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Journal of No. 118


April 28th, 2006

Dove tails evolved to lock together into stronger structures @ 04:35 pm

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Dovetailing nicely with my comments on Laplace (yeah, I know I was really stretching with the L words - OOH, now why didn't I talk about lesbians? Boys love them, girls love them, everybody loves them!) is this commentary essay in Nature Immunology on the role that immunology played in the recent Kitzmiller v. Dover anti-evolution education trial. Here are some of the pull-quotes:

During cross-examination by the plaintiffs' lead counsel Eric Rothschild, Behe [an anti-evolutionist expert on the stand] reiterated his claim about the scientific literature on the evolution of the immune system, testifying that "the scientific literature has no detailed testable answers on how the immune system could have arisen by random mutation and natural selection." Rothschild then presented Behe with a thick file of publications on immune system evolution, dating from 1971 to 2006, plus several books and textbook chapters. Asked for his response, Behe admitted he had not read many of the publications presented (a small fraction of all the literature on evolutionary immunology of the past 35 years), but summarily rejected them as unsatisfactory and dismissed the idea of doing research on the topic as "unfruitful."
Thankfully, there are scientists who do search for answers to the question of the origin of the immune system. It's the immune system. It's our defense against debilitating and fatal diseases. The scientists who wrote those books and articles toil in obscurity, without book royalties or speaking engagements. Their efforts help us combat and cure serious medical conditions. By contrast, Professor Behe and the entire intelligent design movement are doing nothing to advance scientific or medical knowledge and are telling future generations of scientists, don't bother.


If someone believes that one or more gods created life on Earth, that's fine. But denying the facts of evolution is like sticking one's head in the sand, while ignoring a potential source of treatments for disease. The Bible should not be read as a science textbook -- that's not what it is. As Galileo said (paraphrasing a cardinal, if memory serves), "The Bible tells us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go." The Bible is just as useless as a biology textbook as it is an astronomy textbook.
 
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Journal of No. 118