The Edmond Sun

Opinion

March 22, 2006

Doctor pushes for academic freedom on evolution

EDMOND — With the introduction and now House passage of HB 2107 known as The Academic Freedom Act, there has been considerable concern expressed by two of the community editorial writers for The Edmond Sun as published on the Viewpoints page. In David McNeely’s article, published Feb. 15, he considered this bill to be designed to inflict harm to science education in Oklahoma. I assume this means that by allowing science teachers to include intelligent design into their curriculum this would somehow inhibit student thinking and ultimately inhibit fundamental research.

Evolution and natural selection has not provided an adequate explanation for many of the cellular and molecular processes that have been discovered. How is it possible that an intelligent design behind the process could stop further research? When one sees that a watch functions well but may not have perfect timing it does not keep anyone from further research to improve it just because it has a designer rather than occur by “natural causes.”

I have had the benefit of growing up in the science educational system of Oklahoma. While in medical school in the 1970s, I was taught that for many years some of the human tissues such as the appendix, tonsils and pineal body were considered merely vestiges leftover from evolution that had no current function and was no longer needed. It has been shown in the last 30 years that these organs have important functions at various times in life and should not be removed without clear indication.

It can be said that an evolutionary concept contributed to many unnecessary surgeries whereas if one has the concept that life is by design, there must be reasons for things we don’t understand and we should continue to study them until we have as much understanding as possible. To say that tissues are simply vestiges of evolution because we haven’t yet figure out their purpose, to me stifles an open, searching mind.

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Poll

If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
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