It's settled?

The comment that I am writing about is "science and Republicans do not mix" `Happytown™, Nov. 19`. What total nonsense! What you really mean to say is that the new religion of so-called "settled science" and Republicans don't go together. And that is a very good thing!

So, what is science anyway? Is it the process of a bunch of guys who call themselves scientists taking a look at the evidence in front of them and coming to conclusions, publishing those conclusions and then a few more people come to the same conclusions and after a few years the questions they posed are considered answered and closed as settled? Really? Are you sure?

The truth is that the very essence of science is that it is never "settled." New evidence is discovered all the time. A true scientist is always questioning the status quo, trying to understand the world around him better. Contradictory evidence is accepted and incorporated into the evolving hypothesis without prejudice, not denied or "explained" with a bunch of smoke and mirrors. So when a group of previously respected scientists starts saying that a politically popular belief might be scientifically flawed, maybe a more intelligent course of action would be to listen instead of marginalizing them.


Happy? No, gay

Why don't all of the people that show up at the Parliament House on Christmas do what the rest of us gays do and make a family of choice to spend the holiday with instead of having a pity party `"Holiday hours," Nov. 19`? I haven't been exorcised by my family, but I am on the opposite end of the country from them, so I often don't spend Christmas with them.

So instead of hanging out feeling like a loser, I've built up a family of friends that I do spend the holiday with. The whole article just really paints gay Christmas as a time of sorrow when really it's quite the opposite.


No soup for us

Masturbating in public `Selections, the Merry Philosophers, Nov. 12`? I'm not offended by the words, but by the idea. You have debased the importance of what I do. Every actor and artist (and certainly every politician), in a way, masturbates in public with their work. I am really disappointed with your little article and largely offended. If you had done any research, you would realize that there are philosophic cafés and groups all over the country. Self-examination is not public masturbation. No soup for you!

I really expected more from your newspaper. Now I don't know why.

Jennifer Miller, via the Internet

Milk is not inherently evil

I'm responding to a matter brought up by your correspondent "Joylon" `Comments, Oct. 29`, who said, "No mammal should drink mammal milk after its mom weans the little one," and then offers a website to peruse to support the claim. I'd like to offer an alternative viewpoint.

An anthropologist by the name of Marvin Harris once published a book called Good to Eat, in which he studied worldwide cultural culinary taboos and noted that of the seven most widespread food taboos, there was a biological basis for only one of them, and that one was milk.

Harris observed that about 8,000 to 9,000 years ago, the peoples of the Mediterranean Basin, Middle East and India began domesticating ruminant animals. They began to have tame animals at their disposal that not only provided meat, skins and transportation, but also milk, which they consumed. As the use of domesticated ruminants spread, post-infancy lactose tolerance spread among their descendants.

Next, as some of those people began to migrate into central and northern Europe, two interrelated things started happening to them. As a result of the colder weather and less-intense sunlight, their skin, hair and eyes started to lighten the further north they settled. Secondly, as a result of the shortened growing seasons, they weren't able to get the calcium they needed directly from dark-green plants the way their ancestors did.

The point I am trying to make is that lactose tolerance has a verifiable biological basis. There's nothing inherently evil or virtuous about it.

Russ Mitchell, Orlando

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June 23, 2021


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