Sunday, April 25, 2010

Attacking Darwin is Sooo Irrelevant ....

No really it is. And why you ask?

Darwin's book, Origin of Species, was originally published in 1859. For the next fourteen years, Darwin edited his own work, radically changing some parts and at times removing them completely. Ben Fry created an awesome web site where you can track the changes made. It's a really fun site, check it out. So, Darwin himself continued to change, or dare I say evolve, his own theory throughout his life.

From the moment Darwin published his ground breaking work, scientists examined and tested it. They continue to do so today. His theory became a global topic, and still is. Most importantly, his theory, through being repetitively tested, has been refined and cleaned up so that we have the finely hammered out version we have today...thanks to the Scientific Method.

So now that we've got that out of the way, let me really begin.

Recently a certain argument has begun to drive me crazy, that being that something, somewhere in the Darwin's Origin of Species was wrong.

And? What's your point?

Ok, so somewhere in a book that is 150 years old a guy using some outdated scientific methods got something, usually unrelated to his main theory, wrong? That's your reason for ignoring the some 1000 or more modern scientific texts that have tested and proven the main theory of said 150 year old book, and found it valid? Really?

Recently, the observation was made that Creationists seem to think that Origins is our bible. That they seem to think I spend my days and night pouring over the pages, memorizing passages, and finding some spiritual comfort from the words. It really struck me to think that one over.

Honestly, the last time I even cracked open a copy of Origins was to double check a single passage quoted at me by a Creationist. I can't say I've even read Origins all the way through, not even in college where I learned about Evolution. The fact that a Creationist appeared to know more about Origins than I did bothered me, until I realized that it's irrelevant.

The Theory of Evolution, Darwin's main point in Origins, is beyond Darwin. It is more than one man, its more than one book. The Theory of Evolution is a time tested, scientifically valid theory, of which we have more evidence to support than the Theory of Gravity. The Theory of Evolution has evolved past Darwin, the problems examined, and the kinks worked out. Thanks to 150 years of scientific examination, evolution is one of the most sound theory in science, used in nearly every field of science from medicine to Anthropology. It doesn't matter if 150 years ago, Darwin forgot to put a comma in a sentence. It doesn't matter if he made some horribly quote-mined and out of context comment about an eye. Evolution still holds, its still valid, and all your misquotes and paraphrasing isn't going to change that.

So, in conclusion, attacking Darwin, or any of his books doesn't amount to a hill of beans. I don't need to have memorized a 150 year old book to understand how evolution works. I have an education, I have an understating of the scientific method. I know how this stuff works. I know that a single quote-mined passage from 150 years ago will never invalidate 150 years worth of scientific testing. Get over it.

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