Response to governor's letter
Response to governor's letterDear Governor Johanns,
I am a founding member of the Nebraska Religious Coalition for Science Education. We strongly support the teaching of evolution in our public schools. We believe that sound theology is compatible with sound science. Evolution is very sound science, and in fact, it is foundational to the study of all life sciences.
I am writing out of concern for your letter of December 24, 2002 to the Nebraska Commissioner of Education regarding the approval of the science content standards. This letter is posted on the "Family First" website.
I was at the Nebraska School Board public hearing last June when these standards were discussed and adopted. I feel that this meeting has been misrepresented to you, as neither the Nebraska School Board nor the Commissioner of Education gave their blessings for the inclusion of alternative theories of evolution to be taught in our science classrooms. Nor should they, for there are no alternative scientific theories of evolution. Please check with biologists at any of Nebraska's esteemed universities, and I am sure they will tell you this.
If, perhaps, you are thinking of "Intelligent Design" or "Creationism" as alternative theories to evolution, please be assured that these are not scientific theories, but rather pseudoscience. Again, it is the overwhelming consensus of scientists that the theory of evolution is as valid as the theory of gravity. Biology cannot be well taught without an unambiguous understanding of evolution, any more than physics can be understood without a clear understanding of gravity.
The Catholic Church, (having learned from their error with Galileo) well understands this and does endorse the teaching of evolution without reservation. One should not have to attend a Catholic School in Nebraska to receive a sound education in science!
Nebraska's science students should be taught sound science, NOT pseudoscience. I strongly urge you to retract the implication of your letter, to the Commissioner of Education, i.e. that Nebraska students should be taught pseudoscience.