Evolution is a Myth

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Ignoring the thankfully rare emergence of monstrosities like Spanish Flu after WWI , the never-ending evolution of the influenza virus is typically modeled as occurring by antigenic drift — a smooth, continuous wander through evolutionary space, finding new places to hide from the immune system.

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But we cannot content ourselves with old narratives just because they are comfortable and familiar. Theoretical epidemiologist Sunetra Gupta presents the case that many infectious diseases, including influenza virus, evolve by the reassembly of old parts from disparate sources , not by a continuous evolutionary stroll somewhere new. Gupta and her group at Oxford contrast the cozy classical notion of antigenic drift with antigenic thrift , which conjures the apposite image of rooting around in a charity shop to find old clothes to make a new outfit. Which view of the evolution of the influenza virus is correct is currently the subject of active and contentious scientific study.

The point is that metaphors have great power in science. The importance of powerful images for the public understanding of science cannot be overstated.

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Previously, the world press treated us to the Late Night Double Feature Picture Show of scientists digging up the graves of corpses in the Arctic permafrost to reanimate in the lab the deadly influenza virus that originally killed them. This remarkable flu study would likely have passed with less fanfare if not for the connection to popular myths.

Thanks Mary Shelley! But we must choose our metaphors wisely, lest we be misled.

The myth of ape-to-human evolution - krusomusnanmu.gq

Edition: Available editions United Kingdom. All we are is just a link in the chain? Chain via www. Sean Nee , Pennsylvania State University. Two views of relationships among contemporary animals known to medieval theologians.

Loch Ness monster cited by US schools as evidence that evolution is myth

Author On the left of this figure is the usual picture of life on Earth, a chain of creatures smoothly lined up from fish, through frogs, lizards and on up to human beings. But what is the figure on the right?

Common Misconceptions About Evolution

It is an important reference source with an excellent bibliography and notes. Wells makes it clear that our early understanding of DNA was incomplete, and genomics research is now revealing levels of control and complexity inside our cells that were undreamed of in the s. Far from providing evidence for Darwinism, the story of non-coding DNA rather serves to increase our appreciation for the design of life. That box is called Darwinian evolution.

In recent years, however, numerous researchers—not necessarily opponents of Darwinian evolution or advocates of intelligent design—have discovered many functions for non-protein coding DNA, which are thoroughly reviewed by Wells in this book. As Wells clearly demonstrates in his book, this dogmatic commitment inhibits the scientific process.

The Understanding Project

Science needs to be guided by objective evaluation of the evidence, and scientists should not allow their thinking to be arbitrarily restricted by dogmatic ideas. We need scientists who think outside the Darwinian box. It is a great read.