And let us conclude the week’s blogging with some wise words from the Financial Times:
Yet at the beginning of the 21st century, evolution is under sustained attack from creationist theories inspired by fundamentalist religion — sometimes dressed in scientific clothing as “intelligent design”. Opinion polls show that more Americans believe in Biblical creation than evolution, and even in Europe’s relatively secular societies a growing minority rejects Darwin.
Many scientists and liberal politicians regard the rising creationist tide as a side-show that they can safely ignore. They are wrong, for several reasons. Wide areas of research, from biology to cosmology, would suffer directly if it became politically difficult for governments to fund fields that depend on such a basic a part of science as evolution. The cost would be economic as well as intellectual.
But Darwin is also worth defending because attacks on evolution symbolise a wider and more varied assault on policies based on evidence rather than prejudice. Some of this assault comes from the same religious forces as creationism — think, for example, of those ranged against embryonic stem cell research. Sheer ignorance plays a role too and so do the mass media.