Letters to the Editor
Evolutionary science forms research basis
Regarding the creationism-in-the-classroom debate: Students need to be taught authentic science in keeping with the scientific method. They need to know what science is and how a scientist operates.
Creationism does not fit into this category because it is not science. There are many theories in evolutionary science that scientists work with in order to understand the evolutionary process, but creationism is not one of these theories.
Evolutionary science forms the basic framework for ongoing research and understanding of all of the sciences, which include anatomy, physiology, geology, genetics, biochemistry, astronomy, biology, statistics and comparative anatomy. To discredit or doubt evolution as a legitimate science is to reject all present knowledge in these areas of research.
If creationism is ever to be a part of the curriculum, then it belongs in comparative religion or philosophy classes. Creationism is not science, and the Bible, the Koran or any other book of faith cannot be considered a science textbook, no matter how valuable it may be to an understanding of our faith.
Creation, evolution are both science, religion
Those who think evolutionism is science and creationism is religion are mistaken. They are both science and religion. Both use science to support some ideas while other ideas are accepted by faith alone.
Faith in evolution? Yes. For example:
- Particles of matter pulling themselves together to form atoms, or stars or planets not observed.
- Life coming from nonlife not observed.
- All life forms coming from a common ancestor not observed.
Assumptions: Ideas not observed, but believed to be true.
Science in creationism? Yes. For example:
- Design and information content that cannot come from matter itself (the cell).
- Abrupt appearance of fully developed life forms with phylum-level differences (the Cambrian fossils). Precambrian fossils offer no explanation for this using evolutionism.
- Irreducible complexity: All parts, processes, information, organization and coordination must be present to start with or the system or structure cannot exist (the blood-clotting system, the immune system).
- Life always produces life. Life does not come from nonlife.
Creationism and evolutionism are two opposing world views to explain what is. Neither is proven true by science. Both require faith. Both need to be taught in the science and social studies classrooms so students can decide for themselves. To teach students one model to the exclusion of the other is to indoctrinate rather than to teach critical thinking.
Let the students decide which view is best supported by the actual facts of science.
Mayor Harris' Visioning team concept working
I rise in support of the Mayor's Visioning teams.
I attended the Second Regional Island-wide Vision Meeting at the Convention Center on Aug. 4. I believe that what Jeremy Harris said in the video, in speeches and in conversation is far more about fulfilling his promise to deliver on a shared vision for O'ahu than electioneering.
We should expect that all public officials will actively confer with the voters and demand that attention when and where it does not exist.
The production and broadcast of a 30-minute video is a cost-effective way to deliver information to a large audience and at the same time create tools that will be useful in the planning process. The aerial shots of O'ahu's regions will be invaluable to the real work being done by neighborhood boards, the Visioning teams and city planners.
I agree with UH President Evan Dobelle, who said that pledging to accept only excellence for the vision of the future is an obligation to ourselves, our families and the community: "When you love something as much as we all love these Islands, how could you do any less? Hawai'i is a special place. It deserves our very best and most excellent effort."
It is now rare indeed when citizens can participate directly in the decision-making process that affects the use of their taxpayer dollars. The mayor's Visioning teams concept does just that.
Soccer tournament referee embarrassing
The new Waipi'o Soccer Fields complex is gorgeous and we owe a big thank-you to Mayor Harris and his people for getting it done.
Teams from the Mainland commented, "We have nothing like this back home." The recent Rainbow Soccer Tournament attracted teams from all over the Mainland a total of approximately 490 games were played over several days and we owe a huge thank-you to tournament director Max Sword and his all-volunteer staff and crew who orchestrated the event.
But as we know, "It only takes one bad apple to spoil the barrel" and we had a big one in the form of a referee who used his "15 minutes of power" to destroy the positive experience of at least one Mainland team. When he made a questionable call and the visiting team and coach questioned him, he responded with "What? You don't like the weather here?" obviously referring to his questionable call. Then when the visiting team tied the score and he was questioned about another call, he yelled "Hey, this championship means more to my team. What does it mean to you back in California?"
When this critical game ended in a tie, this referee pushed one of the visiting players and said, "Go back to California." When I went to the referee station to formally protest, I found that other referees and staff heard him also.
All of the time, money and effort spent to attract all those teams and their families to Hawai'i may have been lost because, thanks to this referee, they may not be back and they've been coming for over four years. Events like this have such great potential for all of us to show our aloha spirit and enjoy the benefits of this kind of tourism.
These games are not just about winning but about sportsmanship and fairness. That one referee set a bad example and was an embarrassment to all.
Careless, thoughtless drivers are killing us
When will it end? Do I have to fear for my family's life every time we want to go to the movies or anywhere else after dark? Should we just shelter ourselves in our home to avoid injury or death?
