Phi Beta Cons

Re: Evolution, Religion, and Academic Scientists

My first comment on that essay has to do with this passage:

What is surprising in all this is how close many creationists have come to Darwinism. Important advocates of ID such as Michael Behe, a professor at Lehigh University (and a witness for the defense in the Harrisburg case), accept that the earth is billions of years old, that evolution has occurred–some of it caused by natural selection — and that many species share common ancestors. In Behe’s view, God’s role in the development of life could merely have been as the Maker of Mutations, tweaking DNA sequences when necessary to fuel the appearance of new mutations and species. In effect, Behe has bought all but the tail of the Darwinian hog.

This is very true. Behe’s The Edge of Evolution actually cleared up some misconceptions I’d had about current evolutionary theory, and I left it more sympathetic to the idea that the evolutionary processes we’ve currently identified — mutation, selection, etc. — can explain all of modern biological reality.

Which leads me to reiterate some advice I have for campus evolutionists: Before sneering at those who question evolutionary theory, try explaining said theory and the evidence for it. You’d be surprised how fruitful such a discussion can be. (It’s rough, though, I know; in college, I was mocked for suggesting not that professors should teach Intelligent Design, but that they should teach why evolution really can explain the things ID folks say it can’t.)


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