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Quotable Quotes archive › Quotable Quotes

Evolution: superfluous to real biological research

“Surprisingly, however, the most notable aspect of natural scientists in assembly is how little they focus on evolution. Its day-to-day irrelevance is a great ‘paradox’ in biology, according to a BioEssays special issue on evolution in 2000. ‘While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”, most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas”, the editor wrote. “Evolution would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superfluous one.” The annual programs of science conventions also tell the story. When the zoologists met in 1995 (and changed their name to the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology), just a few dozen of the 400 academic papers read were on evolution. The North American Paleontological Convention of 1996 featured 430 papers, but only a few included the word ‘evolution’ in their titles. The 1998 AAS meeting organised 150 scientific sessions, but just 5 focused on evolution—as it relates to biotechnology, the classification of species, language, race and primate families.”

Reference

  1. Witham, Larry A., Where Darwin Meets the Bible: Creationists and Evolutionists in America (hardcover), p. 43, Oxford University Press, 2002. Witham is an anti-creationist. See review by Jerry Bergman, Journal of Creation 17(3):22–24, 2003.

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