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September 13, 2006

Public schools criticized

Writer promotes ignorance

I am tired of The Star providing a forum for advocates of ignorance. Deborah Solomon (9/9, As I See It, “Values are missing from public school teaching”) offers: “My daughter was taught evolution (in a public school) from the viewpoint of an atheist.” This is ridiculous: Evolution does not take a position on the existence, works or abilities of God, period. There is nothing atheistic about it.

Solomon then says that her daughter dropped college English and psychology courses because she felt that the textbooks were pornographic. She doesn’t identify the books, so we can’t judge for ourselves, but having spent a great deal of time on college campuses during my careers, I find her claim incredible. We should trust the judgment of a college professor over Solomon’s willful ignorance.

The only “value” that Solomon demonstrates to be missing from public schools is the ignorance she champions. Bravo for the public schools. Fighting ignorance is a perfect use for our tax dollars. And, as for vouchers, we have too many ignorant adults like Solomon. Do we really want to make it easier for them to force their ignorance upon their children?

Julie L. Kramschuster
Lee’s Summit

She’s wrong about values

I have read few items so insufferable as the piece titled “Values are missing from public school teaching,” contributed by Deborah Solomon.

Solomon confuses values with religious beliefs. She does not mention honesty, respect for others, hard work or tolerance (values), but writes about Genesis, Chapter 1, sexual abstinence, and school voucher programs.

It may be news to her, for instance, that evolution is taught in public school science classes because those teachers and administrators place a high “value” on scientific inquiry.

If the writer wants her children to be taught fundamentalist Christian tenets, then she should send them to a school that offers that curriculum. But her children will be indoctrinated, not educated.

My parents and my father-in-law were career teachers in public schools. I resent anyone saying they did not practice the highest values in their approach to education, their dedication to students and their professionalism.

Robert L. Thatch
Kansas City

Comments

jack

sammy: I wll agree with you here. THere are many that believe that evolution is "proof" there is no God. There are also many that believe evolution is "proof" of the hand of God at work.

Since neither view is testable, neither belongs in a science class. More appropriatly, both should be discussed in a philosophy or theology class.

Sammy

CRD- I know staunch believers in evolution who seem to think the evolution is proof against the existence of God. How they come to that conclusion, I can only guess is with the same dimwitted logic as the anti-evolutionists that you know.

As for Solomon's column - pretty weak even for my shaky standards.

CRD

"Rhonda I'm not real sure what you are asking here. My point was even if you believe in evolution, you can still believe in God because something has to, at the simplest form, create the original life to be evolved from."

The only people I've heard argue that evolution and God are incompatible are the anti-evolutionist crowd.

kcstar_is_one_sided

""something had to create that first organism, cell, planet, whatever. You can't get something out of nothing."

Really? Who created God?

Posted by: Rhonda Johnston | Sep 14, 2006 4:09:01 PM "

Rhonda I'm not real sure what you are asking here. My point was even if you believe in evolution, you can still believe in God because something has to, at the simplest form, create the original life to be evolved from.

As for your question, I don't know, perhaps you can ask Him someday.

Tom K

Ms. Solomon's children cannot possibly have failed to hear this "message" at least a thousand times by the time they were teenagers. It is completely unnecessary to force the schools to force children to waste their time reading creationist propaganda in the schools.

Rhonda

"something had to create that first organism, cell, planet, whatever. You can't get something out of nothing."

Really? Who created God?

jack

No matter how you dress it up, or what new name you give it, creationism is not science. Can you see the answer to a test question involving celluar functioning? Under creationism, the answer would be, "It is a miiracle and as such the work of God." Not very useful to a scientist.

The "big bang" may very well be the instant at which God said, "Let there be light." The answer to how life started should probably include a discussion of what put the first breath of life into the molecules in the "primordial ooze". However, these are philosophycal and/or theological discussions. They do not belong in a science class.

As to the rest of it, if my beliefs are different from your beliefs, this does not mean I am valueless or "Godless". It just means I have a different belief.

It would make sense to me that this is why Jesus spent so much time teaching tolerance of others.

CRD

You're likely right. However, I can't see my tax dollars going to teach theology in science class -- it seems like that's just inviting lot of expensive lawsuits that would cost more tax dollars. Besides, we have churches, mosques, and synogauges to teach theology to our kids.

kcstar_is_one_sided

CRD -

Yes, but Fem stated that "As for evolution.....since most scientists name it as the most important theory upon which all modern biology is based, it would present a terrible problem not to teach it in the schools.". I don't think this is the case. I don't believe that evolution will not be taught in any school.

CRD

"As for evolution, I don't think the creationists don't want it taught, rather they want a conflicting idea taught as well."

Problem with that particular "conflicting idea" is that it has no relation to science or empirical reality. It's theology, and not verifiable or falsifiable by empirical data.

kcstar_is_one_sided

Fem -

As for evolution, I don't think the creationists don't want it taught, rather they want a conflicting idea taught as well.

As for me, I don't care, I believe in evolution but I do think that no matter where you take evolution back to, or the big bank theory for that matter, something had to create that first organism, cell, planet, whatever. You can't get something out of nothing.

Femmecine

Interesting that when you read the original article by Solomon, she cites teen pregnancy as one reason for believing that American schools have lost their values.

Ms. Solomon needs to get in touch with the statistics. Teen pregnancy rates have been going down since the 1990s, however, some of the highest rates in the nation are in what we call the "Bible Belt".

As for evolution.....since most scientists name it as the most important theory upon which all modern biology is based, it would present a terrible problem not to teach it in the schools. Not only would it mean more ignorant students, but it would mean students who are less able to get jobs or compete in the real world.

 
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