The recent action of the Kansas Board of Education banning the teaching of evolution in public schools is highly disturbing [news story, Aug. 12]. I'm not going to defend the theory of evolution; there are volumes of literature on the subject, both pro and con. Given the emotion surrounding the subject, I'm certainly sympathetic with those who object to it being taught as fact rather than theory.

While not spelled out in The Post's article, the implication is that the board's action was motivated by the disagreement between some people's interpretation of the biblical account of creation and evolutionary theory. Is agreement with the Bible, then, going to be the litmus test for what can be taught in school?

Certainly history, earth science and astronomy -- to name a few subjects -- contain material that disagrees with strict biblical interpretations. Is the board now going to go through each subject to ferret out and ban information that appears to contradict the Bible? As an American I find this frightening.

A major part of education is being presented with ideas that one may or may not agree with. The action of the Kansas Board of Education suggests that it is more interested in indoctrination rather than education. Let's hope that the courts will speedily strike down this action.



I find the debate over evolution and creationism unnecessary. Science tells us how. Faith tells us why. Nothing in Darwin or in the theory of evolution denies or contradicts the existence of God or that God is the ultimate creator of all things. Rarely do I ever hear anyone state the belief that God created evolution. The problem arises out of how one interprets the Old Testament. Is it the literal word of God?

As student in a Catholic high school in the 1960s, I was taught that the Old Testament was not to be taken literally. Biblical scholars explained how the Old Testament came into being as a compilation of stories written in a literary style borrowed from and intended to compete with stories from pagan religions. This in no way detracts from its profound meaning or its significance. Those who interpret the Old Testament literally cannot rationalize it with evolution. They are entitled to their beliefs. Those who find the existence of God an impediment to scientific inquiry are entitled to their narrow-mindedness. Let the churches teach faith, let the schools teach science.


Great Falls