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Evolving the argument

To the editor,

As an educator, I feel it is important to address some of the questions David Rimmington poses at the end of his letter in last week's issue, responding to Tim Bousquet's movie review of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, June 26.

Rimmington asks how did a single-celled organism ever know it wanted to become a dog? Quite simply, it didn't. Cells carry a set of genetic instructions in the form of DNA to create other cells, but there is no plan to further shape themselves into other organisms. The process of natural selection, fuelled by random genetic mutation, results in slight, almost imperceptible changes that, over millions and millions of generations coupled with millions of years in time, has resulted in the biodiversity we see around us. That's what the evidence supports so far.

Rimmington asks does a house simply throw itself together without an architect? Of course not, but a house is an inanimate object and its component parts do not have the ability to self-assemble compared to a living cell. Therefore the analogy is not appropriate. Rimmington says he believes in natural selection, but doesn't believe everything came from nothing. It's vitally important for the public to understand that the science of evolution has very little to do with origins.

Evolution attempts to explain why organisms do what they do, how they do it and how they adapt and change over time to fit their environments. It's important to note that just because science has not answered the question of how life originated, it doesn't mean it won't be answered in the future. Science as we know it is a relatively young human endeavour. The structure of DNA was only determined 50 years ago, but it is now a ubiquitous part of our culture. Who knows what the next 50 years will bring?

Readers can visit to find out more about the so-called blacklisted scientists. --

By --Todd Bishop


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