Daily Kent Stater

Don’t deny Evolution, Intelligent Design

Dear Editor:

It was unfortunate but unsurprising that the Stater did not run a story about the forum, “Evolution and Intelligent Design in Public School,” held last Monday as part of Earth Week. The forum served as an excellent exposition of the strength of evolution and the weakness of Intelligent Design “theory.” But as one observer commented, this forum would involve complex sentences, and newspapers can’t produce complex sentences.

It is sad that because of poor education about evolution, few appreciate the irony of criticizing natural selection by way of “intelligent design.” Natural selection does not exclude intelligent design. Natural selection was modeled after artificial selection, that is breeding, or literally, intelligent design. Simply by selecting their mates, organisms practice breeding.

Nor does Intelligent Design exclude natural selection, because nature, genetics or evolution could be Intelligently Designed. But today, we debate natural selection as if we would debate the cause of breeding too. “How do we really know that we created different breeds of cats and dogs, and that it was not some mysterious Designer instead?” By reserving mysterious causes for design, we exclude our own thoughts from evolution!

In 1950, the mathematician Alan Turing postulated that it would take 50 years for the average person to believe computers can think. Today, computers must have a hard time believing people can think!

But thinking is not a material activity, yet it is a factor in evolution. Intelligence is no longer just for deities and computers anymore, but for living things, such as people, too.

Ted Bowen

Post-undergraduate in mathematics


Fashion program leaders need to be better

Dear Editor:

In response to the April 11 article on the fashion show, the confusion many feel lies not in the fact that students were not included in the show, but rather why certain individuals were taken out. The reason given here was lack of quality, but sadly, the only thing lacking in quality is the fashion design program itself. If a student whose collection received an excellent grade is not in the show, then it is obviously for a reason besides quality.

Fall 2004 saw about 40 seniors at the beginning of the semester. By the start of spring semester, about 30 remained. I cannot attest to everyone’s reasons for not returning, but I will state that my reason was that I was flunked out. Having made it to senior year in a program that is beyond challenging, none of us expected to just coast on through our last year. Every student who continues that far in the program is a hard-working individual.

I believe in my heart that an investigation into the program and its instructors must be instigated. If anyone were to listen to the conversations of design students, they would know instantly how poorly students are being instructed and guided.

Not all of the instructors are to blame. There is a tightly-woven bond between the senior instructors, and it is my belief that one bad seed has corrupted the others in her own personal power trip. Every time I read an article about the fashion school, her name pops up somewhere! I have documented a myriad of complaints to the director of the fashion school about this one person in particular and do not have the space to list them all here. The sad fact that seniors still in the program and in the show are in fear of passing and graduating speaks for itself. Students have no voice if evaluations are disregarded, and they are in fear of complaining, lest their grades be compromised.

The behavior of these unqualified adults whose job is to instruct with respect and wisdom is deplorable and infuriating. Picking favorites and pointing fingers is no environment for growing or learning.

Katie Ballman

Ex-senior fashion design major