etters to the Editor

Science or sham?
Does anyone find it curious that in Brent Taylor’s Sept. 20 letter, entitled “Evidence of Evolution,” he cites not one piece of evidence for his cause? He does make an oft ambiguously-used reference to transitional fossils.
Indeed, if evolution were true, one would expect to find millions of transitional fossils. But how many transitional fossils have actually been found? Not one. Every once in a while, someone has come out with new “evidence,” a never-before-found transitional species, but in all cases they have later turned out to be complete hoaxes, or misinterpretation of fact. Perhaps the most hoped-for transitional fossil evidence — a link between primates and humans — has historically been one of the most hoaxed.
Darwin himself refuted his own theory later in his life, but you’re unlikely to hear about that in biology class.
Just because scientists believe something doesn’t mean that it is true. In fact, there are probably some scientific beliefs held today that will be found to be inaccurate in the future. However, the beauty of the scientific method is that it allows for such faulty conclusions, provided they are corrected once evidence provides new or better understanding. Why, then, are scientists so unwilling to give up on the notion of evolution? The answer is fundamental to the entire debate: If evolution is abandoned, creationism remains the only viable theory. This is exactly the reason evolution has persisted for so long in the face of sheer disproof. However, I submit that it is acceptable for the scientific position to be that we simply don’t know how life was created. This would be a far more accurate and respectable position to take than presuming to know something we do not.
John Roers,junior,Institute of Technology
English ‘drivel’
I have to say that “Microsoft’s global language: Beta version 1.0” in the Sept. 19 Daily was among the worst pieces of drivel that I have read in quite some time. The little picture that ran next to it was also just a little too trite.
Can people who use the Internet really believe this kind of stuff? I have one word for you guys out there that think English is a monopoly on the Internet: unicode. On the dreaded Internet Explorer, made by that horrible company Microsoft, if you go to View-Encoding-More on my machine, how many languages do you see? Is it just English? Duh!
Anyone in the world can write a Web page in whatever language they want. It’s just that in order to read other pages that might be written in English, you either have to speak it or get it converted somewhere (unless we are all supposed to write our pages in Chinese, too). There are sites on the Internet that do that, like www.babelfish.altavista.com, although being the racist, nasty, little people they are, they didn’t do Chinese. Perhaps we should go beat up on them for a while too, huh?
Michael Hoffman,senior,computer science
Playing the Court card
I fret each time I read a defense of an objection for candidates based on the Supreme Court. It seems that people get caught up in the rhetoric of candidates and choose not (or dare not) to look at the realities behind them.
A president can never know how a potential justice will rule from the bench. Earl Warren is a perfect example: He was a conservative governor from California and a selection of President Eisenhower. When he assumed his place on the bench he soon became one of the most liberal justices, leading the high court through the civil rights movement.
On matters of abortion rights, often sited when discussions of presidential appointments are discussed, Republicans have had an interesting edge. Justice Harry Blackmun, a Nixon appointee, wrote the Roe v. Wade decision. Furthermore, presidents and their staffs are barred from asking prospective justices how they will rule on certain issues, which helps maintain the balance of power.
With regard to our current court, Alexander Cockburn, a columnist for The Nation, correctly points out that the two most liberal members of the court were chosen by Republicans. Justices (John Paul) Stevens and (David) Souter were appointed by Presidents Ford and Bush, respectively. Given our judicial history, I would ask that debates on prospective presidential picks be based on policy and philosophy rather than who might be placed on the bench and what they might do.
Jonathan Gebner,sophomore,political science
Just ‘legalize marijuana’
I’m writing this in response to K.C. Howard’s analysis of industrial hemp in the Sept. 21 Daily. I believe there’s a very simple way to end the debate over whether farmers should be allowed to grow this crop: legalize marijuana. Marijuana, the flower of the hemp plant, is non-toxic, slightly therapeutic and not physically addictive. When it was prohibited in 1937, hardly anybody in America even knew what it was. Sixty-three years later, a third of the population has tried it. Nearly 700,000 people are arrested for it in this country each year, almost 3.5 million already under Bill Clinton.
While the government spends in excess of $10 billion a year enforcing the war on pot, it’s a $31 billion-a-year business on the black market. And yet, not a single person has ever died from a marijuana overdose. Is this really the kind of public nuisance that warrants such heavy-handed government? I for one don’t think so. It’s time to take this drug off the black market and give farmers back a potentially, very profitable crop. If you agree, speak up with your voice and your vote!
Jason Samuels,chairman,University chapter of The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws