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.

5 Responses

  1. Keep an eye on this comment section. I will manually type out the letter here.

    Also, Lauren LePage’s comment can be found on the June 26th comment by Matt Ellis. A screen shot can be seen here.

  2. Commenting just to get email notifications (maybe).

  3. I can never tell whether politicians who support (to whatever degree) allowing creationism to be taught as science are ignorant of the scientific status of evolution or are aware and are guilty of abject political pandering. Or maybe they just don’t care? Is there a fourth option I have missed?

  4. It can be tough to tell. I’ve asked the campaign how old LePage thinks the Earth is. If I get an answer, 1) I doubt it will be direct and 2) I’ll be surprised. But it will shed some light on the guy.

  5. Here it is:

    This is in response to Michael Hawkins’ July 19 letter. I hope to alleviate his fear that voting for Paul LePage will cause irreparable harm to science.

    Next month, LePage’s daughter Lauren, will graduate from Florida State University with a degree in biology and chemistry. I can attest that Paul never discouraged her from seeking her dream, just as he would never discourage any Maine student.

    During her scholastic career Paul offered guidance, support and enthusiasm; he is one proud parent of Lauren’s achievements and science awards.

    It is obvious the writer is passionate about the sciences, paralleling Paul’s passion about creating new opportunities for ever Maine. Maine is lucky to have both offering their views and concerns.

    However, I believe a vote for LePage is the first step towards keeping talented young people in Maine with their families and their dreams.

    Allan L. Rancourt
    Waterville

    1) I did not say LePage will cause irreparable harm to science. The KJ made that up.

    2) LePage won’t discourage Maine students from science? So he doesn’t support the teaching of creationism anymore?

    3) I’m disgusted that someone thinks my passion about science can be paralleled with anything to do with LePage. I’m actually honest in the things I say and do.

    4) A vote for LePage will keep talented young people here? Is that why his daughter is graduating from a school in Florida?

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