Monday, February 14, 2005

Evolution Project

Following up on an idea at Pharyngula (starting here), I want to document the following statement.

Creationists like to say that evolution’s influence is dying and that it is of little importance to doing biology. They take advantage of the layperson’s lack of familiarity with the scientific literature to argue that evolution has little relevance, or that Dobzhansky’s aphorism that “nothing makes sense in biology except in the light of evolution” is false. Anyone who actually reads the biological literature, though, will come away with exactly the opposite impression: the journals are full of references to evolution, even in disciplines and journals that don’t have “evolution” in their title. The concept is central; it’s as ubiquitous as references to “genes”.


Actually, I'm lazy, so I want you to help.

I've set up a new blog, The Evolution Project. I've also, for completeness, set up The Non-Evolution Project. People can add comments here, email me, or leave comments at those sites.

Submissions can be brief, and refer to either a news item, or a journal article. The Evolution Project will classify this research in two categories:
  • Research that is explicit in its discussion of evolution, proposing evolutionary connections or even testing evolutionary hypotheses. The evolutionary aspect may not be the major point of the paper, but it is discussed.

  • Research treating evolution as implicit; it may work with molecules homologous between different species, but without specifically address evolutionary ideas. This is not to say that they have a lesser commitment to evolution, but more that they take it for granted.

The Non-Evolutionary Project will, if such research comes into existence, document research that that directly discusses Intelligent Design or other anti-evolutionary ideas about science. I encourage submissions to both.