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Evolution as a Microcosm of Other Scientific Debates


After a performance of the play Disinherit the Wind in Hollywood, California, political scientist John West, biologist Jonathan Wells, and playwright Matt Chait stayed for a Q&A with the audience.

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An actor from the play was on hand and posed a question about the limits and proper triggers of skepticism about scientific claims. Does doubting some such claims make you “anti-science”? In response, Dr. West makes the helpful point that the evolution debate doesn’t simply stand alone, isolated from other controversies like the one about climate change.

On the contrary, while the subjects are seemingly unrelated, training ourselves to think critically about cosmic and biological origins in the deep past is an aid to thinking critically, and effectively, about the Earth’s climate in the fast-approaching future.

Photo credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/University of Arizona.