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Sunday, December 18, 2005 

Doonesbury does ID


This illustrates nicely what *should* happen, but alas, all that antibiotic resistance stuff is only "microevolution," which even most die-hard young earth creationists (YECs) can accept:
so, no second-thoughts about using modern medicines or vaccines that were developed using evolutionary principles. They just say that the evolution of antibiotic resistance is "evolution within the kind," which is peachy-keen. Of course, no one can say exactly what a "kind" is, and whether it's along the same lines as a "species," "genus," "family," etc. They obviously can't base it just on DNA similarity, either. Though what they will affirm, of course, is that "my grandpa wasn't no monkey!"--but chimps and humans are about 98% similar on the DNA level, while even within a species of bacteria, 2 different isolates can share as little as 70% of their DNA sequences. So, while these 2 isolates of E. coli would certainly be the same "kind" (heck, often you hear of one single "bacterial kind"), the 98% similar humans and chimps are different "kinds."

You may think the IDists are better--but not really. At least the YECs are fairly consistent in their position, while some IDists won't even go on record as accepting an old earth; some have said they don't believe in common ancestry, while some, like Behe, have said they do--but, y'know, God (oops, The Designer) just tinkered with certain parts along the way. Even the examples IDists use--bacterial flagella, blood clotting--would be examples of "microevolution," which even YECs accept in theory, yet the IDists feel those scenarios couldn't have happened without some kind of external intelligent guidance.

*scientist head go boom*

Edited to add: PZ weighs in, touching on similar points. Sadly, I think he manages to attribute a silver lining to the situation. (Okay, maybe a bronze one). I *must* be sleep-deprived when PZ is more optimistic than I am, yikes!


About me

  • I'm Tara C. Smith
  • From Iowa, United States
  • I'm a mom and a scientist, your basic stressed-out, wanna-have-it-all-and-do-it-all Gen Xer. Recently transplanted from Ohio to Iowa, I've spent most of my life in the midwest (with 4 years of college spent out east in "soda" territory). My main interest, and the subject of my research, is infectious disease: how does the microbe cause illness? What makes one strain nasty, and another "avirulent?" Are the latter really not causing any disease, or could some of those be possible for the development of chronic disease years down the road? Additionally, I've spent a lot of time discussing the value of teaching evolution, and educating others about "intelligent design" and other forms of creationism. My interest in history of science and medicine is also useful as a way to tie all of the above interests together. [Disclaimer: the views here are solely my own, and do not represent my employer, my spouse, that guy who's always sitting by the fountain when I come into work, or anyone else with whom I may be remotely affiliated.]
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