Education Letter to the Editor

Teaching Creationism Won’t ‘Brainwash’ Us

April 19, 2005 1 min read

To the Editor:

Resisting the teaching of creationism will not make the concept go away (“Scientists Offer Ground-Level Support for Evolution,” April 6, 2005). Nor is teaching it a violation of the First Amendment.

Darwin’s theory of evolution is just that, a theory. I don’t understand why some teachers are so against the teaching of an alternate idea. Creationism, after all, is embraced by a large segment of the public.

What are these teachers afraid of? I started school in 1950 at St. Nicholas Elementary School in Jersey City, N.J. In those days, only creationism was taught in Roman Catholic elementary schools. Yet, those eight years at St. Nicholas Elementary School did not “brainwash” me, nor did they eliminate my ability to think.

By the 10th grade, I wanted to be a paleontologist. I have read just about everything the late Harvard scientist Stephen Jay Gould has written. A non-believer, Mr. Gould, started, late in his life, to move toward a questioning of some aspects of Darwin’s original theory.

He demonstrated an openness that should inspire science teachers. The origin of homo sapiens has baffled scientists for centuries. Attempting to ignore other lines of thought, such as “intelligent design,” only politicizes the issue.

Joe Cascarelli

Westcliffe, Colo.