Evolution 101 for readers & public figures

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “Attempt to provoke dialogue fails”
March 24, 2009

To the editor:
I fear that, on at least one point, Henry Gould’s letter may have caused more confusion than it cleared up.

Mr. Gould states that Charles Darwin explained “the origin of life.” In fact, Darwin’s theory of evolution says nothing about the origin of life, but provides a mechanism to explain how variation within populations and selective pressure from the environment combine to produce changes in species over many generations. Far from explaining the origin of life, the theory of evolution simply assumes that living, reproducing organisms exist, without any consideration of how they came to be living in the first place.

To date, we have no satisfactory materialistic explanation for how life arose from non-living matter. However, even if science one day provides such an explanation, I fail to see how this would rule out the existence of God, as Mr. Gould seems to think it would. There is no contradiction between matter behaving according to regular laws and the existence of a supernatural creator.
" Derek McLachlin
Assistant professor, department of biochemistry

Re: “The Evolution of Criticism”
March 24, 2009

To the editor:
This Gazette editorial piece states “it is not in the purview of society at large to impose a limit on public figures beliefs.” I am all for public figures having limitless beliefs. After all, how can we quantify and then impose a limit on beliefs? However, I am opposed to public figures having absurd beliefs.

I propose that we impose a limit on public figures that have absurd beliefs. This we can attempt. I suggest a quota of zero public figures with absurd beliefs in our legislatures. While this may prove difficult, if not impossible, it is a goal we should strive for. We can do this through a mechanism called voting.

I concede that it may be the case that absurd beliefs will not negatively influence a public figures performance. For example, a Marxist may do an excellent job as Minister of Finance. An anarchist could make for a fantastic Minister of Justice. Heck, we’ve never even attempted a homeopathic doctor as Minister of Health.

Yet, something tells me that the public would be better served by electing people without absurd beliefs in the area of public policy they are responsible for. On the other hand, when absurd beliefs are based upon an individual’s religion we should ignore common fucking sense.
" Michael Blackburn
Law II

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