Student encourages writer to see both sides

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Thursday, February 01, 2007

It is with sadness and a slight banging of my head on the wall that I write this letter. I understand that the Clarion is attempting to be open-minded to student commentary by featuring Verbatim, but some pieces should have had serious editing. Being a student myself, I think it’s about time I said something about the insulting opinion from this week (Jan. 24).

The student writing the column took a stab at a deeply divided debate, that of evolution vs. creationism. Without advocating either side, the reader can see that this student uses misleading and incomplete arguments and makes some crushing mistakes. She speaks as if she knows everything about archeology, geology, evolutionary theory and scientific history. She states that evolution, by her given definition, is not a science; then she fails to address why this is important.

She states point-blank, “evolution takes a lot more faith than creation does.” It’s strange that while advocating one faith-based idea, she uses “faith” here in a strongly negative way. She asks her public school peers to attack the issue during science class.

Dear private school student, the public school system is not force-feeding evolution. There is no consequence if a student chooses not to believe this theory. You and I have peers of all faiths, and I believe it would be inappropriate for creationism to be represented in a science curriculum.

Unfortunately the writer states that she “doesn’t know of any scientists who have recreated the process of evolution in a laboratory.” This is claiming ignorance of a subject and shows that she failed to research the argument she is refuting.

She attacks archaeological evidence as “ far-fetched” and says: “If some scientists decide that they like their theory so much that they’re going to give the public ‘evidence’ for it that I don’t believe is reliable, then I think they should find a new theory.”

Ouch. Usually the scientific community does just that; it informs the public of findings and evidence from which they draw a conclusion. Whether you think it is reliable is probably not criteria they cater to, but they certainly have a duty to represent the research they conduct with money from the government, nonprofits, employers, college students and everyone else.

I’m ashamed this high school student doesn’t consider the viewpoints of others as valid. This kind of disrespect helps perpetuate the “irrational, self-absorbed teenager” stereotype.

I’d like to draw this student’s attention to our most treasured value in the United States: freedom. You are welcomed and even encouraged to believe what you will, and think for yourself! Not everyone in the world enjoys freedoms like ours. Just think before insulting others with such arguments and dignify your adversary. Both sides have a right to speak.

Clare Bennett


Nikiski High School

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