To the editor:
A few years ago, Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson spoke in Lawrence. During audience questions a smirking young man approached the microphone and, in an astonishing display of smug presumption, challenged Wilson with a barrage of misstatements denying evolution and confused arguments which any curious, minimally capable person could refute by a trip to the library or a simple Internet search. Wilson began his response by calling the man's speech "a farrago of false statements and non sequiturs," a mild description, I thought, of such arrogant ignorance.
Karyl Graves' remarks (Public Forum, Oct 13) also merit that description. In an age of easy access to excellent science books, magazines and Web resources, anyone who is unable to learn the basic facts regarding human evolution, and standard answers to the fallacies and lies of its deniers, is not trying very hard. This makes them carelessly foolish, an observation I take no pleasure in making.
No one is "bullying" anyone to accept these facts on unquestioning faith - quite the contrary. We simply expect competent, honest adults to learn the rudiments of a subject before they presume to publicly criticize it and disparage real experts in the field. If you ignore that expectation, prepare to be ridiculed. (This applies double to candidates for public office.)
Graves reveals no comprehension of evolutionary theory, and has clearly been beguiled by religious propaganda and pseudoscientific claptrap. Whether this was accomplished innocently or by willful incuriosity is impossible for me to say. Happily, the remedy is easy to get.
Bruce S. Springsteen,