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Letters from our readers

‘Debunking junk’

Oct. 6 You began by describing how high school teachers explain DNA, but in my biology class in 1960 Watson and Crick’s seminal discovery was not part of the curriculum. All I remember is not understanding why my teacher insisted that water is a food. Since then my frustration with biological terms has continued, so thanks for helping me understand the concept of DNA switches a little better.
—John Monroe, Carrollton, Texas

Thank you for the fascinating article on ENCODE research. We will never know everything about any aspect of our universe, but let’s keep searching and so continue to fulfill the creation mandate.
—Milton Werkema, Bloomington, Minn.

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As we learn more about the switches in our DNA (and that of plants), and begin to manipulate them to cure various diseases and conditions, do we know whether that will have other long-range effects we can’t control? While we’re interested in what makes us tick and how He designed creation, we need to be careful not to really mess up.
—George Nettleton, Willow Street, Pa.

Well done. Obviously God would utilize 100 percent of the genome sequence. Our DNA codes and switches must control a staggering number of biological processes, from egg fertilization and implantation all the way to the triggers that govern our aging and planned body failure in death.
—Carl Nichols, Bozeman, Mont.

‘Blocking the shots’

Oct. 6 As a Christian, homeschooling physician, I thank you for this story on homeschoolers’ attitudes toward immunization. There is an unreasonable mistrust in the Christian community about a practice that has radically reduced our risk of smallpox, polio, and many other diseases. However, public health recommendations regarding Hepatitis B and HPV virus are seriously at variance with widely held Christian attitudes about sexuality. I would plead for a nuanced approach to this subject, but what I often see is more heat and rudeness than light.
—Jim Pollock, Monroe, Wis.

Are homeschoolers really taking unnecessary risks by delaying vaccinations? As a physician, I wonder, are they instead protecting their children from long-term, unfavorable consequences of vaccines while alerting our communities to significant concerns about vaccine safety, efficacy, and universal necessity?
—Philip Ranheim, Lake Stevens, Wash.

This article was obviously biased in favor of vaccines. Shouldn’t parents decide what they are willing to inject into their children? Shouldn’t parents decide whether to take the risk of not vaccinating?
—Erika Banning Steip, Cadiz, Ky.

As an OB/GYN, I will continue to advise my patients to follow the advice of the CDC regarding vaccines, including the HPV vaccine. Even if a young woman remains sexually pure, she may marry a spouse who did not. It is not a license for promiscuity, for the HPV vaccine does not prevent pregnancy, HIV, herpes, or any other sexually transmitted disease.
—Kerri Brackney, Middletown, Pa.

As a Christian and a scientist I am proud to have vaccines tested on me for safety and efficacy. I assure anyone who asks me that the CDC guidelines are based on a solid foundation of facts.
—Jason Kaelber, Houston, Texas

‘Pastors and the party’

Oct. 6 Thank you for the sidebar about African-American pastors at the Democratic Convention. “I’m not working for Mitt Romney!” is a pretty succinct summary of what that community is saying. This doesn’t surprise me, given the Mormons’ history with race.
—Penny O’Connor, Gilford, N.H.

‘Power hungry’

Oct. 6 The producers of the new show Revolution hold religion in contempt. In one funeral scene from the second episode, the leader of the evil militia recites the 23rd Psalm, while the protagonists apparently have no faith of any kind. Message: It’s the “bad guys” who believe. We see the same message elsewhere in our culture. We have much work to do.
—John R. Kerr, Jacksonville, N.C.

‘All in a day’s work’

Oct. 6 Federal lawmakers collect $163.54 an hour, “to say nothing of the generous benefits,” and all these politicians expect me to believe that they know how difficult it is for the middle class to make ends meet?
—Nelson Banuchi, Concord, N.C.

‘Boy crazy’

Oct. 6 Those who advocate for abortion rights but denounce sex-selective abortions are logically inconsistent. If a fetus is a human being, then abortion of either male or female unborn children should be forbidden. If not, then abortion should be allowable for any reason, including sex selection. Their consciences tell them that there is something deeply wicked about sex-selective abortions, but their unbiblical worldview can’t tell them why that is.
—David White, Mebane, N.C.

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