[Taxacom] evolution education

Frederick W. Schueler bckcdb at istar.ca
Mon Feb 7 11:22:31 CST 2011

On 2/7/2011 10:16 AM, fautin at ku.edu wrote:
> I learned from Genie Scott how pernicious it is to speak or write of
> "believing in evolution."  Unlike religion, it is not a matter of belief
> -- it is a matter of persuasion by evidence.

* but just as science can be diversely defined - 
http://pinicola.ca/kitchen.htm#scidef - "belief" can include the results 
of both faith and of persuasion (and of course every belief is a mixture 
of  different proportions of these).

It may be nicer to say that "biological data are best explained by 
evolutionary hypotheses" but this means that one "believes that there's 
no real alternative to believing that evolution has occurred," which is 
easily blurred into the more tawdry "belief in evolution." This slides 
the phrase over towards the faith-based kind of belief embodied by 
"believe in God," or "believe in UFO's," which are rather different from 
"believing that Pongo is the sister-group of Homo."

In this case, it's not a question of what one would write or say 
oneself, but how it's best to reply when a naive or hostile questioner 
asks: "Do you believe in evolution?"

          Frederick W. Schueler & Aleta Karstad
Bishops Mills Natural History Centre - http://pinicola.ca/bmnhc.htm
now in the field on the Thirty Years Later Expedition -
Daily Paintings - http://karstaddailypaintings.blogspot.com/
     RR#2 Bishops Mills, Ontario, Canada K0G 1T0
   on the Smiths Falls Limestone Plain 44* 52'N 75* 42'W
    (613)258-3107 <bckcdb at istar.ca> http://pinicola.ca/

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