Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Sidenote

Reporters need your help, scientists! I went back and forth with the reporter on the article I just talked about over his definition of evolution. He wanted to put common descent from a single ancestor up front, and I pushed him toward this:
Those tenets are often confused and conflated by creationists and the mainstream press, but they remain the cornerstone of many different scientific fields. The first states that life-forms change over time. It was Darwin's insight that one of the processes producing that change -- natural selection -- relies on variations arising in organisms that are selected for their survival benefit through pressures applied by local environments over succeeding generations. Second, the fossil record and anatomical studies suggest that all species on Earth share common ancestors and can ultimately be traced back to a single common ancestral organism.

I'm sure it isn't perfect, but it's much better. There was a definite "lightbulb moment" in there, when he saw where I was pushing. Evolution isn't about common descent; common descent is a logical consequence of easily demonstrated facts around us.

So when the reporter calls to get a quote on whatever, maybe you should ask how they plan to describe evolution and intelligent design.

And remember to say "ain't."