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Letters to the Editor - March 4

March 04, 2013

Atheist philosopher has written a gem

To the editor:

Taking a page from Allan Powell’s reviews of books, I have a 128-page gem to recommend titled “Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Concept of Nature is almost Certainly False.” It was written by atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel.

His major hangup with the current mainstream Darwinism is its inability to provide an explanation of his mind — and ours. It needs to be said upfront that he has not gone off and “got religion.” He wants to find “… a completely different systematic account of nature, one that makes these neither brute facts that are beyond explanation nor the products of divine intervention.” In the current climate of “… speculative Darwinian explanations of practically everything, and armed to the teeth against attacks from religion …” he wants to invite speculation of alternatives. He sees the current standard view, “antecedently unbelievable — a heroic triumph of ideological theory over common sense.” And to make the data fit the theory, he finds the  “… cost in conceptual and probabilistic contortions is prohibitive.” It is “a heroic triumph of ideological theory over common sense.”

Nagel no doubt will garner a lot of flak from the establishment, especially for comments like this: “I believe the defenders of intelligent design deserve our gratitude for challenging a scientific world view that owes some of the passion displayed by its adherents precisely to the fact that it is thought to liberate us from religion. That world view is ripe for displacement …” Also referring to the work of David Berlinski, who has no Intelligent Design ties, he says, “the problems these iconoclasts pose for the orthodox scientific consensus should be taken seriously. They do not deserve the scorn with which they are commonly met. It is manifestly unfair.”

Sounds like required reading for all biology students — and teachers. A slim volume that will make you think about thinking.

Richard Giovanoni
Hagerstown


Former Vikings, Ravens center Birk a class act

To the editor:

Matt Birk is certainly more than a six-time Pro Bowler who played for the Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens. He created the Hike Foundation, which helps at-risk children with their educational needs. I am a huge Vikings fan and have followed Matt throughout his career. I was aware of his foundation and the work that he performed in Minnesota. I had the opportunity with my son and a close friend to attend a few of Matt’s events for the Hike Foundation. I spoke to him and asked how many children he has put through college and he said 18. That was a couple of years ago.

Matt also suffered a sports hernia at camp in 2005 and offered to play through the pain for the entire season, but the Vikings would not let him, so he had surgery. He was consistently looking out for his team and not himself. He has given game checks to older, retired players to assist with medical bills. He rallied teamates and other players to do the same. He won the NFL Man of the Year Award in 2011 for his off-the-field work. Whether the Ravens won the Super Bowl or not, Matt Birk is a champion to those 18  kids and to anyone who has met him. This Harvard grad is nothing but class.

Kevin A. Greenlee
Halfway

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