Darwin’s continuing relevance

Dear Editor:

 

I wish to offer a response to the essay “Evolution and I” by Abraham Rempel in the Spring 2015 issue of The Torch.

 

Mr. Rempel advances the propositions that (1) Darwin’s theory of the origin of species by natural selection is “a failed theory” and that (2) it should be replaced by a “compelling” theory labeled “Intelligent Design.” Neither of these propositions are supported by modern science.

 

Over the past 150 years, a veritable mountain of factual evidence has accrued from multiple diverse fields including genomics, embryology, paleontology and geology, all of which convincingly affirm the validity of the basic principles laid forth by Charles Darwin. Far from being a “failed theory,” it is the foundation of modern biology.

 

As to the credibility of “intelligent design”, it was discredited as a scientific theory ten years ago. I refer you to the book Monkey Girl by Edward Humes (2006). This book is a thorough 350-page examination and report of the attempt of a “creationist” dominated school board in Dover, PA in 2005 to impose the teaching of intelligent design to the ninth grade biology class using the text Of Pandas and People. Intelligent design was characterized by this board as a scientific theory that merited a place on equal terms with Darwin’s Theory. A group of parents and science teachers sued to oppose this action. After a six-week trial, Judge John Jones ruled that “Intelligent design is a religious view, a mere relabeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory.” As such, it would be a violation of the First Amendment if it were to be embedded in a school science class.

 

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored or denied.” Aldous Huxley.

 

George Edwin Bunce

Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA