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Letters to the Editor

Blinded to science

David Grow April 4th, 2012

Oklahoma has received a second consecutive “F” for its science teaching standards from the Fordham Foundation, resulting in much commentary about the need to improve those standards. All the states bordering Oklahoma received a higher grade.

Certainly, this must be a serious concern for Oklahoma.

How concerned is the Legislature?

Anti-science creationist inspired bills — House Bill 1551 authored by Sally Kern and Senate Bill 1742 by Josh Brecheen — are currently being considered. These would ostensibly promote “critical thinking, logical analysis and open and objective discussion of scientific theories,” primarily evolution, among others. They promote the use of supplemental textbooks and instructional materials.

The authors of these bills are ignorant of science. Brecheen’s comments concerning evolution (News, “Evolving debate”, Oklahoma Gazette, Feb. 22) is just one example: There are no credible scientists “who harbor significant skepticism toward Darwinian Theory.” There are no renowned scientists asserting evolution is “laden with errors”. His claim that tax dollars are being used to teach the unknown is stunningly nonsensical.

There are about 17 million peer-reviewed scientific research papers indexed at the National Library of Medicine, and none cast doubt on the science of evolution. None. The intention of the legislative authors is to facilitate the introduction of unscientific religious claims into science classes.

It’s noteworthy that the proponents of these bills have not mentioned “intelligent design” in their comments. Considerable propaganda exists claiming intelligent design is a nonreligious alternative to evolution. The Dover, Penn., school board was taken in by this lie. They were sued in federal court and lost, costing the community millions of dollars. The court determined intelligent design is religion. Attempts to project religious doctrine into science classrooms have a perfect record of losing First Amendment challenges in federal court. Let’s not do this to our children or Oklahoma.

—David Grow, Edmond

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