Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Sheboygan Press of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. It’s titled Even biologists not sold on neo-Darwinian view. An icon at the start of the letter will get you to the newspaper’s comments feature.
Because today’s writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is David. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!
Mr. Lester Williams recently wrote in a letter to the editor about evolution: “We know that this is true because there is much empirical evidence to prove it.”
This is the letter David is talking about: Faith and science are mutually exclusive. It’s pretty good, but David doesn’t like it. Here’s what he says:
Perhaps he [the earlier letter-writer] would like to hear what some evolutionary biologists have to say on the subject.
We’d be much more interested in seeing some evidence that disproves evolution, but if quotes are all David has to offer, we’ll take a look. You probably already know what’s coming, and you won’t be disappointed. Here it comes:
English biologists Mae-wan Ho and Peter Saunders are quoted in the book, “Darwin’s Black Box,” by Dr. Michael Behe, Professor of Biochemistry at Lehigh University, as follows: “It is now approximately half a century since the neo-Darwinian synthesis was formulated. A great deal of research has been carried on within the paradigm it defines. Yet the successes of the theory are limited to the minutiae of evolution, such as the adapted change in coloration of moths, while it has remarkably little to say on the questions which interest us most, such as how there came to be moths in the first place.” (p.28).
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! David gives us a quote from a creationist book by Discoveroid Michael Behe. We’ll ignore it and read on:
On page 29 of the same book, Dr. Jerry Coyne, Professor of Ecology & Evolution at the University of Chicago, is quoted as saying, “We conclude — unexpectedly — that there is little evidence for the neo-Darwinian view. It’s theoretical foundations and the experimental evidence supporting it are weak.”
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We’re not going to chase down that quote either. We’re confident that Coyne isn’t being quoted accurately. Oh, all right, we’ll look it up. It’s number 4.10 in the TalkOrigins Quote Mine Project, and you’ll have to scroll down to find it. David continues:
Dr. Lynn Margulis, Distinguished University Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts, was quoted on page 26 of the same book: “History will ultimately judge neo-Darwinism as a minor 20th Century religious sect within the sprawling religious persuasion of Anglo-Saxon biology.”
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s David’s third quote from Behe’s magic book — and they’re all in pages 26-29. Great research! We Googled around briefly, and apparently that quote isn’t quite her position — see Lynn Margulis on Evolution as a Religious Sect. She’s no longer around to defend herself — see NCSE’s article from 2011: Lynn Margulis dies, which says: “Her proclivity for such unconventional evolutionary mechanisms allowed her to be steadily misrepresented by antievolutionists hoping to convince the public that evolution is a theory in crisis. But Margulis firmly rejected creationism … .”
Here’s the end of David’s letter:
I do agree with Mr. Williams [the earlier letter-writer] on one thing, though: “You can believe what you want, but your belief does not make it true.” Amen, brother.
So there you are, dear reader. David has Behe, and we have reality. Which is right? It’s so difficult to decide.
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