Letter to the editor: evolution is true

Alas, this past Sunday’s Marietta Daily Journal editorial section was once again awash with scientific illiteracy. One of the paper’s regular columnists, who also happens to be my old high school English teacher, is Roger Hines. I have fond memories of Mr. Hines’ class so many years ago, and I’m sure he’s still an amazingly nice fellow, but he has a very bad tendency to write some shockingly anti-LGBT, anti-science, and anti-progress pieces. This past week, he submitted the following paragraph and I just sent in my idea in the form of a letter to the editor, in response. Here’s what he wrote:
“Evolutionary theory is a million miles wide and a quarter inch deep. Not all smart people are evolutionists. Many scientists embrace cause and effect. Every effect (a wrist watch, a building, the universe) has a cause, and the cause is bigger than the effect. I’ve observed geological evolution in my back yard, but wait and see if “human evolution” ever changes us. (If you can wait a trillion years, that is. Undecipherable, unimaginable amounts of time are what super-evolutionists stand on for support, you know.)”
What follows is my response. I’ll be sure to let you all know if and when the paper publishes it.
Evolution is true
DEAR EDITOR,
This letter is in response to Roger Hines’ column, “A Self-interrogation on the joys and ills of this age” (12/16), wherein Mr. Hines says that biological evolution must be wrong because he’s never seen it take place in his backyard. Clearly this one letter is not going to suddenly eradicate Mr. Hines’ shocking misunderstanding of this most fundamental principle of biology, so I have an idea. In his previous week’s column, Mr. Hines talked about teaching English in college. I would encourage him to go back to that same college, presuming it was a legitimate accredited university, and visit the Biology department. While there, he should talk to several Biology professors about Darwinian evolution. It doesn’t matter which ones, as they will all confirm for him the truth of evolution by natural selection. Not because they have some “liberal agenda,” but because they understand the evidence for evolution by natural selection. But before he has these chats, he should be willing to change his mind if he’s given an evidence-based explanation. In my book, I call this Ground Rule Two of intellectual honesty. Ground Rule One being, we trust reason and evidence as the best methods for determining what is true. I can’t wait to hear his results!
R.L. Bays

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