crypto and public policy

The Beauty of Evolution

Filed under: General May 15, 2005 @ 11:43 pm

The Kansas Board of Education is redefining science. According to them, evolution is a hotly contested theory among scientists. Other theories, like creationism (now marketed as intelligent design), should be taught alongside evolution, they claim.

One wonders about the obvious contradiction of (1) stating the intelligent design is a science and (2) redefining the term science itself, all in one swoop. But the problem, of course, is much more profound. The thing about evolution is not just that it’s an accepted theory, one that has developed strongly supported answers to the harshest critics, like how could an eye evolve? The fact of the matter is, that evolution explains so much, it is at the heart of all modern biology.

Over the past year, I’ve been taking classes at the Harvard Medical School to get back into genetics, a subject that’s always fascinated me. My last academic experience with biology was in 1998, as an MIT undergraduate minoring in the field, before the completion of the Human Genome Project. The amount of progress made since then is, in every way, enormous. We — and by we, I mean we, humans and scientists — now know the entire human genome sequence, and we’ve characterized a large portion of the genes that make it up. We’ve sequenced more than 20 other organisms. We’re working on understanding the genetic evolution of dog breeds.

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