Feedback 13 May 2002 Positive

Appreciated Dr Wieland's response to Drs Gravendeel

Thank you for printing Dr. Carl Wieland's point-by-point response to Drs. Gravendeel's ‘critique’ of Dr. Wieland's article regarding the latest homo-erectus fossil find.

As I read Drs. Gravendeel's ‘critique’ it became increasingly clear that his argument was with the essence of Dr. Wieland's article rather than the substance of it.

For me the telling point was where Gravendeel, while claiming to speak on behalf of ‘evolution,’ objected to Dr. Wieland's reference to homo-erectus as ‘subhuman’ because the term supposedly implies that modern humans are ‘better’ than ‘earlier humans.’ While Dr. Wieland's point that ‘evolution’ is too loose of a concept for anyone to claim with specificity what ‘evolution teaches,’ Gravendeel's comment does reveal a common thread to evolutionary thinking which holds that human beings are no ‘better’ than lima beans or any other organism caught up in the purposeless journey called ‘evolution.’

His previous point notwithstanding, Drs. Gravendeel goes on to use the common term ‘sub-species’ without concern for any qualitative implications associated with the term. Clearly, Drs. Gravendeel's ‘critique’ was intended to shed smoke, not light.

Published: 4 February 2006