Letters to the Editor
I was disappointed and frustrated by the Commentary written by Gerald Skoog, "We Must Not Succumb to Specious Arguments for Equal Time," which appeared in the January 26 edition of Education Week. The article was composed of attacks on scientific creationism built upon misleading quotes, guilt by association, and falsehood. In all fairness to readers, I felt this ought to be pointed out.
For example, Dr. Gish's statement that "creation is not a scientific theory ... it does not provide a testable theory, nor can it be disproved" must be understood in the light of the fact that many evolutionists made this very same claim for the evolutionary explanation of origins. This was clearly pointed out by Dr. Gish but omitted by Mr. Skoog when he quoted Dr. Gish out of context.
Mr. Skoog's warning that a "policy of providing equal time could result in a biology curriculum that includes the view, held by Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan" is an obvious attempt to discredit scientific creationism by negative association. We would do well to take note that it was from the evolutionists' camp that Nazism derived its notion of the "super-race."
Mr. Skoog also made the claim that creationism ignored "established facts" about the natural world. My view, and that of thousands of scientists and educators (yes, thousands), is that the scientific creation model actually correlates with more of the actual observable data. Don't dismiss this viewpoint lightly without first investigating. After all, how can anyone evaluate a claim fairly without first having heard both sides.
In his article, Mr. Skoog referred to Nell Segraves as the founder of the Creation Research Society and claimed that "materials written by creationists and recommended as references for public schools are loaded with doctrinal positions, scriptural references, and evangelistic messages." These statements are clearly false, written perhaps to sway uninformed educators to join those of the anti-creationist persuasion by creating a climate of fear. Dr. Walter Lammaerts, a well-respected geneticist, not Nell Segraves, is the founder of the Creation Research Society. Materials written by the Institute for Creation Research recommended for the public schools do not have any scriptural references or evangelistic appeals. None!
As an educator and former advocate of macro-evolution (until my junior year in college), it is frustrating for me to read articles that, while claiming that "creationism is ideology, not science," do not address the scientific evidences that point to the validity of an alternative model for origins. What I had really hoped for was simply intellectual honesty.
Allen Wai Jang Administrator Normandie Christian School Los Angeles, Calif.
In regard to the article on the Conservative Political Action Conference ("Education Research Official Calls for Reforms in Schools 'At All Levels,"' March 10), I would like to clarify the remarks attributed to me. I am quoted as saying, "We have seen the triumph of mind over content." What I actually said was, "We have seen the triumph of process over content." My point was that most educators have become so taken up with the business of counting, processing, evaluating, managing, conferencing, and politicking that they give very little consideration or reflection to what the proper and popularly supported purposes of education are or should be.
At another point, I am quoted as saying, "over the years, the ideological, elitist, secular humanistic social planners have taken over." This was the opposite of my intended meaning. What I actually said was that over the years I have come to realize that we can not address the crisis in education with the simplistic response that most educators are "ideological," "elitist," "social planners," and so forth. Rather, we must deal with the fact that so many educators have simply not received a solid education in philosophy, history, literature, and the sciences and are too often unable to understand their critics because they are not in the same "universe of discourse." In short, education, for many educators, is counting, testing, processing, evaluating, goal-setting, managing, conferencing, and politicking."
Onalee McGraw Education Consultant The Heritage Foundation Washington, D.C.