To the Illinois Times
about Creationism and Critical Thinking

David Bloomberg
P.O. Box 20302
Springfield, IL 62708

October 27, 1995

Letters to the Editor
Illinois Times
P.O. Box 3524
Springfield, IL 62708

To the Editor:

It doesn't surprise me that School Board candidate Catherwood wants to both remove critical thinking from the school curriculum and insert creationism. Indeed, doing the former is the only way to do the latter, because creationism does not stand up to the test of critical thought and scientific examination.

Catherwood says that she wants to have creationism presented as a theory, giving only the facts. Perhaps if creationists come up with a workable scientific theory, and find some facts to support them, that could be done. However, as Judge William Overton wrote in his decision in McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education, dealing with attempts to teach creationism in the science classroom, "The methodology employed by creationists is another factor which is indicative that their work is not science. ... A theory [creationism] that is by its own terms dogmatic, absolutist and never subject to revision is not a scientific theory."

Unfortunately, the suggestion that creationism be taught as science is not all that surprising in some candidates today. However, I am dumbfounded at the suggestion that students need less training in critical thinking and problem solving! Does Catherwood truly think students will be better served in life by memorizing 5x7 than they would by learning how to look at a problem and think it through? How can anybody running for the school board be against thinking?

The Rational Examination Association of Lincoln Land (REALL) exists in large part to promote critical thinking and the scientific method. The media often produces uncritical shows such as Unsolved Mysteries, but the schools should do their best to counter such nonsense, not leave students unable to properly analyze the claims.

Anybody interested in REALL, or in the creation/evolution debate in general, can contact us at P.O. Box 20302, Springfield, IL 62708. We are always happy to do whatever we can to help get information to anybody asking for it.

David Bloomberg,
REALL Chairman

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