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ERIC M. SANDBERG
Intelligent design is just another chapter in the "God of the gaps" saga--if we do not yet fully understand a natural process, then it must be God's work. The church and religious fundamentalists have been at war with science for centuries. They have lost every battle along the way, and they are certain to lose the fight challenging evolution because they cannot stop the accumulation of knowledge or the search for truth.
It's often tempting to refuse to debate an opponent on the grounds that debate suggests parity. But in the free marketplace of ideas, you have to take on all comers--the good, the bad and the ugly. If you cannot believe that the truth will win out in a fair competition for support by regular, well-educated folk, then you are no scientist.
Those who promote the theory of intelligent design should take a close look at the sad state of the earth.
Numerous scientific theories are still being tested and refined by applying them and seeing how they hold up under any newly discovered evidence. Theories are not facts. Theories are attempts to understand and explain, in a consistent and coherent way, what happens. The theory of evolution bears the same relation to the fossil record of life on earth as the theory of gravity does to jumping off a roof. If you have what you think is a better theory, feel free to submit it to the tests of observation and experiment. Just be sure your theory is testable.
As an evangelical Christian, I reject intelligent design because it is not science but bad theology. Within science, it is no crime to admit that we don't have all the answers. Within theology, however, it is a crime to use God as an excuse for our ignorance. If we don't understand how something came about in nature, then we ought to use the brains that God gave us to think about and work on the problem. Otherwise we turn God into a magic word to use whenever we can't figure things out.
DAVID P. GRAF
No person of faith should be threatened by science, nor should science be subverted to serve one particular religious belief. Let's keep science free of the religious and political battles that have raged for centuries and allow those of faith to decide on their own how to interpret what science reveals.
Huntington Woods, Mich.
Another Soldier's Story