Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Letters

December 19, 2012

Letters to the editor - Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012

(Continued)

Don’t chain teachers to material

I applaud Senate Education Committee chairman Dennis Kruse’s efforts to allow teachers and students to look at all sides of hot-button issues such as evolution and creation. If we are teaching our students to think, to reason, to look at sets of facts and make decisions, Kruse’s ideas make sense. If we simply want them to get with the program and learn a set way of thinking, then they don’t.

We tend to think that scientific information, as presented to us in school, is gospel truth and that we are not allowed to question it. In high school, for example, I was taught the Theory of Recapitulation. This is the theory that the human fetus goes through stages of evolution in the womb. Thus, we have a fish stage, a bird stage, etc. It was in my science book. There were line drawings to prove it. The teacher said it was so. Ernest Haeckel developed the theory in 1866 but was discredited as early as 1874 when Wilhelm His proved Haeckel had doctored the drawings to make them fit his theory. Thoroughly debunked by all modern scientists, the theory was still taught as fact 100 years later in my science book.

Educators should not be chained to scientific material that cannot be proved or that has more than one interpretation, and neither should students. Students should be allowed to ask questions like, “When the first human appeared, what are the odds that another human of the opposite sex and of mating age would also appear at the same place and in the same time period, allowing them to mate? If evolution is all about change, why do some plants and animals, like the ginkgo biloba, appear the same now as they are in the fossil record?

Children are more than fact receptacles; they can be taught to reason.

Sharon Watson,

Sharpsville

Let’s get out of the United Nations

Current events being what they are, an old question, which continues to surface, has done so once again.

What conditions would need to be met and protocols followed to permit the United States to completely withdraw from the United Nations?

It would appear, from what I see in the news, that membership in the U.N. is more trouble than it is worth.

Kenneth Crockett,

Kokomo

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