Reader responds to letter

A Kennebec Journal reader has responded to my heavily edited letter to the editor. Unfortunately, the paper has not uploaded the response online, so I do not currently have access to it. However, I do want to respond to it briefly. (I will type up a copy when I get my hands on a hard copy of the paper.)

In my letter I pointed out that creationist Paul LePage will do harm to science by discouraging the critical thinking required in science. He will encourage students to accept that creationism is intellectually viable, and that is inherently anti-science. A reader responded that Paul LePage’s daughter, Lauren LePage, will be graduating shortly with biology and chemistry degrees. The reader then said Lauren had been supported greatly by her father in her scientific endeavors.

It’s just too bad for the reader and the LePage’s that there’s more to the story.

Awhile back I documented some of the ongoing dishonesty of the LePage campaign. In that post, I referenced a question posed on the LePage Facebook page which asked why LePage supports teaching creationism in schools. Lauren LePage offered this answer:

He just thinks knowledge is a good thing, the more knowledge you have, the better off you are. And he has alread said that school curriculum should be decided on the local level, local school boards should be deciding what they want taught in their schools.

Lauren LePage is describing her father’s irresponsible thoughts on education (‘Teach kids whatever you like so long as you’re micromanaging!’). It isn’t a stretch to believe she also thinks “knowledge is a good thing”. But this isn’t knowledge in the traditional sense of the word. This is knowledge as virally delivered by religious indoctrination. And that isn’t really knowledge at all. It’s belief, faith, fairy tales. It isn’t a view discovered based upon any verifiable facts; it is a view which contradicts verified facts.

So when that reader says Lauren LePage is a good example of how Paul LePage isn’t going to taint the education system, he’s wrong. The belief that it is okay to tell students that creationism has any validity whatsoever is an active danger to science and science education – no matter what degrees one obtains.