Letter to the Editor of the Columbus Dispatch
Submitted October 6, 2000
Editor, the Dispatch:
Educating our children with scientific ideas, regardless of anyone’s personal belief systems, will help them to graduate with a much better understanding of science. For example, in the science classroom, should we indoctrinate our children to believe that light travels in waves only, or should we open them up to the idea that light might also travel in particles?
Charles Darwin himself said many years ago in his Origin of Species, "For I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived. A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question…"
Dudley Field Malone, attorney for John Scopes during the Scopes trial said, "The least that this generation can do, your honor, is to give the next generation all the facts, all the available theories, all the information that learning, that study, that observation has produced, give it to the children in the hope of heaven that they will make a better world of this than we have been able to make of it…For God’s sake, let the children have their minds kept open – close no doors to their knowledge; shut no door from them…"
To have a good grasp of your own viewpoint you must understand the arguments of those with whom you disagree. It is said that those who do not completely understand their adversary’s point of view do not fully understand their own. Our children need to have a deeper understanding of the issues debated and will appreciate the complexity of even seemingly simple issues.