MAILBAG

Wait until pool can make big nough splash

Regarding “Surplus saves cash for pool,” Feb. 12:

Glendale should have a public swimming pool. At one time, we had three public pools. However, in today’s economy, can we afford the pool? We should only put in a pool if it is an eight-lane regulation pool. Why spend millions on a pool that would not qualify for swim meets, water polo and other activities?

Let’s not skimp on the size. Let’s have eight lanes.

DOROTHY DASH

Glendale

We can see God’s hand in evolution’s works

In “Darwin’s place in the world” (In Theory, Saturday), Charles Darwin and evolution get short shrift in the responses of Rabbi Simcha Backman, Pastor Jon Barta and the Rev. Bryan Griem. Only the Rev. C. L. “Skip” Lindeman gives an enlightened and rational response to the relationship of religion and science/evolution.

There has been so much written about the research and plethora of facts that support the theory of evolution that there is essentially nothing nonmythical or rational that can discredit it. On the other hand, the so-called science of creationism/intelligent design has been proven time and time again to be based not at all on science but on religious concepts. Religious blinders are hindering coherent and logical thought on this subject for many, but it is impossible for me to take the time and space to discuss here the many, many well-documented details that support the truth of evolution.

However, it is beyond my ken that so many believe that religion and evolution are incompatible. To me, the most wondrous manifestation of God is that the original spark of life billions of years ago has been led by His hand through the eons to the magnificent evolutionary assemblage of life that we see on this earth today. Now that is something truly awesome that doesn’t require unresolvable conflict between religion and science. Happy 200th birthday, Darwin.

ROBERT MORRISON

Glendale

Darwin is not the enemy of religious faith

Charles Darwin was a young man who spent years traveling and studying our planet and its species, laying out how it appeared that species developed and changed. He created no controversy; that was the work of others, usually people with fundamentalist religious beliefs who had no data or observations to deny the accuracy of his work. Don’t these people ever learn?

The fiasco the church got itself into persecuting Galileo has not taught some people that as scientific knowledge expands, it uncovers facts that belie our existing knowledge. So Rabbi Simcha Backman and the Rev. Bryan Griem need to stick to their faith and stay clear postulating on scientific discoveries that are only uncovering the workings of God’s universe, and with which they entangle themselves at the risk of their own validity (“Darwin’s place in the world,” In Theory, Saturday). I write this as a lifetime Episcopalian and a member of the Parish Church of St. Mark’s on north Brand Boulevard. Science and faith can be parallel roads through life.

FRANK W. BUNKELL

Glendale

History is on Darwin’s side, not churches’

I recently read in the Economist magazine that on the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birthday, the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology announced a draft of the genome sequencing of Neanderthal man. Matching this DNA with that of modern man, the institute reached an initial conclusion that the Neanderthal species parted with modern man very early, about 300,000 to 400,000 years ago. A second finding was that the Neanderthal has the same version of the FOXp2 gene and therefore was potentially able to speak.

Having just finished that article, I picked up the recent In Theory column (“Darwin’s place in the world,” Saturday) and read the answers to the question on Darwin’s influence on today’s culture. After reading the Rev. Bryan Griem’s response, I thought I was in a time warp.

In the Middle Ages, the church was the seat of virtually all knowledge. However, the Age of Enlightenment changed that when many educated people turned to the study of science.

It wasn’t long before a classic conflict arose, as both attempted to describe the rules of nature. Most notably, the Catholic Church denied Galileo’s revolutionary theory that the Earth revolved around the sun. The church was wrong and, finally, in the late 20th century, they announced agreement with Galileo.

Most churches have now recognized that the description of natural law belongs to science and that their purview is in the realm of spirituality and morality. The answers by other In Theory columnists indicate this movement.

Even the Catholic Church announced several years ago that evolution is consistent with its beliefs. One does not have to choose between science and religion; both can be acceptable.

However, many conservative churches have clung to the thought that the Bible is a science book and any theory that conflicts with it is not only wrong but must be atheistic in origin.

It makes me wonder whether when Griem travels, he fears falling off the edge of a flat earth. Welcome to the 15th century, Griem.

RICHARD BENNETT

Glendale


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