Archive for Tuesday, September 7, 1999


September 7, 1999


To the editor:

Margaret Mead once said something like, "Never underestimate the power of one highly committed person to change the world." I imagine she was thinking of changing the world in a positive way. However, we can all think of people who have had a singularly negative effect, as well.

I would like to commend Tom Willis, president of the Creation Science Association for Mid-America from Cleveland, Mo. He almost single-handedly sent the entire state of Kansas into a summer-long tizzy.

He and a small band of followers, whose narrow focus on the world causes them to discount the validity of critical parts of the past 140 years of scientific discovery have succeeded in:

  • Causing untold miles of newspaper print, man-hours, phone calls, stamps, e-mails and dollars to be dedicated to the debate of his issue.
  • Persuading six of ten very impressionable and short-sighted Kansas State Board of Education members to follow him.
  • Inciting the governor, the leaders of all the Regents institutions, and virtually every newspaper editorial writer in Kansas to take a stand against his ideas, and the actions of the Board of Education.
  • Taking the school children and educational excellence in Kansas right out of the present and the future, and plunging them back into the Dark Ages.
  • Cementing in the minds of non-Kansans everywhere that we indeed live in the land of Dorothy, Toto, Fred Phelps and 19th century science.

Congratulations, Mr. Willis! You and your followers must be very proud of your accomplishments. I applaud your civic activism, but deplore your message.

Caroline McKnight,

executive director,

MAINstream Coalition,

Prairie Village.

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