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Steve Jones
Professor of Genetics, University College London

Abstract - Why Creationism is Wrong and Evolution is Right

Science is about disbelief.  It accepts that all knowledge is provisional and that any theory might in principle be disproved.  Some theories are better established than others: the earth is probably not flat, babies are almost certainly not brought by storks and men and dinosaurs are unlikely to have appeared on earth within the past few thousand years.  Even so, nothing is sacred.  In 1905 classical physics collapsed after a seemingly trivial observation about glowing gases and the same is potentially true for all other scientific theories.

Many biologists are worried by a recent and unexpected return of an argument based on belief – by a widespread certainty, untestable and unsupported by evidence, that life did not evolve but appeared by supernatural means.  Worldwide, more people believe in creationism than in evolution.  Why do no biologists agree?  I will talk about what evolution is, about new evidence that men and chimps are close relatives and about how we are, nevertheless, unique and why creationism does more harm to religion than it does to science.

Steve Jones is Professor of Genetics at University College London.  His own research is in population genetics – the evolution and diversity of fruit-flies, snails and human beings and he has worked extensively on these subjects in Europe, the United States, Africa and the Middle East and has published many tedious scientific papers on them.  Much of the work has to do with the response of genes to environmental stresses and in particular to high temperature.

He also has a concern with the public understanding of science and has written several books including, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Evolution; The Language of the Genes; In The Blood; Almost like a Whale: The Origin of Species Updated; Y: The Descent of Men; The Single Helix: A Turn around the World of Science.


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