Tulsa Atheist Rendezvous

Tulsa Atheist Rendezvous grew out of the Atheists Meetup group in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We seek to provide an opportunity for those who self-identify as atheists to meet with one another for fellowship and to discuss matters of mutual interest. --Dan Nerren, moderator

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A legitimate concern

Larry Hicks has submitted the following letter to the Tulsa World.

To the editor:

A study reported in the journal Science, the premier American journal of science in the US, reported in the Aug 11 issue that America ranks near the bottom of 34 countries for the public acceptance of evolution. Only Turkey ranked lower. Factors identified with America's low score was a poor understanding of biology, particularly relating to genetics. Writers also linked the literal interpretation of the Bible by many Americans and the mixing of science, politics, and religion.

What an embarassment for our country which is supposed to be an enlightened beacon for the rest of the world. Not only embarrassing, it's scary.

Maybe I underestimate many of my fellow Okies, but I would bet that we as a citizenry are close to the bottom in scientific literacy in the US.

Folks who would bring industry and innovation to Oklahoma are certainly not excited when they hear of this scientific ignorance. I as a grandfather with children in our public schools am not excited when I hear of this. Also as a senior citizen looking forward to quality health care and well-trained scientists in our hospitals and labs, I do not welcome the idea that our scientific minds may lag behind, or even not accept, the best of current scientific thought.

In short, I prefer that my physician not pray or chant over me for recovery. I want him or her to be aware of the evolution of pathogens and the responses of my immune system to them. I prefer that the doctor throw superstition out the window and approach my problems with the most receptive scientific mind.

Biology is the study or understanding of life. Medicine is biology. Ecology is biology. Agriculture is biology. Evolution is the unifying theme of all biology and all its disciplines. To deny evolution as the basis of biology is to strip it of all foundations and, hence, the framework for future breakthrough discoveries.

Larry Hicks


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