Letters to Editor

Writer claims evolution does occur

From: Chris Leverington, Superior, Wis.
Sept. 16, 2002

I'm writing in response to an editorial (Dale Kovar's column) that I accidentally stumbled upon while searching for the Great Lakes Aquarium web site.

This article was titled "Duluth's Great Lakes Aquarium spoiled by evolution exhibits," and was published July 8, 2002.

I found the author's lack of knowledge on many aspects of his article to be rather humorous, but I'm not writing to make fun of the poor guy. The GLA is a great educational source for the children and adults of the north.

Evolution occurs, whether you believe in creation or not, it occurs.

It is possible to believe in creation and still believe in evolution. As far as the author's arguments go, they backfired on himself. The earth is millions of years old, billions even.

He says that "Biblical scholars calculate the earth to be 6,000 to 10,000 years old."

If this is so, then how do we account for the dinosaurs that lived on earth 65 million years ago? We know they are this old because of carbon dating . . . but if you don't believe in carbon dating . . . there is no reference to the dinosaurs in the Bible, yet they were here ­ we have the bones to prove it.

Now, we can move on to his facts that disprove evolutionary theory.

(1) The moon is receding at a rate . . . tides would have eroded the continents.

The continents haven't been here all that long. Continents were formed by tectonic shift and collision and volcanic eruption. The earth was here long before the continents were.

(2) He says Niagara Falls is eroding at a rate of four to five feet per year, which makes it less then 10,000 years old, but using a different scientific argument claims that the Grand Canyon would have been carved out in just a few weeks.

(3) There is strong scientific evidence that supports the theory that there was a great flood. Probably occurred after the last ice age.

But, if you're going with the Biblical version . . . Noah saved all the animals, remember. Maybe the glaciers that occurred in the last ice age opened up new springs and rivers that caused Niagara Falls to form less than 10,000 years ago.

Any way you look at it, this guy's thoughts are really messed up. Maybe we didn't evolve from monkeys, but then why can't we find a human fossil that is remotely close to the age of the oldest monkey fossil we have?

Even if you believe in creation, evolution occurs. A biology student friend of mine did an experiment involving evolution in bacteria this summer and they witnessed evolution occurring. It happens, deal with it.

Waverly geologist explains evolution further

From: Daniel Kelleher, Waverly
Sept. 23, 2002

I would like to clarify the conflicting ideas on evolution published by Dale Kovar (dated July 8, 2002) and responded to by Chris Leverington (dated Sept. 16, 2002).

Understanding the various meanings of "evolution" will help us.

Kovar's comments support the "creation science" viewpoint that dates the earth based on a literal interpretation of the Bible. Mr. Leverington's response is an ambiguous criticism that suggests we must accept evolution because "it occurs."

There is an intellectual revolution occurring today on this subject because there are two very different meanings of "evolution."

The first type, referred to as micro-evolution, is not too controversial, and it basically refers to variation within a species.

In other words, we know that there are more than 200 different varieties of cats, horses can be bred for racing, and bacteria can adapt and develop immunity to antibiotics.

I suspect the bacteria experiments conducted this summer by Leverington's friend resembled that variation; otherwise we would have learned about it on the national TV news.

What is controversial is the second type, macro-evolution, which is the theoretical transformation of one species into another.

Charles Darwin applied his original theory of variation to explain that ancestral animals descended (or evolved) randomly through gradual variation by natural selection into complex creatures ­ without any intelligent designer guiding it.

Neo-Darwin evolutionists maintain today that this remains an unguided process.

In fact, the 1995 official policy statement from the National Association of Biology Teachers says "the diversity of life on earth is the outcome of evolution; an unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable, and natural process."

This secular philosophy influences how our children and we think of ourselves with emerging consequences.

Contrary to Leverington's statement that we can believe in both evolution and creation, we cannot split this right down the middle.

As the mainstream scientific community understands it today, macro-evolution is based on a philosophy called naturalism.

The rules of naturalism state that nature is a closed system ­ which cannot be influenced by anything from the outside, including God.

Naturalism does not explicitly deny the existence of God, but it does deny that God could influence any natural event, such as evolution.

This secular philosophical doctrine is the reason that God is excluded from any role in mainstream science, considering a creator is against their rules . . . the rules of naturalism.

It is philosophy that matters, not the scientific evidence (i.e. the fossil record and molecular biology).

For example, the fossil record doesn't explicitly show any progressive major evolutionary transitions, although this concept is inferred in textbooks.

Variation within a fossil species is well documented, but in case after case, and particularly when the fossil record is most plentiful, it is absent of gradual changes transforming one species to another.

The fossil record exhibits two general attributes:

(1) stasis, where fossil species are observed to remain constant and unchanged for millions of years, and

(2) a sudden appearance of new species, where fossil species first appear fully formed.

As a practicing Catholic and professional geologist, I tend to believe that these observations support creation events rather than "descent by gradual modification."

Creation scientists make specific empirical claims, such as a young earth and a worldwide flood that mainstream science has said that are provably false. Leverington took full advantage to point out the geologic contradictions of Kovar's claims.

The essential point of creation has nothing to do with timing or the mechanism that the Creator chose to employ, but with the element of design and purpose.

What is important is that we understand the world, and especially human kind, was designed and exists with a purpose.

Regardless of our interpretation of the Bible, we can draw an important conclusion about it: it is free from error in matters that relate to our salvation.

What can we do? Parents and teachers need to understand this issue and can help young people see the hidden philosophical assumptions of secular science.

If we can educate young people by explaining the differences between naturalism and the scientific evidence, then they can ask those courageous questions with courage and confidence.

Howard Lake-Waverly Herald & Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal
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