I find it laughable that evolution being under attack is a problem for future EEs (see By the Numbers, Dec. 19, page 28). However, I do agree that evolution instruction needs further development. I currently hold an MSEE and work as a design engineer, and my studies in EE-particularly in random processes and information theory-strengthen my conviction that "particles to man" evolution is preposterous. The coding efficiency and robustness of the DNA molecule screams out that it was designed, not randomly generated. Given our great technological advances over the centuries, we can't reproduce its complexity, but only copy it and tinker with it. I highly recommend that readers look into the works of Werner Gitt and Michael Behe. Evolution the way it is taught today should be attacked for its dogmatic faith in naturalism and materialism. Natural selection within a species is a fact, but particles-to-man evolution is only a theory, and an absurd one at that.
Jack G. Atkinson Jr., Design Engineer
Adtran Inc., Huntsville, Ala.
Cypress' capacitive touch
In the article "iPod's lesson: please touch" (Dec. 12, page 6), Junko Yoshida wrote, "Two companies now dominate the computer touchpad market: Japan's Alps Electric and Santa Clara, Calif.-based Synaptics Inc." This assessment leaves out an important, albeit newer, solution in the capacitive touch market.
Cypress' CapSense capacitive touch interface, based on its PSoC mixed-signal array, offers an easy, highly flexible solution. Compared with hardwired, module-based approaches, CapSense's programmable nature enables designers to easily integrate multiple functions (e.g., LED drivers and LCDs) in addition to touch sensing, all for around $1.
To date, more than 50 systems include or plan to include CapSense technology, including applications as diverse as laptop computers, kitchen cooktops, portable media players and LG's new Cyon Slider mobile phones. Many other systems are in design.
Increasingly, CapSense has become a viable option for designers who place a premium on design flexibility, board integration and bill-of-materials reduction-proof that solutions that once dominated markets are constantly being challenged by new, and sometimes better, ideas.
Vice President, PSoC Business Unit
Cypress Semiconductor Corp.
Illegals depress wages for all
Loring Wirbel's "Latter-day Know-Nothings" (Opinion, Dec. 19, page 4) failed to distinguish between legal and illegal immigration. What effect do illegal (or legal) immigrants have on the wages of lower-paying jobs and on income inequality?
Arizona high school students can't get summer jobs in competition with illegals, who take billions out of the local economy and send it back to Mexico. The lower-income segments are affected by illegal immigration.
The Economist concludes that illegals benefit our economy and boost national income. Whose income? That of the upper classes, who benefit from cheaper "pool boys," "lawn boys," maids and cleaning services while they do not face [job] competition from illegals.
Lower-paid foreign labor devastated American manufacturing. That left service jobs. Then foreign labor came and took local service jobs. The inequality in America has never been higher.
I hypothesize that a surfeit of low-wage labor lowers wages far up the wage scale. The U.S. workers driven out of formerly adequately compensated jobs compete for other jobs and drive down wages there. A collapse in wages at the bottom of the scale ripples upward until you reach a point of discontinuity in the calculus; professions like accounting, engineering, law, medicine have serious barriers to entry. Jobs in intellectual-property fields such as engineering, with no language or cultural barriers, are most vulnerable.
Companies offer telconferencing tutoring of schoolchildren by Indian tutors. Could we replace schoolteachers with low-paid teachers from India? Indians schooled in English common law could absorb our legal nuances. Do we let foreign-educated immigrant-lawyers take the bar? X-rays are already transmitted abroad to be read by lower-wage doctors. Why don't we bring in as many foreign doctors as possible?
In a democracy supposedly devoted to the greatest good for the greatest number, we should not allow illegal immigration of unskilled and semi-skilled labor that hurts those nearer the bottom rungs of the economy.
Senior Components Engineer