Evolution, based in fact, doesn't try to explain all

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In his Oct. 12 letter, Steven Crichley reaches some correct conclusions ("Evolution Alone Can't Explain the Wonders of the Universe"), but unfortunately he gets many facts wrong along the way. His most egregious error is stating the acceptance of evolution requires faith. Multiple lines of evidence such as fossil records (including transitional fossils) and DNA clearly demonstrate that modern species have descended from common ancestors. Accepting evolution comes from the application of reason, not by faith. He also suggests that the appellation of the word "theory" to the science of evolution somehow weakens it, when in fact the word theory, as used in science, refers to well tested and plausible explanations based on established facts.

He is absolutely correct to say that the Darwinian explanation is inadequate to explain subatomic particles, supernovas and DNA, but this is not an argument against evolution: It does not try to explain these issues. Evolution only addresses issues of descent. Sciences such as physics and astronomy have their own hypotheses and theories to explain these issues. And while man's understanding is not complete, unexplained does not mean unexplainable. Mr. Crichley would prefer to simply sweep away science and insert a god to explain all of this complexity. Of course, if complexity requires a god to create it, then one must ask: Who or what created god? For god must be even more complex than the world he allegedly created.

Let me close by applauding Mr. Crichley's concern about intolerant zealots: They can be found on both sides of almost any argument. I sense he understands why some do not require faith in a creator, and that they are comfortable accepting "I do not know" as an answer. Conversely I realize that faith is important to many people, and I do not wish to tear it away and leave them in despair. But I do believe that a world where people base their beliefs on reason and evidence is superior to a world ruled by faith.

KEVIN ELSKEN
Upper St. Clair


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