Letters to the Editor

Save Energy After Competition As Well

Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to Priscilla Lazaro’s editorial cartoon, printed in the Feb. 22 Opinion section, and regarding UCSD’s Energy Saving Competition occurring from Feb. 5 through March 5. This is the third competition sponsored by the UCSD Green Campus Program, which promotes energy efficiency and conservation. The competition is designed to encourage lasting behavior changes by demonstrating both the financial and environmental impacts of reduced energy consumption.

Despite what Lazaro’s cartoon suggests, it is the intention of GCP that students do not save energy just for the sake of the competition, but for the sake of the environment.

Saving energy helps prevent emissions of carbon dioxide due to the burning of fossil fuels, which provide over 85 percent of UCSD’s electricity. Fewer carbon dioxide emissions decrease the greenhouse effect that causes the global warming we are experiencing and hearing about all over the news today. If students continue saving energy, it is also possible to see housing costs reduced.

It is projected that the current Energy Saving Competition will result in a total of $5,553.64 saved, or 65,336.92 kilowatt-hours of energy saved, compared to last month.

This translates to a total reduction of 16.16 percent, 101,272.23 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions prevented and nine cars off the road. This is just for one month! The GCP hopes that UCSD students will continue using the energy-saving tips they have learned during the competition, like turning off lights not in use, using power-saving settings on computers, taking the stairs when possible and turning the settings on your refrigerator to “”cool”” instead of “”cold,”” because they have found them easy to implement in their daily lives. You can make a difference.

— Bryan Ward, Sarah Termondt, Kylee McGee, Jessica Wall, Polina Osipova

UCSD Green Campus Program Project Coordinators

ID Theory Already Applied in Science

Dear Editor,

Jim Shen, the journalist writing the article on intelligent design, appeared to have a weak understanding of it, otherwise I’d have expected reasoned arguments rather than saber-rattling assertions and straw-man fallacies.

Famous chemist Linus Pauling said, “”Science is the search for truth – it is not a game in which one tries to beat his opponent, to do harm to others.””

The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of science is “”a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena.”” If we are properly scientific, we should be open to the truth of the natural world without deciding beforehand what it’s allowed to reveal.

Stephen Hawking notes in “”A Brief History of Time”” that the notion of the beginning of time, as espoused in Big Bang theory, “”smacks of divine intervention”” and many scientists like him only grudgingly accepted it. Despite initial reluctance, Hawking now claims, “”Today virtually everyone agrees that the universe and time itself had a beginning at the Big Bang.””

The Big Bang has not been censored from science classrooms just because of its theological/philosophical implications. Likewise, neither should ID be censored from science classrooms because of its implications.

ID is simply research to empirically detect and investigate intelligent causes. It is also arguably a practical science with real-world uses. Forensic science uses ID in determining if a homicide has a natural cause or an intelligent one (murder). Archaeology uses ID to determine if a pointy rock is an arrowhead crafted by an intelligent agent or not. Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence scientists extensively use ID theory to analyze radio waves from space.

Only in biology is ID controversial because it allegedly challenges Darwinian macroevolution. But we should not discard alternate paradigms to the current reigning ones based on implications and presuppositions. That would be dishonest science.

ID is well within the realm of science and conforms to scientific method. ID theory starts with the observation that actions of intelligent agents produce high levels of complex-specified information. The hypothesis posited by ID would presume that if the natural world was intelligently designed, there would be evidence of complex-specified information. Predictions could be made like abrupt appearances of species and phyla in the fossil record or the idea that junk DNA actually does have a purpose and function.

ID presents itself as falsifiable if such predictions are discovered to be false. Experiments can be commenced that would test the presence of complex-specified information in biological systems. Systems can also be found to be irreducibly complex and, according to the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center, cannot be “”built up through an alternative theory, such as Darwinian evolution, because it requires that a biological structure be functional along every small-step of its evolution.””

As a conclusion, if biological systems exhibit high levels of complex-specified information, a quality known to be produced only by ID, and because Darwinian evolution cannot account for the origin of this irreducible complexity, it can be concluded that such biological systems were intelligently designed.

ID, as a scientific method of inquiring information, should be included rather than censored from the classroom.

– Jeremiah Runyan

Eleanor Roosevelt College senior