Letters to the Editor: February 9, 2017

Updated Feb 08, 2017
Ralph Barrera
Religious and secular groups teamed up to advocate teaching 21st-century science and evolution in Texas classrooms and met in January to announce the launch of a website that explains the curriculum. Clare Wuellner, executive director of the Center for Inquiry Austin, talks about the plan. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Re: Jan. 30 commentary, “Two Views: Keep requiring evolutionary explanations,” and “Two Views: Listen to teachers and scholars this time.”

I have a suggestion for those pious individuals who feel compelled to inject their religious views into Texas public school books: Please keep science and religion separate. I do, however, believe that a religious studies course would be helpful simply because religion as an institution has influenced many world events. Not to mention, kids need to know the differences between them and their origins. In Catholic school, religious studies was one of my favorite courses, and guess what? They taught us evolution and never once brought up God in science class. You simply cannot choose one religious view and counter scientific evidence with it while educating children from all faiths. They are there to learn science; let them learn about their faith on their holy days.

KRISTI CAVAZOS, GEORGETOWN

Re: Jan. 30 commentary, “Two Views: Keep requiring evolutionary explanations.”

Don McLeroy once again casts aspersions on science education. This Bertrand Russell quote sums it up:

“There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths. Almost inevitably some part of him is aware that they ARE myths and that he believes them only because they are comforting.

“But he dares not face this thought! Moreover, since he IS aware, however dimly, that his opinions are not rational, he becomes furious when they are disputed.”

Science tests theories and hypotheses. When no testing of a hypothesis like creation is possible, the hypothesis is moot and doesn’t become part of the scientific ethos. The reason creationism isn’t taught in science classes is it is not testable. What we can test is the changes in living things over time. Observable bacterial evolution is rapid. McLeroy’s philosophy is neither.

VERNON TURNER, MARBLE FALLS