President Obama has set a breathtaking pace in overturning the most egregious of the flawed and shortsighted approaches of his predecessor to virtually every aspect of presidential leadership including energy, the environment, foreign affairs, health care, and the economy. We can only hope that this momentum can continue as the new President deals with other critical areas neglected and distorted for eight years.
Now is the time to confront one of the major myths perpetuated by the previous anti-intellectual, anti-science regime. Now is the time once and for all to keep science in science class and keep religion out. We have no more time to waste on such false and discredited concepts as so-called "intelligent design," a re-labeled version of "creationism." Evolution is the unifying concept of biology and the explanation of life on this planet.
Let's say this as clearly as possible: There is no debate among reputable scientists as to the fact of evolution. It is the underpinning of modern biology and has been proven over and over again with every new discovery. There is no legitimate alternative to this powerful concept in describing life on earth. The scientific literature is flooded with examples of evolution and its all-encompassing explanation of relationships among living things throughout the history of the world.
"But it's just a theory." In science there is no such thing as just a theory. To most of us a theory is a guess. Not so in science. A theory in science is an explanation of how natural phenomena in the world work based on evidence and observations. A theory must explain new discoveries and stand up to testing. If a theory does not, it must be discarded. The theory of evolution has survived and been strengthened with every test and every new discovery. Evolution is perhaps the most tested, most consistent, and most used theory in science.
"Evolution doesn't explain everything." No, it sure doesn't, nor does it claim to. It only explains the history of life on earth from the time life arose until today. Biological evolution is silent on creation. It only explains with great accuracy what has happened since life first began.
Science is devoted to explaining how the world works. It does not rely on myth, superstition, religion, mysticism, or any other non-provable, non-testable methodology. As that great philosopher Stevie Wonder sang in "Superstition," "When you believe in things that you don't understand, you suffer. Superstition ain't the way."
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