Make your own free website on
Letters submitted to The Wall Street Journal   but not published
Arthur S. Lodge     |     home
The Wisconsin State Journal   |   The Wall Street Journal   |   Physics Today   |   C&E News
The Wall Street Journal
Stephen Strager (Letters, 3/23/05) claims that, while religious people attempt to force their beliefs on others, scientists do not. "The day we experience a jihad or crusade demanding belief in the existence of DNA, maybe I'll change my mind", he writes.

I know of no pro-DNA jihad but we have had a pro-Darwinism jihad for decades. For example, in 1984, a University of Vermont biologist, Professor John A.Davison, had the temerity to postulate a non-Darwinian mechanism for certain evolutionary changes. Following publication of his article in a refereed scientific journal, his department held a meeting from which he was excluded, cancelled his biology classes, and froze his salary. In 2000, the University decided to revoke his tenure; he resigned.

Recently, we have seen several cases in which boards of education have proposed to permit classroom discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of Darwinian theory. They have been deluged by choruses of abuse, including charges of Creationism, of attempting to Introduce Religion by the Back Door, and of lack of respect for the (alleged) Constitutional Separation of Church and State.

Many scientists seem willing to go to extraordinary lengths to postpone taking the one step which today should surely be accorded the top scientific priority, namely, the making of a rational, dispassionate assessment of the range of applicability of the Neo-Darwinian Theory based on a critical review of available evidence from all relevant fields.

Arthur S. Lodge
Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Sent on 3/23/05; not published.

Submitted on December 9, 2004

The Letters Editor
Wall Street Journal

   In common with all too many others', Mr Hendrik Van den Berg's use of the word "Constitution" (Letters, December 8) is straight out of Alice in Wonderland: "When I use a word", Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less".
   On the controversy about Boy Scouts and the military, Mr Van den Berg claims that "The Constitution is very clear in this case: we have freedom of religion, not official sponsorship of religion."  What edition is he using? The only reference to religion in my edition is in the statement: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". Is Mr Van den Berg conflating Congressional, official and military?

Arthur S. Lodge
Madison, Wis.

Submitted on November 16, 2004

The Letters Editor
Wall Street Journal

Mr William Baker, President of New York Public Television, claims that "public television's only agenda continues to be the dissemination of information as a path to understanding" and he refers to a "neutral ground … of quiet, thoughtful, non-partisan … public television programming" (Letters to the Editor, November 16). This claim is invalid in regard to programs about evolution, where PBS has for years exhibited a strongly partisan pro-Darwinist bias.

In 1996, Michael Behe published a book Darwin's Black Box- the Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, in which he claims that the neo-Darwinian theory faces serious difficulties, and PBS invited Behe and  Richard Dawkins (a well-known Darwinist) to discuss the book together on the Washington, DC, program Think Tank. Behe said Yes; Dawkins said No. PBS subsequently allowed Dawkins to appear without Behe and to criticize Behe's book in his absence.

In September, 2001, PBS showed a 7-part series entitled "Evolution" in which several dedicated Darwinists were given plenty of time to describe their positions, without challenge. No scientific critics were permitted to appear and none of the serious problems facing Darwinist theories were mentioned.

                              Arthur S. Lodge
                              Madison, Wisconsin

To: wallstj
Subject: Lodge
Submitted on October 12, 2004

“A long line of cases shows that it is not merely of some importance, but is of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done” (Gordon Hewart, Rex v. Sussex Justices, Law Reports King’s Bench Division, 1924, vol.1).

Former President Clinton, while under oath, lied to a Grand Jury; he is not now in prison. Martha Stewart, while not under oath, allegedly lied to a government official; she is now in prison.

Has justice manifestly and undoubtedly been done?

Arthur S. Lodge
Madison, Wisconsin

October 12, 2004

Submitted on March 10, 2004 after Martha tewart verdict

What does the Constitution phrase "equal protection under the law" actually mean? According to a recent CBS program, an innocent man was charged with murdering an elderly woman. In the hope of obtaining a confession, the police stated that they had DNA and other strong incriminating evidence in their possession. The police were lying, but they were neither reprimanded nor penalized. Yet citizens not in the police force can be sent to jail for lying. Is this compatible with the Constitution?

Arthur S Lodge

Submitted on 2/15/04

The Letters Editor
Wall Street Journal

Even prior to Michael Behe's irreducible complexity argument, Darwinism faced serious, unresolved difficulties. Fifty years ago, attempting to attribute the origin of life to spontaneous generation, the Nobel laureate George Wald wrote: "One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are - as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation… However improbable we regard this event, or any of the steps it involves, it will almost certainly happen at least once….The time with which we have to deal is of the order of two billion years….Given so much time, the `impossible' becomes possible, the possible probable, and the probable virtually certain. One has only to wait: time itself performs the miracles.¼In such a problem as the spontaneous origin of life we have no way of assessing probabilities beforehand…".

 Harold Morowitz subsequently took a first step towards such an assessment by estimating probabilities for the chance re-assembly, after dissociation, of the bonds in a single bacterium to be of the order of 1 in10^(100,000,000,000). Since a period of 2 billion years contains only 10^(17) seconds, reaction rates would have had to be unrealistically large in the past for such a chance re-assembly to have had any prospect of occurring; so, presumably, something more miraculous than time alone would have been needed.

Morowitz supposed that a chance-driven mechanism could produce a single cell from inanimate matter. So, also, does macro-evolutionary Neo-Darwinian Theory (NDT), which, however, includes additional mechanisms (such as natural selection) which are alleged to increase probability. It is, therefore, reasonable to suppose that Morowitz' probability estimate also represents a provisional value for NDT macro-evolutionary processes until further calculation shows that the additional mechanisms do, indeed, increase probability far enough above the Morowitz value. To the best of my knowledge, there is still no published plausible estimate showing that the claimed probability increases could indeed have been large enough for the NDT to provide even a feasible explanation of macro-evolution.

