Letters to the editor

December 02, 2006

May the best science win

To the editor:

I see that Allan Powell is back again ( Nov. 19) with his "mountains of evidence" for Darwinian evolution with the forces of "epistemology", and the "openness and rigor of science" that he claims for his position.

As examples he proposes the writings of Darwin himself and of his most vociferous defender of our time, Richard Dawkins.

Dawkins seems like a strange standard bearer for pure science when his crusade for evolution starts from a purely ideological proposition as he tells us himself, "Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist." He was seconded in this bit of "pure science" by Cornell University biologist W.B. Provine's claim that Darwinism was, "the greatest engine of atheism ever invented."

One of Dawkins' absolutes is that the Tree Of Life proposed by Darwin in his Origin of Species is a given that "is in principle knowable." He allows that. "We do not know it yet." But we are assured, "By 2050 we should ..." Unfortunately for Darwin and Dawkins, some very recent findings from two evolutionary biologists, Rokas and Carroll, just published in the Public Library of Science and Biology show that there is no Tree of Life in the forest of creation.


What they do find is a landscape of "bushes." No pathway from first cell to Homo Sapiens. No evidence for the long-sought tree. As I recall, this search has been going on since Adam and Eve bought the epistemological arguments of the serpent.

Powell also asserts that there is proof in comparative embryology. I do hope he is still not using the 19th century drawings of Heckel that we all saw in our biology books when we were in school. These illustrations have been recognized as fraudulent for many years even though some recent text books still use them. It is considered as equal to the Piltdown Man fakery in the annals of evolutionary "science."

What this was supposed to prove was that in the earliest stages all embryos look alike and that as they develop we can see a retelling of the steps in our evolution from tadpole to Tarzan. Not only were the drawings falsified, as some of his contemporaries had originally pointed out, but recent microscopic photography shows that the initial stages the embryos are vastly different, about as unique as they are as "adults."

The only stage at which they show considerable similarity is in the middle of their development. The picture is now called an "hourglass." Another proof gone.

One last point - Dawkins' famous claim that monkeys pounding on typewriters would by random chance and over a long time give us Shakespeare. This was to support Darwinian faith that random mutations over long enough time equals design. In 2003, a computer version of this experiment showed that the "monkeys" could give us 24 letters from Henry IV in the equivalent of 2,738 trillion, trillion, trillion monkey-years.

This is hard science that Dawkins says we should believe. Not good news for D&D when we are confined to a cosmos only 15 billion years old.

When readers finish the list of books given by Mr. Powell, try four suggestions from my library: "The Science Before Science" by Anthony Rizzi, "Uncommon Dissent" by William Dembski, "Darwin's Black Box" by Michael Behe and "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design" by Jonathan Wells. And may the best science win.

Richard Giovanoni

An example of why he's history

To the editor:

The comments by soon-to-be-former Pennsylvania State Rep. Steven R. Maitland (R-Adams/Franklin), made on the floor of the Pennsylvania House recently, serve to remind voters of the reasons so many lawmakers were turned out of office in the last election: Arrogance and a complete lack of touch with reality.

Maitland believes that members of the Pennsylvania legislature are "grossly underpaid" and that they should be making "what a public school superintendent is worth." He goes on to speak of his plans (and increased earning potential) once he stops supping at the public trough and enters the practice of law - a profession he prepared for while serving as a state lawmaker.

Maitland's comments about his increased earning power reveal his arrogance. That potential was made possible by completing law school while serving as a "full-time" legislator (of which we are reminded constantly by Pennsylvania lawmakers). What could more clearly illustrate his disconnection from reality?

And it is safe to say that no public school superintendent could (or would) attend law school and claim to hold down a full-time job. It is not possible - nor would it be tolerated by taxpayers. I am not sorry to see Maitland nor any of his kind leave public life.

John R. Goss III
Chambersburg, Pa.

Bravo, Dale, for joining JFK 1,000-mile club

To the editor:

I am writing this letter as public congratulations to my brother, Dale Rhoderick, who has just competed in and completed his 20th JFK ultra- marathon race.

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