Saturday, November 10, 2018

#2100: John Peloza

John Peloza is – or at least was – a California high school teacher. Peloza is also a creationist, and very unhappy that lying about science while trying to manipulate public school students into adopting his religious beliefs is illegal in the US. (Peloza did for instance give a student a Bible and told another Jewish student that she would go to hell if she did not convert to Christianity.) In 1994, Peloza sued his school district for forcing him to teach the “religion of evolutionism”, a case he of course lost (the ruling is here for those interested in revisiting a number of familiar creationist PRATTs). The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, as they had to, that there is no such religion. Of course, the suit itself showed that Peloza has a dangerously dim understanding of science, and was rather obviously unsuited for the job he had. And indeed, Peloza was subsequently reassigned to teach physical education instead of science.

Diagnosis: Yet another fine (if ultimately minor) example of the kinds of challenges truth, reason and science are up to, and a scary illustration of the kind of nonsense you can hold onto while still being considered qualified for teaching high-school kids. We have no idea what Peloza is up to these days, however.

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