Responses to teaching creationism
Responses to teaching creationism
Lincoln Journal Star - 4/30/2016
Thank you, Journal-Star, for interviewing candidates for public office. Those running to represent District 1 on the Nebraska Board of Education apparently differ somewhat in their understanding of how to accurately relate science and religion. According to "Candidates discuss creationism in schools," (April 22) Stephanie Bohlke-Schulte thinks schools should have the option of teaching a “balanced approach” that includes creationism as a scientific alternative to evolution. Creation as a religious concept is compatible with science but creationism, presented as if it were science, is inaccurate scientifically and theologically. Evolution can and should be taught in a scientifically sound manner that is neutral regarding philosophical or religious worldviews.
Creationism incompatible with science
Charles Austerberry, Omaha
On science and belief
The article “Candidates discuss creationism in schools,” (April 22) is troubling, not because Ms. Stephanie Bohlke-Schulte thinks that there “is some scientific foundation for [creationism].” Ms Bohlke-Schulte is simply ignorant of the fact that all scientific hypotheses must be falsifiable, capable of being demonstrated to be false. The hypothesis that there is a deity who created the heavens and the earth is simply not falsifiable, meaning creationism is not science.
This article is troubling because James Blake’s opinion, “When a teacher encounters a student who holds a belief that may be outside of science, the teacher should never pit one as right and one as wrong,” is dangerous. A person with these views should not be in a position to affect science curriculum.
The history of science has been the rejection of beliefs that are outside of science because they are wrong. We don’t persecute women for engaging in witchcraft today because we know there are no witches and belief in them is simply nonsense.
At Galileo’s trial before the Inquisition for teaching heresy, that the earth moves making us think the sun moves in the sky, Galileo suggested the prosecutor, Cardinal Bellarmine, look through his telescope so he would understand why the earth moves, not the sun. Bellarmine responded that he did not need the instruments of science to tell him what is true, the Holy Scriptures told him what is true.
Apparently, Mr. Blake would say that Galileo should not pit his scientific views against Bellarmine’s dogma. However, Pope John Paul II apologized for the fact the medieval Church was wrong about the sun moving in the sky, about 400 years too late but better late than never. It is too bad Mr. Blake is not as wise as John Paul II.
William Boernke, Lincoln
Lincoln Journal Star - 5/1/2016
I read with concern the article "Candidates discuss creationism in schools" on April 22. As a professional biologist I have no problem with creationism as history and religion. Teaching it as science, however, misleads students. Evolution is an important component of the scientific literature.
Keep creationism out of science
Creationism is neither in the scientific literature nor does it contribute to scientific discussions. Quality science education should teach students about what scientists actually do and avoid pet theories of special interest groups.
Les Lane, Lincoln