Letter to Editor

Jun 142005

Once again (as in 1999), the Intelligent Design and Creationist movements are trying to weaken the teaching of evolution theory in Kansas' biology classes, and inject what amounts to religious doctrine (see the Kansas Citizens For Science website, kcfs.org, for more information on the hearings and proposed changes to the science teaching standards). Those of us trained in the life sciences must vigorously denounce this effort to let religious faith influence the teaching of solid, evidence-based science.

There's a simple principle that can govern what we should teach our children: teach what we can demonstrate to be true, i.e. science. Teach physics, teach chemistry, teach comparative religion (of course!: it's demonstrably true that people believe in different religions). And yes, teach evolution theory. Despite the word "theory" in its name, it is overwhelmingly the best evidence-based explanation for life's history on this planet. If you disagree, you should make sure you really know enough about evolution theory to make that judgment; there are many excellent resources on the web, including the National Center for Science Education site (ncse.org), the Panda's Thumb discussion site (pandasthumb.org), and the Talk.Origins archive (talkorigins.org).

We are all free to believe what we want. But Biblical literalists want to deceive our children about the state of our scientific understanding of life on Earth because evolution theory doesn't jive with their beliefs. In my mind, this is just cynical and unethical.

Joe Fass

Former CSU post-doc

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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