This morning driving back from Boston, there was an NPR story about the right to home school. While explaining why homeschooling was a good thing, one of the students said that she was able to study “creationism and the science and biology of it.” Hmmm. As a scientist I have not waded into the creationism/intelligent design morass; but feel a bit like yes, and you can learn that one plus one equals three, but that doesn’t mean its true.
So in light of that sentiment (sort of) here are a couple of quotes from a paper by Russell Powell, The Future of Human Evolution, (British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 2012) which set the stage for Powell’s argument that ultimately evolution is inevitable even for us humans, when some would say that science and technology have all but brought humans to an evolutionary halt:
“It is widely believed that modern human populations are no longer evolving in biologically interesting ways. The claim, to be more precise, is that evolutionary biological mechanisms, including and especially natural selection, will play a negligible part in any explanation of the future genotypic and phenotypic landscape of the human species.”
“The idea that humans have largely escaped the mechanisms of biological evolution that have governed the history of life for 3.5 billion years is an extraordinary claim.”
In the end writes Russell , “I conclude that properly conceived, biological evolution is a permanent and ineradicable fixture of any species, including Homo sapiens.”
I am wondering if these kinds of papers made the “science and biology” reading list of the aforementioned home schooler?