Cambridge Darwin festival, reports the Cambridge Evening News, 15 July 2008. Cambridge University is planning a week-long celebration of Charles Darwin’s work from 5th to 10th Jul 2009 and will involve “some of the world’s most eminent geneticists, biologists and sociologists.” Darwin commenced studies at Cambridge in 1827 and gained an M. A. in Theology. Although he did not formally study biology, he became interested in natural history and collected beetles. John Stevens Henslow, the university’s professor of botany and director of the Botanic Garden became a friend and mentor to Darwin, and later recommended Darwin for the post of “gentleman naturalist” on the HMS Beagle. The article explains the importance of evolution to the modern world in these terms: “There is virtually nothing in our modern world that has not been affected in some way by Darwin’s discoveries. His theory of evolution is at the heart of biology lessons in our schools, and contemporary medicine in our hospitals. It surfaces in hot topics like bird ‘flu and MRSA, and it has had a profound impact on the work of historians, theologians, sociologists, artists and novelists.”

Editorial Comment: Whilst Darwin’s theory may have had a profound impact on historians, theologians, sociologists, artists and novelists, it has done nothing to contribute to biology. Darwin’s explanation for the origin of living things was “natural selection”. To select something is to choose it from already existing living things, not bring them into existence. Selection, whether natural or unnatural, does not explain the origin of anything. Neither is the theory any use for modern medicine. Explaining the spread of bird flu or development of antibiotic resistance in MRSA (a bacterium) does not need a theory that says microbes turned into people, when all that is happening is that viruses and bacteria give rise to varieties of the same viruses and bacteria. (Ref. education, evolution, history)

Evidence News 13 August 2008