Evolution not un-American

To the editor:

The Feb 14 letter to the editor “Big Hoax Called Evolution” was so ignorant of the facts that as an educated American living in the 21st century, I couldn’t not respond.

Generally, when people try to attack evolution, their arguments are full of misrepresentations of the truth, quote mining, and outright lies, and that letter is no different.

First, the letter writer quotes Sir Julian Huxley as saying, “The reason we scientists all jumped at this ‘origin of species’ was because the idea of God interfered with our sexual mores.” A quick Google search reveals that though this quote has been used by many individuals trying to make the same absurd argument as the letter writer, there is absolutely no proof of Huxley having ever made that statement.

Next, the letter writer quotes Sir Arthur Keith as saying “Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it because the only alternative is special creation (by God) and that is unthinkable.” This quote, in fact, has its own section on Wikipedia discussing its spurious usage in Creationist propaganda.

Finally, physicist R.A. Millikan was quoted as saying, “The pathetic thing is that we have scientists who are trying to prove evolution which no scientist can ever prove.” Now, this was actually said by Mr. Millikan, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any problems with it. For one, it was said in 1925. You can’t pull a quote based on scientific knowledge from nearly 100 years ago and still expect it to be relevant; if that were the case, we’d all be reading Fulcanelli and practicing alchemy. Additionally, R.A. Millikan was a physicist, not a biologist and certainly not an expert in the study of evolution. To conclude his letter, the writer quoted a number of the Founding Fathers. I won’t go into the religious beliefs and philosophies of the founding fathers, but the fact that they were all stringent believers in the strong separation of church and state says enough. I strongly suggest that the letter writer, or anyone else who’s curious, look into the beliefs of the Founding Fathers, because they are quite complex, very interesting, and played an enormous role in the early decisions that made this country great. Evolution un-American? Quite the opposite. Science and scientific progress are what pushes us towards the future in the right direction.