Dr. Chris Macosko at the University of Minnesota sent the following letter to The New York Times responding to Bruce Alberts comments about Mike Behe’s recent op-ed in the Times, “Design for Living.” Since the Times’ didn’t see fit to publish this letter, Dr. Macosko agreed to let us publish it here.
To the Editor:
Bruce Alberts, president of the NAS, responded to Michael Behe’s Feb. 7th Op-Ed. As an NAE member, I take exception to Dr. Alberts‚�� statement that “modern scientific views are entirely consistent with spontaneous variation and natural selection driving a powerful evolutionary process”, since he forces ‚��consistency‚�� by excluding the alternative: intelligent design.
Are there scientific grounds for his exclusion? On the contrary; scientists routinely use intelligent causes to explain observations and should be allowed to do so whenever evidence points in that direction. Not even an Academy president has the power to stop us!
The evidence itself will be our final judge. Dr. Alberts’ appeals to authority and failure to refer us to supporting evidence are clear giveaways that Dr. Behe is correct: life is the result of both evolution and design. Scientists, like Behe, must be allowed both explanations.
Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
University of Minnesota
Member of the National Academy of Engineering