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From: Ross Olson [ross{at}rossolson.org]
Sent: Friday, August 26, 2011 11:39 AM
To: Editor Star Tribune
Subject: Ignorance

Richard Dawkins claims that anyone who doubts Darwin is an uneducated fool ("Views on evolution
say a lot about a candidate,"8/26).

My experience is quite the opposite - I was educated into foolishness! On graduation from medical school, I had been given no indication that evolution was in scientific trouble. When I actually educated myself, away from the enforced conformity of the academic world where outliers are culled, I found that from genetics to geology, through mathematics and physics, the data stand diametrically opposed to what Darwin and Dawkins need. Dawkins himself pretends that putting together an incredibly complex structure like "a simple cell," can be done in small steps, failing to remember that each step has to be an improvement significant enough to crowd out its predecessor and that random changes to complex systems do not make it better anyway.

And he also says, "we have no theory of the origin of life," thinking that he can still be an intellectually fulfilled atheist while missing the most important card in the deck. He then suggests that life on earth was seeded by aliens, not even aware that this only moves the origin back in time to "a galaxy far, far away," where maybe houses, cars and encyclopedias also arise spontaneously.

When asked to give an example of an evolutionary process that adds information to the genome, Dawkins, after taking a long time to think about it says it is like this: you ask if the baby is a boy or girl and on being told it is a girl, you have gained information by elimination - what natural selection does! It is only clever if you don't think about it too hard - you cannot get from nothing to everything by subtraction! Dawkins sees Darwin's ideas as elegant in their simplicity and ability to explain our existence - OK, we are accidental individuals of an accidental species with no significance or intrinsic value and without even the possibility of free will as the molecules in our brains play billiards and randomly come out with things like Dawkins' article.

Ross S. Olson MD