Originally Published: January 31, 2002 5:15 p.m.
Wiederaenders brave to tackle evolution topic
Tim Wiederaenders' columns in support of the biblical account of creation were courageous and it drew the predictable snide responses. Understandable since evolution, human or otherwise, is not at all compatible with the Bible without wreaking havoc on the Bible's own claims for itself.
That people prefer the theory of evolution and the subsequent millions and billions of years theory to the Genesis account is not at all surprising. What is surprising is the ease with which they convert theory to fact. Face it. It takes great faith to believe in evolution since science has proven so many of its major tenets to be bogus in recent years. Witness the supposed "links" to humanity once known as Java Man, Peking Man, Pithecanthropus, and others all later shown to be simian. Even the Leakeys themselves have acknowledged the preponderance of guessing scientists are doing.
Since when is hypothesis fact? Science, to be real science and not merely speculation, must deal with observable events and reproducible data. How do the wild fluctuations of C14, potassium argon and uranium dating qualify for either? And even an observable phenomenon like global warming is subject to broad interpretation. Imagine the speculation involved in non-observable events. In the evolution debate, real science abdicated when the discussions turned from fact to origins and destinies – hardly the realm of science.
Finally, scripture cannot be proven like a mathematical equation though the evidence in support of its veracity is both historical and archaeological. Still, it is a matter of faith. So is evolution. It is simply a matter of what, or better, in whom you believe.
Sims is right on issue, wrong on his spelling
I simply must reply to Richard Sims' Jan. 27 column "Head's Up Bubba's (sic) and Bubbettes: It's chile, not chili."
As a confirmed green chile addict and former Santa Fean, I have to agree that the "culinary aesthetic of the chile stops at the Arizona border." I have lived in Prescott for almost nine years and have not been able to eat decent green chile anywhere in Arizona, with the exception of fresh green chile roasted at the farmers market. Frequent returns to Santa Fe for my "green chile fix" have become requisite.
I, for one, would like to see Arizonans become less "mashed potatoes and gravy" and treat their palates to some New Mexican style chile. If they did, however, venture to Santa Fe to try some of the city's best chile, they would find that Mr. Sims has misled them, proving himself a bit of a "Bubba." He has mangled the names of two of my favorite Santa Fe restaurants. Visitors can mingle with locals at "Tomasita's" or "Tia Sophia's," two long-time Santa Fe destinations for chile lovers, but would not find a "Tomasina's" or a "Sophia's."
Please, Mr. Sims, the spelling, as you know, does count.
Attack on evolution reveals creationist fears
Tim Wiederaenders' attack on the theory of evolution is a rehash of timeworn arguments and disconnected facts. For years, scientists have debated creationists and refuted every one of their claims. Yet the creationists, including a few with scientific credentials, keep bringing up the same discredited arguments.
Creationists see their belief system under attack by increasingly secular society and attribute most modern ills to the sciences, particularly evolutionary science. They see science as atheistic, (which it need not be), eliminating God, the loss of God-given morals, and the loss of purpose, whatever that purpose is to be – in an afterlife.
It appears then that creationists have an overwhelming need for absolute certainty and authority, and to satisfy that need they believe in an infallible Sacred Scripture. But our society and our schools are increasingly multi-cultural and multi-religious, including Christians, Jews and Muslims, but also Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Shintoists and secularists.
Would Wiederaenders teach the Genesis account of creation to all those people, or should each group receive equal time to expound on their different creation beliefs? Fortunately the Founding Fathers established a wall of separation between religion and public affairs.
Wiederaenders' approach reminds me of a saying by the physiologist Albert Szent-Gyorgy, "For every complex problem, there is a simple, easy-to-understand, incorrect answer."
By contrast, here is a quote by the late, eminent physicist Richard Feynman, "I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong…I don't feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell. It does not frighten me."