email - September 2011

Healthy Skepticism

Our email shows a change in attitude toward the theory of evolution.

Lately we have been receiving less hate mail, and more email containing rhetorical questions pointing out the obvious blind acceptance of evolution. For example, our feature article this month was inspired, in part, by this email.

From Benjamin
Date: Friday, August 26, 2011 10:39 AM
Subject: Question…

I just read this Reuters story:

Could you please explain to me what this excerpt means?

"The evolutionary history and amazing density of the planet all suggest it is comprised of carbon -- i.e. a massive diamond orbiting a neutron star every two hours in an orbit so tight it would fit inside our own Sun," said Matthew Bailes of Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne.

Evolutionary history?  I can understand determining density or composition, but I have no clue what evolutionary history even is supposed to mean in this context.  What am I missing?


Of course, Benjamin isn’t missing anything. They don’t know anything at all about the “evolutionary history” of this presumed planet, but they blindly accept someone’s speculation as fact.

Here’s another example, received the same day.

From Philip
Date: 8/26/2011 7:12 AM
Subject: Mating Neanderthal

Dear Do-While,

Now, my stupid questions...

a) If we can (or could) interbreed with Neanderthal or Denisovan, then we're just the same species... Or am I missing something? (I'll not comment on the specifics of a species defined from one finger and one tooth, which are enough to allow the author(s) to say "had been adapted to life in Europe and Asia for several hundred thousand years"...)

b) If ancient humans left Africa (the assumption being that they appeared there), and met his more primitive relations in Europe, the Neanderthal left what? Should I understand that they are older models of humans, unrelated because they mushroomed out of Africa, but that they miraculously managed to evolve to the point where we could interbreed and reproduce, with fertile offspring? Is that nonsense, or am I missing something again?

Sorry, but I'm just an engineer (hence not really used to things working all by pure luck), working now in wildlife conservation (and with that, used to deal with the difficulties of preventing species from disappearing at the slightest change in ecosystems, weather, climate, or similar excuses, while I've never seen a new species appearing in response to a new challenge).

Best regards


It is good to see people thinking about what “scientists say” rather than accepting it blindly.

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