Archive for Saturday, August 2, 2003

Evolution science

August 2, 2003


To the editor:

Evolution is a fact.

Mr. Helwig's letter concerning evolution makes no scientific sense. He states that real science observes and reports. This is a gross mistake. If real science were just about observation and reporting, astronomy would merely consist of cataloging lights in the sky without any concern for what those lights might represent. Atoms and molecules would still be undiscovered and indeed civilization as we understand it would not exist. It is the attempt to interpret information and develop testable theories that gives science its power.

I am amused at Mr. Helwig's use of the word adaptation to describe what happens to bacteria. Adaptation through natural selection is precisely the mechanism that Darwin proposed as the main agent giving rise to the diversity of living things we see on this planet. Perhaps Mr. Helwig did not take biology or napped during the evolution section of the course.

Once, creationists denied that evolution happens at all. Adaptation as envisioned by Darwin is now apparently OK, and even evolution of what biologists would call species seems to be OK for at least some creationists. Opponents of evolution are increasingly left picking at the margins of uncertainty about the mechanisms of evolution, misrepresenting scientific evidence, or rhetorically attempting to define away the fact of evolution, as Mr. Helwig does, with his reference to adaptation.

Paul Decelles,


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