Billions of years in the making, but when trees branched off from the tree of life, life for us was possible. And later, when Chimpanzees did the same, were were on the horizon. We humans still retain over 25% of the DNA of trees and 99% of the Chimpanzee’s DNA (our closest relative). These are but a few of the facts which map out the wondrous working accomplishments of evolution.

Evolution is the how and especially the what we all have become to this point. This is why evolution is taught in schools because it is the backbone of biology. It is the explanation of life from its earliest beginnings to the most wondrous and amazing complex ecosystems with diversities and strategies for survival that are mind boggling.

But evolution is being attacked by Creationists who believe in a myth. Belief is an important thing to have and it should be respected and protected whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan or Atheist. But evolution is as close to being a fact as gravity. Evolution and religious belief cannot be datebed, nor need they be. But when belief blurs or eliminates reason, lies become alternative facts and bizarre conspiracy theories, with no evidence to support them, become reality because there are those who want to believe them. Our president once boasted “I love the poorly educated.” That is why teaching critical thinking in schools and in our homes is so important to our democracy; then lies will not find fertile ground.

Evolution has brought us the ability to reason, to communicate, and to care for one another. It does not need to conflict with belief and belief should not divide us.

Ron Yarian,

Jefferson

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