Cover note: Dear Editors: For some reason no copies of the March 23 issue were delivered to either the Science Complex or the Biology Building (or they were removed early in the day). I am certain that this is a coincidence, and has nothing to do with the appearance of an article critical of scientists in that issue. However, many of us did not receive a copy of that issue in time to respond with a letter to the editor by last Friday’s deadline. I hope that this will not prevent you from running my response in the next issue. Thank you. Here’s the letter:
The “Macroevolution” article by Mr. Esposito demonstrates that its author is unencumbered by facts. Mr. Pennisi did an excellent job of illuminating many of the errors and half-truths in that article, but I wish to make a few additional points.
Mr. Esposito rants against macroevolution, but is unable to define it correctly. Macroevolution is not the origin of life from “rocks or floating particles of hydrogen” [sic] and other atoms. Indeed, extrapolations made using evolutionary theory include a number of hypotheses on how life may have arisen. The theory of evolution itself says nothing about the origin of life.
Many who reject evolution out of hand equate evolution with rejection of the existence of God. They also claim that there is no evidence that evolution has occurred and that evolution is not testable. Both of these assertions are incorrect. Perhaps these people do not understand that science cannot address the influence (or existence) of God because this is not testable-not that science rejects it. The existence of God is within the realm of religion and can never be addressed (rejected or affirmed) by science.
Finally, I do not understand why Mr. Esposito would make sweeping condemnations of science and scientists. Does he not use plastics, computers, and cell phones? Does he not rely on vaccinations, antibiotics, or even over-the-counter medications to maintain his health? I can think of only one scientist whose job depends on evolution being “true”. That would be Michael Behe, the most public proponent of Intelligent Design (a pseudoscientific “alternative” to evolution).
Associate Professor, Biology
Elder, Ewing Presbyterian Church
P.S. I will begin the unit on evolution in my freshman class starting April 8. Mr. Esposito is welcome to join my class if he is interested in learning about evolution.