I was most dismayed reading of the demise of "intelligent design" in our educational system while still teaching the "theory of evolution" to our children. Our wimpy court system has knuckled under to a few atheists who live by a theory that everything on this earth originated from a single cell that began dividing. Question, where did the cell come from? Do they really think this is all a happenstance? It's like having an explosion in a sheet metal factory and when the dust settles, there sits an automobile. Totally absurd.
To me, the changes that occur on this planet are adaptations, not evolution.
The First Amendment of our Constitution does not prohibit religions, only the establishment of a particular government-sponsored religion such as was done by Henry VIII when he established the Church of England. Read that amendment for what the words say, not what you want it to say.
It is time for this silent majority to tell the ACLU vocal minority to sit down and shut up.
CHESTER A. HALL, JR.
Whispering Pines Drive
Many anti-evolutionists simply do not understand fundamental points about evolution or religion, and, interestingly enough, have no reservations about publicly revealing it. A Feb. 20 letter contains misinformation typical of religious believers' arguments.
First, atheism is not a religion, but a world view in which reference to a "higher being" is considered irrelevant to rational and useful explanations of natural phenomena.
Religions, in contrast, use the "god of the gaps" to explain things that seem, to its founders and adherents, unexplainable or overly complex, including the moral and ethical bases of human behavior.
The term "theory," as used by scientists, carries much more weight than in its common use; it means a concept that has been extensively tested and validated by specifically designed observation and experiment.
Evolutionary theory has a long, extremely intensive, published record validating its various aspects and implications. Those who reject evolution usually ignore this record, willfully, or else simply do not understand it.
The rejection of evolutionary theory is in no way due to a lack of evidence, but rather to closed and fearful minds unwilling to confront the possible errors in their own beliefs.
It is for this reason that the anti-evolutionists' attempts in the public schools are increasingly rejected: those who understand the theory and its implications also understand the enormous intellectual dishonesty and contempt of rational science displayed by those who reject it.
My wife and I have been members of the Toledo Zoo for about 25 years and, during that time, have taken our sons, and now our grandchildren, to the zoo countless times. The Toledo Zoo is a real community asset and one in which we all can take great pride.
However, I think the zoo administration and the zoo board should take a hard look at the inequities associated with zoo memberships. As a resident of Lucas County, I pay taxes to support the zoo and, at the same time, I pay the same amount for a membership as do the people who live outside of Lucas County. Is this fair and equitable?
If the non-Lucas County residents want to enjoy "our" zoo, why shouldn't their membership reflect, to some degree, the fact that they don't pay any taxes in support of the zoo? I asked one of the interim leaders of the Toledo Zoo this question and was told that this had been discussed, but there was a concern that some people might drop their memberships if they had to pay more. Where is the concern for the people who have memberships and also pay significant dollars every year in taxes to support the zoo? Think about it. I know that I will when I enter the voting booth on May 2.
Let's take a look at the financial logic behind the Toledo Zoo's levy requests. One request is for capital improvements to be used for the first phase of a total of 10 phases. Obviously this could mean up to nine additional capital levy requests once it receives funding for the first phase.
If any business is having problems meeting its present operational budget as the Toledo Zoo is, it surely would not go on a building spree that would result in additional operational expenses.
On a more personal financial level, one would not go out and make major building additions if one were not presently able to keep up financially with maintenance, repairs, taxes, and heating expenses on one's present home.
The financial wizards at the Toledo Zoo need to show they understand basic finance before they dig themselves deeper in debt hoping every Lucas County taxpayer will win the lottery in the near future to blindly keep approving every one of their levy requests. Toledo Zoo administrators need to prove they can manage their present funding prior to asking for more.
Until then, Lucas County voters need to send a clear message by not voting for more capital zoo levy requests that will ultimately result in more operational zoo levy requests.
CHRISTOPHER M. TERRY
I find it disturbing that journalists are so concerned about showing a cartoon that may offend some people's religious values. I am offended by the images that bombard me every day on the Internet, television, billboards, and magazines as well as right-wing "propaganda." What hypocrisy.
Regarding your Feb. 14 report "Investors turn on Google," when people get sick they know that mere relief of their symptoms does not help significantly; the true cure is reached by treating the origin of the disease.
In kowtowing to China's demand to conduct internet censorship, Google's action (as well as that of Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft) is both questionable and pitiable. But criticizing these powerful search engines for "selling out" their souls brings little effect as it is the Chinese regime in Bejing that causes all the symptoms. When and if democracy comes to China, Google can make no evil money.
To democratize China, however, will take huge tasks, among which Google and its companions may contribute by standing firm on providing uncensored information to each and every searcher in every corner of the world.
Director, Press Division
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office
In a debate on the finances of Henry County, one commissioner stated that people go out of the county to shop. This is a loss in tax revenue, which I agree is true. How do we attract more business and shopping to Henry County? Increase the sales tax as proposed by our leaders.
Great idea? Not really. Since the general fund is supported by a sales tax, we should concentrate on attracting businesses that generate sales. Ask the commissioners where they shop. We know where one does.
Please remember that taxpayers are also consumers of the services provided by the county. As taxpayers, we ask for fiscal responsibility for the tax dollars collected. Buying the Oakwood Plaza for new commissioners offices, failing to pay on time and drawing penalties, closing the county home, and overtaxing property owners don't show responsibility.
J. SCOTT PULLEN
Your recent articles about employers raising the insurance premiums of their smoking employees made me wonder: Will the bars, bowling alleys, and restaurants in the Toledo area that have insurance plans force all their employees to ante up since they all work in smoke-filled environs?