I just finished reading Sean Carroll’s book The Making of the Fittest. Subtitled “DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution”, it’s the follow-on book to Endless Forms Most Beautiful. In this book Carroll devotes several chapters to demonstrating how, against our natural intuition, there really is enough time (given a few hundred million years) for DNA to mutate bit by bit and still make amazing new structures like eyeballs, wings, and that pink dangly thing that hangs at the back of your mouth.
Carroll also points out that while almost everything is in flux, genetically speaking, there are some stretches of DNA so crucial to life that they never change. Which is to say, they can’t change because any variation would be fatal. Here, for example, is a six amino acid stretch that has been found in every single living thing: KNMITG. It’s an immortal sequence, unvarying across more than a billion years.
The last chapter deals with the controversies associated with teaching evolutionary theory in public schools. This is well-traveled ground, but it got me thinking about how much the opponents of evolution focus on man, monkeys, and biology class. But shouldn’t they be attacking geology too? Some of them do, insisting, for example, that the Grand Canyon formed during Noah’s flood. But it seems that a serious and consistent creationist ought to stick those little “this is only a theory” labels in every science book on the shelf. The astronomy book, the geology book, the physics book, they should all be thrown out the window along with The Origin of Species. Why is poor old Darwin always taking the heat?
2 thoughts on “Evolution and geology”
“But it seems that a serious and consistent creationist ought to stick those little “this is only a theory” labels in every science book on the shelf. The astronomy book, the geology book, the physics book, they should all be thrown out the window along with The Origin of Species. Why is poor old Darwin always taking the heat?”
They do, and because it’s his fault.
The serious “Young-Earth” Creationists see scientific thought as an offshoot of theology, which must then follow the same rules as theology. Creationism is based on the whole of the Bible being a single scientific theory; therefore, any other scientic theory must be all-encompassing. Listening to Christian radio, I’ve heard many times the Big Bang, radiodating, plate tectonics, and black holes decried as “Evolutionism”. To them evolution goes against (some part of) Creationism and Creation explains everything, so Evolutionism must explain everything, too. They see Darwin as our Martin Luther, and let me tell you, they go on and on about Martin Luther…
This was posted to MadSci, yesterday.
Subject: How accurate is radiometric dating
Grade level: 7-9 School: Meredith Middle School
City: Middletown State/Province: DE
I looked on the internet and saw that one of the reasons that evolutionist say
that the earth is 4.5 billion years old is because of radiometric dating. I was
wondering how accurate that is because i know that there are some assumptions
that are made when it’s being done.
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