While reading my biology textbook (Campbell-Reece, 6th edition), I found this useful description of how molecular systematics is making taxonomy a dynamic field. I thought I’d share it on here so that people can refer it to the next creationist or post-modernist that you meet who attempts to claim that science is completely useless because it’s something-scientists-believed-was-true-fifty-years-ago-is-different-now:

As emerging technologies such as molecular biology and fresh approaches such as cladistics produce new data or stimulate scientists to reconsider old data, hypotheses sometimes bend or even break under the pressure of the closer scrutiny. New hypotheses or refinements of the old ones represent the latest versions of what we understand about nature based on the best available evidence. And evidence is the key word in this disclaimer that even our most cherished ideas in science are probationary. Science is partly distinguished from other ways of knowing because its ideas can be falsified through testing with experiments or observation. The more testing a hypothesis withstands, the more credible it becomes.

I think that it should be inexcusable for anyone to not understand this when challenging well-demonstrated “theories”. Evidence, evidence, evidence my friends.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Yeah, however humongous Reese-Campbell’s Biology textboods are, they do give good pieces on science and good explanations on bio concepts.
    The book has this part about how molecular evidences make a different phylogenic tree of animal phylums. Another example of how new evidences make previous models better.

  2. Plus Mark Ridley was a contributor for my edition. ❤

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