The teaching of evolution

Doug Yanega dyanega at POP.UCR.EDU
Sat Oct 9 14:23:15 CDT 1999

Ed Pirog wrote:

>         As an educator I hope you will not mind giving me just one testable
> experiment in macro evolution to support the theory of evolution.

There are many you can do. Take (IIRC) certain Sceloporus lizards, cross a
male of one and a female of the other, and you get a THIRD species - a
species because the hybrid is parthenogentic, and does not exchange genes
with either of its parent lineages. Speciation, observable and replicable.
There are also fish species which do the same thing. Cross species X and Y,
get Z. I also seem to recall that some genera of tree ferns are believed to
be hybrids between two other genera. Maybe someone here can give names and
details, if needed.
        I think it's also not too hard to expose plants to teratogens and
induce polyploidy, which can also create instant species. It happens in
nature, too. These examples certainly satisfy your need to demonstrate
macroevolution in the lab.

>         Please try to understand my point. There should be just as much
>right to
> teach evolution as there is to teach creationism. After all, these are both
> just ideas. One more plausible than the other but still concepts just the

No one is arguing that creationism cannot be taught - simply that it cannot
be taught AS science or in *place* of science. It is not and never will be
a "competing theory", since it deals with an entirely different subject
matter: religion/mythology. It's fine in a humanities curriculum that deals
with cultural sorts of things, but NEVER will be appropriate for
consideration in a science curriculum - nor is it appropriate to allow
creationists to undermine the science curriculum as part of their religious
agenda, as has been done in Alabama, Kansas, and Kentucky.


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521
phone: (909) 787-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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