Re: Professing evolution column by Maggie Gallagher

From: George Murphy (
Date: Fri Feb 07 2003 - 11:07:46 EST

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    Walter Hicks wrote:
    > One way, I think, to consider this issue is to chose a subject that is
    > not so emotionally charged -- or involving "science vs religion".
    > Consider Quantum Mechanics, for example. I have known many scientists
    > who think that there is something really wrong with that theory. That
    > does not necessarily have any bearing on their understanding of the
    > subject. The reasons may even border on the theological as in in
    > Einstein's "God does play dice" statement.

            The analogy can be pushed a bit farther. Very few trained physicists - none
    that I can think of off hand - doubt that current quantum theory is a good theory which
    provides accurate descriptions & predictions. Where debate arises is with the
    interpretation of the theory, & especially with questions about the measurement process.
    Einstein, e.g., never said that QM wasn't correct as far as it went, but that it was
            Similarly (but now I'm speaking as an outsider) it seems to me that few trained
    biologists doubt that the basic idea of evolution - descent with modification - is
    correct. But controversies arise about the implications of that, especially with regard
    to religion.
            But the analogy is not perfect, because there are debates among evolutionary
    biologists about how the evolutionary process takes place - how significant natural
    selection is &c, how to interpret particular genetic or fossil data &c. & there isn't
    much to correspond to that with QM.

    George L. Murphy

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