Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in one of the Gannett newspapers hosted at delmarvanow.com — possibly in all of them — and it’s titled Darwin’s theory doesn’t explain why apes still exist today.
Admit it — the title alone is a winner. Of the hundreds of letters we’ve discussed in this series, this one ranks high among our favorites. It’s short and direct. And it’s so flamingly silly that it’s an instant classic.
We’ll give you a few excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. As we usually do we’ll omit the writer’s name and city. Get ready, dear reader, here we go:
According to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, never yet proved by scientific methodology, all species have evolved according to fundamental requirements for further existence.
Never yet proved? That’s true, and it’s also true of all other scientific theories. Nevertheless, evolution is powerfully supported by a vast amount of evidence, and contradicted by none. That makes it among the strongest theories we have. But today’s letter-writer doesn’t have a completely firm grasp of the theory. He says:
Each stage is phased out as the evolving species profresses [sic] and flourishes.
Aaaargh!! No, there is no requirement that a new species’ parent population must vanish. The ancestral population may persevere, quite successfully, while its descendants go their own way. Were it otherwise, there would be very few species on earth. Nothing more needs to happen except that a new species survives apart from from its ancestral stock, so that it can flourish as a separate breeding population. Geographical separation is sufficient. Patricide isn’t necessary.
But our letter-writer imagines that the old population has to vanish. You know where he’s going next, don’t you? Okay, brace yourself — here it comes:
Thus, a simple, logical question, devoid of religiosity: If primitive hominids evolved from apes, then why do apes still exist?
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We love this letter. We really do. Just for old times’ sake, we’ll offer a few quick responses:
If America was founded by English colonists, then why are there still Englishmen? If dogs are descended from wolves (even creationists accept that they are), then why are there still wolves? Why are there more than 300,000 species of beetles — shouldn’t there be only one? Why are there any primates at all other than humans? If the emergence of a new species demands the disappearance of its ancestral stock, then why is there anything on earth other than humans?
That’s enough. Let’s read the conclusion of today’s letter:
With this in mind, Darwin’s theory should be presented to students as just one more theory as to how we have reached this egocentric stage of Homo sapiens, which exists at this point in time.
We thought about wrapping this up with some kind of clever comment, but that doesn’t seem fair in this case. We’ll just let the letter speak for itself.
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