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Student needs to be more open-minded

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Melissa Newton, a Wings Christian Academy sophomore, writes “I don’t know of any scientists who have recreated the process of evolution in a laboratory, so evolution is neither observed nor tested.” (Logical: Creation makes more sense than evolution to writer, Clarion, Jan 24).

In fact, scientists routinely promote and observe the evolution of microbes in laboratories, which naturally evolve to take advantage of available food sources and to protect themselves from dangers.

Over the course of the last few decades, humans have inadvertently brought about the evolution of many drug resistant diseases and pesticide resistant insects and weeds.

Natural evolution is routinely observed around us. Once you recover from a cold, you will always be resistant to that cold, but you will get other colds because the virus evolves as it passes from one person to another; likewise the HIV/AIDS evolves as it reproduces within an individual, and it is known to have previously evolved from a chimpanzee disease.

The teenager continues, “I’ve seen all of the stories on the news and in the papers about how they’ve finally found proof of evolution,” which she then rejects based on mistaken information about one fossil.

I hope she will learn that beyond “all” the newspapers lie abundant quantities of evidence in every branch of the natural sciences for evolution and for an earth far older than 6,000 years.

For those unsatisfied with the mere dozens of fossils found so far with characteristics of both humans and apes, I suggest looking at the complete available fossil record of the evolution of the horse.

Saddest of all is her ignorance of the differences between science and religion. Scientists discard or modify a hypothesis if evidence shows it is untrue; religion is based on revelation and faith, not on evidence.

Miss Newton writes, “Evolution also teaches that man is continually getting smarter.” Alas, wrong again; our species can evolve to be either more or less intelligent.

America’s future looks bleak if our schools can’t do a better job of teaching our children to seek knowledge rather than assuming that what they don’t know does not exist, and to evaluate information with logic and an open mind, rather than deciding as high school sophomores that they are already “tired” of one of the most important debates in human history.

Pamela Brodie

Homer



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