Letters: Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Intelligent Design

To the editor: I’m appalled at the pitiable display of journalism by Laurie Barker James. Her recent article “Devolution in Education” (Sept. 3, 2008) is yet another shining example of bias and poor research. It’s entirely unfair of the media to continue reporting on intelligent design if they refuse to accurately present the facts. This article is filled with inaccurate deDELETEions and generalizations, creating a “straw man” argument.
For example, James explains that intelligent design uses “scientific terminology to promote the idea that, as it says in Genesis, the world was created in six days” and that “the earth is very young — less than 7,000 years old.” This is not the theory of intelligent design. According to www.intelligentdesign.org (run by the Discovery Institute), “the theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.” Design theorists do not base their arguments on any sacred text; their arguments are grounded in scientific observation and empirical data.
Secondly, James mistakenly asserts that “The CSC’s [Center for Science and Culture] leaders have advanced degrees — but they aren’t scientists.” Director and Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute Steven Meyer received a Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of science from Cambridge University and wrote his dissertation on the history and origin of life biology and the methodology of the historical sciences. Previously, he worked as a geophysicist with the Atlantic Richfield Company and has undergraduate degrees in both physics and geology. Last time I checked, geophysicists are scientists. All of this information is available to the public at www.discovery.org and could have been presented by James.
Fort Worth Weekly should be ashamed of itself for publishing such an article. The public deserves objective, well-researched reporting and the willingness to present both sides of an argument correctly.
Joshua Matthan Brown
Fort Worth

To the editor: While I understand the message of the “Devolution” article, I think the writer failed to mention some valid points to the creationist argument that affirm its place in the learning system. I understand the challenges of the public school system, as my wife is a teacher, and I know that throwing a wrench into an established system is rarely a good idea. However, when there is a valuable piece of information missing from a puzzle as important as who we are and where we come from, perhaps it’s better to explore more than one theory.
The web site www.foolishfaith.com references an online essay that gives many facts on the historicity of the Bible as well as creationist arguments that explain the many holes in the traditional theory of evolution and its weak explanation for the creation of our universe. I think it would balance out the bias of James’ article, which would have been a much more intriguing piece had she actually covered both sides.
Casey Averitt

To the editor: A few comments are in order on Cal Reinecke’s recent letter to the editor, which said that if teachers and scientists were honest, they would admit and teach that evolution is only a theory and that other alternatives exist. The author says he is not particularly religious, but not particularly dumb either, on which I cannot comment.However, I can say Mr. Reinecke is not very knowledgeable on the subject.
In common language, a theory is an opinion, conjecture, or speculation for which facts are not required. In science, a theory is a statement about a series of known facts. Even musical theory deals with the mechanics of music and how music works. The oboe, violin, french horn, etc., all combine beautifully to produce a symphony — that’s a factual statement. Evolution is simply an amalgam of scientific facts. It would be the height of dishonesty not to teach that.
Could an intelligent designer be responsible for the pitch and tone of the various instruments? I guess so. Should the music teacher tell the students that these other alternatives exist? It’s irrelevant to the theory of music and irrelevant to evolutionary theory. It’s called speculation. I applaud all teachers for sticking to the facts despite the pressures they face. Let’s keep this discussion for the letters section and the kitchen table, along with UFOs.
Brian Rutledge
Fort Worth
Light a Candle — Carefully
To the editor: Kendall McCook’s guest column (“Cancer in the Country,” Sept. 17, 2008) should have been on the “Static” page — it was just that. I didn’t read it all, but didn’t need to, as I have heard it before, been there, and all that.
Have more innocent people been murdered by drunk drivers than killed by nuclear energy? I had nuclear imaging of my heart, which showed that, at 72, it’s doing pretty good.
How about a puff on the ol’ weed? It’s caused more heartache and deaths than the nuclear power plant at Glen Rose. Why don’t you light up a candle and read Static? It’s a lot safer than electricity, but it could burn up a house if left unattended — the candle, that is.
Jack O. Lewis
Haltom City

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