Monday, November 14, 2005

Intelligent Readers

Great letter to the editor in today's Louisville Courier-Journal, by Kenneth Stammerman, who made a point of stating at the end of his letter that this was all "spoken ironically":

According to one theory, the avian flu variant now sweeping through bird populations and threatening to spread as a pandemic among humans is a product of viral evolution. If the strain now infecting birds further evolves to allow human-to-human transmission of the disease, there will be tens of millions dead in a repeat of the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, unless in the evolving it loses some of its strength. However, that's only a theory.

Alternatively, perhaps what is happening is that some Intelligent Designer, perturbed because humans aren't sufficiently observant in their religious practices, has changed an old virus to begin infecting birds as a warning to us humans. He (or She, the Goddess can be vicious at times) might further cause the virus to change into a human-to-human disease.

Doesn't it seem atheistic and anti-religious to have all the National Institutes of Health funding go towards vaccines and treatments based on the theory of viral evolution, when the intelligent design approach should get equal hearing and equal funding. Perhaps if the government would fund religious police, as they do in Saudi Arabia, we could force people to pray, pray, pray that the scourge of another pandemic would pass us by, rather than wasting funds on a "theory."

In case you haven't already signed the Open Letter Concerning Science and Religion, a Clergy Letter Project within the Christian community that is taking a stand against militant Biblical literalism – please do. Thanks, will smama, for the heads-up.

And, for another theory that feels that it has as much scientific backing to be including, as long as all theories should be taught, can be found here ... something that has exploded much more than the author ever intended, I'm sure. But it provides some pasta-and-pirate-y entertainment — unless you're a proponent of intelligent design over science, in which case you'll probably just be thoroughly offended. In which case, oh well and sorry ... what else would you expect from this instigating Devil's Advocate ex-engineer? :-)


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