Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Uneducated educator dooms students

Georgia is in a time warp: Many of the public debates resembles those of the Dark Ages. Back then, you decided whether you or your spouse had more or less teeth by reference to the sacred text of the time. You opened your copy of Aristotle and read and believed men have more teeth than women.

This time-tested method of inquiry apparently holds today for the students of Georgia: You open your Bible read and believe no matter the inherent contradictions, the absurd claims, and the errors of historical fact.

As I write this, the Mars Global Surveyor scans Mars mapping its terrain; nevertheless, Bible study proclaims the Earth the center of all.

As I write, two robot rovers probe the martian landscape measuring the age of extraterrestrial rocks; Bible study pronounces the age of the earth in thousands of years instead of hundreds of millions of years.

As tens of thousands of scientists worldwide map the human genome, create new life forms, and investigate life on other worlds, Superintendent Kathy Cox is afraid of the word “evolution.”

You might expect and perhaps sympathize with this kind of intellectual dishonesty from a yahoo at the local pub, but not from the chief educator of Georgia. Cox has a legal and fiduciary obligation to lead the students out of the realm of ignorance into the world of intelligent debate and thought. Her cowardly stance — just don’t use the word evolution and all will be okay — makes her a fool instead of an educator.

Georgian students being dumber than dumber would be a mere joke except ignorance dooms their chances of better lives, good job prospects, and the joy of truly wondrous intellectual pursuits.

Citizens of Georgia, ask Superintendent Cox to resign, go back to college, learn what biology and evolution are all about, and how biochemistry and evolution provide the basis for all that we understand about life forms on our planet and soon on other worlds.

I can sympathize with the ignorant, for we don’t know what we don’t know; that is why public schools were founded. I have mere disdain for Superintendent Cox, a betrayer of truth and not worthy of her current position as chief educator. She lacks the intellectual integrity to lead the state’s educational system; apparently, she fails to comprehend the principle of “separation of church and state.”

President Carter’s dismay and outrage about Cox’s silly stance on evolution is commendable. But, why are professors in the state college system so silent? Do they also lack intellectual integrity like Superintendent Cox? Are they unable to articulate a clear and persuasive statement on the nature of science and its importance to all of us?

Peter Duran

Fayetteville, Ga.

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