Alternative Evolutionary Questions

jungck at BELOIT.EDU jungck at BELOIT.EDU
Wed Apr 5 19:56:28 EST 1995


Kevin Almloff (kalmloff at sky.net) wrote:
: Could someone please recomend  a couple good books on evolution.  I need
to 
: give a persuasive speech (Pro evelution) in mid-May and need to do some 
: research.

: Thanks,
:        Kevin


Try a book called evolution by Ridley (Matt I think) or Evolution : a
biological and geological perspective by the OU course team ed. by Peter
Skelton or Paleobiology: a synthesis  DEG Briggs and PR Crowther (eds).
Enjoy
PG
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Paul Davis                         |    I always thought there was
something
Dept. of Geology                   |	fundamentally wrong with the universe
Uni of Bristol                     |
England                            |	Arthur Dent - Philosopher and
e-mail paul.davis at bristol.ac.uk    |    wearer of dressing gowns
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--

Dear Kevin Almloff and Paul Davis as well as other evolutionary biologists
who have to address challenges to evolution:

I share below a small contribution that I published in Bioscene: Journal of
College Biology Teaching.  I intended it as an alternative "taking the
floor" with a set of challenges to them rather than having to maintain a
defensive posture or getting dragged into religious territories.  I'd
appreciate feedback. I am an old member of the Committees of Correspondance
and have dealt with these issues in roughly this fashion since about 1970.

 Ten Questions for Creationist Policy Makers

How will you prepare for vast epidemics in which none of our current
antibiotics work because of the evolution of resistance to antibiotics in
bacteria?

Who will you expect to pay for more and more pesticides, herbicides and
fertilizers on our farms? Will intensive monoculture be allowed to
completely destroy the  diversity in intercropping, permaculture and
perrennial polyculture?

How will selective breeding of domestic plants and animals be performed
scientifically, if quantitative and population genetics do not inform the
research?

When the next energy crisis hits, will petroleum geologists be encouraged
to use fossil dating of geological strata and identification of ancient
biota?

Are you prepared for a "greenhouse effect" or other global problems
associated with destruction of tropical forests and extinction of many,
many species within them?

Sanitation, nutrition and vaccination have been the three primary
contributers to modern health.  Will researchers who investigate AIDS and
other infectious diseases be allowed to use the "clonal selection theory"
to continue to guide their research in immunology?

Biotechnology promises many new products such as hormones,
neurotransmitters, non-addictive analgesics, enzymes, diagnostic probes,
monoclonal antibodies, etc.  The most difficult part of most cloning
research is usually to select for  microorganisms that possess particular
characters of interest; will this selectionist process be evolutionarily
informed? 

Personal hygiene involves  the use of many personal products which strongly
affect the evolutionary ecology of the flora living on your skin, teeth,
hair, and mucous membranes.  Susceptibility to many diseases is coordinated
with the relationships among populations of microorganisms which may be
eliminated by too frequent use of strong soaps, mouth washes, etc. What
theories will inform sensible hygiene?

If mutation as an evolutionary force is denied, are you prepared to deal
with the increased deaths due to cancer and birth defects associated with
"Love Canal", "Bhopal", "Three Mile Island", "Chernobyl", "Nagasaki", and
"Hiroshima"?

Will  this country allow the segregation of haves and have nots in
education and power of knowledge to continue?  Those students from upper
middle class suburban high schools and elite private academies will have
the background in evolutionary biology, geology and paleontology,
astronomy, history, archaeology, etc. to get jobs in industry, government
and academia while those inner city and rural school students whose local
school boards enforce a creationist education will not even be considered.

John R. Jungck
Department of Biology
Beloit College
700 College Street
Beloit, Wisconsin 53511 
*************************************************
John R. Jungck                                  *
Department of Biology                           *
Beloit College                                  *
700 College Street                              *
Beloit, WI 53511                                *
(608)-363-2267 office                           *
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