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Published: Saturday, 5/8/2004

Is Isenberg up for the challenge?

I hope Sandy Isenberg is ready for a challenge. She's facing the biggest one of her political career. Maggie Thurber was nothing compared to the task of uniting the Lucas County Democratic Party.

Both factions talked about coming together at the organizing meeting, but this is easier said than done. The leaders of the Coalition of Concerned Democrats are power players who know little about grass-roots activism. They know how to rally the union support, which is a great leap forward, but they need to remember the youth, the senior citizens, and minorities. In order for the Democratic Party of Lucas County to remain as vibrant as it is, the base support must remain.

Ms. Isenberg will win my respect if she can keep all those union-recruited precinct captains active in door-to-door campaigning for John Kerry, Eric Fingerhut, and Marcy Kaptur. She will win my respect if I see her at literature drops at 5 a.m. on Election Day like I saw Paula Ross. She will win my respect if the party continues to endorse young people and minorities for elected office.

And she will win my respect if she stands up to Bernadette Noe and the Lucas County Republican Party.

Many of us are sad to see Paula Ross go. But all of us are willing to continue volunteering if we are welcomed by Sandy Isenberg.

An obvious effort must be made to achieve unity and the new leadership must prove to all of us that it will strive to work as hard as we have in the mail, over the phone, and on the doorsteps for Democratic candidates. Let's prove that this fiasco will only make us stronger.

NICK ROKICKI

North Haven Avenue

How inconvenient! No sooner does a creationist letter in The Blade unearth a 20-year-old quotation lamenting lack of predictable progressions in the fossil record than the description of another transitional fossil is reported in Science magazine, discovered just where scientists expected this specific change, in Devonian rocks.

But instead of submitting scientific arguments disputing this article to Science, creationists conduct their disinformation campaign on newspaper editorial pages.

An April 18 letter stated that dating techniques used by geologists are based on assumptions and "have been shown to have serious flaws." For the record, among these "assumptions" is the principle of superposition, that rocks are deposited in layers beginning with the layer on the bottom.

Another is the principle of cross-cutting relationships, that a rock is older than any structure that cuts it. Geologists use these principles to unravel the sequence of events in earth history.

Radiometric dating only confirmed geologists' conclusions during the 1800s, based on reasonable estimates of erosion and deposition rates, that Cambrian fossils are more than 500 million years old.

The geological version of earth history works. Millions of dollars are wagered annually drilling oil and gas prospects generated by geologists using this earth history as their working model. Articles in monthly scientific journals constantly and consistently report newly discovered details of this history.

Radiometric dates, like opinion polls, each involve a statistical margin of error based on the number of samples or counts. Geological techniques are by no means perfect, but they provide information more reliable than any available alternative. Smart investors insist on seeing geological reports before betting their money on wildcat oil ventures.

Any "flaws" creationists perceive in the theory of evolution and geological dating methods are mere specks compared with the plank in the young-earth creationist's eye on geology.

Donald J. Stierman

Assoc. Prof. of Geophysics

University of Toledo

If Bishop Blair would establish a much-needed new parish in Sylvania, St. Joseph wouldn't need more land.

EVELYN KUHL

Carver Boulevard


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