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Create Better Support for Science

By · May 23rd, 2007 · Letters
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Most of us are aware that the Creation Museum sponsored by the Answers in Genesis group is scheduled to open soon in Northern Kentucky. Many are asking if we as a region can expect a positive benefit from it.

I believe that it will reflect negatively on Greater Cincinnati and the entire Midwest, because the Creation Museum's attack on evolution is actually a surreptitious attack on science itself. The controversy is not about religion -- it is about the simple truth of science.

To have this museum located in our area reflects negatively on our national and international reputation for business and commerce and especially on our ability to attract the vital convention trade. These same pseudo-science pamphlets and books which are currently marketed overseas also reflect negatively on our country. Any nation that rejects the basics findings of science in geology, astronomy and anthropology is mortgaging its future; it is likely doomed to suffer an economic decline.

The even greater danger is the inevitable consequence of the loss of political freedom when the lines between separation of church and state are further blurred. This is why I support the efforts of the mainstream national group Campaign for Defense of the Constitution.

When the bible is interpreted properly, there is no contradiction with science, so it is vitally important that we make our voices heard on behalf of scientific truth and religious veracity.

-- Daniel J. Samson, Milford

Sweet Ride
I just wanted to write and commend you on the excellent article "The Trick to Riding in Cincinnati" (issue of May 16). As a local rider who has been in the BMX scene for the last five years, it's great to see some good riders and even better people get the coverage and respect they deserve.

Perhaps articles such as this one could set the wheels in motion to finally get a public skatepark built in Cincinnati. Our city is thriving with riders both young and old who would only benefit from a local park.

Once again, thank you for printing such an excellent article.

-- Seth Bitter s09.sbitter@wittenberg.edu

CityBeat's Numbers Don't Add Up
In the most recent News section, "School-Rithmetic" (issue of May 16) offered that "some of the information is troubling -- if true." I suggest you might find out what exactly is true before publishing Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) data.

While I'm not sure of the purpose of your News section -- whether it provides an unbiased source of news or presents data to "spin" a personal agenda -- the resulting effect was both uninformed and inflammatory.

The data presented in the article states enrollment statistics in 1997 and 2006 with an increase of school psychologists employed and a decrease in CPS enrollment. This is followed by a mention of librarians employed by CPS going down from 78 to 27. Then you compare (1997) 1.56 librarians for every psychologist to 2.9 psychologists for every librarian in 2006.

I ask what are your motivations for 1) comparing librarians and school psychologists (they both provide vastly different services if you weren't aware); 2) comparing enrollment to school psychologists employed while not taking into account CPS psychologists serving charter schools; and 3) not taking into account any special education law passed since 1997 requiring services for students with special needs thus increasing the need for school psychologists.

I asked 10 other readers not in the education field for their reaction following the statistics in your article, and their conclusion was unanimous: "Why do we need more psychologists while we're losing librarians?" I would like to know if this was the article's intent.

Maybe you should not try to compare apples and oranges in your next News section. Maybe you should also consider current budget cuts in CPS with 11 school psychologists losing their jobs.

I would love to see both more school psychologists and librarians employed by CPS. The National Association of School Psychologists recommends a maximum ratio of 1,000 students to one school psychologist. CPS was moving in the right direction by decreasing this ratio, as the district has more diverse student learning needs than suburban school districts.

Maybe next time you can do some research for your News section. I would be happy to provide you (or your readers) with more resources further highlighting the need for mental health services in the schools.

Thank you for your time, and I sincerely hope you consider the information provided before using statistics to compare professions in education.

-- Nathan von der Embse, Oxford

Don't Defend the Media
Ben Kaufman completely misses the point in his column about the media's decision to publish photos of Virginia Tech murderer Seung Hui Cho (Media, Myself and I, issue of May 2). He casts the media as a heartless uncaring machine that has no emotional responsibility beyond issuing dates, facts and photos no matter how they might affect victims -- many of whom are teenagers -- and their families.

Kaufman acknowledges that the students who experienced the massacre are rightfully "upset" about being shot and wounded, but he completely fails to connect that these very people are being forced to look at those same guns being pointed at them in every major news publication and television broadcast in the country. Only days after this tragedy, the victims were subjugated to the trauma of having those weapons repeatedly pointed at their faces. Editors around the world had a moral responsibility to protect these victims and their families until time had a chance to heal the emotional and physical wounds, but instead they abused their rights and trampled on the victims to get their precious story.

To further obfuscate the issue, Kaufman corrects the media's claim that this is the worst shooting in America's history by pointing to examples from the 19th century. Thank you for the clarification, professor, but why include this useless detail? Is it because you want to be right about something? I fail to see how those examples were relevant, unless of course you can point to newspapers of the time publishing pictures of these Mormons and soldiers pointing their weapons of mass destruction at innocent readers.

The truth is that Cho knew that the media wouldn't be able to resist the temptation to run these pictures into the ground. By sending them to NBC, he ensured that he not only victimized a college but that his image would victimize an entire nation.

Kaufman seems to lack empathy and compassion when he compares the tragedy at Virginia Tech to movies, television and film. There is a massive difference between the violence of fictional entertainment and what the media accomplished by letting Cho achieve his goals of being an idolized martyr. The fact that it's even nescessary to distinguish between a real murderer and an actor in a film clearly illustrates how selfishly and naively Kaufman sees the world.

Maybe instead of focusing his efforts on defending the ethical rights of media publications, Kaufman should spend his time writing letters of apology to the people who have been victimized and traumatized by this massacre. Thanks to the widespread publication of the nasty pictures of Cho and his guns, we can add the entire country to that list.

-- Colin Thornton, North College Hill

 
 
 
 

 

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