February 17, 2009
In Mr. Bill Parker''s letter, The teaching of science, Feb. 3, he blames "anti-science" movements for crippling teacher''s effort to teach science, especially evolution. I have great respect and admiration for instruments of education like Mr. Parker, who are concerned about the welfare of our children.
Nevertheless, I do not believe the facts support the points he makes about the problems associated with the teaching of science. Just as much as there are people who want to teach religious ideas as science, there are many who will not allow the theory of evolution to be open to scrutiny. Many unsupported ideas are accepted ONLY because they are in agreement with ideas of common descent. In such a censored atmosphere of learning, children are not allowed to follow the facts wherever they may lead them.
Additionally, evolutionists have made some erroneous assertions. They tell us the evidence is so sound that the only debate about evolution is "how" it occurred, not whether it occurred. Mr. Parker echoes that same idea when he said, "All the evidence points to a common ancestry of different life forms on earth." But Michael Denton, utilizing the facts of science, wrote a book, "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," which brings into serious question whether the evidence is as sound as they contend.
If we truly want, as Mr. Parker suggests, "transparency in educating citizens (in science and other sciences)," we will expose students to those ideas that seem to support evolution as well as those scientific ideas that seem to falsify it.
Let the "historical theories" be taught. But teach all the evidence, pro or con, and do not give them greater "weight" than the evidence demands.
Abraham Smith, Lowndes County
KJ commented at 2/17/2009 1:36:00 PM:
Denton's work is hardly very serious in it's actual critique of evolution. He simply misstates too many positions and distorts too much evidence in favor of evolution to be considered seriously. The fact is not so much that evolution is considered to be beyond challenge as it is that evidence continues to mount in support of the theory. As body of evidence grows and is considered and reconsidered by the scientific community, the overwhelming opinion of real scientists is that the evidence we have points to evolution as the operative force.
There's a reason anti-evolutionists need laws that force their ideas to be taught: their ideas would not be addressed in any serious fashion otherwise because those ideas do not stand up against rigorous, objective scientific methodology.
Abraham commented at 2/24/2009 8:05:00 AM:
The best I can make of what you said is that you do not agree with Denton's critique. I read the book and evolutionary scientist have hardly scratched the surface in refuting it.
1. Our View: An example, an inspiration, a challenge DISPATCH EDITORIALS
2. Voice of the people: Carl Lee LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)
3. Slimantics: Our greatest unofficial national holiday LOCAL COLUMNS
4. Susan Estrich: Word games NATIONAL COLUMNS
5. Lisa McLeod: One horrible thing wrong with schools NATIONAL COLUMNS