Evolution stands as legit science
To the editor:
This is a response to Marilyn Sager’s letter entitled “Scientists join to debunk evolution.” Who are the “scientists” that she is referring to? She is not referring to the vast majority, probably more than 99.9 percent, of the world’s scientists, including biologists, biochemists, biophysicists, microbiologists, molecular biologists, geneticists, physiologists, paleontologists, and geologists, to name a few, who overwhelming accept the fact of evolution.
The theory of evolution involves the mechanisms of evolution that includes natural selection as the primary cause. Note that the word theory in science does not connote a hunch or guess (e.g. a theory that a full moon affects one’s dreams), but involves extensive experiments or observations producing an hypothesis that, when confirmed by investigation by independent peers, is then elevated to the status of a theory.
Sager writes: “The most overdue ‘news’ I’ve heard lately is that evolution has been deemed a hoax.” Yes, the word “news” should be in quotes because it’s pseudoscience nonsense. This conference of “scientists” was held in Turkey, a country that rejects evolution because of the religious beliefs of Muslims. The committed “scientists” have a religious agenda based on literal interpretations of religious writings, and seek nothing but confirmation of their biases.
Compare that to real scientists who seek to falsify their findings and have their results checked by other scientists. Accepted theories in science are not absolute, but considered extremely probable and subject to alteration or discarding if evidence so indicates.
Then she uses a Trump-like ad-hominem to declare Ernst Haeckel a fake scientist. He was a highly educated scientist, but as all scientists do, especially in the early days of biological research, he made mistakes that were eventually corrected by other scientists.
Haeckel’s drawings were not intended to be technical and scientific depictions, but rather schematic drawings and reconstructions for a specifically lay audience. Although his drawings are open to criticism, charges of fraud are unreasonable.
The theory of evolution is one of the greatest accomplishments, along with relativity theory, quantum theory, the structure of DNA, immunization against diseases, and other achievements, in the history of science. Theodosius Dobzhansky, prominent geneticist and evolutionary biologist, said “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.”