The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

Biotechnology, Health and Business in Canada, the United States and Worldwide

Facts, Theories and Minister of State for Science and Technology Gary Goodyear

A couple of particularly well-turned phrases in response to the Gary Goodyear evolution flap from an excellent piece in the Globe and Mail by T. Ryan Gregory (author of the Genomicron blog, which has continued to follow the story) explaining facts, theories and everything in between:

Darwin had two objectives: first, to establish that modern species are related through descent from common ancestors; second, to propose natural selection as the primary cause of this “descent with modification.” As scientists put it, he sought simultaneously to establish both the fact of evolution and a theory of evolution. But how can something be both a fact and a theory? The controversy over science minister Gary Goodyear’s comments about evolution shows the need for clarification….

Evolution is not “just a theory,” any more than germs, atoms or gravity are “just a theory.” The common ancestry shared by all life is the unifying principle of biology, making sense of an otherwise bewildering array of diversity and complexity. Our understanding of how this has occurred is, itself, constantly evolving.


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