Letters (Jan. 14, 2009)


Macroevolution is a ‘faith’ belief, too

 

I would like to comment on Kevin Hower’s “staff soapbox” editorial in the Jan. 7, Free Press. He says, “I have a huge problem with the teaching of creationism in public schools. It has been determined by the courts to be a religious rather than a scientific viewpoint….”

I agree wholeheartedly with that statement. Creationism is a philosophical, faith belief and need not be taught in our public schools.

In his next paragraph he says, “I think that what’s taught in public school science classrooms should be the best current knowledge that has been tested and confirmed repeatedly through experiments and can be backed up with data.”

I wish that were true in our public school science classrooms. Instead what is being taught has been tested and not confirmed; repeated experiments have been done and the data ignored in favor of a philosophical faith belief in Macro­evolution.

Before you can believe that life occurred by spontaneous generation over millions of years on the basis that time plus chance equals life, you have to prove it in the laboratory. Never in the history of science has anyone in ideal laboratory experiments created organic life from inorganic materials.

That leaves that idea as a hypothesis, not a theory and definitely not a fact.

Evolutionists hypothesize that whatever life existed in the beginning evolved upward through countless mutations over millions of years to form present-day life forms including you and me. However, this hypothesis no longer holds up.

Lee Spetner, who taught information theory for a decade at Johns Hopkins University and the Weizman Institute, spent years studying mutations. He has written an important new book, “Not by Chance: Shatter­ing the Modern Theory of Evolu­tion.”

In it, he writes: “In all the reading I’ve done in the life-sciences literature, I’ve never found a mutation that added information…. All point mutations that have been studied on the molecular level turn out to reduce the genetic information and not increase it.”

Mutations delete information from the genetic code. They never create higher, more complex information. What are they actually observed to cause in human beings? Death. Sterility. Hemophilia. Sickle cell anemia. Cystic fibrosis. Down’s syndrome. And more than 4,000 other diseases.

The genetic code is designed to run an organism perfectly—mutations delete information from the code, causing birth defects.

James Perloff, who wrote the book, “The Case Against Darwin,” contacted more than 200 scientists studying mutations and without exception all of them could not find one case of added genetic material, only loss.

I could go on with a hundred other myths that are taught as fact in science classrooms but I’ll end this letter with the fact that macroevolution is a philosophical faith belief. I have a huge problem with the teaching of evolution in public schools. It has been determined by the scientific method to be a religious rather than a scientific viewpoint!

Tim Kliewer

Hillsboro

 

‘Industrial ag’ has robbed our economy

 

I read the commentary by Kansas Farm Bureau writer, John Schlageck, with much interest in last week’s Free Press. Mr. Schlageck wrote that today’s farmer produces the safest and most abundant food in the world.

In the story directly above Mr. Schlageck’s column was an article by the Farm Service Agency director, Bill Harmon, stating the new income limitations for participation in USDA farm programs. What struck me was the fact that persons with Adjusted Gross Incomes (AGI) up to $500,000 non-farm and $750,000 farm income qualify for full participation in program payments.

As a working person making much less than $100,000 a year, wouldn’t that be a more reasonable income limit?

Better yet, why should any farmer that is producing the safest food and in the most abundant quantities not expect to receive a fair market price that would provide a profit margin that would not require a commodity subsidy from the government?

Maybe Kansas Farm Bureau should go to the largest buyers of farm commodities and insist that they pay fair prices to farmers to end the endless tax-funded bailout that has been the history of industrial agriculture.

As the number of farmers shrinks and the acres of a farming unit increases, we are headed to the same situation as in banking: “too big to fail.”

Mr. Schlageck sneers at those “zealots” that would propose that each country strive to be self-sufficient in food production. As a Peace Corps volunteer serving in a sustainable agriculture program in Central America, the stated U.S. policy was to increase food security for the host country. A former British colony, Belize, was not allowed to develop a domestic agricultural system beyond the sugar, bananas and products for export that utilize cheap labor, domestic food was supplied by the British to the colonists to derive a high level of profits.

Overcoming the bad outcomes of colonialism requires helping the indigenous peoples to reestablish food systems that can feed the local population and build a local economy.

There is a direct relationship with the number of displaced farmers in Mexico and Central America to the increased export of cheap subsidized corn from the U.S. resulting in larger numbers of immigrants coming to this country to seek a new life.

An elegant example of neo-colonialism took place in the 1990s in Jamaica when large quantities of surplus powdered milk from the U.S. was dumped at low prices and resulted in the failure of the small but growing domestic dairy farming industry.

The coffee and sliced bananas that we enjoy at our breakfast table are very likely produced by underpaid workers in developing countries unless marketed under a fair-trade label that gives the consumer some confidence that the product was produced in safe conditions with the workers and farmers receiving fair compensation.

One last point is to address the lament by Joel Klaassen in his Partly Nonsense column of the drain of young people from our communities in Marion County. I would propose that the wholesale embrace of industrial agriculture from the 1970s onward has decreased the number of farmers and therefore the number of opportunities for a young person to remain here.

By concentrating the handling, processing and packaging of agricultural production we have been robbed of the economic activity that defined our rural communities.

Harry E. Bennett

Marion


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