incoming (2006-29)

In Support of the Wests

Theoretically Speaking

Out in Right Field

Ode to the Empty

Brad Hill

Theoretically Speaking

A theory in science is very different from the average person’s idea of a theory. It is not just an idea. A scientific theory is used to make testable predictions. A hypothesis is the proposal of how to collect evidence to verify a prediction. Observations of nature and physical evidence, e.g. fossils, are used to prove a theory such as evolution. Any idea that cannot be tested isn’t scientific. For example, Newton published his work on gravity in the 17th century. Very few people accepted it for a very long time. It became a law in 1798, over a century after it had been published, with Henry Cavendish’s determination of the value for the gravitational constant.

Newton had made the prediction that there was a constant, but couldn’t determine its value with the equipment available in his day. Only after that prediction was proven did his theory become a scientific law.

In regards to physical evidence of evolution, there is the fossil record. Many of the fossil record’s fakes were made in the early days of fossil collecting, when it was a mania akin to the turn of the century mania for mummies. Fossils that support evolution are being discovered virtually every day. The layman doesn’t hear about it because a new transitional fossil of a fish doesn’t make for really exciting headlines. Most of the faked transitional fossils are known to be fakes, and they are not used as evidence to support evolution.

Here is a misconception of the theory of evolution that must be put to rest: Charles Darwin did not come up with it. It had been proposed earlier by others. Darwin had observed the artificial selection of animals in animal husbandry (dog breeding, sheep breeding, etc.). Darwin theorized that the same thing happens in nature, and through his observations of nature he found evidence to support this. Darwin’s theory is the Theory of Natural Selection. It is the mechanism by which evolution occurs, and natural selection only supports evolution.

I was surprised to find that people think that evolution is a racist idea. Evolution is far from racist. In fact, due to genetic research in regards to evolution, race is no longer even recognized in the field of physical anthropology. This is because physical adaptation is only a reflection of the environment. Each human being shares almost all the same genetic material with other humans. Very few genes go to outward appearance. It’s like the variation in dog breeds: Each breed is part of the same species, they just look different because each was bred to achieve a different purpose. It’s the same with humans—we each just look different. On the inside we are, quite literally, the same.

Despite all the evidence that goes to evolution there is always the possibility that we have gotten it wrong. In spite of direct observation, perhaps we aren’t related to other primates; it’s just a coincidence we have 98 percent the same genes as chimpanzees.  Perhaps we will be attacked by vicious tomatoes from Mars tomorrow. There are no absolutes in science, and anything is possible. Because of this I have a challenge for those who do not accept evolution. Please try to scientifically prove to me that intelligent design is fact.

Miranda Reseigh

Out in Right Field

I used to consider myself a moderate, but if Mr. Guerin is indeed serious (God help us all), he and Mr. Ball are perfect examples of right-wing thought that has led me to believe that the only decent people in this country are liberals.

Mr. Guerin states that the American economy is a great secret success story. Any economy that sees management salaries increasing geometrically while the workers get few if any pay raises is not a success. I am working two jobs just to make ends meet. Many people are unable to have a decent life on what two people earn from a full time day job. That is not a successful economy in action. And he has the gall to call Cindy Sheehan a “piece of crap.” This is a heart-broken mother whose son was killed by being involved in a meaningless and unwinnable war. That statement was vile.

Mr. Ball thinks that in a free country we should do away with the right to burn a flag in protest. Anyone wanting to define irony can point to that contention as a perfect example. He seems to think that abhorring flag burning (which I do) while supporting the right to burn the flag (which I do) is a conflict. No! It is understanding the word “freedom.” Burning the flag may offend people, but it does not endanger this country.

If you’re offended, get over it. With the right to free speech goes the right to offend. We have become a nation of the easily offended. Let’s not become a nation that restricts freedom while waving flags and hollering that we are the land of the free. The United States is in danger of becoming a great living oxymoron. We cannot let that happen.

Larry Dearing

Ode to the Empty

I was raised on a pot-hole street

I was king of the world then

I put feathers in my hair

When he came to take the land

I saw the clear blue eye of time

  RB Morris

Andrews Overlooked

Pamela Schoenewaldt

Editor’s Note: Moyer’s wife was employed by MP about 10 years ago. And, if it makes you feel any better, one of our editorial staffers has a Jim Andrews sign in his yard.

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