There is a really interesting news/opinion article in Nature today discussing the need for scientists to defend evolution. I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Garwood on every one of his points. It is dangerous, as well as often fruitless and disheartening, to try to engage creationists directly. However, the internet is a strong tool that could be used much more effectively by scientists when it comes to disseminating and presenting their research to non-scientists. Dr. Garwood writes, “If research is to appear that will attract an obvious creationist interpretation, an accompanying blog post could explain the work and highlight flaws in any anti-evolution attacks.” I think this is a good idea, as it would give the authors of potentially controversial articles an opportunity to re-state their findings without all of the jargon.
Why haven’t scientists been defending themselves all this time?, you might ask. The reason is that from a scientists’ perspective, the evidence speaks for itself. Usually all biologists are arguing about is an interpretation of the evidence, and the interpretations that are being thrown around are fairly miniscule in scale, at least for the average person. What I mean is that the controversy surrounding the feathered dinosaur are not about whether or not evolution occurred; they’re about details regarding the precise trajectory of evolution and its timing.
I hope my blog will serve a similar purpose to what Dr. Garwood is advocating in this article; hopefully I will be able to clarify and ‘translate’ some of the hot topics in science so that everyone can understand them. Therefore, if you don’t think I’ve explained myself clearly or if you have specific questions, please leave comments or feedback–I’d love to hear from you!