Darwin's DogmaEditor: I have for some years now been...


November 12, 1990

Darwin's Dogma

Editor: I have for some years now been skeptical about Darwin's theory of evolution. I do not doubt that much of it is true. But did man really evolve from the apes?

I am no scientist, but I was always disturbed by the dogmatism of Darwin and his supporters. By the way, the theory has been quite obviously used in recent years to justify the worst kind of animal behavior; and by the fact that great men rarely find all the truth. Many details are usually corrected later.

Henry Adams (in his "Education of Henry Adams"), discussing Darwinism in his chapter of the same name, says that Darwin preferred to find God "a posteriori," i.e. by his works in nature. But modern Darwinism has been used to justify atheism.

Just as the atom bombs brought on a kind of new relationship of man to God -- even a new belief in God -- they suggested to me, somehow, that man was not descended from the apes.

I have discussed all this with some people around the science departments at Harvard. I met with interest; rather little opposition, however. With regards to Stephen Jay Gould, he seems awfully determined that he must be right.

Jerome Minot.

Syracuse, N.Y.

Light Rail Damage

Editor: Gov. William Donald Schaefer's slogan, ''Do it now,'' needs to have added to it, ''But do it right.'' The Central Light Rail System is a travesty of how rushing a complex project can produce long-term, irretrievable damage.

Item: The simplistic decision to follow the Conrail right-of-way has resulted in bypassing the main ridership sources north of Mount Washington and along the beltway. These could readily have been included by continuing to follow the west side of Jones Falls Expressway above Northern Parkway.

Item: With elimination of four of the planned eleven stations there will be no station at the beltway or in the long stretch from Falls Road to Ridgely Ave. There will also be the great inconvenience to everyone of four at-grade crossings. Busy streets such as Seminary Ave. and Timonium Road will have to close down every seven and a half minutes to let three railway-sized cars go through at 35 to 45 mph. Comparing this to the three short freight trains a week that presently move at about five mph is like equating a dirt track with a super-highway.

Item: The magnet station which should be on the beltway is now going in at Falls Road adjacent to Robert. E. Lee Park in an area where traffic often backs up for almost a mile. The parking lot for 75 cars is on loose fill in Jones Falls wetlands with an

unprotected stream flowing underneath where twice in the memory of local residents the whole area has been under several feet of water. The only entry to this station will be a hairpin turn off of Falls Road.

Item: Construction has proceeded into R. E. Lee Park with callous devastation rather than sensitivity to conservation. Cutting of trees and dredging extends beyond the right-of-way. This has been documented with pictures. The remarkable ecological diversity of this park is shown by the Maryland Ornithological Society's bird list of sightings in the park of one-quarter of all the bird species in the U.S. and 42 percent of those in the eastern half of the country.

Item: Local residents have learned that the mitigation promised by MTA cannot be trusted. As a noise barrier they are offering a flimsy plywood fence six feet high.

The light rail line could more efficiently and rationally follow JFX, where independent estimates show that additional costs would be minimal and ridership potential much greater than the Conrail route.

Carl E. Taylor.


High Taxes

Editor: My husband and I paid 1989 Maryland state and county income taxes of $1,995. If we lived in California our total taxes on the same income would have been $699.

Even though it is not completely fair to compare one state's fund-raising methods with those of another state, the fact remains that Maryland taxes are far too high, and William Donald Schaefer has not made any effort to reduce them.

Marian L. Folker.


Dishonored Flag

Editor: Governor's Office, please take note. "Maryland With Pride," you say? Let's practice what we preach.

I speak of the beautiful Maryland flag and the abuse it endures. In just one week alone, I have noticed the following violations of Maryland flag etiquette:

* The Maryland With Pride promotion at Macy's in Owings Mills was publicized in the morning paper. The accompanying photograph contained two Maryland flags side by side. One was right-side-up, the other upside-down. Pure carelessness.

* The bank of flags at Eastern Ave. and President St. between the Columbus Plaza and Little Italy has two Maryland flags, one ** correct, the other of improper design. The faulty flag has reversed black and yellow bars.

* The Sunday Sun, Nov. 4, Election '90 insert displayed an upside-down flag on the cover page.

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