This is getting harder and harder to tolerate. I know the police are doing everything they can to curb the speeding, drinking and driving, racing and killing, but isn't there more that can be done? There are innocent lives out there being ruined by careless and thoughtless people.
We can't put all the blame on teenagers, either, for there are grown adults causing just as much chaos, such as the Aug. 4 Pearl City accident.
I live on the North Shore, and whenever I drive home at night, whether alone or with my family, I am scared. Scared at what is going to happen on the other side of the bend or over the hill. There have been too many incidents where I have come close to a head-on collision or being side-swiped.
I would like to send a message to all you careless and thoughtless drivers out there. There are others on the road, others with children in the car whom they love and want to see grow up into healthy adults. Please have a heart and use your head when on the road.
We already have a great aquarium
What's wrong with the aquarium we have?
The No. 1-rated best small aquarium in the world. World leader in coral growing and propagation. First aquarium to ever hatch and raise chambered nautiluses. Numerous children's education programs such as reef walks, overnight sleep-overs, guided tours for classes and the well-known Small Fry class. Coral spawning nights where people can go into the aquarium at night and observe corals spawning. The famous Ke Kani O Ke Kai or Concert by the Sea. Reef Squid exhibited for the first time ever in Hawai'i. Cuttles big and small. Leafy sea dragons and monk seals. Best of all, a $5 entrance fee for kama'aina.
So I ask you, Gov. Cayetano, "Why do we need another aquarium and what is wrong with the one we already have?"
Convention Center proposal is disgusting
I am disgusted at our mayor's latest scheme to beautify the area around the Hawai'i Convention Center. The great white elephant sits empty for years while the clubs around it thrive.
No, they are not anywhere I would go, but yes, they do generate jobs and tax revenue. This is more than I can say for the empty Convention Center.
I have to wonder if the mayor has ever been to the Los Angeles or San Francisco convention centers. They are not in the middle of a wonderland; in fact, they are somewhat out of the way of things so that they don't wreak havoc on anything else when large loads of people descend on them.
Just another prime example of Hawai'i government being very unfriendly to small business. I hope all you voters take a look at his logic before the next governor's election.
Don't toss cigarettes out of moving vehicles
All too often we see people flicking cigarettes out of motor vehicles. One's careless actions may cause a brush fire.
Dry conditions and gusty winds can contribute to a huge fire, and it can get out of control. Firefighters would have to struggle to contain a blaze that could threaten lives, homes and businesses.
So please, consider the danger of careless actions. Wake up. Be responsible.
Peter Charles Jagiella
Big plans made for Kaho'olawe
Judging from a number of letters to the editor in recent months suggesting that the island of Kaho'olawe could be turned into a casino, a prison or a happy hunting ground for Honolulu's feral cats, there are still a lot of people who don't know what's being planned for our eighth-largest island.
The answer is simple: Kaho'olawe is going to be a native Hawaiian cultural reserve. That was the vision set 25 years ago, when the first protesters "occupied" the island and first heard the voices of their ancestors telling them what the island was and what it could become.
That vision was strong enough to sustain the members of the Protect Kaho'olawe 'Ohana through their successful battle to stop the military bombing of the island. That made the 'ohana the most successful grass-roots movement in recent Hawai'i history.
That vision guided members of the state Legislature into creating the Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission. That very same vision was clear enough for members of the U.S. Congress. They stated it's in the national interest to recognize the value of assuring safe use of the island for cultural, historical, archaeological and educational purposes.
Today that vision guides the commissioners and staff as they prepare for the end of the Navy's cleanup and the commission's assumption of full managerial control of the island. What is the vision? Six simple sentences:
- The kino (physical manifestation) of Kanaloa (ancient name for Kaho'olawe) is restored.
- Forests and shrublands of native plants and other biota clothe its slopes and valleys.
- Pristine ocean waters and healthy reef ecosystems are the foundation that supports and surrounds the island.
- Na po'e Hawai'i (Hawai'i's people) care for the land in a manner that recognizes the island and ocean of Kanaloa as a living spiritual entity.
- Kanaloa is a pu'uhonua and wahi pana (refuge and storied place) where Native Hawaiian cultural practices flourish.
- The piko (navel) of Kanaloa is the crossroads of past and future generations from which the Native Hawaiian lifestyle is spread throughout the Islands.
For a copy of Southern Beacon, the commission's first newsletter, please call (808) 586-0761 on O'ahu or (808) 243-5020 on Maui.
Colette Y.P. Machado
Chairwoman, Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission
Noa Emmett Aluli
Outgoing chairman, Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission