Everett man seeks to change evolution teaching

Harclerode wants school board to put addendum in books

An Everett resident and World War II veteran, Thomas J. Harclerode, has been trying for a decade to have the Everett Area School Board put an addendum in its biology books that offers an argument counter to Darwin’s theory that life began by “time and chance.”

His first attempt in 2007 was dismissed by the Bedford County Court because it determined that Harclerode’s claim of being “a distressed taxpayer” did not give him standing to file the lawsuit.

The Superior Court in 2008 upheld the dismissal and noted “we also determined that he (Harclerode) did not fall within the exception to taxpayer standing because judicial relief is not appropriate where a plaintiff seeks to have the courts exercise control over educational policy decisions and measures adopted pursuant to the discretionary authority of a Board of School Directors.”

Harclerode 15 months ago filed an almost identical complaint in Bedford County Court pointing out that in the past decade science continues to show many aspects of Darwin’s theories of “time and chance” and that “man is a direct descendant of a lower life form” are incorrect.

He asked for a hearing to present his case for an addendum to the school district’s biology curriculum.

Bedford Judge Travis Livengood once again found that Harclerode “lacked standing” to file such a lawsuit.

Harclerode appealed to the Pennsylvania Common­wealth Court, and earlier this month Senior Judge Dan Pellegrini dismissed it because Harclerode failed to file a statement explaining legally his challenge to the Bedford judge’s opinion.

Pellegrini wrote, “He did not file a concise statement of errors with the trial court as directed.”

Until this point Harclerode said in a telephone interview, he had been filing legal papers on his own, but he said he recently acquired an attorney and that attorney did file a statement of the legal issues involved.

On Monday he requested that Commonwealth Court to reconsider its decision, according to state court records.

Harclerode said that he was always a supporter of the concept of evolution — until he suffered a heart attack several years ago.

He began to study human physiology and ended up reading Darwin’s “Origin of Species” that, he said, concluded humans came about through “natural selection.”

Harclerode said he has studied DNA and the supposed part that mutations have played in the ultimate development of mankind and he has concluded “life is so complex that it could not have been developed piece-by-piece.”

He said researchers have yet to find the “missing link,” stating that if humans came about “piece-by-piece,” so-called missing links would be everywhere.