May 12, 2008

Maine Creationist Matthew Linkletter Story Getting Out

Thanks again to everyone who helped out in projecting into the blogosphere the sad story of Maine SAD 59 Director Matthew Linkletter's effort to expel evolutionary biology from the science curriculum there. The item finally seems to have grown legs and is now propagating across both big blogs and newspapers. It's now made Daily Kos as well as the Boston Herald, Boston Globe, Cape Cod Times, Nashua Telegraph, and a number of other outlets. This story first broke on May 6 and was being roundly ignored until bloggers started running with it yesterday. Publicizing it in this way, getting the news of something happening in a small school district in Maine to rise to some level of consciousness nationally and internationally, is an example of what blogging should do when it works for the common good.

I wrote yesterday to the National Center for Science Education, the Southern Maine chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation. I hope that others have done the same. If I should get a response from any or all of these organizations, I'll share it here.

I hope, too, that Matthew Linkletter, Norman Luce, Roy Blivens and also the people involved with SAD 59 who are pushing back against this nonsense — like Jessica Ward and Norman Dean — are aware now that the world is watching. School Administration District 59 doesn't exist in a vacuum; the products of its education are all Americans. Whether the effort to dilute and destroy science education comes from a Hollywood has-been, a legislature in Florida or a few fundamentalists in Maine, we all have a stake in the outcome.

As a casual observer of what makes this country work and what stops it cold, I hereby offer a few suggestions on how we can ruin American competitiveness and innovation in the course of this century. I think the reader will agree with me that we are already far down the road on many of them...

12) Elevate mysticism, tribalism, shamanism and fundamentalism--and be sure to exclude educated, hardworking men and women--to an equal status with technology in the public mind. Make sure that, in order to pay proper (and politically correct) respect to all different ethnic groups in America, you act as if science were on an equal footing with voodoo and history with ethnic fable...

How to Ruin American Enterprise, by Ben Stein
Forbes Magazine, 12/23/02

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