Home  || Lab Members  ||  Current Projects  ||  Publications  ||  Biol 545 ||  Prospective Grad Students  ||  DT-ModSel 

Astonishingly, the single most unifying concept in all biology is under increasing attack in the U.S. The Sullivan Lab policy on evolution is as follows.

First, descent with modification leading to diversification is currently the only scientifically justifiable explanation for the origin of biological diversity. This position is consistent with that of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Academy of Sciences.

Second, descent with modification is as unifying in biology as the concept of an ancient Earth is unifying in geology; the entire science of biology is the study of the contemporary products of evolutionary processes. Therefore, the term "Evolutionary Biology" is, in a sense, analogous to the term "Old-Earth Geology."

Third, all of science adopts a philosophy of methodological naturalism; appeals to the supernatural are not permitted in any science. Furthermore, science is not unique in this regard; jurisprudence also assumes methodological naturalism - imagine a trial in a system where appeals to supernatural explanations and evidence were permitted. Thus, the notion of "intelligent design" as an explanation for biological diversity is inherently non-scientific.

Fourth, this policy is neither pro- nor anti-religious. Just as the adoption of methodological naturalism in the practice of law implies nothing about the religious beliefs of lawyers, the fact that over 98% of scientists acknowledge that scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports biological evolution implies nothing about the religious beliefs of scientists.

Therefore, "intelligent design" and other forms of creationism have no place in the scientific endeavor except as examples of pseudoscience and the perils of ignorance.