Re: "Before Darwin," in which Eric Smith argues that simple metabolic processes likely explain how life emerged,
To the contrary, a variety of pathways, reactions, and enzymes are being discovered
University of Connecticut
I found the article disappointing. What good is it to use so many words to say...
Why national laboratories
In Steven Wiley's column, "Why national laboratories?"
Anil Vishnu Moharir
Indian Agricultural Research Institute
New Delhi, INDIA
firstname.lastname@example.org. S. Wiley, "Why national laboratories?" The Scientist, 22(6):32—8, June 2008.
Tribute: Gunther Stent
I was an undergraduate in Gunther Stent's molecular biology course at University of California, Berkeley, in the mid- to late-1960s.
The Research & Education Institute for Texas Health Resources
RussellPoland@texashealth.org1. E. Zielinska, "Molecular biologist Gunther Stent dies," The Scientist News Blog, June 19, 2008, www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54757
Learning from creationists?
Gordy Slack is misguided in his view that neocreationists have some good points to make.
I agree that there are big questions that evolution has yet to answer, but the central tenet of ID creationism states that it already has the answer for any and all of the "big questions" — its infamous, yet elusive, "designer." Science and scientists ask the big questions; ID creationists merely start with an answer and fit, bend, and twist the evidence to suit their viewpoint.
I am happy to have people profess faith, no matter their position, but I do object to them seeking to impose that faith on others, something the creationist movement wishes to do.
University of Sussex
Whether evolutionists are humble has nothing to do with the validity of the theory. Science will never have all the answers to any question — so what? The cell is more complicated than Darwin could have imagined — so what? Some followers of evolution are blind followers — so what?
This was well thought out and well said. I'm also on the side of evolution, certainly not the creationists. But there's a real danger in unconditionally shutting out other points of views, even in (maybe especially in) science. I know there are many crackpots out there, and even more smart people who simply go the wrong way. So, hire "creationists" for a biology department? No. But, equally, don't shout them down, either, because of your fear, which is what it is.
West Lafayette, IN
In the few times that The Scientist publishes on this issue there is always the insistence that an obvious political compromise can be reached with the antievolution education campaign that will make everyone happy. This is not a polite academic discussion. This is a propaganda war in which the antievolution campaign will stoop to any low necessary to misrepresent science and the scientific community. Yes, intolerant atheists are waging an antireligion campaign that blurs/removes the line between science and spiritual philosophy, but that doesn't make fundamentalist lies about biology any more acceptable.
Rhode Island Hospital
To call ID an "improbable outlying hypothesis" is giving the believers of this religious ideology way too much credit. A hypothesis is a tentative explanation for a phenomenon that can be tested by further investigation, which is exactly what leads to the requirement that ID not be included in science class discussions. In my opinion, there are few better ways to further reduce the credibility of science in this country.
University of Colorado
email@example.com. G. Slack, "What neocreationists get right," The Scientist News Blog, June 20, 2008, www.the-scientist.com/news/display/54759
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