The (non)Heuristic Value of Evolution
|December 19, 2008||Posted by DonaldM under Biology, Darwinism, Evolution, Intelligent Design, Science|
Theodosius Dobzhansky once famously said that “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” Except, of course, when biology doesn’t need to even consider evolution, which for practicle purposes is most of the time.
Today, I had the privilege to have lunch with a research scientist who works in the area of bio-pharmaceuticals for a pharmaceutical company. He told me about their research with proteins and genes that enable them to develop products that alleviate or cure a wide range of diseases at the cellular level. Of great value to the research they do was the Human Genome Project because it made available the entire database to whoever needed it. That information enabled them to move several projects forward.
He knew from our conversation that I had been involved in the Intelligent Design/Evolution debate, so I asked him
what role evolution played in all thier research. Now, this is a research facility that is carrying on a huge number of projects across a number of areas in cellular biology, bio-chemistry, hemotology, oncology and other related areas. He said that evolution plays no role whatsoever in their research and that evolutionary theory doesn’t make one whit of difference to the outcome of any of their research projects and never has. To clarify, I said, “so the heuristic value of evolutionary theory to your biological research is….” and he answered “Nil!”.
Perhaps its time to reconsider Dobzhansky’s famous quote. How about “Nearly everything in biology makes sense apart from evolution.” At least, that seems to be the case for real scientists working in real labs doing all sorts of fruitful research.