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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Mail Bag

    Legalizing prostitution not the way to protect women

    This article asserts that legalizing prostitution is the best way to protect the women involved in this business. However, this seems an incomplete and oversimplified way to handle this situation.

    Prostitution is illegal at this point because it has been deemed a concept that is unhealthy, not only for our society, but also for the women involved. We as a country have found this profession to be one that brings more harm to everyone involved than it does benefit. Essentially, prostitution is illegal for many reasons; many more reasons than could be covered in a short article.

    I found it very sad to see the column mention that women should be allowed to use their bodies in ways that are parallel with the messages sent by society, i.e. that women’s bodies are nothing more than a business asset. What kind of day is it when we as women, or even we as a people, begin to conform to every word that we hear from society? If there is a discord between the messages sent by society regarding the worth of a woman, and the actions of society, perhaps this means the messages should change to match the actions and not vice versa.

    While some choose a life of prostitution, we must recognize that there are also millions of women out there who are not in this business by choice. Portions of the sex industry have transformed into something almost unreal, as women and young girls are sold, without their consent, as merchandise (even in this country). This is called “”sex slavery.”” Were prostitution to be made legal, it would become ten times more difficult to rescue the women held captive by this particular part of the industry. How would we differentiate between legal prostitutes and those prostituting against their will?

    To legalize prostitution would be a far too simple way to handle a much too complex problem.

    Samantha Smith

    psychology sophomore

    Belief in God doesn’t necessitate belief in creationism

    In her letter, Paige Wheeler argued that intelligent design is rationally on par with evolution, which is, in her opinion, just a flawed theory. (Mailbag, Feb. 23, 2009) Feeling that this was overly biased and factually inaccurate, I felt compelled to defend scientific truth.

    The first argument Ms. Wheeler gives is that “”the fossil record still lacks transitional forms.”” Well, obviously. Do you have any idea how rare it is for a species to actually fossilize and for that fossil to be preserved through time? The vast majority of organisms that die will never make it into the fossil record. Despite this, scientists still have a substantial number of fossils which lend credible support to evolution. Even if scientists didn’t possess a single fossil, evolution would still be a highly credible theory.

    There are countless numbers of “”molecular fossils.”” Do some research and you’ll find that all known proteins can be explained through gene duplication and evolutionary trends. Modern human hemoglobin (which is responsible for transporting oxygen) has slowly evolved over the course of millions of years. Several other proteins functionally and structurally analogous to it exist in more ancient species. Each of these is a “”transitional fossil,”” except on a molecular level. Shortly afterward you provide the reader with a famous argument for God’s existence. If the universe is so wondrous and complex, a God must exist. How else could one explain how our several trillion-celled bodies don’t break down and constantly undergoes millions of reactions?

    Ms. Wheeler shares a common misconception with many people. Just because you believe in God doesn’t mean you have to turn to intelligent design or creationism (which are essentially the same thing). One can easily be spiritual and still be a rational, scientific thinker. Why dismiss evolution and replace it with pure spirituality, Ms. Wheeler? You can support both modern scientific thought as well as your own personal beliefs – you need not turn to irrational philosophies or ideas.

    Adiv Johnson

    molecular and cellular biology junior

    Evolution, God are complementary, not ‘mutually exclusive’

    In response to Paige Wheeler’s letter: First, Daniel Dennett is one of the most highly respected atheist philosophers there is. He has dedicated his entire life’s study to the philosophy of mind and science. I suspect Ms. Wheeler knows that and is being disingenuous. To tout herself as equivalently worthy of recognition is sheer hubris.

    Second, yes, Darwin was an agnostic, which means he was conservatively-minded enough not to deny outright the possibility of something he could not categorically disprove. He did express awe and wonder at the diversity and complexity of life, but he also believed (as do I and most people who have actually bothered to study the theory) that he explained it best through a blind, but certainly not random, process of natural selection. The molecular evidence we have uncovered since his time has modified his theory – but time and time again, for 150 years, his basic principles have been vindicated.

    Third, Ms. Wheeler is grievously mistaken in asserting that symbiosis damages Darwin’s theory. In no known symbiotic relationship is one party an active, “”willing”” participant to its own detriment. To the contrary, whenever a parasitic relationship develops, it is despite an active resistance on the part of the host that the parasite is able to take advantage of it.

    Fourth, she repeats the tired canard of the “”incomplete fossil record.”” The fossil record will always be incomplete – the vast majority of animals never fossilize. To complain about a dearth of fossils is to betray ignorance of how lucky we are to have any fossils at all. Molecular evidence alone would be enough to prove common descent. The fact that we have fossils also just reinforces what we already know.

    Finally, it may be true that evolution and God are not mutually exclusive, but that is not the point. The idea of God is completely superfluous to a theory that explains the present state of life handily on its own. When doing science, we avoid injecting the supernatural when natural explanations will do the job.

    Alex Hickey

    mechanical engineering senior

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