Cartoon and Articles and published in the Culpeper Star Exponent at http://www.starexponent.com/
Letter to the Editor
Monday, December 26, 2005
Cartoon did little to further scientific understanding of evolution concept
I disagree strongly with the commentary page cartoon in Friday's Star-Exponent. It shows a distinct lack of knowledge of the subject on several levels.
The first level is the misunderstanding or the term "theory." In science, "theory" refers to a concept that has been rigorously tested over a considerable length of time and has stood up to all scrutiny. Organic evolution, as proposed by Charles Darwin and subsequently modified by many researchers, is such a concept. This is how science works. Only those concepts that are derived from observational data and backed up by further research belong in a science classroom.
Intelligent design is not science, it is a faith-based concept best taught in theology and philosophy classes.The side thought about evolving from a chimp also shows a lack of understanding of current paleontological understanding. Homo sapiens (humanity) differ from Pan troglodytes (chimpanzee) by only some 2 percent of genetic material. The two are believed to descend from a common ancestor over 5 million years ago.
I also find it bothersome that the judge is holding a hatchet in place of a gavel. I teach geology and therefore Earth history and evolution at Germanna Community College. I also am an elder in my church and firmly believe in God as the creator of the world. Since I live and work in both worlds, I know the difference between science and theology. In my college science classes I teach only science. At church I teach theology, which may include God's role as creator.
Letter to the Editor
Wednesday, January 4, 2006
The teaching of evolution religion
On Dec. 26, you published a letter by Mr. Douglas Albach, who said, "Only those concepts that are derived from observational data and backed up by further research belong in a science classroom." He was writing in support of the Darwinian concept of how evolution, not a concept originated by him, works. A wealth of data challenges the concept of evolution, a hypothesis not a theory - a theory is substantiated by proof in the laboratory, something never accomplished for macro evolution. No one has ever shown how gases become rocks become algae become plants become worms become mice become monkeys become men. No one has ever shown in a demonstration how lesser species become greater ones.
I have read that Thomas Kuhn, the philosopher of science, has written that any challenge to a paradigm is often responded to by enlarging the domain of the paradigm, not by accepting the data as they are. Dinosaur soft tissue is asserted to have been preserved for 70 million years. This has never before been seen in any other species. However, this story is not on Page 1 of every major newspaper in the world. Why is that? Are the evolution believers afraid they can't substantiate that soft tissue can endure 70 million years? Note that I say "believers" since evolution is a faith, not a demonstrable fact. Troublesome data are disregarded, disrespected and denied - too bad. Mr. Albach is a teacher of youth. Is he teaching science or evolution religion?
Mac Mc Phillips