Increasing rates of gonorrheal and chlamydial infection, as reported in Melissa Meinzer's excellent piece "Infectious Debate" [Jan. 28], come as no surprise given the inducement of ignorance in the teenage population by abstinence-only "education." These programs, which have been unequivocally proven ineffectual and counterproductive, are not education in any sense of the word. They are best described as religious indoctrination. The results of the implementation of these non-reality-based programs could be none other than increasing rates of sexually transmitted infections and teenage pregnancies. The Pittsburgh Public School District, which disables its students with this religious dogma, is complicit in the spread of disease and has defaulted on its primary function of education by utilizing this program of brazen dis-education.
In an era in which American students are perennially pummeled by other nation's students in math and science, and the majority of scientific Ph.D.s granted by US universities are to foreign students, it is unmistakable that our nation is less intellectually fit than others and we have only ourselves to blame. It is in this context that I found Harvard professor of the history of science Janet Browne's comments regarding the importance of Charles Darwin's ideas [interview, Feb. 4] a welcome break from the continual assault on reason and logic, as represented by "creation science" and "intelligent design" that have hampered our nation's intellect. The veracity of Darwin's ideas is not in question. What is in question is the motives of those who would disable minds in order to propagate fairy tales.
-- Amesh A. Adalja, Butler