I felt compelled to respond to Arlene Sawicki's May 20 letter "Teach alternatives to Darwin's theories" because as a physics professor, I find Sawicki's claim that so-called intelligent design creationism is science to be laughable.
If it's science, then why hasn't any creationist ever used this idea to manufacture a vaccine or antibiotic?
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In fact, creationism is useless for such practical matters, because -- to be blunt -- it simply doesn't work; evolutionary science does work. We use evolutionary science all the time to develop vaccines, antibiotics, assist with genetic engineering, and a whole host of other biotech and medical applications.
In fact, without modern evolutionary science, which has developed far beyond the original ideas frame by Darwin 150 years ago, we wouldn't have these medical advances. Presumably, these creationists are long on talk but pathetically short on producing actual results and applications for their so-called "science".
On another note, if Ms. Sawicki and her creationist friends want to "teach alternatives" to actual science, then will they agree to include the theory of Flying Spaghetti Monsterism (FSM), Islamic views of creationism, the creation story of Scientology, the Raelian view of intelligent design that we were created by aliens, and other "alternate" views in public school science classes? Once we accommodate all of these views, then perhaps at the end of the school year -- in the last couple of weeks -- the teachers will have time to teach some actual science.
Our competitor nations, such as China and India, don't waste time with this nonsense. If our country wishes to remain competitive in the budding biotechnology industry of the 21st century, then we need to teach our students 21st century science, not 18th century nonsense.
Matthew P. Lowry