A Letter from God to the Kansas Board of "Education."

Gerald F. Deitzer gd3 at UMAIL.UMD.EDU
Mon Aug 30 12:54:52 EST 1999


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Since this discussion seems to be still ongoing, I thought that I would
contribute my two cents. I no longer get very exercised by the almost
biennial attacks on science and evolution by a small, but vocal, and
occasionally influential, group of religious fanatics.  Ignoring such
anti-intellectual diatribes is generally the best course of action.
Nobody in Kansas will be prevented from teaching or learning the concept
of evolution or anything else that this small minority find offensive.
They are; however, entitled to express their opinions.  In fact, those
opinions are very productive for sharpening the arguments and
popularizing the debate on a subject that we are doing a very good job
of teaching.  We do not need to become so defensive, the threat is not
real.

On the other hand, I did happen upon a very good book by a very highly
respected plant molecular biologist by the name of Ursula Goodenough
that addresses the conflict between science and religion in a very
personal way.  The book is called "The Sacred Depths of Nature" and is
published by Oxford University Press (ISBN 0-19-512613-0).  The
discussion of the concepts of evolution are succinct, accurate and
easily readable by any lay person.  The discussion may seem a bit
simplistic to many readers of this newsgroup, but the philosophical
reflections are often thought provoking, even when you do not agree with
them.  I highly recommend this as a good read that should be passed
along to any student having problems rationalizing the concepts of
science with a deep seated need for religious belief.  The book is
available at a very reasonable cost from Amazon.com and I am sure from
any bookstore.

Enjoy,

Gerry Deitzer

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Since this discussion seems to be still ongoing, I thought that I would
contribute my two cents. I no longer get very exercised by the almost biennial
attacks on science and evolution by a small, but vocal, and occasionally
influential, group of religious fanatics.&nbsp; Ignoring such anti-intellectual
diatribes is generally the best course of action.&nbsp; Nobody in Kansas
will be prevented from teaching or learning the concept of evolution or
anything else that this small minority find offensive.&nbsp; They are;
however, entitled to express their opinions.&nbsp; In fact, those opinions
are very productive for sharpening the arguments and popularizing the debate
on a subject that we are doing a very good job of teaching.&nbsp; We do
not need to become so defensive, the threat is not real.
<p>On the other hand, I did happen upon a very good book by a very highly
respected plant molecular biologist by the name of Ursula Goodenough that
addresses the conflict between science and religion in a very personal
way.&nbsp; The book is called "The Sacred Depths of Nature" and is published
by Oxford University Press (ISBN 0-19-512613-0).&nbsp; The discussion of
the concepts of evolution are succinct, accurate and easily readable by
any lay person.&nbsp; The discussion may seem a bit simplistic to many
readers of this newsgroup, but the philosophical reflections are often
thought provoking, even when you do not agree with them.&nbsp; I highly
recommend this as a good read that should be passed along to any student
having problems rationalizing the concepts of science with a deep seated
need for religious belief.&nbsp; The book is available at a very reasonable
cost from Amazon.com and I am sure from any bookstore.
<p>Enjoy,
<p><font face="ShelleyVolante BT"><font size=+2>Gerry Deitzer</font></font></html>

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