Secular education unjustly blamed

To the editor:

Robert Kohtala, in another uninformed letter to the DMG on June 13, writes:

“Public schools miseducate students with an atheistic theory that our ancient ancestors evolved from non-human prehistoric primates. …”

Balderdash! The theory of evolution is neither atheistic nor theistic. It doesn’t concern itself with creation or religious belief or unbelief, but only describes the development of a branching tree of life produced primarily by natural selection. Teachers in science classes in public schools teach the prevailing scientific facts, concepts, and theories produced and accepted by the overwhelming number of scientists the world over. This is their job; it’s not to teach someone’s pseudoscience or religious superstition.

Kohtala continues: “Not everyone who believes in evolution is evil and a potential criminal …” Does this imply that a majority are? Hopefully not. Not any more than if one said that not every religious person is evil and a potential criminal would imply that a majority are.

Interestingly, the organization “Freedom from Religion Foundation” has a monthly newspaper containing a section called Black Collar Crime. On these pages it lists crimes committed by clergy, pastors, priests, rabbis, youth leaders, and other church employees. Also there is the shocking website

In general, these crimes consist of embezzlement, sexual abuse, rape, and violence. The golden rule apparently escaped their cognition.

He writes: “Concepts of right and wrong still exist in our society but those values didn’t come from atheism.” Yes, concepts of right and wrong didn’t come from atheism because atheism doesn’t produce anything (hypostatization fallacy). Where do our concepts of right and wrong come from? If a person doesn’t already understand that cruelty is wrong, he won’t discover this by reading the Bible since it is bursting with cruelty, human and divine. We decide what is moral using intuitions that are at some level hard-wired in us and have been refined over thousands and thousands of generations. If they didn’t humans wouldn’t have survived and our species would have died out long ago. Cooperation, altruism, mutual love and sympathy kept the human race prospering.

He continues: “Too many who have a Godless secular education lack the values they need to be good, kind and compassionate.”

If anyone, whether religious or secular, lacks appropriate values, then to blame it unjustly upon secular education is just the expression of ones irrational prejudice without considering all the other causes that conditioned the individual to exhibit their behaviors.