In a less-than-sapient attack on Bill Varble and evolutionary theory, Ron Wallace's letter April 17 draws numerous specious conclusions typical of religious fundamentalists.

He challenges Varble to "prove" evolution by changing a dog into a cat — apparently believing that failure invalidates evolutionary theory. That isn't science. It isn't even reasonable.

Worldwide, fossil-bearing sedimentary layers that have accumulated over time consistently range from simpler and fewer to more complex and myriad life forms. Those whose beliefs can't withstand scrutiny often disregard geologic history. Many have no facility for logic and some resort to snide comments and crude insinuation.

Wallace states that "animal genetics is not in (his family's) DNA," implying that he is non-animal, while seemingly insinuating that Varble is less intelligent because of his beliefs. Sorry, but Wallace and the rest of the animal kingdom share a significant percentage of DNA (as 99 percent of biologists would attest).

Here's an exercise for the fundamentally encumbered and perhaps for someone like Wallace with which to dramatically demonstrate how "intelligently designed" they are: Using reason, explain how, without evolution, virtually every species of marsupial wound up in Australia. Then, prove it. Caution: You can't fall back on the Bible for this one. — M. Savage, Medford

If Jackson County doesn't want to be taken over by the state, it needs to find a way to pay its bills. (Unfortunately, the fact that Oregon is one of only five states without a sales tax does not bode well for this solution.)

Let's stop lamenting the end of federal timber subsidies (adapt or die!) and get on with implementing fair, common-sense ways of collecting more money. You'd think our overpaid county commissioners and administrator would have done this by now, instead of threatening, once again, to close the libraries and — new this time — lop off Extension programs. At least Commissioner Skundrick has bravely proposed one (vague) method of increasing revenue.

It's sad enough that the county's libraries are operated by an out-of-state contractor and open so few hours. (The beautiful downtown Medford library, open a paltry 24 hours/week, reminds me of a beached whale.) And I don't think we want armed vigilantes a la Josephine County — or do we? — Julia Sommer, Ashland

I am appalled that the U.S. Senate has ignored the will of the vast majority of Americans regarding the issue of universal background checks. Ninety percent of Americans support universal background checks. (When do 90 percent of Americans agree on anything, by the way?)

I am saddened by the U.S. Senate's inaction. Have they forgotten that 20 6-year-old children were brutally gunned down in their classroom just four months ago? I will never be able to forget that horrible day. Neither should our senators. They have now added insult to injury.

Could it be true that as a country our reaction to Newtown is to do — nothing? As a society, are firearms more important to us than our children or the safety of our citizens?

What have we become? — Melissa Mitchell-Hooge, Ashland

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