Thursday, December 09, 2004


One of my many interests is the so-called debate between Evolution and Creationism going on in society. I say so-called because as a matter of science there is no debate, Evolution has won solidly and Creationism is an odd, essentially anti-science position pushed by a political religious faction advancing its own agenda. I'm interested in the various forms of argument presented by the Creationists and how they contrast with my experience and familiarity with scientific discussions. I also feel that this Evolution vs Creationism argument mirrors very closely the political and social divisions going on the country today. In future posts I will talk about the relationship between Creationism (and Intelligent Design) and current politics.

Note also among my links are some of the more important sites dealing with this controversy.

Right now though, I would like to bounce an idea I have off of biologists, if there are any around. One of the most often phrases in the E/C debate is Herbert Spencer's summary of Evolution as "Survival of the fittest". This is a useful mnemonic for the whole of evolutionary theory (not surprisingly you don't capture the whole of such a complex theory in four words) but is often misleading. I think that a better, although longer and more technical phrase would be "Heritable characteristics interacting with a local environment are a major determinant as to which organisms leave many offspring and which leave few". Much wordier, but to my understanding it captures Natural Selection pretty well. The opinion of a biologist would be greatly appreciated.



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