Education Evolution

Teaching the Controversy in Grantsburg

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[As one of my colleagues has put it:] “The Grantsburg school board deserves congratulations. Finally, a local school district has adopted the kind of policy we’ve all been recommending for so long. This policy appears to be bullet-proof from a legal perspective. It will be interesting to see how the ACLU/NCSE/Americans United crowd will respond to this policy. It will also be interesting to see how –or if– the legacy media will cover this victory for quality science education.”

‘Teaching the controversy’ in Wisconsin
By Lawrence Hardy
http://www.asbj.com

It will be deer season soon in Northern Wisconsin.

Winter will come, the nights will grow long, and the ice-fishing shacks will appear like matchboxes on the frozen glacial lakes.

The forests that teem with wildlife — sandhill cranes and eagles, grouse and ospreys, thousands of ducks and geese — will seem quieter now that the brief summer is over.

But in the town of Grantsburg, five miles from the winding St. Croix River and the Minnesota border, the turmoil isn’t over, even though school officials say they very much want it to be.

“It’s done. I don’t have anything more to say,” says Cindy Jensen, a board member for the 1,000-student Grantsburg Schools. “Hopefully, the waters are calmer now.”

It’s been almost a year since the school board approved a curriculum that will require science teachers to ask students to think critically about evolution — to “teach the controversy,” as the board puts it.

This was the third vote on a science curriculum in as many months. The first resolution, approved unanimously in October 2004, allowed “various theories/ models of origins” to be taught in science classrooms. After an outcry from faculty members at the University of Wisconsin and other observers, the board took a second vote emphasizing that only scientific theories would be included. Finally, in early December, it voted 6-1 to approve the following revision:

Students are expected to analyze, review, and critique scientific explanations, including hypotheses and theories, as to their strengths and weaknesses using scientific evidence and information. Students shall be able to explain the scientific strengths and weaknesses of evolutionary theory. This policy does not call for the teaching of Creationism or Intelligent Design.

“The resolution is to teach the controversy,” Jensen says, “because I don’t believe anyone can dispute that there is a controversy.”

On that there is no disagreement. Recently, state boards of education in Ohio and Kansas approved policies — much to the dismay of groups such as the National Academy of Sciences — that require students to question the claims of Darwinian theory. In late September a Pennsylvania district court heard a suit challenging a requirement in the Dover, Pa., schools that biology classes include an explicit mention of intelligent design. A prominent Catholic cardinal proclaimed that evolution was incompatible with church teachings.

And President Bush, in an interview with a group of Texas newspaper reporters, said, “I feel like both sides ought to be properly taught … so that people can understand what the debate is about.”

Evolution proponents say there is indeed a debate, but it is mainly political, not scientific — the vast majority of scientists agreeing that evolution, the very foundation of modern biology, is scientific fact. They say that actions like those taken in Grantsburg and by the state boards of Kansas and Ohio are backhanded attempts to inject religion into the classroom.

Even while Grantsburg’s policy specifies that intelligent design — the idea that life is too complex to have evolved by natural selection — need not be taught, the Discovery Institute applauded the board’s action. The Seattle-based group is a leading proponent of intelligent design.

“Students are the real winners here, because now they will be able to study all the relevant scientific evidence relating to evolutionary theory, not just a skewed selection of the evidence,” John West, associate director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, said in a prepared statement.

Michael Zimmerman, a biologist and dean of the College of Letters and Science at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, says Grantburg’s latest policy “is infinitely better than what they started with,” which he called “not only bad science, but atrocious religion.”

But what Grantsburg is asking students to do — to critically review evidence for and against evolution — is beyond their level of sophistication, Zimmerman adds. “What they are proposing to ask students to do at the middle and high school level is what Ph.D. biologists do every day.”

Why, he asks, should evolution — which is taught for perhaps a day or a week out of the school year — be subject to this special scrutiny?

Grantsburg Superintendent Joni Burgin says evolution is not being singled out. She says that the board emphasizes critical thinking in all subjects and that the policy on evolution was considered last year as part of an ongoing curriculum review.

Burgin, who says the debate over evolution versus intelligent design is indeed scientific, has put together a 25-page curriculum guide that says, in part, “Last fall, 100 scientists, including professors from institutes such as M.I.T., Yale, and Rice, published a statement questioning the creative power of natural selection.

