Letters to the Editor

God and Science; Potshot or Put-on? You Decide.; Dancing Around the Issue

The reluctance of practically all scientists to support the intelligent design hypothesis comes not out of some desire to manipulate or conceal the truth but because all the data we have, such as the genome projects and 200 years of paleontology, geophysics, and astronomy, support evolution. For manipulation and concealment of the truth, society has ordained philosophers, theologians, politicians, and lawyers.

Damian J. McColl, Ph.D.

Smelly science: The [intelligent design] argument seems to be that molecular biology is so complex that it can't have happened without help from outside; thus Darwin is wrong. That argument reminds me of the amateur Egyptologist who deemed the Pyramids much too difficult for the ancient Egyptians to build with the materials at hand, and thus determined they had assistance from extraterrestrials. The proper conclusion is that the ancient Egyptians were smarter than the amateur Egyptologist and had centuries to get [their methods] right.

In the same way, it is apparent that the workings of microbiology are smarter than our current ability to understand, and [microbiology has] had unimaginable eons to "practice." Our lack of knowledge does not imply an "intelligent designer" unless you're looking for one. Intelligent design proponents seem to have one thing in common: a burning regard to prove Darwin wrong for whatever personal reasons. Their conclusions bear the unmistakable odor of researchers who find the answer first and then present the arguments that best fit their bias. It's rotten science, and it stinks.

Erik Bell

Is evolution itself a dinosaur?: This is truly a fascinating debate, and one that won't soon be resolved. For the first time we see a real scientific argument that challenges the primacy of Darwinian evolution. We see real scientists who have studied all the complexities of evolutionary theory in intimate detail. On the other hand, Darwinists do not know the arguments of intelligent design in the same detail. They are making the same mistake Darwin's critics made when evolution was first proposed; they are rejecting the theory out of hand without knowing well enough what they are rejecting.

It seems to me that once certain movements gain political/economic power, whether they be political movements, religious movements, or scientific movements, they tend to move away from being progressive movements to ones that exist mainly to maintain their power. I think some in the scientific establishment are guilty of this. They reject intelligent design theory not because it's unprovable but simply because it will result in a total loss of political power and cultural influence.

Of the three main theories/movements that shaped the 20th century (Marxism, psychotherapy, and evolution), two have been mostly scrapped, modified, or downgraded in terms of their importance and social impact. Perhaps it's fitting that, at the dawn of the 21st century, Darwinian evolution may join them.

David Flanagan
Annapolis, Md.

Potshot or Put-on? You Decide

Muffy goes to Burning Man: What did Deena Dion (if that is her real name) expect when she attended Burning Man ("Save Yourself for a Better Man," Summer in the City guide, June 20)? An MTV spring break? Come on, get real. Burning Man was designed for people who want communal living free of commercialism and advertising. Although, if Deena's commentary stops just one sorority slut whose only concerns are "will I get laid" and "where's the nearest Starbucks," then thank you.

Name Withheld

Here's a Kleenex, now get over it: I can't help but weep for the future. How could you, SF Weekly, print a piece of trash like this? I have never seen such a brutal attack on an event by such an unqualified critic. Did you pay for this article? If so I'd be willing to be a political commentator. I watched CNN for 12 minutes this afternoon.

Scott Andrade

You can't fool all the people all the time: I just read through your Burning Man piece. There were just way too many clichés in that piece for it to be even moderately believable. Nice try, though.

Paul D. Addis
Nob Hill

Dancing Around the Issue

A license to party: Dan Strachota evidently has stayed up late one night too many. His little diatribe against me was, no doubt, written jointly with Chris Daly (Pop Philosophy, June 20).

For the record, neither I nor District 6 Democrats have anything against dancing, and on occasion we stay up late and party hard. What we are concerned about is this: Daly's legislation will remove dance hall permitting from the Police Department and replace it with nothing. This becomes a problem because it removes a layer of protection that the impoverished residents of the Tenderloin and downtown need to prevent unwholesome late-night entertainment venues from disturbing the frail elderly, small infants, and disabled who live in the neighborhoods Mr. Strachota so lightly regards. Despite repeated requests from many neighborhood organizations and residents, Daly has refused to meet and discuss his legislation. It should be noted that the Tenderloin and downtown do not have the conditional-use permitting that is standard for every other neighborhood in the city. Why won't Daly carry the legislation that was developed by the community, which would establish a fair process for permitting late-night venues? Is it because this might put some controls on the very people who bankroll Daly?

In the future, it would be helpful if Strachota and Daly would stick to the facts. Residents of District 6 are beginning to look beyond Daly's artful rhetoric and self-serving propaganda. It is time to bring home the bacon, Chris.

Frederick Hobson
District 6 Democrats

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