SHEEP'S CLOTHING

Thank you for the wonderful article on the Discovery Institute, their disinformation campaign, and the new PBS series Evolution ["Darwin Hits Back," June

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SHEEP'S CLOTHING

Thank you for the wonderful article on the Discovery Institute, their disinformation campaign, and the new PBS series Evolution ["Darwin Hits Back," June 14]. If you really want to scare an "Intelligent Design" proponent out from under their sheep's clothing to reveal them for the fundamentalist Christians they really are, then agree with them that there must have been a designer and we must teach in schools that we homo sapiens were placed here by aliens or Krishna or Quetzacoatl. After all, some ancient books teach us that as well.

As a staunch supporter of the scientific method, I am so often dumbfounded and discouraged by the crud fed to the public as though it were reality and scientifically based when it is no such thing. A good example would be the credulous news producers for our local Fox affiliate who constantly have amazing stories with no basis in fact and no, none, nada research done to support the claims. Rather, they simply repeat a few sensational opinions offered by self-proclaimed experts, after teasing us for hours with promos promising news on the latest Bigfoot sighting or person who returned from the dead with a message from the other side. If I didn't actually see it air daily, I would think it an exaggerated caricature of the cliché ¢bubble-headed" news team.

Thanks for breathing some life back into this dispirited 21st-century citizen. With the help of people like the Paul Allen foundation, perhaps we can beat back those who would have us return to the Dark Ages and the ways of thought that kept us treading (holy) water for almost a millennium.

Doug Lyons

via e-mail

WILLFUL IGNORANCE

Roger Downey's article entitled "Darwin Hits Back" [June 14] is a remarkable display of the shallow, uninformed, pop-journalism many of us have come to expect as the norm from the self-styled "mainstream" media. It is obvious from Mr. Downey's content that he is grossly unfamiliar with his subject (but why should that stop him?).

Completely avoiding the empirical arguments posited by Intelligent Design advocates, Downey conspicuously limits his criticism to his own contrived, superficial perceptions of a topic which he apparently finds too complex and detailed to actually study. This ignorance hardly deters him from glibly assaulting the intelligence of those Seattle Weekly readers who possess minimal critical thinking skills, by willfully ignoring the facts in order to deliver his thinly veiled naturalistic propaganda under the guise of "news."

Few things are as laughable as a self-styled critic whose very criticisms betray his own ignorance of his topic. Roger Downey is one of those rarities.

Timothy Wallace, MCSD

via e-mail

PLAYING DRESS-UP

My hat is off to Roger Downey for exposing the intellectual dishonesty of the Intelligent Design advocates ["Darwin Hits Back," June 14]. Their basic argument has not changed in substance since William Paley introduced his "watch ergo watchmaker" argument in the 18th century. However the faithful attempt to dress up this flawed argument, the fundamental premise remains unchanged: God must have done it.

Philip Johnson can rail on about "methodological naturalism," Michael Behe can assert "irreducible complexity," and William Dembski can claim that evolution fails on the basis of information theory until the cows come home. Their arguments will not be, nor should they be, taken seriously until the proponents battle it out in the scientific arena instead of the ignorant court of public opinion. When I read the ID arguments in refereed scientific journals, I'll begin to consider them worthy. Until then, it's all just so much anti-intellectual drivel.

David Fletcher

Chairman, Dept. of Civil Engineering

University of the Pacific

CRAZY-DRIVING

Roger Downey's article "Darwin Hits Back" [June 14], far from explaining the agenda of the Intelligent Design project, then rebutting it, simply delivers an emotion-laden tirade against something he doesn't understand because he hasn't studied it. He attempts to leave the impression that beleaguered scientists are still fighting for equal time to present their views on evolution to an unenlightened public, which is absurd. As a teacher of critical thinking, I've found that the one theory impervious to questioning in the university is Darwinism. Intelligent Design "drives scientists crazy" not because it isn't scientific, but because it challenges philosophical assumptions which undergird the scientific enterprise. It should always be respectable in the academy to question prevailing paradigms and science, of all disciplines, should welcome such examination.

Lynette Renner

via e-mail

ALCHEMY! NEAT!

I read Downey's praise of Evolution and his uninformed view of Intelligent Design ["Darwin Hits Back," June 14]. He believes in Spontaneous Generation, Alchemy, and Impossible Probability under the Second Law. Yet, he must feel the possibility of Mind in creation is too much to bear.

Unbiased,

Michael Madigan

via e-mail

100% RIGHT

Your food review in the June 14 issue ["It's Getting Chile"] just about brought me to tears! You are absolutely, positively, 100% RIGHT when you suggest that the great NW has no idea whatsoever what New Mexican food is. Being from New Mexico, the two things I REALLY miss are: 1) the ###!!!&&** sunshine, and 2) real (New) Mexican food. When I first moved here, I was amazed that stores only sold canned mild green chiles. Period. A friend took me to a "great" Mexican place (should I name names, mi mamasita?) thinking my taste buds would get all nostalgic. It's beyond me how such food actually passes as Mexican, New Mexican, or anything similar, and that people actually eat it! (Ignorance?) Where's the Fire, where's the Flame, where's the . . . Flavor? Tomasita's! Hatch chiles! Posole! Sopaipillas! I think I'll go cry now.

Jo Chavez

Misplaced New Mexican

THE "WEAKLY"! HAW!

When will the Weakly get a restaurant reviewer with more qualifications than eating three times a day? Audrey Van Buskirk's review of the Santa Fe Cafe ["It's Getting Chile," June 14] seems mostly an exercise to show how Ms. Bezerk thinks she knows more about New Mexican cuisine than anyone in Seattle could ever possibly hope.

Yes, the Santa Fe Cafe does not perfectly replicate "Santa Fe" but no ethnic restaurant removed from its origin manages to accomplish that trick. The Santa Fe Cafe does, in the opinion of many New Mexican transplants, provide a good replication of home. For those of us who have only occasional visits to the land of enchantment, yes we see that's there's a difference. Come on now, the Santa Fe has been around for 20 odd years now, it must do something well other than getting folks drunk. Over that period, we have found the food enjoyable, service pleasant, and atmosphere quiet. Come to think of it there's no mention of any of the Santa Fe's excellent appetizers, too un-New Mexican I guess. Nor any mention of its desserts, worth a late night trip alone. We take weight transfer from our wallet to our hips seriously, it's hard to reverse. It's time the Weakly got a professional restaurant reviewer and gave amateur self-indulgence the pink slip.

Dave and Jane Emerson

via e-mail

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