November 8th, 2005

Letter to the members of the Kansas school board

Here's a letter I sent to each of the members of the Kansas State Board of Education about their decision to force Intelligent Design into their science curriculum:

It is with despair and sympathetic embarrassment that I write you.

The decision of your board to force creation mythology into science classrooms will stand in history alongside the Catholic Church's condemnation and persecution of the proponents of the heliocentric model of our solar system as an example of how foolish we can be when we let religious dogma stifle the pursuit of understanding. I struggle to accept that the works of Darwin are being treated in the 21st century as the works of Galileo were treated in the 17th, and that this is happening not in some far-off theocracy like Iran, but in what is ostensibly a free, secular, advanced nation. Have we in our modern times actually mandated that biology textbooks be written as Galileo was forced to write his Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems?

Your board has brought shame to the United States, and especially to the state of Kansas, but the most egregious harm has been done to the students whose education you've compromised in the face of religious and political pressure. These students are the people to whom you are most responsible, and are ultimately those that you have most failed.

To the members of your board who voted against the teaching of creationism (in all of its guises), I extend my most sincere sympathy for the stubborn ignorance you must have to deal with in doing your job.

If you've got the time, maybe you should write one too.


Dr. Bill Wagnon writes back:

thank you for your sympathy

Heh. Awesome.