Tuesday, June 3, 2014

#1068: Tom Ritter

Tom Ritter is (or at least was) a high school chemistry and physics teacher at Annville-Cleona High School in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. It’s a bit scary that people like Ritter are actually teaching kids about what they mistake for science, but so it is – Ritter is a creationist who unsuccessfully sued Pennsylvania public schools in 2006 for teaching evolution. According to Ritter evolution is non-scientific. It is non-scientific because evolutionists fail to prove that life can be created from non-life – a question of biochemistry that has nothing to do with evolution – because no one has proved that macroevolution occurs, and because computers don’t resemble human brains. Therefore, Ritter alleges, evolution entails atheism, and atheism is a religion. It is not entirely clear whether he received any legal assistance in drafting his formal legal complaint (it ends, almost as an addendum, with the demand that the District’s tax collector “be enjoined from collecting any taxes until the District is again legal”).

Ritter also challenged evolutionists to debate him for the prize of $1000, a challenge that was backed by the local Constitution Party, but little seems to have come of it (Ritter was explicit that he wanted it to be a contest of rhetoric, not scientific reasoning, by wanting students with no scientific background to serve as the jury). You can see a former student of Ritter’s chime in here in the comments section.

Diagnosis: Village idiot with a severe case Dunning-Kruger lowermost quartile behavior combined with delusions of grandeur. Hopefully neutralized, unless he is still teaching at high school levels.

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