[Marxism] letter to Times on evolution article

acpollack2 at juno.com acpollack2 at juno.com
Sat May 28 10:12:34 MDT 2005

To the Editors:

Because of the way it panders to religious charlatans in efforts to appear neutral, your article today on how the Smithsonian has prostituted itself to the creationist Discovery Institute is almost as shameful as the Smithsonian’s act itself. (John Schwartz, “Smithsonian to Screen a Movie That Makes a Case Against Evolution,” May 28, 2005). (I have appended the full article for lists I am cc’ing on this.)

Despite its own policy stating that "events of a religious or partisan political nature" are not permitted, the Museum took $16,000 for a blatantly pro-religious event.  No-one informed of the facts in this controversy could reasonably claim “intelligent [sic] design” is anything other than a religious theory.  Apparently your reporter did not bother to ask the Museum spokesperson why they were violating their own policy.

But perhaps this is because of confusion on the reporter’s part, as he seems to have succumbed sufficiently to the claims of intelligent design to buy into some of their claims.  For instance, he describes the Discovery Institute as “a group in Seattle that supports an alternative theory, ‘intelligent design’...”  Intelligent design is not “an alternative theory” to evolution.  The former is a religion-inspired attempt to deny the fact of the latter.  Evolution is a fact, the only scientifically-proven means for explaining the change over time, and the diversity in form and function, of species.  Intelligent design is not an “alternative” to it, but a religious mythology designed to undercut evolution and the scientific method underlying it.

Worse yet, your reporter states: “Although Charles Darwin's theory is widely viewed as having been proved by fossil records and modern biological phenomena, it is challenged by those who say that it is flawed and that alternatives need to be taught.”

“Widely viewed” by whom?  By the entire credible scientific community – and any well-informed citizen.  Challenged by whom?  Only by those so ignorant of the facts and/or willing to ignore those facts because of their religious mythology, that they are willing to discard a fact as proven as that the earth circles the sun.

In his clause “it is challenged by those who say that it is flawed and that alternatives need to be taught,” your reporter again doesn’t identify who “those who say” are, or what the “alternatives” needing to be taught are.  This gem of journalistic objectivity and neutrality gives equal weight to antiscience religious charlatans and the entire scientific community.

(For some useful quotes on evolution as fact, see: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-fact.html, with quotes from Gould, Dobzhansky, Lewontin and others, or an article by Dawkins at  http://www.simonyi.ox.ac.uk/dawkins/WorldOfDawkins-archive/Dawkins/Work/Articles/alabama/1996-04-01alabama.shtml).

Andrew Pollack
Brooklyn, New York

(full article at http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/28/national/28smithsonian.html?

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