Humility in the Darwin-creationism dialogue I wish to commend you on the clarity and reasonableness of your Aug. 17 editorial "Room for Darwin and Faith." However, it is a false dichotomy to pit biblical faith against modern science, and that creation-vs.-evolution has no validity in education.

If the "creationists" would recognize the true nature of Genesis, they could relax. Genesis I and II make no claim to be accurate reports of how or when creation took place. If the first chapter were historically accurate in its details, then the second chapter is surely false.

Rather, they represent two separate strains in the Hebrew tradition of the faith that God is the author of all nature and all life. Science is not equipped to investigate that faith. Also, many sound scientists accept God as Creator.

If those who accept the evidence for mutations and natural selection would forgo the dictum that all mutations always are random, they would find a place for God in evolution. Even if one example of divinely planned mutation were to be granted, objectivity could be restored, for negatives are not provable.

If both sides were to refrain from asserting more than they are qualified to declare, harmony might prevail. A bit of humility could lead to genuine dialogue.

Elza M. Hawkins, Edmond, Okla. Professor emeritus Phillips Theological Seminary

Balanced Turkey coverage I compliment the Monitor on running stories that explore the political background of the devastation wrought by the earthquake in Turkey.

Your paper was one of the first to go beyond the "if it bleeds, it leads" approach favored by most media, drawing attention to the role of the government in many preventable deaths, without once suggesting the Turks are not entitled to Western aid.

While there has been a rush to show off the concern of Western nations, much of this has been for cynical motives: It has provided a chance for Turkey's strategic allies to claim Western status and concomitant privileges for Turkey. The Turks are entitled to aid as suffering human beings.

The difficulties Turkey faces in achieving membership among the Western nations are illustrated by the unforgivable arrogance and cynicism that her leaders showed in delaying the acceptance of aid from Armenia past the point at which this could have saved lives. Turkey blocked international aid to Armenia following that country's devastating earthquake in 1989. Tanya Bresinsky, Brookline, Mass.

Kids and race relations Regarding "Youths' shifting attitudes on race" (Aug. 18): It was with a degree of sadness that I read that 18- to 28-year-olds are harking back to the attitude of separate-but-equal.

As a 75-year-old WASP who has had the wonderful experience of working with and building lasting friendships with all races, I can only say that these young folks are missing out on alot.

As secretary to a black man, teacher to Latinos and Asians, and neighbor to all of the above, I have learned so much from their kindness and concern. Hey, kids, get out and mix. You are limiting yourselves. Mary Meyer, Pasadena, Calif.

Mustard people Betsy Emdin Kaylor's article on the discovery of her "mustard heritage" was a delight ("A mustard story with extra zip," Aug. 20). I wonder, does one dare tell her there's an entire Mustard Museum in Mount Horeb, Wis.? "Where mustard happens," they say. Susan Kruger, Waukesha, Wis.

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(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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