Thursday, November 26, 2015

#1528: Roger DeHart

Roger DeHart is a young earth creationist who rose to some fame in 1997 after he, as a longtime biology teacher (apparently affiliated with the Discovery Institute) at Burlington-Edison High School in Washington, had been teaching intelligent design in his curriculum through excerpts of Of Pandas and People since 1986 (though he had done so rather quietly and subversively). DeHart later resigned and took a teaching job some at Christian school in California, where he had more leeway when it comes to preventing kids from learning about the parts of reality that may conflict with his fundamentalist religious views. In his notoriously anti-scientific book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, creationist Jonathan Wells portrayed DeHart as a religious martyr by blatantly distorting the facts of the case (while all the same trying feebly to claim that intelligent design is not about religion). The same as always.

Given his status as something of a celebrity in the creationist movement, DeHart was among the many called to testify during the Kansas evolution hearings. Taking a cue from the creationist textbook on rhetoric (see above), he fervently tried to portray himself as a martyr and claimed to have felt pressured to resign from his teaching job after trying to force his religious views on his students and just because he wished to replace the science that kids really ought to know with his personal religious beliefs. 

Diagnosis: Well, yet another religious fundamentalist that intelligent design promoters are trying to promote as a martyr for his efforts to replace reality, evidence and science with religious dogma and thereby to force his religious beliefs on others. No: His students were the victims here; he was the bad guy. DeHart himself seems to have sort of faded from view at this point, though.


  1. Correction - DeHart taught at Burlington-Edison HighSchool in Skagit County, Washington