Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Fact and Reality of Evolution

As beautifully laid out in this current issue of Science. Check the video box you'll see on the right (with the chimpanzee's face) for the presentation.

Evolution's impact permeates every aspect of our lives and being. The fight to keep this scientific fact in our schools is nothing less than a fight for sanity and reason themselves.


Anja Maria said...

The problem is that the people who need to be convinced of evolution don't read Science. And apparently they comprise over half the U.S. population, which is a disturbing statistic.

Ken & I (he always says these things to me, but is too lazy to actually post on your blog) both think that high school biology has to do more than just include evolution. Freshman year, we spent maybe two or three days on the origin of species and natural selection - enough to give it a nod, maybe, but nowhere near enough to comprehend it.

As the article says, all biology stems from evolution, so to shortchange that foundation is to limit the entire class. I understood the stucture of DNA and RNA, but I didn't quite get their purpose. I needed more context.

It's somewhat circular, though... the reason evolution is not taught in depth is that some conservative/religious parents get offended. The reason that some conservative people get offended is their lack of understanding. And the reason for that, of course, is that they never really learned the theory.

A lot of ignorance follows such a pattern, I've noticed.

Anyway, good article. Speciation is so cool. Ken has made the comment, "If it was Intelligent Design, it wasn't very intelligent," because there is so much extraneous Stuff within the mechanisms. Now it looks like that Stuff may actually have the most important roles; we just don't understand them yet.

... which indirectly leads to the biggest problem with evolution vs. intelligent design in education. To quote Ken again:

"I actually don't have any problem with the idea of intelligent design. It works perfectly well as a personal philosophy. There's a great deal of biology, especially at the molecular level, that is not understood at this point. If you want to say, 'Ah, we don't understand this yet, but we can probably figure it out eventually' that's fine. Equally fine is to decide for yourself, 'Ah, God's set up something there, but we don't know how it works yet.' Effectively, there's not much difference, since it's all personal and doesn't enter into the mechanisms of what's happening at all."

I agree completely. Sorry for the uber-long post, but it's one of our favorite topics, considering its his major and a big part of my eventual studies.

Joseph said...

I appreciate the input--from both of you.