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letters 11/10

November 15, 1999

Smile returns

To the editor:

I would like to direct this letter to the wonderful, loving staff of the Human Development Council, especially Carmen. My dear little sister, Keely is a resident of a group home and has been diagnosed with Lymphoma.

After many weeks in Washington County Hospital recovering from hip surgery she has adjusted better than we ever expected due to the help and understanding of her special care givers and hospital staff.

To you, my friends, thank you for putting a smile back on Keely's pretty face.

Christy Smith-Blackstock

Hagerstown

Young readers seek sponsors

To the editor:

We are writing as elementary students who attend Oldtown School. Please note that some of our faculty members are helping us write this letter.

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Perhaps some of you read about our community in the Aug. 15 edition of the Baltimore Sun. That issue dealt with the poverty in our region of Western Maryland.

The elementary school children along with the PTA have begun a reading program. This program is supposed to make us become better readers. Reading is the focus of the state of Maryland. With all students targeted to read at grade level by the third grade. As part of this program we have come up with the idea of a reader/sponsor program. Each child in kindergarten through sixth grade has set a target of 20 books at $1 per book. This money will allow our elementary students to make field trips in the month of May 2000. We are asking your support. If you would like to sponsor a student or students you can send a check or money order to Oldtown School in care of Reading Program, 19210 Opessa St., Oldtown, Md. 21555. Any pledges that we receive we will respond by letting you know the name of the child and the book that the child read. Our motto is Oldtown Students Read Books/Will Travel.

At this time the adults would like to thank you in advance for any help provided. Seventy percent of our students receive free or reduced lunches. Some of the students never have swum in a pool, gone to a movie theater, or visited a mall. The field trip we have planned includes a tour of Annapolis for Maryland history. Kindergarten through third grade will visit the Washington Zoo.

We may not be as affluent as other schools, but our students score high on standardized testing in spite of lack of resources. If you can help us in any way, we would greatly appreciate it on behalf of the children. Good health and God bless.

Elementary students and faculty of Oldtown School

Bad science

To the editor:

I'd like to put in my two cents worth on the ongoing discussion of evolution in the letters column. As an engineer I see evolution as a practical scientific problem, where the science is sketchy at best and the faith of the adherents is overwhelming. The critical problem is that the cause and effect relationship that is required to produce macroevolution has never been demonstrated. This is particularly true of Darwin's mechanism of natural selection which never gets beyond producing variety in a species.

Darwinism is not science. When "survival of the fittest" is asserted, then "the fittest" are defined as those who survive; this is circular reasoning. Very bad science.

Darwin did not originate the idea of evolution, but gave it a "mechanism," a theory that he claimed would be proven by fossil records. Researching fossil records over the last 100 years strongly suggest that Darwin is wrong.

The fossil data was so obvious that Stephen Gould, a paleontologist, and Niles Eldredge theorized "punctuated equilibrium." Gould states, "the theory does contravene conventional Darwinian expectation for gradual change over geological periods." (The New York Review 6/26/97, p.47).

True science requires the testing of a theory. The theory must work in all cases applicable to the basic assumption. Microevolution is scientific because it can be observed. Macroevolution is theoretical because it has never been observed. It has never been proven that ameoba evolved into fruit flies.

Major scientists at the time of "Origin of Species" - such a s Louis Pasteur, Louis Agassiz and Thomas Morgan - came out against Darwinism. Today highly qualified scientists disagree with Darwinism: Steven Stanley (paleontologist), Richard Goldschmidt (geneticist), Michael Denton (molecular biologist), Michael Behe (biochemist) and Pierre Grasse (biologist).

Evolution should be considered only to the extent it can prove its claim by the scientific method. As Phillip Johnson ("Darwin on Trial" p.39) stated, "The prevailing assumption in evolutionary science seem to be that speculative possibilities, without experimental confirmation, are all that is really necessary."

To teach that one unproven theory is true science and cannot be criticized and not allowing any other theory to be discussed is not science; it is protecting a belief. Let's give our school children the chance to hear only the facts. The educational system will not be in any danger teaching the facts.

Personally, I would not fly an airplane or drive across a bridge that were built on the untested "science" practiced by today's evolution proponents.

Mary Giovanoni

Hagerstown

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