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: New England Aquarium offering penguins 'honeymoon suites'

Related Stories

Quantum dot TVs are unveiled at China tech expo

3 hours ago

At this month's China Information Technology Expo (CITE) event, a headline-maker was the launch of quantum dot televisions, by QD Vision and Konka, the consumer electronics company. QD Vision's calling card ...

A call to US educators: Learn from Canada

5 hours ago

As states and the federal government in the U.S. continue to clash on the best ways to improve American education, Canada's Province of Ontario manages successful education reform initiatives that are equal parts cooperation ...

Recommended for you

Fish found in suspected tsunami debris boat quarantined

Apr 17, 2015

The wreckage of a fishing boat that appears to be debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami was carrying some unexpected passengers—fish from Japanese waters—when it was spotted off the Oregon coast.

Telling the time of day by color

Apr 17, 2015

Research by scientists at The University of Manchester has revealed that the colour of light has a major impact on how the brain clock measures time of day and on how the animals' physiology and behavior adjust accordingly. ...

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...

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.