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September 21, 2023

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The facts are all there, just read your science textbooks

This is in response to a letter to the editor published on Monday, Sept. 24, regarding several columns written about religion [“The facts are all there, just read your Bible”]. The author made some very generalized and uninformed assertions about science that are sadly all-too-common. I am not going to address the topic of religious beliefs, or lack thereof. I only want to point out the silliness of trying to argue about a topic on which one is uninformed because it sounds weak and unprofessional.

First, the author makes a series of improperly simplified statements about what “science argues,” including “the earth was created by the collision of two rocks.” Then he asks where the water came from. Scientists do not think that two “rocks” collided and the present-day Earth suddenly appeared from the rubble. The idea is that, due to the collision, the earth was a very hot rock for a really long time before it cooled and rain (which came from the ice on the original rocks) began to fall. Keep in mind that this is also a simplified version of the events and there is plenty of literature to read for more details.

Next, the author asks “where did life come from?” Then proceeds to scorn the idea of life having been brought to Earth on those “two rocks” that collided, which is what he must think most scientists believe. That is not what most, or even many, scientists believe. Most scientists would agree that life would be unlikely to survive that impact. As to the question of how something could evolve from nothing? There is by no means a universally accepted theory about how the atmosphere of the earth was formed, and how these conditions could give rise to basic life, but there are plenty of solid ones – one needs to only do a little reading.

Lastly, the author says something that causes scientists and many others to cringe. He states that “evolution says we come from monkeys.” This is not at all what the theory of human evolution says. But people continue to make this statement, often following it with “so why do monkeys still exist?” The theory of human evolution says that humans, as well as monkeys and other modern primates, evolved from a common ancestor, an ape-like mammal. There is a great deal of hard evidence to support this concept, which is why it is a scientific theory. Before anyone tries to argue against something, they should inform themselves about the topic from objective sources.

I lied – I will make one point about religious beliefs. The author of Monday’s letter presented the Bible as evidence of God’s existence and evidence against scientific theories. Since believing in God requires faith, the Bible should be used to present people with a path to God and not as “hard evidence” of his existence. The Bible could be proven wrong tomorrow as easily as could the theory of evolution. Both viewpoints require a little faith.

Andrea Hulme is a sophomore majoring in biology. Send responses to her column to [email protected].

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