Science of evolution

Dear Editor:It is presumptuous for Mr. Cristea to claim to speak for all Downey residents in his disingenuous letter ("Philosophy of Evolution," 11/27/09). To conclude that because he did not witness any celebrations of the publication of Charles Darwin's book "On the Origins of Species", then those celebrations did not happen, is far too simplistic. Mr. Cristea seems to want to have it both ways. He refers to "today's elite in the scientific and academic community" with derision when they prove evolution as a widely accepted scientific theory backed by a preponderance of evidence. Yet the elitist tag disappears when in the very next paragraph he holds up the achievements of the very same scientific and academic community. One can only surmise this is because the computers, cell phones, laser eye surgery, space shuttle, and electric cars (hello, Tesla Motors) to which Mr. Cristea refers pose no threat to his freely chosen religious beliefs. The claim that evolution is godless is irrelevant to its validity, but demonstrates Mr. Cristea's true motivation. The prevailing theories of gravitation are also godless, but few would argue that they are invalid. Simply claiming that no transitional fossils exist does not make the claim true. Hundreds of transitional fossils have been unearthed, most notably Archaeopteryx, easily viewed at the London Natural History Museum, discovered just two years after the publication of "On the Origin of Species." The problem is, when a transitional fossil is discovered, evolution deniers only see the need for two more transitions, creating a never-ending cascade of missing transitions. Mr. Cristea's discussion of whales on cornstalks and elephants birthed by dogs has nothing to do with any aspect of evolutionary science and needs no rebuttal. As to the claim that there is "no scientific evidence of any kind" that life began from chemical reactions in Earth's primitive oceans, I would refer Mr. Cristea to the 1952 Miller-Urey experiments at the University of Chicago and the many studies that followed. Choosing to ignore peer-reviewed, scientifically validated evidence does not make the evidence disappear. The results of Mr. Cristea's study, as he "looked far and wide all over Downey" that "no one celebrated here or even took notice of Darwin's infamous book," are flawed. Did he drive every street in Downey on November 24, every third street, or did he simply carefully look around on his way to work that day and notice no celebration. I, for one, know for a certainty that he missed some thoughtful celebrations. - Monte Weiss, Downey

********** Published: December 11, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 33