Letters and comments for September 28, 2011

By Observer Upload September 28, 2011 08:25 pm
Letters and comments for September 28, 2011

Same tired arguments

To the Editor:

Frank Beickel (“Theories, not facts,” Sept. 13) makes the same tired arguments against evolution by quoting Sir Fred Hoyle and Ken Hovind, neither of whom understand evolution. “Hoyle’s Fallacy” (“tornado in a junkyard”) doesn’t recognize that evolution is a step-by-step process, not instantaneous. And, similar to Hovind, I could offer money to anyone who can prove that there is a god and never pay out.

I also tire of the “it’s only a theory” statement. Unfortunately, scientists define the word “theory” differently than as “just an idea.” In science, a theory is a well-

substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that incorporates facts, laws, inferences and/or tested hypotheses. Testing is a very important part. Many years ago in The Observer, I challenged creationists to present a scientific test to prove that there is a god. Not surprisingly, I haven’t heard anything.

And I can provide quotes, as well. Pope John Paul II said that “new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis.” But I like this one from Bill Maher: “Faith means making a virtue out of not thinking.”

Guess what? Both sides have the problem of what came first. Creationists like to ask what came before the Big Bang. Good question. But they also say that anything as intricate as life has to have a creator — so what created their creator?

How about if we stop arguing about that trivial stuff and try to fix the world. Certainly, we can all agree that, even if global climate change is not caused by man, pouring tons of toxic compounds into the air and water every second is bad for the environment on which we all depend, whether or not you think that it was created by a deity.

Tim Hoffnagle

La Grande