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OPINION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: To remain democracy | Absoluteness of rights | Creation isn't science

April 20, 2021 at 2:00 a.m.

To remain democracy

"That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." These are the words of our Declaration of Independence. In recent letters there have been some opinions that we should overthrow our present government. Some have suggested that it is OK to take lives in doing so because our forefathers had to revolt against an oppressive and overtaxed ruling monarchy, England.

Our elected officials are there because of a free and fair election, even though these officials may not vote to our liking. Many people have fought, suffered, and died for our democracy, that right to vote. The next time you feel that your liberties and pursuit of happiness are being restricted by our oppressive government, really take a hard look at the first word, life, in that declaration. We lead the world in gun deaths, the worst medical outcomes in the civilized nations due to lack of a health system that covers the uninsured, leading the world in covid deaths, and no plan to combat global warming.

Life is the first and most important prerequisite for us to remain a democracy.

ANDY CONNAUGHTON

Vilonia

Absoluteness of rights

On April 8, while rolling out a sweeping executive order on gun control, former Vice President Biden proudly stated that no right is absolute. On April 14, House and Senate Democrats began their work on a bill that would introduce four new Supreme Court seats. The Supreme Court, of course, dictates what is and isn't deemed constitutional. If this does not send shivers down your spine, it should.

The last time a proposition was made to increase the number of Supreme Court justices was during likely the most radical presidential administration in American history under Franklin Roosevelt. Even then, it was shot down for being too radical. Today, however, this bill could very well be met with wide support in the legislative branch. If this bill passes, it would enable the Biden administration to irreparably change America.

The president of the United States of America, who swore to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, said that no right is absolute. Which part of preserving does disregarding completely fall under? The 13th Amendment prohibits slavery in our country. Should it not be absolute? What about the 19th Amendment, which guarantees every American woman the right to vote? What about the First Amendment which guarantees the basic right to speak freely? Should none of this be considered absolute?

If the idea of allowing your basic human rights to be trampled on scares you, I implore you to contact your representatives and senators to oppose this anti-American, anti-freedom bill that is about to be pushed through our Congress. This blatant power grab is disgusting and only the will of the people united can truly make the necessary change to stop it.

DINO FANTEGROSSI

Little Rock

Creation isn't science

To the Arkansas Legislature re HB1701: Instead of deciding what should and shouldn't be taught in a science classroom, some of you need to go back to school, because you have failed an important lesson. Let me help.

In common parlance, the word theory is used to mean a possible explanation. For example, I may say I have a theory about why Razorback basketball had such a great season, but it's just an idea that I haven't studied and tested.

Within the realm of science, the meaning changes dramatically. In science, these possible explanations are called hypotheses, while a theory actually carries a lot of weight. In science, a theory is an explanation for a set of observations of the natural world that has stood up to rigorous, repeated, peer-reviewed scrutiny without once being overturned. This is why biology has very few theories--cell theory, germ theory of disease, and the theory of evolution by natural selection are three that come to mind.

HB1701 would allow creationism to be taught as a theory in science classrooms. To elevate a religious text to the standing of scientific theory quite simply defies everything about the way science works. Where are the controlled studies? Where are the data? It would be a big step backwards and do a great disservice to our students.

I urge the Legislature to ask for testimony from working biologists from our state universities before moving forward on HB1701 and allowing the Genesis creation stories to be elevated--at least in their minds--to a scientific theory. I assure you that scientists, without considerable evidence, will not make that leap with you. And if you do bother to talk to our biology professors, why not take a minute to ask them how our Legislature could best support science education in Arkansas?

SUZANNE WILMOTH

Rogers

On presidential lies

Mr. Bruce Plantz is exactly right in his letter. I, too, agree with the major premise of Mike Masterson's column about presidents who sometimes lie, but President Trump would win first prize if a contest existed for the one president who lied the most ever.

This is a matter of record, not opinion. One interesting thing about Trump's lies is that many were not even needed. Egotists, like Trump, who suffer from lack of attention, will lie just to get more attention. I believe there is one reason Masterson left him out in his list: Masterson defended Trump's actions often. Shall we call him, then, a Trumpite?

I wonder if Masterson will begin promoting Sanders in her run for governor. She is Trumpite No. 1.

JOHN W. "DOC" CRAWFORD

Arkadelphia

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