To the editor:
I was both depressed and relieved to read the report in Saturday's Journal-World that Steve Abrams, who chairs the Kansas State Board of Education, revealed in a public forum his strong opinions regarding religion and science. Abrams stated in a public forum that one cannot believe in the Bible and in evolution. It is now clear that because of his belief in the Bible he rejects evolution. I am relieved to have this clear explanation for Abrams' campaign to change how evolution is taught in the Kansas public schools.
At the same time, I was depressed to discover that Abrams has such a poor understanding of science. No one should "believe" in evolution. Biological evolution is a robust scientific theory explaining changes in the inherited features of organisms over time, and no one "believes" in scientific theories. Evolution has stood the test of thousands of scientific experiments and observations. Abrams may choose to "believe" in the Biblical creation story, but he should not confuse his belief system with what is the best scientific explanation for biological diversity.
Many devout Christians see nothing inconsistent with understanding the science of evolution. They know that belief systems must not intrude on science and that "believing" in the supernatural has no place in a science classroom. It is sad to learn that Abrams, who has such power over public education in Kansas, has a very basic misunderstanding of science as a way of knowing about the world.