Archive for Thursday, April 28, 2005

Letters to the Editor

April 28, 2005

To the editor:

There has been much written lately about Science and the Theory of Evolution. I would like to make a few comments.

1) The word science comes from the Latin word 'scientia' which means knowledge. Who are we to put perimeters around this word?

2) From philosophy: a) Augustine's 'rationis seminalis' theory briefly states that

things could have emanated from a 'seed.' b) Aquinas using reason -- not faith, scripture, or dogma -- came to an unmoved mover, or uncaused cause, etc. These are called 'a posteriori' argument because they came from observation of the natural world. Thus, there should be no need for a religious disclaimer. One, also, was order, which is probably most closely related to the intelligent design theory. Give what name you will -- unmoved mover, it, supreme being, God, etc. c) Law of parsimony -- The unmoved mover would not act unnecessarily, it could do in one act, which for another could take many moves, i.e. take shooting pool. The unmoved mover could make the fifteen balls in one shot; whereas, it probably would take me many shots. Isn't this in some way harmonious to some aspect of evolution?

It would seem that in this age of inclusiveness, the science community would welcome knowledge from other disciplines, and try to incorporate such, either by a reference section, or by a section within the text supporting the evolution theory, if it is to be true to the true meaning of the word science which means knowledge.

Leo Kerwin


To the editor,

I was appalled when I read the Baldwin City Signal on April 21, 2005. The front-page article "Alcohol Incident Broadens" was full of innuendoes and false statements. First of all, show me a police report that has any mention of a student having suicidal thoughts. If I am correct, one does not exist. What a disservice to the teens and everyone else involved. Parents cannot challenge any of the information without identifying their child, thus putting them through more unnecessary stress, gossip, and humiliation. The school cannot challenge the article because of confidentially laws regarding minors. Secondly, why is this front-page news? How many other newspapers report such things so sensationally? I live in Osage County where two newspapers serve five high schools and many communities, and I have never seen anything comparable to this. Don't misunderstand me, I am not against fair and honest reporting, but it is a travesty to devote several columns to what should amount to a simple by-line stating the facts. And, to top it all off, it is not accurate, nor fair and honest.

How many times has this newspaper taken advantage of the situation involving minors, knowing there is no recourse for the school or the parents to correct gross misrepresentations? How many of you parents reading this would want your child to suffer in such a way? If, indeed, a child did contemplate suicide, would splashing it across the front page of the newspaper be the answer? No! It might even push that child into making an extreme decision that may be irreversible. So, we would be turning a poor choice, made by a child, into a tragedy for the whole community. Those of you who support such yellow journalism, could you live with that?

The incident at the school was taken care of quickly and efficiently. Teens were suspended from school according to policy. Why continue to punish them?

I can look at the Baldwin City Police Department, particularly Chief McKenna who reports to the media, and certainly to the author of the news article, Jeff Myrick, as culprits. Gentlemen, and I use that term lightly, what were you thinking?

Melody Hoffsommer


Dear Editor:

As a veteran, it is my duty to past, current, and future veterans to fight for our right to just compensation. Our venues for compensation for asbestos-related injuries are limited because we were "employees" of the federal government, and our ability to recover from the government is restricted by the law.

Why should we have to suffer even more than we already do?

The Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act, or FAIR Act, introduced by Senator Arlen Specter from Pennsylvania this month, will help to solve the asbestos litigation crisis. Senator Specter's plan would create a no-fault asbestos-victims' compensation fund of $140 billion to make sure that victims, including veterans, get compensated quickly and fairly.

The national trust fund like that in the FAIR Act will provide veterans who are sick with asbestos-related illnesses with the opportunity to secure timely and fair compensation for exposure suffered in the course of serving their country.

In addition, the new system would leave veterans current benefits untouched. The fund would be paid for by the businesses and insurance companies that are facing those hundreds of thousands of lawsuits.

Our Senator Brownback is a member of the Judiciary Committee, which will soon consider the FAIR Act. I urge Senator Brownback to do what is necessary to get this bill approved in the full committee. Veterans with mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancers simply can't afford to wait another year!

Roger Sellers,

Past State Commander

Kansas Department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars

Shawnee, Kansas

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