Natural Selection

Michael Behe (Letters, The Scientist, June 9, 1997, page 10) pulls many of the creationists' favorite tricks, albeit understated or in disguise, to sow doubt about evolution. He says that "common descent cannot be conclusively proved." By doing so, he uses the creationist ploy of misstating the way science works. Because science usually speaks in terms of probabilities and the weight of evidence rather than absolute certainties, it's an easy target. Behe also takes a glancing shot at the fossi

Barry Palevitz
Sep 1, 1997

Michael Behe (Letters, The Scientist, June 9, 1997, page 10) pulls many of the creationists' favorite tricks, albeit understated or in disguise, to sow doubt about evolution.

He says that "common descent cannot be conclusively proved." By doing so, he uses the creationist ploy of misstating the way science works. Because science usually speaks in terms of probabilities and the weight of evidence rather than absolute certainties, it's an easy target. Behe also takes a glancing shot at the fossil record, calling it "spotty." Any paleontologist will admit that the record is far from complete, but like a puzzle whose pieces are inexorably filled in, the picture is becoming ever clearer, and that picture is fully consistent with evolution through common descent. It's even more convincing in light of recent work on molecular phylogeny. Behe may be "in the dark," but for nearly all of the biological...

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