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Published: Thursday, 1/9/2003

Smoking ban: Toledo again left behind

The recent passage of an anti-smoking ban in New York City shows how even one of the world's major tourist destinations can comprehend the importance surrounding smoking in public places. It is amazing how New York, with thousands of restaurants and bars, still managed to push through a smoking ban.

Similarly, it is sad that once again both Toledo City Council and Mayor Jack Ford have been unwilling to demonstrate a progressive approach.

Toledo could have been at the forefront of forward-thinking cities on this issue and many other issues (domestic partners insurance coverage, gun regulation, etc.), but instead appears intent on remaining backward and mediocre. The momentum and hope for a new Toledo, beginning with recent downtown redevelopment, now appears to be grinding to a halt.

Perhaps someday we may witness real leadership with vision. Until then, it appears we have to settle for a city government intent on keeping Toledo second-rate.

Small wonder that so many of our educated youth choose to leave for cities that promote a better quality of life.

MAXWELL TOBIAS

Parkwood Avenue

Concerning the comments from two of your Readers' Forum contributors on Jan. 3, I would like to take this opportunity to respond with respect to the conduct of our football team at the Motor City Bowl on Dec. 26.

I, too, was very disappointed by the incidents cited in the letters. Those plays were not representative of our team and the way we teach our players to conduct themselves during a game. We have never condoned unsportsmanlike behavior by our players, and we never will.

Our team has always given great effort on and off the field, and we have always sought to field a football team that our university and community could be proud of. Our fans know that we have a never-quit attitude and have always desired to represent UT, the City of Toledo, and the MAC in a first-class manner. As head coach, I am confident that our young team will learn and grow from this game.

As always, we are very grateful to our fans for their support of Rocket football. We hope they will remember the fine season we had and not a few regrettable plays that occurred in the bowl game.

TOM AMSTUTZ

Head Football Coach

University of Toledo

I would like to refute a recent letter writer's arguments against teaching intelligent design theory in public schools.

He stated that intelligent design is a very new theory, and that “high schools should not be asked to teach each new scientific fad that comes along.” He pointed out that the theory of evolution has been accepted for close to a thousand years. Based on the fact that the book of Genesis, which introduces the idea of an intelligent designer, is widely accepted to have been written between 1450 and 1410 B.C. (approximately 3,500 years ago), we would have to view evolution as the “new scientific fad.”

He went on to explain that intelligent design is not based on scientific findings. He insisted that until evidence can be shown to support the theory of intelligent design, scientists will not take it seriously, and that “real scientists would not ask for a theory to be taught before it was proven.”

However, he neglected to point out that evolution has not yet been proven either. Science has not been able to show conclusively that animals are capable of evolving from one form to another.

The truth of the matter is that the lack of evidence to support evolution makes the theory of evolution just as unscientific as intelligent design theory. If we are to remove intelligent design theory from our classrooms, a theory that has been documented for three times as long as the theory of evolution, for being “unscientific” we must also remove the newer theory of evolution for the exact same reasons.

Or we can leave them both in our scientific curriculum and allow our students to exercise their free will and make their own decisions about the origin of life.

Isn't that what democracy is about?

TIM ODENWELLER

Bowling Green

During my short winter break from classes at Ohio State University, I have been reading with interest the many letters and editorials published concerning intelligent design and evolution. As a student in animal science, I have been exposed to much course work related to animal biology, physiology, chemistry, and, of course, evolutionary theory.

In the last letter I read, the writer stated “thousands of scientists have converted from evolution to creation after ... finding the truth in the real world ...” I'm not sure what “real world” the writer was speaking of, but evolution is the central theory of biology, and the evidence grows stronger every day of its truth.

The real world operates in such a complicated mix of chemical reactions and physical phenomena that it takes the process of science to explain it all.

Evolution, while complicated, can now be investigated using DNA and other types of biological chemistry that wasn't available in the past. It isn't true Darwin thought up the idea on his own and presented it as fact. Evolution is a theory that has come together with the work of many different types of independent scientific research. Evolution does not violate the laws of thermodynamics as the writer also stated; instead it is consistent with them. Ask any biology instructor.

While it may be that creationism has been an accepted theory for thousands of years, it doesn't make it a valid theory. Past civilizations believed the earth was flat for many generations, but it did not make their beliefs justifiable.

One cannot learn about the surrounding physical world by reading tales from the Bible, Qur'an, or Torah, or “interpreting” the word of God. Science is the most successful method to learn about our world that has ever been discovered and it should not be clouded by religious thought.

JUSTIN KIEFFER

Bowling Green

The double standard and revisionist history that the Democratic Party is purporting has come down to not just half-truths, they are now out-and-out lies. Democrats vilified Trent Lott while not even owning up to their history on civil rights. The civil rights movement started back in the 1860s when the Republicans introduced the first civil rights bills, including a constitutional amendment.

It was the southern Democrats, and Democratic President Andrew Johnson, who were opposed to these bills. This went on for decades, Republicans drawing up the bills while the Democrats tried to shoot them down. Then, all of a sudden, it was the Democratic Party that somehow became the champion of minorities everywhere.

Democrats claim they were the ones who brought civil rights to minorities, when nothing could be further from the truth. Without the Republicans getting these civil rights bills passed, minorities may be decades behind where they are now.

By the way, who repealed the First Amendment right to free speech? Did it somehow get pulled off the books while we were all sleeping in a political sleight of hand? Trent Lott said some things that many would disagree with, but the First Amendment gives him the right to say it.

JOSHUA C. MILLER

Colima Drive

Is it possible that the abounding debates about the origin of humans via evolution or intelligent design will now be resolved by the Raelian disclosure that human life actually originated from cloning by aliens?

(Just kidding.)

MARCELLA GECIK

Winona Drive



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