Richard Dawkins and his apologists, in this case reviewer Ted St. Godard, tilt at straw windmills in their attacks on young Earth creationists (From Darwin to Dawkins, Sept. 27). Earth may well be billions of years old; evolutionary theory may well correctly describe the paths of the speciation of life just as Dawkins elicits. However, it remains that to hold that godless chance accounts for not only the existence both of life itself and of ends and purpose manifest in life's rich garden, but indeed the origins of true intelligibility in the universe right from the tiniest quark, requires a steadfast faith every bit as irrational as that of any Bible-thumping fundamentalist.
It remains that all creation, animate and inanimate, veritably sings its Creator for any with ears. Atheists such as Dawkins must insist implausibly that theists -- the vast majority of humankind -- are all stupid or insane. We need only maintain that they are tone deaf.
JOHN PAUL CORTENS
David Spigelman in his letter Be heard, be seen (Sept. 26) criticizes the enforcement of motorcycle noise laws and attempts to equate excessive motorcycle noise with safety. The idea that loud pipes save lives is a myth.
Among many like-minded motorcycle organizations which hold the same opinion regarding this issue, the motorcycle enthusiasts magazine, Motorcycle Cruiser, debunks this "safety theory" in its Twelve Motorcycle Myths and Misconceptions which are posted on its websitemotorcyclecruiser.com.
If motorcyclists are serious about wanting to be seen, they should ditch their black riding gear and start wearing brightly coloured clothing and helmets.
West St. Paul
David Spigelman's letter prompts me to share some of my experiences. I've ridden bikes on and off for 30 years, domestic and foreign, through towns, cities and on highways. In all that time I've had one incident, in a parking lot where a motorist cut directly in front of me as he emerged from behind a parked car.
Loud pipes do not save lives. Take it from me, a fellow motorcyclist, loud pipes annoy the hell out of many of us. If you've got them, short shift around town, don't wind it out. When riding go with the traffic speed and most importantly, stay out of people's blind spots.
Weak? Oh, brother!
I am curious as to why the Free Press did not entitle the Blue Bombers article War of the weak brothers (Sept. 26) as we all know there are no "sisters" in the CFL. Could it be that "sisters," and then by implication women in general, are better associated in your mind with weakness than brothers, and by association men in general?
Giller fee fact
In his Sept. 26 column about the Scotiabank Giller Prize, Morley Walker writes, "The current process for most awards is that publishers can submit anything as long as they pay a nominal fee."
This is not the case for the Giller. Publishers are not asked to pay a fee to submit books for the prize. Only the shortlisted books' publishers are asked for a fee of $1,500 towards marketing and promotion, an effort which amounts to several hundreds of thousands of dollars in editorial coverage.
Scotiabank Giller Prize
Correcting crime rates
The editorial Time to police specialization (Sept. 22) stated that Edmonton and Vancouver have higher crime rates than Winnipeg. The Free Press printed a correction the next day that reported that Vancouver and Edmonton had slightly lower crime rates than Winnipeg. In fact, your original statement was correct. The 2008 crime statistics reported by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics show a crime rate for Winnipeg of 8,152 offences per 100,000 people compared with 8,742 for Edmonton and 8,545 for Vancouver.
However, Winnipeg did rank higher than Edmonton and Vancouver on the new crime severity index which takes into account the seriousness of the crimes that are reported to the police. While this may be a better measure for some purposes than the crime rate, it is not the new official measure of crime and it has not replaced the crime rate measure we have used in Canada for many decades and which is used in all other countries. Both measures are correct but users should specify whether they are referring to the crime rate or the crime severity index in order to avoid confusion.
Poverty not the cause
Re: Colleen Simard's column Traffic brisk at fateful food store (Sept. 26) talks about a number of anonymous comments on a CBC website, calling those persons a "bunch of yahoos" and how some of the comments are an easy way for them to spew their hatred for aboriginal people. Describing people as a bunch of yahoos is not acceptable.
I take a great deal of offence when she states that stealing food is a poverty crime. Our families' grandparents grew up in poverty and did not steal. Instead they worked hard, sometimes at two jobs, taught their children the value of hard work and that stealing is unacceptable.
Simard's excuse that people steal because of poverty is an insult to all law-abiding people.
Re: Turning 100 is just another day (Sept. 25). Talk about cliffhangers. This little AP article tells us how Astrid Thoenig has just turned 100 years old, and ends with this line: "[...] Thoenig's earliest memories start in 1918, when she witnessed something so traumatic, 'it erased all memories of my childhood before that.'" And?! What did she see? I can't possibly be the only reader who is dying of curiosity to know.
Linda Christina Petriuk
Driving it home
Winnipeg's first free giveaway weekend was missing one important element -- transportation. How are the people who need this stuff the most supposed to transport it to their new homes? The poor of Winnipeg, who could use the perfectly good kitchen table or TV stand, likely have no way of getting it home. We have forgotten that most of Winnipeg's needy do not own vehicles. Where and who are the volunteer drivers?
Next time we do this as a city, we need to have drop-off and pick-up depots and volunteer drivers.
No coalition in House
Clarity is required on the subject of the recent co-operation in the House of Commons. An official coalition as presented last fall by those on the left was a "signed agreement" whereby the Liberals and NDP would assume (not win) control of government while at the same time give the separatist Bloc party controlling vote in Parliament. Imagine veto power in the hands of a party whose very mandate calls for the destruction of our country.
Fast forward to today and we have seen the Bloc and NDP vote in favour of policies that are good for Canadians, albeit possibly in their own interests as well. Many are trying to frame this as the Conservatives now forming a coalition with these parties but in reality nothing could be further from the truth. There is no signed agreement, there is no contract giving the Bloc veto, there is simply co-operation to do something good for many Canadians who find themselves in a tough situation right now.