Shouldn’t students know why?”

Grantsburg’s policy is also an example of local curricular control, Burgin says. “It’s an indication of how the community feels on this issue,” she says, noting that two of the board members who approved the curriculum were up for reelection last spring and won handily.

“We’re just a microcosm of the United States, and a small, rural community.”

Zimmerman continues to organize letter-writing campaigns protesting Grantsburg’s vote. Among those who have responded so far are clergy, anthropologists, geologists, and deans at the University of Wisconsin.

The larger issue, says Zimmerman, is the relative weakness of science education in America, which is far behind much of the industrialized world. He says the evolution/intelligent design controversy comes at a time when the public should be pressing for more scientific literacy — not less.

48 Replies to “Teaching the Controversy in Grantsburg

  1. 1
    crandaddy says:

    “The larger issue, says Zimmerman, is the relative weakness of science education in America, which is far behind much of the industrialized world. He says the evolution/intelligent design controversy comes at a time when the public should be pressing for more scientific literacy — not less.”

    So in other words, we should indoctrinate them now and (possibly) teach them to think critically later.

    David

  2. 2
    testerschoice says:

    Crandaddy,
    I think his point was that we should not teach them theosophical claptrap in science class.

  3. 3
    DaveScot says:

    “we should not teach them theosophical claptrap in science class”

    I agree. We should stick to the facts. That leaves out any mechanisms underlying descent with modification that cannot be demostrated in living tissue. So far no one has observed living tissue, in nature or artificially induced in a laboratory, creating in a descendant any novel cell types, tissue types, organs, or body plans.

    Modern experimental biology is the study of living tissue. There’s far, far more wonderful, exciting, practical experimental biology to teach in high school than there is time to teach it. Just the facts please.

  4. 4
    jboze3131 says:

    what i don’t understand is- intent is scientifically impossible to determine. unguided, purposeless, mindless, goal-less, meaningless- these are not scientific terms. there is no way to determine the underlying intent of a mechanism such as NS in any empirical manner.

    yet, they call that science and continue to claim ID is religion. again, i have to point out anthony flew who now believes in god because of science and the underlying science of ID. these guys still have to pretend guys like flew don’t really exist.

  5. 5
    testerschoice says:

    DaveScot,
    “So far no one has observed living tissue, in nature or artificially induced in a laboratory, creating in a descendant any novel cell types, tissue types, organs, or body plans.”
    Check out this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HeLa

  6. 6
    DaveScot says:

    HeLa cells were discovered in nature like all other cells. You have poor reading comprehension.

  7. 7
    testerschoice says:

    DaveScot,
    HeLa cells are HUMAN cervical cells that now can reproduce independent of the human body. That is a novel cell type.

  8. 8
    testerschoice says:

    DaveScot,
    From the article: “Some researchers have argued that these cells are a separate species, because they reproduce and spread on their own; in 1991 it was named and described as Helacyton gartleri.”
    Can you read?

  9. 9
    DaveScot says:

    HeLa cells are cancer cells. Are you suggesting that cancer is a novel cell type and we observed its creation in nature by random mutation and natural selection?

    Sorry. Didn’t happen that way. HeLa cells were discovered full-blown, already there, just like every other novel cell type ever discovered.

  10. 10
    johnnyb says:

    testerschoice:

    The tissue type is the same. It is simply a degenerative form of the tissue.

  11. 11
    taciturnus says:

    “But what Grantsburg is asking students to do — to critically review evidence for and against evolution — is beyond their level of sophistication, Zimmerman adds. “What they are proposing to ask students to do at the middle and high school level is what Ph.D. biologists do every day.””

    This is basically an admission that high school students must take evolution on faith. More importantly, it shows that what is happening in biology classes isn’t science education. Learning to critically review evidence for and against something IS science education. Demanding that the truth of evolution be taken on the word of Phd’s isn’t education but indoctrination.

    Imagine your high school physics teacher saying the same thing: Don’t ask us for a scientific demonstration that Newton’s three laws are true (you’re too dumb to understand it), just take it on faith and work out the problems. You’ll pass.

    Dave T.

  12. 12
    jmcd says:

    Dave Scott

    It is absurd to suggest that experiments should by now have shown the growth of novel cell types or body parts. Such changes in nature quite probably take millions of years. It would be unreasonable to suggest that an experiment can produce more rapid change than nature. Nature provides impetus for change all the time. Stressful environments promote more rapid change, but how stressful can you make an environment before everything just dies?

