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Issue: "Weapons of mass hysteria," March 15, 2003

The soul of science

Thank you for your article on Texas Tech Prof. Michael Dini's evolutionary bias ("Arrogance and ignorance," Feb. 15). As a college student, I cannot imagine what the students who were denied a recommendation must have felt like. What impresses me, though, is that those students took a stand and, hopefully, will prevent such discrimination in years to come. - Doug Ledbetter, Shawnee, Okla.

Although Texas Tech Prof. Dini's website comments might be a euphemism for religious discrimination, I and most of my colleagues would say: "If you take a position on a scientific topic, you had better be prepared to effectively defend that position scientifically if you want my recommendation." The student who indicated to me that he could "prove" that evolution didn't occur by stating, "The Bible says it never rained before Noah, so life couldn't have evolved over the millions of years indicated by evolution," didn't get my reference, either. - Robert Detjen, Travelers Rest, S.C.

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Any student who can properly outline Darwin's theory of evolution and then make a compelling case for the opposite point of view is sufficiently rigorous for a professor to recommend him for higher study. That biology professor, by refusing to write recommendations for students who doubt Darwin, is denying a basic principle of science-the right to question. - G.B. Hall, Montgomery, Ala.

Miguel's slow death

Andrew Coffin dismisses Kingpin, of which I am creator and executive producer, as "standard melodrama, dressed up with guns and sex to achieve a sense of importance" ("Sopranos wannabe," Feb. 15). Yes, it's a melodrama, but even melodrama can explore seriously the nature of man. Kingpin wasn't designed or written from a Christian perspective, but neither is it nihilistic. I set out to explore classically tragic themes of pride, ambition, and greed in the context of popular entertainment. These characters operate in a moral universe; they suffer, or will suffer, for their wickedness. As long as Kingpin remains on the air, its theme will be the slow death of Miguel Cadena's soul. - David Mills, Los Angeles, Calif.

An acquired taste

Your music reviews are consistently intelligent, candid, and witty, but the review of Sigur Ros's new album, ( ), disappointed me (Bestsellers, Feb. 15). I am a fan of "ambient" music, which is concerned with harmony and "sound landscapes" rather than catchy melody lines. Criticizing Sigur Ros for not creating structured, catchy tunes is like criticizing Mozart for having too many notes. It's easy to label abstract art as pretentious sucker-fodder because of its obscure and easily abused constitution. Sigur Ros is creating truly beautiful music. Not everyone will enjoy it, but that doesn't warrant calling the album "empty" art. - Leslie Martin, Manawa, Wis.

Decision time

How can we expect peace by allowing the status quo in Iraq ("Follow the money," Feb. 15)? Doing nothing may allow a semblance of peace for a time, but time will give Iraq the means to attack what little peace exists in the Middle East. Short-term peace now? Or a longer peace by forceful restraint of rogue nations led by madmen? The right decision is clear. - Roger W. Hancock, Auburn, Wash.

All together

"Population implosion" (Feb. 15) was very interesting. I come from a family with five children, and whenever we go somewhere we get odd stares and some form of the question, "Are you all together?!" In Bible times you were considered blessed if you had a lot of children, and that certainly applies today as well. After Noah and his family got off the ark, God told them to be fruitful and multiply. That was a command, not a suggestion. - David Locklair, 18, Milwaukee, Wis.

Minds made up

On this Valentine's Day (as I write this), it's gratifying to see two recent columns by Andree Seu ("Marriage proposal," Feb. 15) and Marvin Olasky ("Make up your mind," Feb. 8) on why young singles, especially the guys, need to put their money where their mouths are and get married. One omission: Not all singles are young. But they still desire marriage. Don't forget these people. Your admonitions are 20 years too late for many of us in the baby-boom generation, unfortunately. - Julia Duin, Washington, D.C.

In response to your call for accounts in favor of long-term marriage: Unconditional love in a committed marriage allows husband and wife to thrive and grow into wholeness as in no other way. The vows we took before God over 25 years ago have allowed us both to overcome personal obstacles, to be one in body, mind, and spirit-and to raise a family in which our four children show honor, love, and respect for us and for God. The security in our safe and happy home produces immeasurable fruit and unimaginable joy. - Marcy Johnson, Brockport, N.Y.

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