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The debate is invariably couched in terms of faith versus science.

What is rarely examined is the faith that is required to believe in evolution itself. If we find that evolution is based on dogmatic tenants of faith, not scientific inquiry, then the debate fundamentally changes from faith versus science to faith versus faith. And the legitimate venue for its clash changes from the science classroom to the religion or philosophy class.

The actual question then becomes, not whether creationism or intelligent design should be taught as science, but on what basis is the theory of evolution taught as science. Dogmatic evolutionists want to avoid positing the debate in this way at all costs. As long as science is associated with their belief, they will always win the debate.

The proposed European council resolution says that member states should firmly oppose the teaching of creationism as a scientific discipline on an equal footing with the theory of evolution by natural selection. This implies that the process of natural selection is contrary to creationism. And yet natural selection explains only how organisms are eliminated, not how they began. Creationism speaks primarily, if not exclusively, to how new structures and organisms began, not how they died out, or changed over time.

As a mechanism for producing something new, the theory of evolution proposes what is called random mutation. Has random mutation been demonstrated in the laboratory to produce new organisms and structures that are then selected to survive and prosper by natural selection? The evolutionist answer is not only that it has not been demonstrated, but that it cannot be demonstrated.

I ask you, does a scientific theory that not only has not been demonstrated in the laboratory, but, by its own admission, cannot be demonstrated in a laboratory, strike you as scientific? If the answer is no, we are still left with the prickly question of why so many scientists adhere to the theory of evolution. There is no scientific basis for it, but there is a philosophical one. It is called naturalism the system of thought holding that all phenomena can be explained in terms of natural causes and laws. Dogmatic adherence to naturalism in the form of the theory of evolution should not be allowed to masquerade unchallenged in our classrooms and public discourse as natural science.

Until it is allowed to be challenged, particularly in our science classrooms, the debate about evolution will always be expressed as a clash of faith versus science, to the denigration of both.

ROBERT R. WILCOX

Falls Church

EUreform

I believe it is very important for Europe and particularly Poland to make use of current opportunities to reform the European Union (“EU breaks impasse to replacing constitution,” World, Saturday).

We should notice current leadership of the EU, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso are relatively more free-market oriented and friendly to the United States than their predecessors. This tendency might be positive for the United States and it offers our administration better partners in Europe to share the responsibility for international affairs. Unfortunately, free market is probably the only thing that Poland’s Kaczynski brothers President Lech and Prime Minister Jaroslaw are more afraid of than Germany.

PAWEL LISIEWICZ

Washington

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