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Kennewick Man

October 01, 2000

It is beyond belief that Secretary Bruce Babbitt's Interior Department ruled that the skeleton of a 9,000-year-old man is connected to the present Native Americans living in that area (Sept. 26). Babbitt has made himself to be the perfect fool. The Interior Department now has a new motto: "The scientific community be damned, full speed backward."

DONALD B. PRELL

Palm Springs

* As much as I respect Native Americans, their "oral histories" really amount to religious beliefs rather than historical documentation. By deciding to turn the remains of Kennewick Man over to Native American tribes despite the lack of any other evidence of affinity, the Interior Department is accepting the religious beliefs of one group of people as fact.

This looks very much like an establishment of religion by a department of the federal government; calling them "oral histories" seemingly makes it acceptable, unfortunately.

DAVID C. JOHANNSEN

Torrance

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