Discussion of NAS Report

Doug Yanega dyanega at MONO.ICB.UFMG.BR
Wed Apr 22 17:12:45 CDT 1998


John Grehan wrote:

>I agree that there is a need for a coherent teaching of evolution, but the
>document did not achieve that for me (others feeling different
>notwithstanding).

Just my two cents, having looked the document over briefly myself - while I
may certainly have missed something, I do think that not enough emphasis
was placed on the demonstrable and quantifiable aspects of evolution, and
too much was simply a matter of saying "So-and-so demonstrated this back in
XXXX". When many folks define evolution as "a change in gene frequencies in
a population over time", it should be rather easy to directly demonstrate
that evolution not only occurs, but is an inevitable feature of life
itself, and yet much of the paper still just reads like a history lesson.
For example, I didn't catch any references, in my reading, to things like
genetic drift or gene flow being modes of evolution, and that sort of
omission is a serious oversight - distinguishing macro- and micro-evolution
(and how one can gather evidence for each) would seem to be essential, no?

Peace,

Doug Yanega    Depto. de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas,
Univ. Fed. de Minas Gerais, Cx.P. 486, 30.161-970 Belo Horizonte, MG   BRAZIL
phone: 031-449-2579, fax: 031-441-5481  (from U.S., prefix 011-55)
                  http://www.icb.ufmg.br/~dyanega/
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82




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