Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Don't confuse myths and science

Opinion: Don't confuse myths and science | Kansan.com:
I would like to compliment Dustin Elliott, a biochemistry major who hails from Overland Park, on being a stunning example of the type of student that will be produced by Kansas schools if science curricula fail to teach the scientific method and instead succumb to the confusion between true science and mythological musings.

In his Nov. 7 article, Elliott correctly states that our understanding of evolution is shaped by the formation and testing of hypotheses.

He fails, however, to hold his own intelligent design “hypothesis” to the same standards, accepting it as “a plausible explanation” of the origins of life on Earth without requiring it to be evaluated by any of the observational and experimental methods employed by true scientists.

Further, he misunderstands basic evolutionary biology. He presents microevolution and macroevolution as competing theories by supporting one and attempting to refute the other.

These two realms of evolutionary biology differ in the time scales at which they investigate evolution, but they go hand-in-hand by linking things like genetic variability and natural selection with processes such as speciation and extinction.

Elliott has glossed over the resounding evidence that supports both micro- and macroevolution while he confuses creation stories with good science.

Heather York Lake Geneva, Wis., Ph.D., Candidate in ecology and evolutionary biology.
Heather is my officemate in the museum.