Archive for Thursday, October 6, 2005

Working science

October 6, 2005


To the editor:

To the students of Veritas Christian School who don't accept the theory of evolution: Why bother getting a flu shot this year? Why bother with any immunizations? Without the understanding and the application of the theory of evolution, there would be no immunizations and darned few medical cures.

Evolution doesn't need your belief. Ignore it; deny it. It will continue on, just as it has done for billions of years. It is science's best answer, with overwhelming and irrefutable evidence, for the way the natural world works. Unlike creationism and so-called intelligent design, science does not deal with the supernatural. What "science" would you use to explore the supernatural? Voodoo? Seance? Pat Robertson?

The students at Veritas, like too many Kansans, show a real poverty of learning, since they obviously don't understand the definition of scientific theory. There is no excuse for such ignorance in a state that has on its KU faculty members of the esteemed National Academy of Science and a paleontology program that consistently ranks in the top five in the nation. Where have we failed? Why is it so many people don't understand how science works? It isn't that difficult.

It is high time for science teachers to step up to the plate, stand up to religious fundamentalists and ignorant Board of Education members, and say "No! We will not teach religion in science class. We will teach science!" The future of our children, our state and our country depends on it.

Jeri Kaesler,



craigers 12 years ago

If evolution worked as well as the supporters say it does then there would be no need for vaccinations. We would all have adapted to the flu by now and become immuned to it. Because the kids believe in Creationism, then they show a poverty of learning? Give me a break. I highly doubt that the theory of evolution being upheld will hold the world together. You want to teach science? Then teach it and show that there are problems with the theory. You stated that it is science's best answer, not the absolute answer, so there are problems. If you think I am nit-picking I probably am, but anytime a christian makes a statement about knowing the truth, their arguments get nit-picked to death. You want true open minded people, then teach evolution in the science room along with the holes in the theory, teach and require a religion class for kids, and allow the children to decide. Don't just narrow your view and say evolution is the way and then tell all the christian fundamentalists to be open-minded. The main criticism of Christians is their hypocricy, but I urge those who call christians hypocrits to take a look in the mirror.

mermily 12 years ago

i also agree that those requesting open mindedness should make sure they know how to also be open minded, but i think most frequently when proponents of evolution take exception with christians (of course, a person can be both an evolutionist and a christian you know), it is b/c a christian has put forward their belief as the truth for all. religion in a very personal issue and i would never presume to say another's belief wasn't their truth....but i would likewise object if they put their truth onto me. i have my own.

as for science though, it isn't a belief and therefore is more aptly described in terms of truth- the world is NOT flat and gravity DOES exist (we can all agree on those, right?). i am not suggesting science is stagnant nor is it infallible, but some of it can be held out as true with enough data- whereas no deeply and intimately personal religious belief can be held out as true for us all.

i wish the comparing of apples and oranges would stop. we could all respect and understand the views better than. different topics, different criteria, different places....

instead, what i think the author of the editorial was frustrated by was the obvious lack of understanding regarding evolution. you yourself, craigers, wrote "[i]f evolution worked as well as the supporters say it does then there would be no need for vaccinations. We would all have adapted to the flu by now and become immune to it."

this isn't correct. b/c evolution IS working, some of us are more immune than others despite flu shots. we immunize in an attempt to get around the seemingly cruel reality of evolution whereby those unfit to survive the flu on their own, would risk death and not get to reproduce. further showing evolution, the flu virus in turn adapts in order to avoid ITS death and new strains of the flu, corresponding vaccines, and those better able and less able to deal with the viruses arise each year.

humans, to our ultimate demise i think, largely try to get around evolution with modern technology, but it is there. in searching for holes in evolution, of which there are many unanswered questions, humans are not the best place to look for sound examples.

bjohanning 12 years ago

Evolution in action, the flu virus is constantly evolving in response to our immune system changing. A virus Mutates (evolves) and jumps to a new host. Evolution is occurring all around us. Open your eyes, but for some that would be a real evolution, an open mind.

craigers 12 years ago

I have never understood flu shots in the first place. I have gotten flu shots twice within the last 8 years and only when I got the "vaccination" did I get sick. I realize they try to give you a minimal amount of the flu in order for your body to fight it but I always got sick. Can somebody explain that to me? I just know I won't go back and get another one. Mermily I can see what you are saying about how it is working and some are more resilient to others. However, to me I know we all have slightly different environments, but shouldn't all of us in the same general vacinity adapt or cope with a virus in a similar way? If you don't get what I am saying, I am trying to get at the fact that evolving has to do with what we are exposed to and how we adapt to the different environments, but with people in the same city or even the same house wouldn't they adapt in the same way because of the influence of the environment on them and the adverse affects that the flu causes(in this specific example)? Wouldn't those affects make us adapt or evolve into a more resilient person? Just asking but if I just mumbled a bunch and don't make any sense, then please disregard.

mermily 12 years ago

if i understand your question, it is why do we see such variation in resistance within what would seem to be the same location with the same conditions? my answer is simply that when dealing with microbiology, and genetics, the larger environment may seem similar but it is wildly different on the same scale. for example, something like a mother's stress can change womb conditions has been known to turn off and on certain receptors in the body thereby resulting in huge differences. therefore, siblings can have large immune differences and corresponding resistances.

while blantant exposure may get someone sick and therefore illness seems to be related to location- actual resistance and one's immune system is another more complicated story. one's ability to fight off viruses isn't just achieved through exposure and therefore location, but due to many other factors as well. each of our immune systems is biologically and chemically different as well as more and less efficient based on the time of month, the level of stress, other diseased in the body etc;. as such, location and exposure alone aren't the only factors.

i don't know if this came close to answering your question.

ryanjasondesch 12 years ago

Craigers: "If evolution worked as well as the supporters say it does then there would be no need for vaccinations. We would all have adapted to the flu by now and become immuned to it."

