louisiana:
I teach a 6-hr class for science teachers which gives them an overview of the first three chapters of Genesis, as it pertains to the appearance, and extinction, of life forms during the geologic history of Earth. . . .
After taking this course, the teachers can correctly answer the questions that students would have about the apparent differences between what science has discovered, and what was previously erroneously perceived to be written in the Bible. Thus, the students would be given a balanced education in science, without solely being taught the dogma of atheism.
He also gives this assurance, suggesting the high cost of not taking advantage of his offer to help:
Also, by providing my class to your teachers, I also give protection against lawsuits which the ACLU is certainly anxious to file. I contacted the Dover Area school district in Pennsylvania, but they ignored me, and they lost both their jobs and the court case. I contacted both the Cobb County Board members and their law firm in Georgia, in 2004, and they both ignored me, and they lost their district case. I know how to defeat the ACLU in open court in such cases, to the point that they would be discouraged from filing such lawsuits again. But I would have to be invited to work with the defense.
Good luck with that!
As goofy as this guy might sound, I’m afraid his letter might reflect a more realistic view of what to expect in Louisiana classrooms than all the DI protestations that this is only about science and has nothing at all to do with creationism — much less with the Book of Genesis.