Here’s How to Tell if Scientists are Exaggerating

by Michael Behe

How much can the public trust confident claims by scientists? Especially about morally or politically or philosophically charged topics? Alas, not so much, as the New York Times Magazine reminds us once again in a recent article, “How Beauty Is Making Scientists Rethink Evolution.” The subtitle asks, “The extravagant splendor of the animal kingdom can’t be explained by natural selection alone — so how did it come to be?”

Butterfly Wings

Great question. But wait a second — haven’t we all been told that Darwin’s natural selection has already been shown to explain pretty much everything? Forget about pretty flowers or cute puppies. Whole scholarly books have been written claiming that Darwin’s theory explains mind, law, literature, music, and more. Yet if the theory can explain much more complicated topics that involve even abstract thinking, why does it have trouble with simpler topics that don’t? If it accounts for, say, the Magna Carta, why does it struggle with the colors of butterfly wings?…
 

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Here’s How to Tell if Scientists are Exaggerating