Your ignorance of evolution is now apparent. We would not ALL be immune. That would mean we should be immune to ALL diseases. It is the process of evolution that selects those who have variations that allow themselves to be immune to the flu virus, and others to die off. Leave that alone long enough (without medical intervention, etc.) we would evovle in a small way (we wouldn't NOT be human, but altered nonetheless). Even still, others not immune would somehow also survive (lack of exposure) and diversity would be maintained, and some of those might survive something else, some might die, hence the continuation of the process. Go back to elementary school before these new 'science standards' go into effect, maybe you might finally learn something.

craigers 12 years ago

Ryan, why don't you crawl into a hole with the other hate breeders. At least I ask questions and don't assume I know everything like some people seem to be. Wow, what it would be like to wake up in the morning and now that I was intellectually superior to everybody else. I have had decent conversations on these boards with genuine people like mermily and fossilhunter among many others. Why don't you take lessons on how to speak to people instead of writing about their ignorance. Thanks for being such a jerk, my hope that there are genuinely nice people out there is increased with people like mermily and fossilhunter.

craigers 12 years ago

Oh, yeah by they way thanks Mermily for answering my question. That makes sense to me.

ryanjasondesch 12 years ago

Maybe if your posts didn't make me laugh I'd take you more seriously.

flat9 12 years ago

bjohanning: regarding the virus thing, and constant evolution thereof, i understand that a change can and does take place in a virus, i.e., becomes resistant to drugs, etc., etc, but, it remains a virus. The change is within itself. It does not change into a different species. A change within a species can not be the basis for evolution. That type of change (evolution) is not disputed. So, yes, we see microevolution everyday, but, we don't see the change of an organism into a totally different species. To which evolution were you referring? Micro or macro?

arturocunningham 12 years ago

Yeah but when is that flu virus going to mutate into tweety bird thats what I wanna know. Opps I forgot add the magic evolution fairy dust...eons and eons and eons and eons of time and POOOF!...that virus will be canary in a cage singing a song. Eyes wide shut!

ryanjasondesch 12 years ago

Viruses don't mutate into tweety birds, that's sillier than ol' craigers over there. Eons and eons and poof? No its throughout those eons, there's no poof, except from my bong. Thank God for evolution and marijuana. And according to craigers opinion (and when it comes to him I won't disagree), my superior intellect (and my LSAT score, I kick ass).

Craigers: So sorry I hurt your feelings. Guess you need that kind of affirmation to make a good argument. Obviously you don't get it, sorry. I don't care what you think about me, your arguments are still so stupid. . .

ryanjasondesch 12 years ago

"Eyes wide shut' - That movie kicks ass, open yours.

craigers 12 years ago

ryan, why don't you open your own eyes and realize that evolution isn't true, isn't accurate, and has holes all in it. I guess that is why I don't believe it and you do because it takes un-intelligent people to believe inaccurate theories. Continue to be a jerk because it is true you reap what you sow and you will probably have people treat you like garbage all the time because you are such a jerk. Oh well, I guess I will just have to ignore people like you on this post more often.

Becky Finger 12 years ago

at first i was furious with this letter but now it just makes me laugh. this person is trying to say that evolution is the only way and that we should treat evolution and creationism as science really shows them. the fact is that intelligent design is more broadly excepted than evolution(yes even by scientistes that are not christian). we can't place evolution as a fact because very few things in science are. the thing is that nobody has been an eyewitness of the beginning of time, therefore nobody can tell us whether the universe came from a huge explosion or from an intelligent creator. and craigers you're right. evolution has alot of holes in it. people need to use common sense and see that.

Buckshot 9 years, 11 months ago

Let's get something straight. Evolution is a fact. read that again, it's a fact. Don't confuse the "theory of evolution" with "evolution". The part that might not be perfect is the "theory". Let's for a moment talk about GRAVITY. People mistakenly say "the laws of gravity" while it's really "the theory of gravity. They say that only because it's widely accepted. If we were to one day discover a condition/situation that the "theory of gravity" wasn't 100% correct, that wouldn't mean gravity doesn't exist. It would simply mean the theory would need to be modified a bit.

The fossil records prove 100% that evolution exist.

You creationist are all alike, you start with your conclusion and try to find evidence to match. You have NOTHING AT ALL so the best you can do is say evolution (the theory of evolution) has holes.

Those are facts you can cash in the bank.

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