Letter to the Editor of the Columbus Dispatch
Submitted October 14, 2000
It is unfortunate for the people of Ohio that William Kirwan should have been placed in the office of president of your great university, OSU. This is supposed to be the office of a person dedicated to the best in educational method and result. However, what he proposes concerning the teaching of evolution only, and as fact, will accomplish exactly the opposite for the citizens of Ohio.
He has forgotten one of the basic elements of education, teaching critical thinking. His position stands in direct contradiction to teaching in circumspect, to teaching with intellectual honesty, and to teaching with good educational technique. His personal desire to promote a philosophy and world view of secularism based upon an unproven theory is obvious to anyone familiar with the subject.
Even Clarence Darrow, the late ACLU lawyer, argued that the teaching of only one side of an argument was bigotry. I wonder if Darrow would dare to say the same to President Kirwan today?
Kirwan's statement that "Evolution is the single unifying scientific theory of life and is an essential element of scientific literacy," is simply not true. While students should be familiarized with the tenets of evolutionary thought, they should also be familiarized with the alternative view and scientific interpretations which support the Theory of Special Creation. This is a perfectly valid scientific theory, named by secular scientists, as an alternative to the various theories of evolution. To not teach both sides is intellectual bigotry and will further dumb down your student population; his proposal will have a negative effect.
Why should Ohio students be prevented from learning about a large body of Science which President Kirwan's proposal would do? Why should Ohio students suffer from the suppression of facts and valid scientific interpretation?
If his objective is to better educate Ohio students, prove that Ohio wishes to excel in science, and Ohio wants to recruit techno-industry; then he needs to promote teaching good science, all interpretations of the data, not just his.
Dr. Grady S. McMurtry