The word theory in the context of science means a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena. Phenomena are described by facts. The facts describing evolutionary phenomena are vast and diverse. It is a scientifically established fact that life has changed sig nificantly over time and that all species have a common ancestor. So, in this sense, Hochenauers use of the phrases proven science and well-proven scientific theory are appropriate.
No scientist on the planet believes life just happened by chance alone. Chance likely played a role, but we will never know for sure. Life developed more than 3 billion years ago involving molecules. Molecules dont fossilize. But molecules and their environment behave according to the laws of chemistry and thermodynamics, not chance, as Mr. Oxsen should know.
Understanding the origin of life is a difficult challenge. However, science has been successfully addressing difficult challenges since the 16th century. There is no reason not to believe science will eventually also answer this question.
There really is no controversy among real scientists regarding the validity of evolution. Stephen Meyer is not even a biologist. His book Signature in the Cell is just a long string of personal assertions and has been thoroughly debunked by scientists. He has conducted no scientific research to support his position. In fact, no one has. There are no scientific facts that support his assertions. Yet the design proponents want to suggest it is science. Nonsense!
It is well-established that the genome (DNA) accumulates information as a result of natural selection. The fact new species have evolved in historical times is evidence. Information has been accumulating in genomes for more than 3 billion years, producing the appearance of design. Its not chance. No one should be puzzled by this fact.
The thread that connects the recent letters published in the Gazette questioning evolution is ignorance of the science they are doubting. Take time to read some actual science on the subject as Hochenauer has obviously done.