Life on Mars: You Can't Pick and Choose

As a longtime reader and zealous fan of the Monitor, I must register my disappointment.

In the editorial "Life, Mars, the Universe," Aug. 9, you say that the possible discovery of life on Mars makes the "limited view" of life as being "all about genes competing to replicate themselves" ripe for discarding, and add that what the discovery suggests is the plausibility of the origin of life by "creation." What that phrase describes is the outcome of the evolutionary process by natural selection.

You seem to accept the validity of the scientific project since you accept what the scientists say about life on Mars. But you can't pick and choose what you want to accept from science depending on your religious views. Evolutionary theory is a bona fide scientific theory no less than Einstein's theory of special relativity. If you believe science when it says it has discovered life on Mars, why don't you believe it when it says life arose from blind chemical processes?

The evidence supporting the latter idea is much better than the current evidence for life on Mars.

Francisco Gil White

Los Angeles, Calif.

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published in the Monitor and the Monitor's on-line edition and none acknowledged. All letters are subject to editing. Letters should be addressed to "Readers Write" and may be sent by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by Internet e-mail (200 words maximum) to OPED@CSPS.COM.

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