Letter - Looking at spin on evolution

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Philip Monfort extols Don Casebolt as a “thinking man of professional stature” and was pleased to discover he is a retired physician. I also respect Dr. Casebolt’s knowledge and have enjoyed reading his columns on nutrition, even though he sometimes allows his (religious) confirmation bias to interfere with a full analysis of a subject — caffeine, for example.

I am also a retired physician. I hope that does not diminish Mr. Monfort’s regard for the profession.

Mr. Monfort wants our youths to be exposed to both intelligent design and evolution.

I have no objections to that, but it can’t be done in public schools.

In Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, federal court Judge John E. Jones III ruled “Teaching intelligent design in public school biology class violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States because intelligent design is not science and cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.”

As was demonstrated in that court case, evolution can more than hold its own when confronted by religious fundamentalism.

I noticed my previous letter inspired retired Seventh-day Adventist pastor Lee Ray Holmes to write a lengthy column for the U-B religion page explaining away biblical notions of hell and everlasting punishment. His essay is a classical example of how any spin doctor can obfuscate what appears to be a clear meaning in any text.

Mr. Holmes makes it clear he believes in a loving God, so has to find a way to prove his God would not condemn anyone to endless burning in hell.

Instead his God, once he has called the dead back to life, will only burn up those who don’t believe in Him until they are dead again. Whew! Nice God.

I have donated my body to the University of Washington School of Medicine. When they are through with it, whatever is left will be cremated. I wonder if that will satisfy Mr. Holmes’ God.

Dieter Hain writes that “I am still waiting to see one of the great apes change into an intelligent human being.”

I marvel at such a profound misunderstanding of evolution. But if I had been forced by my church to believe Earth is only 6,000 years old, I would likely harbor the same ignorance.

Curtis Stone was actually “stunned” when he read my letter, I didn’t realize I had such power. But I appreciate finding out from him I was “well-known from Colville to Spokane.”

Ah! the power of the pen.

Thomas Reed

Walla Walla

Comments

RickK 7 months, 3 weeks ago

The intelligent design controversy is about basic truth - those who support it are either lying or falling for a lie.

Proponents say: "Intelligent Design is the scientific search for evidence of design in nature."

In theory, that may be true. In practice however, ID is an advertising campaign and a tool for fundamentalist Christians who see it as a wedge with which to drive Genesis back into science classes and public policy.

Actions speak louder than words, and the actions of the ID "researchers" are not the actions of scientists seeking actual truth. They do not attempt to convince their scientific peers with weight of evidence. They treat criticism as an attack, as a shunning, rather than as part of the gauntlet that any new scientific idea must run. The ID proponents appeal directly to the public with scientific-sounding books like "Signature in the Cell", using math and terminology that the vast majority of the general public is not equipped to critique.

And they use lawyers and press releases. The Discovery Institute in Seattle is promoting intelligent design with a media machine that is churning out several press releases every week. Using funding from Young Earth Creationists, the lawyers and politicos who head the Discovery Institute keep the ID "manufactroversy" in business.

If there are any actual honest ID "scientists", people trying to devise actual falsifiable scientific tests, they are lost in sea of bamboozle and mis-direction that is the heart and soul of the "Intelligent Design" lobby.

The pseudo-scientific advertising machine of the Discovery Institute most closely resembles the ad campaigns by Big Tobacco in the late 60s. But where Big Tobacco were (by their own admission) marketing doubt in the science that showed smoking causes cancer, the Discovery Institute (by its own admission) markets doubt in the materialist science of evolution.

These are not the ACTIONS of people of science. Those are not the actions of honest people. They are the actions of people of politics and religious ideology.

So let's not confuse what Intelligent Design should be with what Intelligent Design is.

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chicoli 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Thom, according to Genesis God ordered Noah to build an ark and to round up a pair of all animals on earth in preparation for the flood. While they were waiting the animals wanted to mate. Noah did not aproved..."not on my back ark"! He put up a pen where he divided the the boys from the girls. Good enough, they did not mate not a single time.

Ah! the power of the pen.

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stvsngltn 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm just happy the dinosaurs missed the boat. Tsk.

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