Ben Duvall: Terms change

May 16, 2014 

In the May 14 letter “ Bad instruction,” the writer suggests that “liberal indoctrination” such as teaching climate change is responsible for the decline in American proficiencies in math, language and science. “What happened to to global warming?” he asks.

What happened is that scientific terms change over time. “Global warming” was our initial understanding of the subject. As we gained more information, it became apparent that the term was no longer appropriate.

“Climate change” is a much more accurate and informative descriptor for the issue at hand. In the same way that “continental drift” came to be known by the modern term of “plate tectonics,” improved scientific understanding of a subject often leads to a shift in the terms used to refer to it.

It is not “liberal indoctrination” that is causing our educational decline, but a disrespect and ignorance of science and education prevalent in both our government and our populace.

Ben Duvall, Raleigh

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