Thursday, February 12, 2009

The fact of evolution

As has been noted far and wide, today is the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth. To mark it, here's a link to a fascinating 1983 article about Marx and Darwin by the late, great Marxist thinker and writer Sam Marcy. One of the points Sam made is that "scientists debate how evolution occurred, not if it occurred." This is key, I think, in exposing the absurdity of the so-called "creation science" position, if any further exposing is necessary. The religious reactionaries who seek equal public-school time for teaching their favorite mythology as if it were just another among many scientific theories love to talk about "the theory of evolution." Evolution is a fact. Proven over and over again with such an imposing wealth of evidence that there can be no debate. The only theories are about evolution's mechanics--that is, precisely how it works. Me, I find these debates, about the mechanisms of evolution, really really interesting, and love reading about them.

I also loved reading Darwin's own book The Origin of Species, which I tackled two years ago and was surprised to find completely accessible.