With the bowl games and playoffs coming up it will again become apparent (I hope!) that the Southeastern Conference plays some of the best football in the country. We will get few arguments about that around here. But there is considerable controversy over the reason(s) behind this success. Some say the SEC spends too lavishly on coachs' salaries, recruiting, athletic dorms and training facilities. In other words, we overemphasize the game. But there’s another obvious reason that is still politically-incorrect to discuss. But I will anyway.

In post-segregated America (not post-racial, we’re still a long way from that) it is still off limits to attribute certain phenomena to racial factors. But it should be obvious to anyone with half a brain that the superiority of southern football is at least partly attributable to African American athletes whom we have in abundance down here. Don’t agree? The next time an SEC team wallops some Big Team or west coast team, scan the lineups and do the arithmetic. And this leads us to an even more controversial subject, human evolution through natural selection.

As for natural selection, there is no firmer evidence today than the alarming survival and reproduction of medicine-resistant bacteria and viruses in our hospitals and clinics. If we don’t find a way to check this epidemic we may someday evolve (there’s that dirty word again!) a bug that will wipe us all out before we can come up with an antidote.

Back in Africa the carnivorous animals had a favorite name for humans who were slow afoot: "dinner." By this fact and the horrible conditions aboard the slave ships, only the superior physical specimens survived to reproduce. Thus, today we have African American athletes of unusual ability, especially in sports in which speed, strength and agility are most important. This is a self-evident fact.

Many people believe the Bible’s account of human development is the indisputable literal word of God. They believe that the scribes who wrote the Holy Scriptures were God’s unerring stenographers who recorded His words exactly as He spoke them. But to begin with, which Bible are they talking about? There are several versions, and some conflict on some important points. There are also two distinctly different creation accounts in the Book of Genesis. But that’s a can of worms I’m not qualified to open, and won’t.

Evolution through natural selection is an observable, verifiable biological process researched and taught in practically every accredited university the world over. And I can find nothing in this concept that would conflict with my belief in a supreme being whom I know as "God, the Creator of the universe." The Bible tells us who and why, history and science tell us when and how.

This is a little off the subject but related, I think: Doesn’t it take more blind faith to be an atheist than a believer? Think a minute about that one.

George B. Reed Jr., who lives in Rossville, can be reached by email at reed1600@bellsouth.net.