I have strong beliefs, as many of you do. My goal in writing this column was to encourage cogitation, not create controversy, but, of course, they often go hand in hand. Therefore, when a few readers have responded negatively, I read their responses but could find no value in continued arguments in print. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. However, a letter to the editor in the Sept. 28 paper, “Evolution is not a fact,” is so full of falsehoods it demands correction.
Opposition to evolution is essentially confined to creationists from many different faiths, including, but not limited to, several (far from all) Christian sects, and is not, as suggested, representative of a controversy among scientists. Scientists overwhelmingly accept evolution as a scientific fact and the idea that many reputable scientists reject evolution is just not true. Evolution is widely accepted as a central theme in biology.
The statement that facts are not widely disputed ignores common sense and the lessons of history. When everyone accepted a moon god who floated in the sky, was that a fact? Did the Sun revolve around the Earth as most people believed? Was the Earth flat? Perhaps the author was referring to a scientific consensus, such as the one that exists about evolution.
Evolution, like quantum mechanics, is complicated and not totally understood by those without extensive education. Therefore, neither the letter writer nor I are qualified to debate its intricacies, though I would happily discuss this in a public venue if it would be of any value.
However, this will be my final response in print to avoid endless attempts at one-upmanship. In the meantime, readers are encouraged to seek their own answers.
Many interesting websites and YouTube videos pop up after a search about evolution. I would caution that
some of these sites hide their creationist bent and purport to be science-based. These, as you will see, are the basis for the letter, and sound familiar.
One site I visited spoke eloquently about the “science” against evolution. You could then click on a page about God and another to donate. This, of course, is the central problem: Science starts with a question; religion starts with the answer.
Another flaw in her arguments is the old “just a theory” ploy. Actually, in science, a theory is a “unifying and self-consistent explanation of fundamental natural processes or phenomena that is totally constructed of corroborated hypotheses.” The common usage of theory as a guess does not apply to scientific theories, like the theory of gravity and the theory of evolution.
The part of the writer’s letter that is most disturbing is the idea that science should be separated from politics, meaning, I guess, government. Wow! This is scary! Should we try another Moon shot and just ignore the science? Should we develop new drugs based on beliefs? Should we develop approaches to climate change, gun violence and the environment without data? Science searches, without preconceived ideas, for the truth. Shouldn’t our government?
Dr. Kluzak, an Idyllwild resident, is board certified in Anatomic Pathology, Obstetrics and Gynecology. He also is a freelance photographer for the Town Crier.