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Theories of evolution

February 16, 2009

Re "Evolution's survival," editorial, Feb. 12

Kudos to The Times' editorial board for nailing many of the pertinent issues in the debate about evolution in a mere 400 words or so: that there is overwhelming evidence for evolution by natural selection; that most of us owe our health and lives to the discoveries that became possible because of Darwin's theory; that evolution's detractors confuse scientific theory with guess; the sad state of affairs in a modern society when three candidates for the presidency and almost two-thirds of the respondents in a nationwide poll do not believe in a scientific fact; that it is possible to believe both in evolution and in some kind of God; and finally, that we should avoid at all costs allowing religion to dictate what is taught in science classrooms in our public schools.

Henry D. Schlinger

Los Angeles

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It is truly amazing that Darwin's theory of evolution has anti-scientific opponents in 2009. Most, if not all, of those espousing "creationism" or "intelligent design" are of the three major religions of the so-called people of the Book: the Bible.

As a Lutheran, I learned that although our Bible is "the cradle that holds forth Christ," we do not worship that cradle as sacrosanct, literal fact for time immemorial.

I trust that Muslims, Christians and Jews today are not so dogmatic that they believe the Big Bang and evolution are somehow atheistic thinking. Frederick Buechner, a writer and pastor, said that all theology is autobiography. Opponents of evolution are expressing themselves as the truth -- science be damned, or at least suspect, in the name of God.

Luverne A. Jacobson

Wilsonville, Ore.

The writer is a retired pastor.

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Christians are not trying to introduce theology into school, they are simply trying to thwart the introduction of atheism.

Children of faith are faced with pressures from all sides telling them that science has proved that God does not exist. Although "intelligent design" has no substance nor any place in the science classroom, the question of "Is it possible that Darwin was wrong?" most certainly does. (The answer is indisputably yes.) Yet teachers have been threatened with disciplinary action just for asking it.

Rory Johnston

Hollywood

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I won't even broach the conclusive evidence that supports Darwin's theory of evolution -- that's Biology 101.

I will say that this creationist bit is contrived by narrow-minded people who cringe at the thought of we humans ascending from apes. Personally, I like the idea that any monkey I come across might be a many-times- removed cousin to my mother-in-law!

Alan Linsky

Beverly Hills

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