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Dispatches Human Race

Human Race

Phillip E. Johnson (UC Berkeley School of Law)


Phillip E. Johnson, a lawyer and early supporter of intelligent design theory, died on Nov. 2 at his home in Berkeley, Calif., at age 79. Johnson taught law at the University of California, Berkeley, for more than three decades and helped to kick-start the modern intelligent design movement with his 1991 book Darwin on Trial. Other intelligent design theorists have dubbed him the “godfather” of the movement. He wrote several books on Darwinism and intelligent design and most recently served as a program adviser for the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. He was WORLD’s 2003 Daniel of the Year.


National Park Service

Mary Joanna Gomez in a picture from the National Park Service (National Park Service)


Rescuers found a woman, missing for days in the Sequoia National Park, after spotting an SOS formed out of rocks. Mary Joanna Gomez, 56, visited Kings Canyon National Park on Oct. 23 and texted her daughter pictures of the scenery, according to the National Park System’s news release. But Gomez did not show up to her next shift at work, and her family alerted San Francisco Police. Rescuers launched a major operation, including search teams, search dogs, and National Guard aircraft. On the Monday after her disappearance, a pilot spotted the SOS she’d made and informed ground teams. Rescuers tracked Gomez down about 3½ miles from her car, where they found her in good health.


Handout photos

Jeffrey Younger, left, and Anne Georgulas (Handout photos)


A Texas judge issued a ruling in a controversial court battle over the custody of a 7-year-old boy. The case became controversial after the mother, Anne Georgulas, claimed the child is a transgender girl and filed a lawsuit against the father, Jeffrey Younger, seeking to force him to treat the boy as such. Younger, in his blog and various media interviews, claimed the mother wanted to medically transition the boy and that he has been fighting her every step of the way. Initially, a jury gave the mother sole custody of the child, but Judge Kim Cooks overruled that decision, ordered joint custody, and said both parents must agree on any medical decisions about the child.


Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images


Deaths of homeless people in Los Angeles have doubled since 2013, according to a report issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The report found that the death rate has increased by one-third during that time, with 536 homeless deaths in 2013 and 1,047 in 2018. The top cause of death was coronary heart disease with drug and alcohol overdoses a major contributing factor.  Researchers also calculated that the homeless were dying an average of 22 years earlier than the rest of the population.




Blaming “a steady decline in enrollment” since 2004, Cincinnati Christian University announced it will cease academic operations on Dec. 31. CCU’s accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), had issued the university a show-cause order on July 11, warning that CCU was in danger of losing its accreditation (see “Drowning in red,” Aug. 31, 2019). The university in recent years had changed its focus to athletics, increasing the number of student-athletes and decreasing the number of nonathletes and the number of faculty members.