LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Creationism disserves students

Religious absolutists determined to impose mythical creationism on captive school children present a serious threat to education.

Children deserve an education grounded in reality, essential to which is an understanding of evidence-based science, including the theory of evolution through natural selection.

Desperate to discredit evolution, biblical literalists deceptively confuse the scientific meaning of "theory" with common use of the word. A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of a natural phenomenon, based on a body of facts repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.

As details of the evolutionary process emerge through advanced modeling techniques, awareness of our cosmic connection deepens. And questions concerning our stewardship of Earth's fragile biosphere become glaringly relevant.

That's why today's students — tomorrow's leaders who will face complex environmental problems — must gain a comprehensive understanding of evolution, the central organizing principle of biology, geology and cosmology. Solutions to real-world problems lie in the real world, not in a mythical land.

Schools have an obligation to teach real science. To promote creationism in a science class would breach that obligation and gravely disserve young students. — Marie Arvette, Medford


Leave asphalt plant there

The most important issue raised by the Talent neighbors of Mountain View Paving seems similar to that raised near the Ashland Gun Club and elsewhere.

There is a known, long-term, permitted rural operation that may cause some inconvenience. New people move into the area with full knowledge of the situation, or with due diligence should have full knowledge. They then try to harass the operation out of existence.

In the case of Mountain View Paving, it is a small, agile company that economically handles paving and repair projects for homeowners, businesses and municipalities. The paving and recoating of driveways, parking lots and streets suppresses dust and reduces erosion everywhere.

The company fills an important and necessary niche in its field, and it should be permitted to remain where it is. Mountain View Paving may need to undertake some mitigation to meet ongoing requirements, but the best sources of the raw materials needed for paving are often near flowing water.

Where would the complainers have Mountain View Paving go — into the center of Talent, Ashland or Medford? Most likely they just don't care as long as they can change the "rules" around where they live. — Brent Thompson, Ashland


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