Evolution: The “Controversy” In Perspective

Evolution: The “Controversy” In Perspective December 4, 2009

I am going to offer what I believe are some intelligent perspectives on topics like evolution, creationism, intelligent design and science education. But I don’t think any of them makes the point quite as poignantly as the front page of The Onion Magazine:

The so-called controversy about evolution (not about the relationship and relative importance of various mechanisms, the pace, or other such details, but about whether biological evolution has in fact occurred) is the scientists versus some actors and other individuals with an axe to grind and in most cases no qualifications that would have given them the opportunity to study the relevant scientific data in detail. And so there may be no denying that there is a cultural controversy; but neither can it be denied that claims that there is a scientific controversy are simply false.

Now for the other links. Denis Alexander argues that Intelligent Design is not only poor science, but unchristian as well. Mark Farmer marks the anniversary of the Origin with an article that suggests the appropriate response is wonder, not fear. Richard Firenze also has an article marking the occasion. Of course, it is important to note that most of the evidence for evolution and most of our understanding about evolution, dates from after Darwin’s time and represents a confirmation of the central features of his theory. Other articles have also appeared in the press, and the latest issue of Evolution: Education and Outreach is now available.

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  • Jim

    lol. awesome cover.

  • th£ ba$tard


  • AHA! So you admit it!!!! Darwin didn't really understand it and didn't realy prove it. So he was wrong even if he was right!I can see this meme coming. It's probably not very close, because Galileo's enemies have come around to the reluctant admission that he sorta turned out to be kinda right. By accident of course. So they have to grasp at something to show that his persecutors were right and he was wrong; and this is a favorite: he didn't really prove it, so he had no business talking about it.Standard of proof among the religiously opposed to science: you must not say anything upsetting till you can prove it conclusively to its most determined enemies, using knowledge from centuries in the future as necessary.But Darwin's enemies will never weaken and admit he had a point; so maybe this will alway be a fringe position.I guess this is way OT by now, but for the past several years I have been increasingly impressed by the number of parallels in the case. Darwin just had the luck that there was no Pope with the secular power to harass him, and the actual Popes had become too smart for that anyway.

  • That was even more incoherent than I thought it was. Sorry.

  • Jay

    There's a subtle point to the whole Evolution/Creationism battle that almost always gets lost in the shouting: The "controversy" isn't between Evolution and Creationism (or ID, or whatever other guise Creationism is masquerading under this year). The controversy is between various strawman caricatures of Evolution and Creationism. If Evolutionary theory was actually claiming the sorts of things that Comfort, Cameron, Ham, Hovind, The Discovery Institute, and the rest of that crowd say it is, nobody would accept it.