Readers' reactions

August 27, 1999

Last week in The THES... Jonathan Weiner highlighted the risks of banning the teaching of evolution in Kansas schools.

David J. Tyler

Principal lecturer

Department of clothing, design and technology

Manchester Metropolitan University

The risk of not teaching evolution in schools is that students will be ill-equipped to understand evolutionary biology and participate in debates about the many areas of controversy. But this is not the real question to address. We need to be asking how evolution is taught in schools and universities.

Jonathan Weiner believes that variations in the beaks of finches are proof of Darwin's theory, but there is no evidence that (genetic) mutations were involved. He believes that organisms' resistance to antibiotics or insecticides is "evolution in action", but without evidence for new genetic information these observations cannot be used as support for the origins of complexity.

While it is important that "Kansans should teach their children about evolution", it is equally important that they be exposed to evidence against evolution and to alternative explanations of origins.

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