Sunday, November 30, 2008

Understanding Evolution

Ran across an interesting site, Understanding Evolution, hosted by, which shouldn't be a surprise and one I am sure die-hard anti-evolutionists will ignore simply because of the host. But anyone who wishes to get a little better versed in Evolution, this one and my other favorite Evolution, from, are two places they can go. I know I visit them when I am looking for a different angle on explaining something.

For example a common question is "Why is Evolution important?" Now when asked by a die-hard anti-evolutionist no answer will be acceptable. I know that and I am sure you know that. But to anyone who is actually interested in the subject some parts of the answer might surprise you. I mean most folks, like myself, who address this question tends to think agriculture and medicine.

Those aren't the only answers, just two of the most obvious answers. Here is an interview with Massimo Pigliucci, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at State University of New York. He addresses agriculture and medicine, and he paints an even broader picture in those disciplines. In fact he reminded me of something I read years ago -- why did Darwin call "Natural Selection" by that term. He was contrasting it to "Artificial Selection", the specific breeding of plants and animals for preferred attributes. He also stressed that it's not just medicine, but the understanding and development of disease that demands understanding evolution. Some of the advances in evolution were made while studying disease and disease vectors, not just potential treatments.

But then he goes into other areas, including Conservation and Ecology, Biotechnology, and even understanding ourselves. Interesting article and anytime someone asks the value of evolution, you can be armed with much more to tell them. I know, nay-sayers will try and downplay the whole issue, but the irony just kills me. I mean how many times in recent months have I seen someone post anti-science rhetoric while using a computer -- a scientific development. I bet the person has no problem eating meat, vegetables, and fruits that are a direct result of evolutionary sciences as well.

I have a lot of fun when someone points to the Banana as proof of the existence of God, when the banana that we eat today is the result of artificial selection for centuries. In fact the modern yellow banana that many of us enjoy cannot exist in nature because without human intervention, it cannot reproduce on it's own any longer. Gotta love the irony in that. I saw a Cameron/Ray Comfort video that I first thought was a joke, but these two are serious -- they think the Banana is "The Atheist's Nightmare". Well here is a link that explains some of the problems with Kirk and Ray silliness.

In fact the banana is a great example of why Evolution is important us. But it also shows the lengths some people will go to to try and debunk Evolution. That's why I blog, to counter bad information with good!

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