Battling or defending evolution in classrooms

The Monitor's Nov. 23 article on evolution vs. creationism in public schools ("God or science?") presages a long, divisive, and unnecessary battle instigated by Christian fundamentalists, who have confused God and His spiritual creation with the physical world that has evolved and operates by physical laws.

The theory of "intelligent design" cited in your article is appealing to all of us who believe deeply in God and who have learned and benefited from scientific understanding about the physical world and universe. Intelligent design will be a mockery, however, if the concept is manipulated to deny the achievements of inspired human intelligence as manifested in science, literature, and the arts over hundreds of years.
Sharon F. Francis
Charlestown, N.H.

Science is the profane art of how; faith is the sacred art of why. I once heard a NASA engineer say, "Science is a self-correcting art. Doubt is the driving force of science." I do not want my children to be taught to doubt God. That is why God doesn't belong in science. The last time religion was used on a massive scale to obscure scientific research, I believe it was called the Dark Ages.
John Shulan
Akron, Ohio

I do not understand how creation science can be scientific. But on the other hand, evolution theory is not science either. When one begins removing some of the lies and myths taught in this "scientific theology," it falls down. It cannot be subjected to the scientific method. Therefore it must be accepted as "faith." Since it is faith (religion), it should not be taught as science and neither should creation science.

I find those who believe in evolution have more faith than most Christians do. At least there is hope of eternity with religion, but with evolution, there is no hope - we may as well all be hedonists.
David Gent
Vicksburg, Miss.

It is sad that the article focuses on the religious version of intelligent design. Intelligent design is primarily a scientific, not religious thesis. Current research has led some scientists to begin to abandon natural selection as a scientific explanation for life. You do a disservice to your readers to play into the religious implications of the intelligent design thesis rather than explore its accuracy, regardless of its religious implications.
Martin Drumm
La Mirada, Calif.

If intelligent design is a better scientific explanation of certain natural phenomena than evolution is, then let the proponents of this view make their case in the manner in which any other scientific hypothesis is evaluated. If and when intelligent design has been confirmed to the extent that other theories have - such as the theory of relativity or the atomic theory of matter - only then should it be taught in public school science classes.
Phil Tompkins
Issaquah, Wash.

While my personal faith holds God as originator, education serves a different purpose, most particularly science education.

The quote in the article by John Calvert of the Intelligent Design Network, that "natural selection is not enough to explain the 'eerie perfection' of the genetic code" is a perfect demonstration of the problem. The human genetic code is far from perfect - I've read estimates that some 90 percent of our genes are, in essence, junk.

By his misleading belief, Mr. Calvert demonstrates a very basic ignorance of what science is: a method to greater understanding. This same method can be applied with great success to issues of faith, bringing the inquirer to a greater understanding of God.
Jacob Cooper
Cambridge, Mass.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Any letter accepted will appear in print and on www.csmonitor.com .

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to Letters.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of 5 free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.