Mr. Scott Kohlbush (Letters, May 6) has it wrong about Atheists United SLO regarding creationism in the classroom and their “stifl(ing) debate,” as he puts it. He doesn’t understand the idea that not everything should be debated at any time, in any venue, for every audience. For instance, might it be proper to stifle debate about birth control in an elementary school? If some people claim that the Earth is flat, should we teach that “debate” in a science classroom?
A science teacher might legitimately mention creationism when teaching the basics of what is a scientific theory, using it as an example of what is not science. This is not at all the same as teaching it as a scientific controversy, as Mr. Brandon Pettenger did at Arroyo Grande High School.
There is no scientific controversy or debate about creationism, only a social and political one. Atheists United SLO only asked for the removal of creationism from the science classroom, not from the social studies or political science classrooms. Debate and free thought are very important, just like free speech, but we can’t shout “Fire!” falsely in a crowded theater.