Well, rather than spout at a mailing list that may not have much effect, I sent a letter to V.P. Gore (from pages under www.whitehouse.gov), attached is a copy, use the ideas as you chose:
It is with great disappointment that I have recently read about your position that you support local level decisions to allow the teaching of "creationism".
Essentially this is a license to allow local school boards, stacked by religious zealots, to teach children something that scientists by a wide margin agree is total hogwash. Will you next be saying that it is ok for schools to teach that the world is flat? Furthermore, you are providing a message that it is fine for communities to use my tax money to educate my children in "anti-scientific" beliefs. This is unacceptable. As the president of a company that conducts biotechnology research, I cannot help but feel, that in the long run this will only increase the resistance of the population to accepting things like genetic engineering that have the potential for improving the quality of life for everyone on the planet.
During the last several elections, I have voted for Democrats in the presidential election to offset the increasing power of the Republicans in Congress. Your position, that seems to be dictated by political spin requirements, makes me question whether the Republican position regarding education, i.e. allowing my tax dollars to be used at a school of my choice -- in my instance to send my children to a school that teaches science, rather than beliefs -- is not a better approach.
I might suggest that you could have taken the
high ground in this matter. Instead of adopting
a position that teaches evidence is equivalent
to non-evidence, you could have argued that a
proper approach is the balanced presentation
of *all* points of view. In this respect you
could have suggested that a balanced presentation
of *all* religions to the students of America
would increase our appreciation of diversity
and encourage critical thinking. If the people
backing the "evolution" vs. "creationism" debates
really want to advance the presentation of
alternative approaches, then this should be
acceptable to them. If they are simply
pushing a religious agenda, then they would object to this and be exposed as hippocrites.
And you readers that don't live in the U.S. -- send a letter to V.P. Gore telling him he makes us look stupid overseas... (if you so believe).