Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Science as a Candle in the Dark

Via Lynn Sislo, I learn that a group of clergy wrote a letter to a school district in Wisconsin, urging a particular approach to the teaching of evolution in biology classes.

The clergy wrote in support of evolution.

We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rest. To reject this truth or to treat it as 'one theory among others' is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children. We believe that among God's good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator.

Sometimes there's hope to be found.

Of course, the school board is unimpressed. From the news article (registration required):

Joni Burgin, superintendent in Grantsburg, a rural school district about 75 miles northeast of St. Paul, declined to be interviewed Thursday about the letter, but she wrote in an e-mail: "The amount of letters and the number of signatures does not matter. … The school board feels that they must do what is right for Grantsburg students and the Grantsburg community."

I'm reminded of Mark Twain's quote about school boards:

In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made School Boards.

There's more than a grain of truth to that.

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