Would you believe it? I actually received a reply to my note sent to the reporter in Detroit. Here 'tis, with my note at the bottom. To follow is my reply to this response.
thanks for the thoughful comments
i happen to subscribe to the theory of evolution and keep up with developments, including the refinements of Darwinism proposed by Stephen Jay Gould and others.
You're right. it is enriching, educational. I recommend it. but it's not essential to my worth as a human being. arguably, there are millions in the world who are fine specimens and who have ever heard of Darwin, must less studied him
i guess i'll stand on the premise that evolution is a tiny part of science and, however rewarding, is not essential to anyone's self worth.
Frankly, the insistence on keeping it in schools as a ring of zealotry, as if knowing such things is something sacred.
Not your letter, but i do find some defenses of evolution downright religious. No, I don't confuse evolution-the-process with an explanation of the origin of life. But that's my point. It's just a bunch of facts, like the knowledge of electricity. For those of us who read extensively on evolution and electricity, fine. But the rest of humanity are fine people, too, because knowing such things is arguably optional.
Saying studying evolution is somehow mandatory is like declaring it mandatory to believe Christianity, Islam or other religion.
Between some factions, I see the public fight getting down to whether evolution is a largely-mechanical process or a be-all explanation for the origin of life. Frankly, I have no idea which is right. And, probably, neither do ardent creationists or evolutionists.
i appreciated the sarcasm of your letter. but, frankly, you carried it a couple of paragraphs too far and it got tiring as a device.
Anyway, thanks for your time. I always enjoy exchanges on
> From: Don Martin <email@example.com>
> To: 'firstname.lastname@example.org'
> Subject: Evolution
> Date: Tuesday, September 07, 1999 12:13 PM
> Dear Mr. Bullard,
> I have been informed that you wrote the following
> indented material; I can only hope for your sake that this
> is an error:
> Kansas recently de-emphasized the teaching of
> evolution, returning the creation/evolution issue to the
> front burner. The interesting thing this time is the
> religious ring to the complaints, as if evolution were
> some revealed truth essential to know.
> Since evolution is a matter of science, it is hardly in
> the category of things where the phrase "revealed truth" is
> relevant, much less intelligent. I trust you did not write
> anything so foolish.
> Evolution is a tiny corner of science, not the
> whole. It's a plausible theory on how life evolved, but
> fuzzy on how life began.
> Inasmuch as evolution makes no attempt to explain
> anything but the way living populations evolve, it is not
> terribly surprising that persons ignorant of its scope find
> it to be "fuzzy on how life began". This, of course, is even
> a greater offense to good sense than the former silliness: I
> hope you did not write it.
> . . .
> Most of us can live perfectly happy lives without
> knowing much about it. Ditto evolution.
> Please tell me that someone else has been defaming your
> good name by publishing such idiocies under your byline.
> Ignorance has indeed been oft described as "bliss", but
> rarely have I seen its delights promoted to the young by
> responsible persons. If you did write the above, all I can
> say is that I am happy to see the Board of Education of the
> State of Kansas has found a journalist truly worthy of them.
> As I wrote to one of them last week: "the future refrain
> of Kansas high school graduates will be, 'y'want fries with
> May all of you live perfectly happy lives among your
> peers--- at a safe distance from the young.