Scientists consider Darwin's contribution

Feb 12, 2008

Charles Darwin's upcoming 200th birthday is prompting some U.S. scientists to consider the Victorian-era naturalist's contribution to modern science.

Kevin Padian, a University of California, Berkeley paleontologist, said the coming bicentennial of Darwin's birth is the ideal time "to reflect on just what constitutes Darwin's enduring greatness in Western thought," the San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday.

"Perhaps no individual has had such a sweeping influence on so many facets of social and intellectual life," Padian wrote in an essay published in this month's issue of the journal Nature.

Padian wrote Darwin "has been invoked as the demon responsible for a variety of heartless ills of society," including atheism, Nazism, communism, abortion, homosexuality, stem cell research and same-sex marriage.

Among Darwin's critics are creationists, who insist the Bible's descriptions of the world's beginning are literally true, and some scientists who argue that life is the product of intelligent design.

Padian, a professor of integrative biology at Berkeley, is president of the National Center for Science Education, an Oakland, Calif., watchdog group that monitors controversies over evolution in schools.

"Finding the genetic basis of evolutionary development is really amazing," Padian said, "and it vindicates Darwin's view of the tree of life completely."

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Biologist reels in data to predict snook production

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Major breakthrough could help detoxify pollutants

4 hours ago

Scientists at The University of Manchester hope a major breakthrough could lead to more effective methods for detoxifying dangerous pollutants like PCBs and dioxins. The result is a culmination of 15 years of research and ...

Recommended for you

Team advances genome editing technique

9 hours ago

Customized genome editing – the ability to edit desired DNA sequences to add, delete, activate or suppress specific genes – has major potential for application in medicine, biotechnology, food and agriculture.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

bigwheel
1 / 5 (1) Feb 12, 2008
Study your history, he gave us hilter, then the anti black/anti
retarded organization in this country that became planned parenthood. great guy, you morons
fredrick
1 / 5 (1) Feb 13, 2008
wow.
Breathtaking naivety there. Truly breathtaking.
The attitude is awe-inspiring as well.


I'm sure in 200 years everyone will be reflecting on Bigwheel's contribution to science. Hell, I'd be surprised if someone hadn't already started counting...