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Evolution best model for understanding nature

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This is a response to the June 19 letter titled "Product of teaching evolution: Godless society" by Don Werner. Though the article was well written, some points of clarification may be needed. I found it interesting that Mr. Werner stated that "... there is no credible evidence for the theory of evolution ..." mostly because it gave me a new perspective on the word "credible." Apparently fossil, biogeographical, anatomical, embryological and molecular evidence are all not included under the category of "credible evidence."

He also asserted that if evolutionary theory is correct then life is "... an accident .." and "... there is no creator God" and therefore life is "meaningless" and "... morality is manmade, changeable and relative" (and therefore pointless). After which Mr. Werner proposed that everything from narcissism to corruption to murder could be traced back to evolutionary theory.

This is where major clarification is needed. I don't find the idea of the best- suited organisms finding a niche in their environment and proliferating due to that advantage an accident. In fact, it seems fairly purposeful and inevitable. I don't claim to know how that makes God disappear, but even if that was the case, why does life have to be meaningless? Why does it not become more precious, so much more sacred? Something that takes millions of years to make is more valuable, in my opinion, than something made from clay in a day.

Finally, all else aside, why is evolution thought to be the root of so many of society's ills? On June 28, 2008, the Washington Post reported that 92 percent of Americans believe in God or a universal spirit, and CBS News reported on Oct. 23, 2005, that only 15 percent of Americans think that humans could have evolved without God. Evolution must be evil indeed if it can make so many people who don't accept it act so poorly.

The reality is that evolution is the best model we have for understanding the natural world. After learning this, we have a choice. We can take this knowledge and become nihilistic and narcissistic, as Mr. Werner suggests, but that is a personal choice, not what evolution is or what it leads to. You can also choose to be humbled, awestruck and grateful that we occupy a world so well suited for life. And given the choice, I choose the latter.

Forrest Guilfoile

Bemidji

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