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Archive for Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Debate challenge

September 11, 2001

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To the editor:

Adrian Melott's response on Aug. 24 to my letter on the science of evolution versus entropy and antigravity versus gravity took quite a political turn with a lot of ad hominem attacks. Setting aside politics, I would like to return to science and challenge Dr. Melott to at least two public debates. The subject matter would be (1) the definition of science and the scientific method for the first debate and (2) the application of this definition to evolution and antigravity for the second. It could be arranged in a typical debate format in which each of us would have a partner with the usual presentation and rebuttals moderated by a person of mutual acceptance.

He stated in his letter, "However, the evidence for so-called 'antigravity' does not negate the theory of gravity, it merely expands it the most common thing in physics when new discoveries are made. There are north and south poles in magnetism, positive and negative charges in electricity, and the new evidence points to something that acts like a 'negative mass,' for which we previously had almost no evidence." If Dr. Melott is implying that evolution is an expansion of entropy and antigravity of gravity in the same way that north and south poles are to magnetism and positive and negative charges are to electricity, then the debates will be very entertaining for all.

I might suggest that Dr. Melott choose as his partner the curator of the KU natural history museum who has been quite vocal in the evolution discussions. Better yet, Dr. Melott may want his co-founder of the FLAT Society as a partner. I will choose a partner who believes in entropy and gravity and offer ourselves as sacrificial lambs before the giant defenders of evolution and antigravity. The issues of science have historically been exposed through public debates as the re-enactment of the Scopes trial at the university so aptly reminded us. Truth, of which science is a major component, fears no public exposure unless of course the emperor has no clothes.

David Penny,

Lawrence

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