Drat! Mark Olbert beat me to the punch in his well-written guest perspective criticizing Grocott’s “Doubting Darwin” column the other week. Grocott is apparently trying to resurrect the century old Scopes trial in questioning Darwin’s evolutionary theory, and commented that the door was open to doubt.

Of course, Darwin had doubts. All great scientific minds do. Darwin did not have all the answers when he published “The Origin” in 1859. It was impossible for him to have known about genetics, DNA or the forces that drive mutation. Yet later scientists from almost every discipline have conclusively substantiated Darwin’s original findings.

The writer brings up Darwin’s own doubt about the complex development of the eye, but subsequent examination of early fossils to more complex life forms, that ‘doubt’ has been conclusively resolved. Olbert does an excellent job explaining this survival of the fittest process.

Grocott does not understand that good science utilizes the Baconion, inductive approach: “Science is not a belief to be held, but work to be done,” Bacon wrote, “to begin with doubt is, scientifically, to end in certainty. To begin with certainty is to end in doubt.”

Doubt forces a good scientist to think critically. Grocott, certain in his beliefs, is relieved of that dilemma.

His purpose in doubting Darwin stems from his own righteous conviction, and touts his own religiosity to claim the moral high ground, believing it to be the only framework from which we get our moral values. He hints that evolution should not be taught in schools without countering religious arguments.

Nonsense, evolution is derived from the accumulation of facts, not insufficient evidence.

Kent Lauder


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