We have selected a number of Geoffrey Notkin's published articles from various sources, and made them available here as part of Geoff Notkin's online bibliography project.
The following letter was published in the Tucson Weekly newspaper, as a rebuttal to a previous letter by a creationist who claimed that "science proves evolution invalid."
Dear Tucson Weekly Editors:
Max Wojcik's letter "Science Proves Evolution is Invalid" (March 3) was an entertaining read and a marvelous example of how creation theory supporters love to bandy about scientific concepts that they really don't understand.
Mr. Wojcik includes "a few simple scientfic facts" in his letter which are not facts at all. He claims that proof of evolutionary theory requires the existence of transitional fossils, and that no such fossils have ever been found. Wrong on both counts. The fossil record is rich in transitional fossils. The most famous, and perhaps most beautiful of these fossils is Archaeopteryx lithographica, first discovered in 1860 in the Solnhofen formation in Germany (at least six additional specimens have since been recovered). The magnificent Archaeopteryx clearly shows distinct characteristics of both reptiles and birds and is one of the cornerstones of the theory that some dinosaur-era reptiles evolved into birds. There are scores of other fossils which exhibit transitional characteristics and if Mr. Wojcik were to invest in even a modicum of study in the field of paleontology he would quickly become familiar with them. Raymond Sutera's interesting article, "The Origin of Whales and the Power of Independent Evidence" would be a good place to start.
However, one does not even need to examine the fossil record for proof of evolution. Evolution continues around us, daily, patiently, despite the best efforts of creationists to pretend that it doesn't and -- I'm very pleased to report -- will continue to do so as long as life flourishes on our planet. Look at the charming legless lizard (Ophisaurus apodus) which still retains minute vestiges of its hind legs -- limbs that continue to gradually disappear, generation by generation, during its long evolutionary journey from lizard to snake; read Jonathan Weiner's Beak of the Finch in which the author brilliantly chronicles Peter and Rosemary Grant's decades-long study of Galapagos finches, in which they have unequivocally documented evolution taking place in real time.
The tired creationist-spun attempt to "prove" that the laws of thermodynamics contradict evolutionary theory was perhaps best demolished by J.A. Cramer, a physicist from Wheaton College, in "General Evolution and the Second Law of Thermodynamics," in which he states: "The idea that the General Theory of Evolution and the Second Law of Thermodynamics are mutually contradictory is an error based on the failure to recognize that the Second Law allows parts of the universe to decrease entropy (increase order) while requiring that the total amount of disorder in the universe must always increase." This is especially illuminating in view of the fact Mr. Cramer is himself a devout Christian and believer in the Bible. Mr. Cramer demonstrates that serious scientific study and a religious or spiritual nature need not be mutually exclusive, though the creationists usually don't see it that way.
Scientists attempt -- through empirical study and observation -- to teach us more about the world in which we live and the fascinating past from which our present world has evolved. Evolutionists have hundreds of years of careful study in the fields of paleontology, biology, botany and so on from which to illustrate that all life is part of a wonderful and ever-changing journey. The creationist viewpoint pretty much boils down to, "Because it says so in the Bible." I hardly see how that supports Mr. Wojcik's view that "Young Earth Creationism is more consistently logical."