|Letters to the Editor - November 2007|
|by Do-While Jones|
Our invitation to the Community Dinner drew a letter to the editor.
Those of you who don’t live in Ridgecrest, which is nearly the entire population of the world, aren’t likely to know about the Community Dinner. It started twelve years ago when State Farm Insurance agent Gary Charlon teamed up with the United Way, and a few other businesses, to stage an event benefiting all the non-profit groups in Ridgecrest. It has become an annual tradition. The 13th Community Dinner was November 10, 2007. Science Against Evolution has participated by having an information booth at the last 10 Community Dinners.
In previous years, there has been considerable publicity leading up to the Dinner. Our president has been interviewed on radio, and quoted in the newspaper, telling people what will be at the Science Against Evolution booth, and encouraging people to come.
This year he went to the News Review with notes in hand to talk to a reporter about the Dinner. The reporter wasn’t there, so the notes were left at the newspaper with the understanding that the reporter would look at them and then interview our president later. What actually happened was that the News Review simply published the talking points as if they were a letter to the editor.
The general theme of the notes was that as the scientific evidence against evolution builds steadily, support for the theory of evolution drops. The past two years we haven’t met anyone at our Dinner booth who still believes in evolution.
Letters to the editor almost always spark other letters. Our unintended letter drew this response.
Evolution theory here to stay
To the Editor:
The group Science Against Evolution states that it didn’t get any arguments against its anti-evolution position at the Community Dinner, therefore proving that they have won in their position arguing against the theory of evolution.
Their statistical sampling is as unscientific as their anti-evolution beliefs. I do believe that people attending the Community Dinner are going to the event to have fun, not argue. Also anti-evolution groups have a tendency to put up a lot of straw man arguments making the average person not want to discuss the issue with them.
I would ask, what theory do you have to replace the theory of evolution? The present-day theory of evolution, which does differ in details from the original theory advocated by Charles Darwin in his “Origin of the Species,” is the foundational basis of all modern biology.
I have heard the arguments against the fossil record and they are pretty bogus including that God or some other supernatural agency salted the earth with fossils that make an obvious timeline in order to test our faith. That is bad science and bad theology. I have heard the replacement theory is the Geneses [sic] account of creation in the Jewish scriptures. Why should I believe one creation story over another? I would rather go with science than mythology to base theories of biology on.
Evolution is a non-issue. It will continue to be taught in schools and universities. The rest of the world laughs at us when school boards ban its teaching. When Kansas did this, universities in other states said they would look carefully before taking high-school graduates from Kansas. I choose science over superstition myself.
Linda Robinett 1
It might surprise Linda that Science Against Evolution agrees with most of what she wrote in last week’s letter to the editor. We agree that the 16 to 5 vote against evolution at this year’s Community Dinner is not a scientific sampling of opinion about evolution. That wasn’t the purpose of the vote. Only one person asked us, “What are these ballots going to be used for?” We truthfully answered, “Just to start a conversation.”
We agree that people attending the Community Dinner were going to the event to have fun, not argue. The two main purposes of the event, however, are (1) to help the local non-profit groups in Ridgecrest raise money, and (2) to help the local non-profit groups in Ridgecrest inform the public about their services. The actual scientific experiment at the dinner was to determine, “Will more people come to the booth to tell us what they think about evolution than will come to listen to us tell them what we think about evolution?” The result was conclusive. People would rather talk than listen. (We also learned from the booth next to ours that you can draw even more people to your booth if you have root beer floats served by beautiful cheerleaders in very short skirts. )
We agree that straw man arguments are dirty debate tricks used by people who don’t have the truth on their side. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, “straw man argument,” it is a bogus argument that is easily refuted. For example, one might say, “God or some other supernatural agency salted the earth with fossils that make an obvious timeline in order to test our faith. That is bad science and bad theology.” Of course, such reasoning is bad science and bad theology, but that’s an irrelevant straw man because we don’t know any living creationist who believes God created the fossil record as a test of faith.
Another common debate trick is called “the red herring.” That’s when someone changes the subject to avoid talking about the real issue. For example, if one doesn’t have any scientific evidence in favor of evolution, one might turn the conversation to religion instead, which is exactly what Linda did.
Linda is correct when she says that “universities in other states [than Kansas] said they would look carefully before taking high-school graduates from Kansas.” Because the theory of evolution won’t stand scientific scrutiny, some evolutionists actually have used this pressure tactic, as well as the legal system, to discourage any fair scientific examination of the theory in public schools.
But most of all, we agree with Linda that it is important to choose science over superstition. As Stevie Wonder so eloquently sang, “When you believe in things that you don’t understand, you’re going to suffer. Superstition ain’t the way.” Evolutionists don’t understand how chemicals could have combined to form the first cell. They don’t understand how single-celled creatures evolved into multi-celled organisms. They don’t understand how asexual creatures evolved into sexual creatures. They don’t understand how complex organs such as the eye evolved. Yet they believe it all happened, despite the scientific impossibility of it all. Sadly, evolutionists have chosen superstition over science.
This year, by asking people to tell us what they think about the theory of evolution, we did get some interesting responses. Here are the results of our Evolution Election.
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News Review, 14 November 2007, Page 4