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Home / Articles / Views / Letters /  Borlaug didn’t do GMOs
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Thursday, November 12,2009

Borlaug didn’t do GMOs

Letters, Week of Nov. 12

(Re: “The man who saved one billion lives,” Danish Plan, Oct. 22.) The Danish Plan is also to misinform, again evidenced in the Borlaug article. I’m disappointed Danish continues to blur his perception when he lumps facts with GMO fantasy.

Kudos, of course, to Norman Borlaug and another of his ilk, Derald Langham, who created natural hybrid strains of wheat to attain the hybrid vigor in seeds to maximize climate adaptability and yield in starving countries. These countries are now wheat-exporting countries.

That’s another giant leap for Danish from that very noble humanitarian endeavor of Borlaug to the actual genetic manipulation of seeds for greed and profit by Monsanto, which released them with little or no testing. It’s tantamount to comparing a cockapoo with a twoheaded goat.

Steve Demos, I trust, is not “trashing scientific agriculture” (quoting Danish). He’s more likely trashing Monsanto.

Philip Brooks/Longmont

Laughable ignorance

(Re: “Teach Darwin’s other beliefs,” letters, Oct. 29.) The comments of Bert Robinson, from Baton Rouge, La., made me laugh for a number of reasons. For one, he squeezes the cultural times of creation of a given idea around the modern perception of said. No doubt, Mr. Robinson is a Protestant, yet Protestantism was, in its time, associated with fornication with Satan an’ a ’hole bunch o’ other stoff, mon ...

Darwin was a product of his times, as are we all. Mr. Robinson’s presumption is that if a given human being demonstrates evidence of mortality, then his or her ideas are somehow suspect. Ergo: Martin Luther, the originator of Protestantism, because he was and is a demonstrable anti-Semite, is therefore without intellectual merit as the founder of Protestantism.

Mr. Robinson would have us believe, for instance, that if Newton, for example, believed that washing and bathing was somehow unhealthy — as he did, in fact, believe — then his entire theory of calculus and the Physical Laws of Motion were somehow ... wrong! Well, then, let’s be brave and teach that while developing the Theory of Motion, etc., Newton said that we should never wash. Scandal! Therefore, physics is a fraud.

I rest my case, and I have proved that modern physics is fraudulent, and I challenge others to prove me otherwise.

Peter F. Johnson/via Internet

Judge the idea, not the man

Mr. Robinson’s comments concerning the theory of evolution and its teaching betray a level of ignorance and willful misunderstanding about science that I would call astonishing if it were not so common. We teach and revere the theory of evolution, not because Charles Darwin was a great man, not because he is morally upstanding, and certainly not because all of his other ideas are impeccable. Evolution is fantastic because it explains the observable natural world with such amazing accuracy that no other theory even comes close to competing. From the fossil record, to DNA, to inheritable traits, to diverse behaviors, to sexual reproduction itself, the theory of evolution has successfully defended itself time and time again, often in the face of strongly held and cherished religious beliefs. Darwin himself was reluctant to believe the full impact of his discovery, and it is obvious that the theory continues to have many misguided foes.

Mr. Robinson dares us to believe in “all of ” Darwin, taunting us with his other, mistaken, ideas and writings. Ultimately, the argument goes, we must either believe everything he thought or throw out evolution. Science does not (or should not) care about the character or morality of a theory’s author, nor that he is upstanding, nor that she is always correct, nor ... anything other than the theory’s ability to explain observations and defend itself against contrary evidence and claims. Evolution would still compel our support if Hitler, Mao, Charles Manson and Pol Pot were joint authors. Similarly, a competing theory explaining the state of the natural world would have not an ounce more credibility despite full moral support of world leaders, sacred texts and politicians — which, come to think of it, is exactly the sorry state of affairs that science must battle every single day.

John Lilley/Boulder

Leave dispensaries alone

Town boards all around Colorado are scrambling to get a handle on the medical marijuana “industry.” All of them seem ignorant of the thing they are trying to control. Colorado’s constitution provides for the affirmative defense of medical necessity for patients who have received a recommendation from their doctors to use marijuana for relief of their medical conditions. It also allows for the appointment of a primary caregiver. This is a private relationship between three people: a patient, a doctor and a caregiver. Just as the government cannot step in and limit the number of friends a person has, there is no provision for limiting the number of patients a caregiver can have.

Therefore, it seems to me that to the extent that a caregiver elects to pay taxes the only question for the control freaks on any town board to decide is how to zone such a business. These boards should be reminded that the establishment of a taxable entity is done voluntarily by the caregiver out of a desire to pay his fair share.

It is not required. A “big” grow operation does not necessarily equal a “commercial” operation. To interfere in this relationship is to run afoul of patients’ rights.

To town boards all around Colorado: stay the hell out of people’s relationships, and don’t look the gift horse in the mouth when the tax revenue comes looking for you. All you have to do is provide zoning guidance. Is that really so hard to grasp?

Read Spear/Lyons

Boulder’s police state

I remember when it was the Boulder Police Department’s mission to serve and protect. Now, by hoping to regulate Halloween festivities by controlling and restricting citizen access they are crapping on the U.S. Constitution, which establishes the right to freedom of assembly.

What’s next — arresting Santa Claus for illegal entry? Welcome to the police state.

Tad Miller/Boulder

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