In his book Darwin on Trial, Phillip Johnson wrote: "Natural selection exists, to be sure, but no one has evidence that it can accomplish anything remotely resembling the creative acts that Darwinists attribute to it". If valid, this claim is clearly devastating for any rational evolutionist, for it strongly suggests that macro-evolutionary NDT is more an article of faith than a scientific theory. So, in his 4-page book review, evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould would surely have refuted this claim, if he could possibly have done so. He didn't; therefore, he couldn't.

Arthur S. Lodge
Madison, Wisconsin

Sent by email on February 15, 2004
Addresses and phone number added

Submitted on 1/23/04. Not published:

The US has released Iraq from Saddam Hussein's dictatorship. A few days ago, the US Coast Guard forcibly returned a small boatload of refugees to Castro's Cuban dictatorship. Why?

Arthur S. Lodge

Submitted on July 12, 2001:

To the Letters Editor
Wall Street Journal

Robert Bartley's recent "Stem Cell" article referred to Justice Scalia's criticism of the Roe v. Wade decision as one that rested on "penumbras and emanations" of the Constitution. There are additional grounds for criticism that I have never seen mentioned anywhere else. The writing of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade opinion was assigned to Justice Blackmun. He wrote: "We do not need to resolve the difficult question of when life begins". This astonishing statement implies that, to those Supreme Court Justices who voted for Roe v. Wade, it was a matter of indifference whether or not their decision condoned murder. Surely this alone justifies reversal of Roe v. Wade.

                    ARTHUR S. LODGE

Letters to the Editor
Wall Street Journal
22 February, 2003

Harold Evans ("War Stories", 2-21-03) wrote: "The legend persists that the reporters lost Vietnam. It does not stand up to serious examination." Has Mr Evans considered the role of the reporters' editors back home?
 He does not, for example, mention the report that, in the period of relative calm following the Tet offensive (a massive Viet Cong failure), one of Walter Cronkite's video reports from Viet Nam was altered by CBS in order to dub in sounds of gunfire that were completely lacking from the genuine article.

                    Arthur S. Lodge

Submitted on October 15, 2003:

Rahm Emanuel (October 15, p.A20) urges Democratic presidential candidates to "start proposing fundamental reform of the tax code" and states that "An aggressive attack on the tax code should start with corporate expatriates". He claims that their use of island tax havens has "cost Americans $5 billion over 10 years".

Surely it would be better to start by considering instead the complexity of the whole present tax system which, according to one estimate (Dick Armey, The Flat Tax, 1996, p.23) burdens Americans to the extent of about $618 billion each year in compliance costs alone. Astonishingly, Mr Emanuel does not refer to this. He proposes a "Simplified Family Credit" but gives no estimate of the compliance costs involved in the whole of his proposed tax system. He does not, moreover, refer to the one-rate tax system that has been widely considered in recent years.

Replacement of the present complex system by a one-rate tax (of about 17%) on income above some threshold value, with no other exemptions or deductions, would be a fundamental reform with potential savings some 1200 times greater than those arising from Mr Emanuel's proposed elimination of island tax havens. Business costs could be deducted in the year in which they were incurred; the present ghastly and expensive depreciation code would be jettisoned. An interim trial period of several years could be chosen during which everyone could choose whether to calculate their taxes on the present system or on the new one-rate system.

A one-rate tax system is now envisaged for Iraq.

Arthur S. Lodge
Madison, Wisconsin

On October 22, 2003, 6 letters were published in the Wall Street Journal in reply to the Emmanuel article. My letter was not published.

The following letter was sent to the Wall Street Journal on October 31. It has not yet been published.

Global Warming  ®  Political Science?

Senator McCain rightly complains that "The debate on global warming…has become polluted by misinformation" (October 30). Unfortunately, he unwittingly illustrates this by his statement dismissing skeptics as nothing but would-be profiteers. I am a counter-example: my own healthy and informed skepticism profits me nothing. To the best of my knowledge, there is little, if any, credible evidence that human activity has ever had a significant effect on global temperature variations. The following are three of the important relevant questions to be answered. Some details and references are given at

The saturation question. It is possible that the existing cloud cover, water vapor, and other greenhouse gas concentrations are already more than sufficient to reflect back all the infra-red radiation coming from the Earth. If this is so, then addition of more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will have a negligible effect on global temperature. The increase of carbon dioxide concentration attributable to human activity is, in any case, only a very small fraction of all greenhouse gas and water vapor concentrations.

The chicken-and-egg question. Did the recent increase in carbon dioxide concentration come before or after the recent increase in global temperature? It is possible that the latter caused the former, perhaps due to release of carbon dioxide by oceans as they warm up.

The solar wind question. There is a seemingly striking correlation between global temperature variations and sunspot activity variations over the last 400 years. Over a shorter period, there is also some correlation between variations in cosmic ray intensity and cloud cover. Although an accepted underlying mechanism has not yet been published, the data suggest that most, if not all, variations in global temperature could perhaps somehow be due to variations in sunspot activity causing variations in solar wind causing variations in cosmic ray intensity causing variations in cloud cover.

 In the seventies, there was media anxiety about the effects of global cooling. Perhaps if Senator McCain were to contain his indignation for a little while longer, our understanding might develop in a direction that would let his present urgent desire for "action … to slow the progression of climatic change" vanish like mist in the morning sun.

Arthur S. Lodge