Letters for January 20, 2005

Evolving thought
Re “Is Darwin Dead?” (RN&R, Cover story, Jan. 13):

I know this whole issue has been hotly debated for years, and I have neither the depth of education to speak intelligently about it nor the need to prove either theory to anyone but myself.

I would like to say this: I don’t understand why it has to be an either-or proposition.

Why can’t it be God and science? Why not created evolution or evolutionary creation? Maybe there was a Big Bang, but God pulled the trigger. Maybe there was a primordial ooze, and God was up there with a big chef’s hat on, stirring the soup, throwing in bits of organic matter and yelling, “BAM!” Who knows? Both theologians and evolutionists agree that the Earth’s climate has changed over the years. Obviously, environment-specific critters like polar bears have resulted in years of change, adaptation and natural selection. I just don’t think that means you have to believe that a creature as incredible as a polar bear happened by accident and/or used to be a salamander.

Of all scientists, I have the most respect for Albert Einstein. For the incredible genius that he was, he was also a very simple man, and he seemed to look at and explain things in layman’s terms. Regarding creation, he stated, very simply, that the chances of life occurring spontaneously and by accident were about the same as the “chances of a dictionary resulting from an explosion in a print shop.” He also stated, again, very simply, “He (God) doesn’t play dice.” I like that one.

Now I’m not one to sit the fence, or to be a wish-wash, but I think this is the one issue where maybe you don’t have to pick a side.

David Lockhart
Carson City

In the fossil record?
Re “Is Darwin Dead?” (RN&R, Cover story, Jan. 13):

Where are the evolutionary precursors to bats? Or turtles? Or cats? Fish? Butterflies? Cacti? Evolutionists expect people to believe that moral-compass bearing, creative, spiritual, knowledge-seeking human beings came from animals with none of these traits? No wonder many people have trouble swallowing Darwin’s theory.

Mike Davenport

What about newts?
Re “Is Darwin Dead?” (RN&R, Cover story, Jan. 13):

Evolution obviously isn’t the gradual morphing of one species into another as Darwin assumed. There is still not a single conclusive example of a “missing link” or “transitional” lifeform, either living or fossilized. But whether the real process behind life’s diversity is intelligent or not, other theories should be mentioned in classrooms to counter classic Darwinism.

Heather Locke

A history lesson
Re “Pray for guns,” (RN&R, Right Hook, Dec. 30):

Michael Lafferty wrote, “Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution gives the executive branch (the president) exclusive authority over the military as commander-in-chief. Bush didn’t require Congress’s approval or permission to use force in Iraq.”

Here is my news flash, Mr. Lafferty: Under the Constitution, war powers are divided. Congress has the power to declare war and raise and support the armed forces (Article I, Section 8), while the president is commander in chief (Article II, Section 2). During the Korean and Vietnam wars, the United States was involved for many years in undeclared wars. Many members of Congress became concerned with the erosion of congressional authority to decide when the United States should become involved in a war or the use of armed forces that might lead to war. On Nov. 7, 1973, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution (P.L. 93-148) over the veto of President Nixon.

The War Powers Resolution states that the president’s powers as commander in chief to introduce U.S. forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war; (2) specific statutory authorization; or (3) a national emergency created by an attack on the United States or its forces. It requires the president in every possible instance to consult with Congress before introducing American armed forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities unless there has been a declaration of war or other specific congressional authorization. It also requires the president to report to Congress any introduction of forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities. Once a report is submitted “or required to be submitted” under Section 4(a)(1), Congress must authorize the use of forces within 60 to 90 days or the forces must be withdrawn.

The peaceniks you hold with such distain, Mr. Lafferty, are doing the job the Constitution provided for to do: To continue the checks and balances and ensure our government represents the will of We The People. And if we find a military action to be unjust or an unnecessary loss of human life, by right we must express our views. And if you need any help looking for that provision in the U.S. Constitution, I suggest you read the First Amendment.

Shane Piccinini