Science Demands ‘Critical Analysis’ of Evolution

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To the Editor:

In your Feb. 22, 2006, article "Ohio Removes Anti-Evolution Language," I was amazed to read that the Ohio state school board had voted to remove from its academic standards wording that challenges students to “critically analyze” evolution. I wonder how many scientists sit on the Ohio state board of education?

Though I have not read the language, it would seem to me that removing critical analysis from a science curriculum is, in fact, removing an essential part of the scientific method.

Without the process of critically analyzing the results of a scientific phenomenon, the results are left to arbitrary convenience and academic dogma. Critical analysis is the energy of science that brings new ideas, expanded concepts, and the victory of new horizons.

The Ohio state board has committed intellectual censorship. This action is not, as board member Martha W. Wise is quoted as saying, “a win for science, a win for students, and a win for the state of Ohio.” It is a win for removing the heart and spirit of the discipline from the experience and excitement of the state’s students.

Stephen E. Taylor
Bear, Del.

To the Editor:

I am very concerned, as a teacher and a parent, about the prospect that we may teach our students not to “critically analyze” every piece of information presented to them. I fail to see how this action by the Ohio board is a victory for science, if evolution cannot stand up to the scrutiny of even a high school student.

As a teacher, I challenge my students to be critical thinkers and question what I teach, even evolution.

Todd Baker
Hemet, Calif.

Vol. 25, Issue 26, Page 30

Published in Print: March 8, 2006, as Science Demands ‘Critical Analysis’ of Evolution

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