Thursday, August 18, 2011

Letter to the Editor

When the mild brouhaha over Creationism in the classroom reared its head in Springboro, Ohio I dashed off a letter to the Editor of the Dayton Daily News. It took a couple of weeks, but it finally made it. Oh it's edited to be sure, but they simply removed text rather than changed the points I was trying to make. So if you are interested here it is the published version:
Ohio may very well be heading down a path it has already been before and one we certainly do not need to travel again. In the early part of this decade you might remember former State School Board member Debra Owens Fink and her efforts to get Creationism, and later Intelligent Design, adopted as science curricula. Since that time an expensive lawsuit was brought against the School Board of Dover PA when they attempted to weaken science education and open the door for religious alternatives.

Creationism and Intelligent Design are religious alternatives not scientific theories. Teaching them as if they are science does a disservice to our teachers and, more importantly, our students.

This is not a debate about science; this is a cultural and political debate. It should not be a topic for any school board until proponents offer actual viable and repeatable science supporting their philosophy. During the Dover Trial it was stated that in order for Creationism/Intelligent Design to be accepted as science the very definition of science would have to be expanded to the point of making Astrology science as well. Is this what we want and need in our educational system here in Ohio?

I think the school board members should not be supporting their own religious views, but focus on the education of all our children. They should be the first line of defense when others try and introduce pseudo-scientific ideas into the curricula.
What I liked the most was not just getting a letter published, but that the three accompanying letters all spoke out against teaching Creationism/Intelligent Design as if it were science -- including two from Springboro. That was the best part. Hopefully the folks in Springboro will continue to make their voices heard and the members of the School Board that voiced this little potential disaster will realize that there is no room in a modern science classroom for such nonsense.

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