Letter to the Editor

Class questioned

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Dear Editor,

The following was sent to McCook Community College:

I am writing this letter to question the decision to allow Mr. Jim Garretson to teach Physics 2990: Creation Science, as though creation science is a serious scientific alternative to the theory of evolution. Mr. Garretson's proposal exhibits a profound lack of an understanding of science and/or an exceptional academic dishonesty on his part. In either case, I am concerned about the impact of this decision upon the integrity of science education in out state Nebraska.

To be clear, I would be writing an equivalent letter if a McCook Community College science instructor was allowed to teach Chemistry 2990: Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Quintessence, as though Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Quintessence is a serious scientific alternative to the Atomic Theory of Matter. The essential point is: The subject matter of Physics 2990 is not relevant to any course in a science curriculum. This point may be demonstrated in a variety of ways, from simple logic through complex arguments involving methods, precepts, relationships to other subject matter, et cetera ad nauseam. This point has been demonstrated so many times that many of us in the science community have lost patience with those who promote Creation Science/Intelligent Design.

Clearly, no one would ever propose teaching the above-mentioned Chemistry 2990, so why is Mr. Jim Garretson proposing to teach Physics 2990 as described? Perhaps I should conclude, he does not understand what constitutes science. I would be very distressed to learn that he actually does understand what constitutes science. Because, if he actually does understand what constitutes science, then I must conclude that he is guilty of exceptional academic dishonesty! If the first conclusion is true, then he should be supervised by a more competent individual. If the second conclusion is true, then?Mr. Jim Garretson should be relieved of his teaching duties.


Dr. Robert I. Price,

Associate Professor of Physics

University of Nebraska at Kearney

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