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Readers' Views: That pesky Galileo thing

Posted 3/19/13



In G. Edward Carpenter’s response (“Dinosaurs are in the Bible,’’ March 6 Viewpoints) to my Readers’ Views letter on evolution (“Here’s another attempt to teach calculus to a cat,’’ Feb. 27 Viewpoints), he …

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Readers' Views: That pesky Galileo thing


The difficulty is that the sources cited are what lawyers might refer to as “ex post facto.” That is to say, we can define a word, today, to mean anything we wish but that definition is of little value when applied to text from thousands of years ago.

More importantly, though, the context in which these words are used implies that such creatures co-existed with humans. Since dinosaurs and humans are separated by 65 million years, these arguments are not persuasive.

At least Mr. Carpenter is trying to find some common ground between the Bible and science. Andy Burger’s various arguments (“Age of Earth Miscalculated,” Nov. 2007 Viewpoints) and his recent blathering about evolution (“Evolution is a fairy tale for adults,’’ Feb. 13 Viewpoints) contend that whenever science and the Bible seem to be in conflict, science is wrong.

He holds on to those beliefs long after anyone with a hint of sense would have given up.

Even the Catholic Church appears to have lost some of its appetite for such broad dismissals. Perhaps it was the Galileo thing.

I’m reminded of the words of the late Rodney King, who said, “Why can’t we all just get along?” While this sentiment is a little naïve when applied to the interpersonal relationships between such nasty, self-absorbed creatures like humans, it is a goal that must be achieved between science and religion. To those of us who accept well-documented, scientific truths, it is the only way that our faith may coexist with these truths. The universe IS expanding from its origin in the Big Bang 13 billion years ago; the Earth IS 4.5 billion years old; man DID evolve from apes and Bichon Frises DID evolve from wolves.

These truths are compatible with a belief in God, Andy Burger and other non-evolved humans notwithstanding.

                                                                                                     Herbert C. Moore