Letter to the Editor: VP Mike Pence, evolution and the facts in our schools

For a generation that prides itself on tolerance, does that include only opinions we call our own?

Arden Gewirtz is an aspiring pediatric pharmacist.

Vice President Mike Pence has taken a lot of flak this past week for following the “Billy Graham Rule” with his wife, and it isn’t the first time his Christian worldview has come under attack.

While his living above reproach may not cause the majority to have a problem with Pence, his other comments have. Recently, a video resurfaced of Pence on the House floor saying he did not believe in evolution and wanted children exposed to its pitfalls.

The media went into an uproar — calling him “stupid,” “backwards,” even a “threat.” So why does the classroom censure alternatives to evolution when there are compelling scientific reasons to discredit Darwinism?

Some newspapers published that Pence was an “embarrassment” to our nation, but I hope that our school responds differently, that we ask why might the Vice President believe what he does.

Before I continue, let me point out that creationists believe in speciation and microevolution. These phenomena are seen in our modern world and they are undeniable — the speciation of dog breeds and the microevolution of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus bacteria, for example. But these concepts are extremely different than macroevolution, evolution above the species level, evolution that contends that single-celled organisms became humans over a period of millions of years.

To begin with, one must contend with the idea that life is based off a complicated genetic code codependent on both DNA, the series of encoding nucleotide bases, and proteins, which enable the DNA to be transcribed into RNA and later translated into functional proteins. These functional proteins constitute cardiac enzymes and reproductive hormones, and aid in tissue growth. How was the first protein encoded for without a protein capable of reading the DNA?

Additionally, the evolutionist must face the idea that flight developed three times independently — ornithological species, mammals such as bats and insects. However, the anatomical changes needed for a limb to become a wing prove contradictory in light of evolution. Firstly, solid bones for running would need to gradually become hollow bones for flight. In the intermediate stages, land animals would be more prone to fractures, have decreased “jump strength” for escaping prey and be conveyed no perceived advantage, predatorial or otherwise. How can evolution answer?

These are just two simple examples of why life should not be reduced to a contingent event, and there are more for those who solicit answers.

Overall, the quest for human origins won’t be answered overnight, but a collegiate atmosphere should have an open invitation for discourse, for the sharing of varying perspectives and for the dismissal and acceptance of knowledge.

Students are encouraged to create an informed decision about abortion, physician-assisted suicide, minimum wage, genetic engineering and the list goes on. So why not let students, who you call creative, self-directed, game changers, decide for themselves what they are to believe about this issue?

Reach Arden Gewirtz at agewirtz@asu.edu or @ardengewirtz.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this letter to the editor are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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