Re: Why did progress fail?, etc

From: Cliff Lundberg (
Date: Wed Jan 05 2000 - 21:46:16 EST

  • Next message: Susan Brassfield: "Re: Why did progress fail?, etc"

    Stephen E. Jones wrote:

    >[No doubt if some of the bacteria survive we will hear all about
    >on the front page of the newspapers, e.g. "Scientific Experiment Proves we
    >Came from Mars!" What is interesting in the shift of the focus of origins-
    >of-life research to space, as science quietly gives up on chemical evolution
    >on Earth, perhaps without ever admitting to the public they were wrong
    >these last 40+ years!]

    I think the shift to space is due to the space bureaucracies, which need
    justifications for funding. The public seems to have accepted paying for
    space operations even though the payoffs have been abstract, so perhaps
    these people are smart to add evolution to the package.

    If the bacteria should survive re-entry by being on the lee side of the
    module, that would be unfortunate for evolutionary biology, as it would
    encourage nebulous notions of extraterrestrial origins, and possibly put
    a damper on conventional approaches.

    >I wonder when some honest leading Darwinist
    >(assuming that is not a contradiction in terms) is going to have the courage
    >to point out to publicly to his colleagues that they are misrepresenting what
    >*really* happened, if they continue claiming that the Board "removed"
    >evolution from the State's curriculum?]

    Let's not get into this 'honesty' stuff. I think it's enough to say that
    the events in Kansas were good for science, and that it's just dumb to
    uncritically accept macroevolution through Darwinian gradualism.

    >[This is great for the environment. But how can these
    >researchers be sure that these new superbugs won't mutate and attack other
    >things, like human beings for example? Note the `design feature' of
    >redundant (`junk'?) DNA!]

    >"In the middle sits the lone figure of Steve Jones, a man so universally
    >sceptical that unless he had his birth certificate he would doubt his own
    >existence." (Hurst L., "The darling of the masses", New Scientist, 6 June
    >1998, p50)

    That birth certificate is a meaningless piece of paper that anybody could
    make up. The matter remains unproven.

    Cliff Lundberg  ~  San Francisco  ~

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