What do Steve Jones and Hans Christian Andersen have in common? They both tell great fairy tales.
Evolutionary geneticist Steve told a beauty in his latest article Islam, Charles Darwin and the denial of science published in The Telegraph on 3 December 2011. Here is how he starts:
The story began long ago, when our ancestors were fish. …
Our ancestors were fish?! You must agree that is an imaginative story! But Steve is serious and he gets upset because some of his students at University College London don’t believe him.
Some [muslim students], unfortunately, refuse to accept Darwin’s theory on faith grounds, as do some of their Christian fellows.
But why should anyone accept Darwin’s theory on faith grounds? (Sorry, couldn’t resist that.) Steve should provide evidence. What evidence does he give that molecules once turned into a living, self-replicating cell—presto? (It had to be “presto” because all the interdependent, nano-machinery had to appear suddenly at the same instant or it would not work.) Further, what evidence does he give that this single cell evolved over billions of years into people?
Evidence is what makes science different from fairy tales. To be fair, Steve says he did appeal to his students with evidence:
I have tried asking students at quite what point they find my lectures unacceptable: is it the laws of inheritance, mutation, the genes that protect against malaria or cancer, the global shifts in human skin colour, Neanderthal DNA, or the inherited differences between apes and men?….
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