Archive for Saturday, February 19, 2005

Monkey business

February 19, 2005


To the editor:

I read with some amusement Jay Sekulow's opinion piece of Feb. 13. Sekulow, recently named by Time Magazine as one of the "25 Most Influential Evangelicals" in America, contends that science itself produces evidence of an intelligent (divine) creator, and therefore "intelligent design theories" should be offered side by side with evolution in science classrooms to school children.

The evidence he refers to lies in the DNA code which is "specific and unique to each individual." This claim alone exemplifies the confusion that may result when science teaching goes awry. Not only do Mr. Sekulow and I share a vast majority of our DNA, but so too do we share it with chimpanzees. In fact, the genome provides some of the strongest evidence of descent with modification; humans and modern chimps very likely shared a common ancestor.

Mr. Sekulow's stance is similar to that of Lady Ashley. In the mid-1800s, upon hearing Darwin's idea that our ancestors were ape-like, she commented, "Let's hope it's not true; but if it is true, let's hope that it does not become widely known."

No scientist would argue with Mr. Sekulow that the universe is "magnificent." It surely is. But incorporating his faith-based origin story into science classrooms risks making monkeys of us all.

Pat Hawley,


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