Re: Letter to the Editor

Moorad Alexanian (alexanian@UNCWIL.EDU)
Mon, 08 Jun 1998 15:25:31 -0500 (EST)

At 02:08 PM 6/8/98 -0400, James Taggart wrote:
>Moorad wrote:
>>>What would remain of the biological sciences if the whole word
>>>were eliminated from it. I can bet that over 99% would remain intact.
>I wonder. Without the underpinnings implied by evolution (common descent
>implies that similar processes in different living beings work in similar
>ways) the whole biological testing process falls apart. You could not
>expect that the way some medical technique worked in one organizim would
>have any applicabilty to another. It would be like trying to understand
>the effect some process would have on a diesel engine by testing it on a
>light bulb. They are unrelated.

Dear James,

There is no doubt that living things are related to each other and some more
than others. Cosmetologists rely more on dogs than apes when testing the
effect of cosmetics on humans. Does that mean we are closer to dogs than to

>Modern medicine/biology depends significantly on the idea that what happens
>in an e. choli can lead to inferences about what happens in other cells,
>what happens in a mouse can be extrapolated to what is likely to happen in
>a human. If the theory of evolution is not the basis for justifying such
>an inference, then what is?

My point is that all the research that you are indicating has nothing to do
with the past history of the cells but just on the present experiments that
one is performing. I am sure good experimental knowhow is more important
than knowledge of evolutionary theory.

Take care,