Darwin’s Birthday a Reminder of Science’s Importance

    Dear Editor,

    Feb. 12 is the anniversary of the birth of the greatest biologist
    of all time — Charles Darwin. He was the first to describe biological evolution
    via natural selection with scientific rigor, and has allowed mankind to reap
    enormous benefits for advancements in medicine, physiology, ecology and our
    basic understanding of the relationships of all living organisms on Earth.
    Darwin’s birthday will be celebrated worldwide, including in San Diego County.

    In a time when science is under attack by religious fanatics
    and politicians of the radical right controlling the Republican Party, when
    many high schools and colleges are dropping classes in evolution because of
    pressures generated by people steeped in mysticism and mythology, when the word
    “evolution” is avoided by presidential and congressional hopefuls — there is a great
    need to pay tribute to Darwin and to reverse this dangerous trend away from
    logic, truth and knowledge.

    Darwin was the Einstein of modern biological and
    evolutionary principles that provided the basis for the second law of biology.
    Attacks on evolution undermine accurate, empirical knowledge; they undermine
    science and its pursuit altogether.

    “In science we trust.”

    ­— Milton Saier

    Professor of Molecular Biology

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