  13. 13
    testerschoice says:

    DaveScot,
    “So far no one has observed living tissue, in nature or artificially induced in a laboratory, creating in a descendant any novel cell types, tissue types, organs, or body plans.”
    I fail to see how my example is not valid. Not only has it been classified as a new species, but it also can survive in conditions that a normal human cell could not. How is that not a novel cell type?

  14. 14
    cambion says:

    DaveScot,

    You say: ” Are you suggesting that cancer is a novel cell type and we observed its creation in nature by random mutation and natural selection?”

    I would actually make an argument for that being the case. A cancer is induced by genetic change to the chromosomes within a cell. This is a form of mutation that happens in somatic tissue rather than germline tissue, and hence is not heritable. These genetic changes lead the cell to stop listening to what the cells around it are saying and strike out on its own. It keeps reproducing even though the body tells it to stop. You end up with lots and lots of cancer cells because of this. This is a form of natural selection (though from an individual cell’s perspective, rather than that of the organism). Mutation results in an increase of fitness over that of the other cells in the body.

    If certain cancer cells undergo futher genetic change that results in them either reproducing more quickly, or better evading the body’s defense systems, then these will be selected for and come to replace the original cancer cells. Pretty neat huh?

  15. 15
    cambion says:

    My post on cancer and natural selection seems to have vanished. Strange…

  16. 16
    cambion says:

    And it’s back. Sorry about that…

  17. 17
    jboze3131 says:

    the wiki article said SOME scientists want to call it a new species. cancer cells are hardly novel cell types that were created via natural selection and RM. i dont think anyone is going to argue that cancer cells make for any advantage! so, even if someone would call this a novel type, who on earth is going to argue this was selected for?!

    on top of that- mud to man evolution is a theoretical narrative. i dont think its too much to ask for empirical evidence to back up a change via NS and RM. if you cant show, in any empirical manner, that NS + RM can do what is claimed of it, why should anyone take the claim seriously? no one has viewed a RM doing anything like what its claimed to do…same thing with NS.

  18. 18
    testerschoice says:

    Jboze,
    “mud to man evolution is a theoretical narrative”
    Evolution only deals with life after the first cell come into existence, thus your term “mud to man” is incorrect.

  19. 19
    testerschoice says:

    Jboze,
    The point was not to show natural selection or random mutation (however viral insertions are a form of mutation) but to demonstrate that novel cell types can emerge.

  20. 20
    cambion says:

    This is so annoying. I will try posting one more time, I apologize if this ends up being double posted.

    ————————-

    DaveScot and jboze3131,

    DaveScot says: “Are you suggesting that cancer is a novel cell type and we observed its creation in nature by random mutation and natural selection?”

    jboze3131 says: “i dont think anyone is going to argue that cancer cells make for any advantage! so, even if someone would call this a novel type, who on earth is going to argue this was selected for?!”

    I will argue that cancer shows all the elements of evolution by natural selection. And that (novel) cancer cells can indeed be thought of as being created by RM + NS.

  21. 21
    cambion says:

    I would actually make an argument for that being the case. A cancer is induced by genetic change to the chromosomes within a cell. This is a form of mutation that happens in somatic tissue rather than germline tissue, and hence is not heritable. These genetic changes lead the cell to stop listening to what the cells around it are saying and strike out on its own. It keeps reproducing even though the body tells it to stop. You end up with lots and lots of cancer cells because of this. This is a form of natural selection (though from an individual cell’s perspective, rather than that of the organism). Mutation results in an increase of fitness over that of the other cells in the body.

    If certain cancer cells undergo futher genetic change that results in them either reproducing more quickly, or better evading the body’s defense systems, then these will be selected for and come to replace the original cancer cells. Pretty neat huh?

  22. 22
    cambion says:

    I would actually make an argument for that being the case. A cancer is induced by genetic change to the chromosomes within a cell. This is a form of mutation that happens in somatic tissue rather than germline tissue, and hence is not heritable. These genetic changes lead the cell to stop listening to what the cells around it are saying and strike out on its own. It keeps reproducing even though the body tells it to stop. You end up with lots and lots of cancer cells because of this.

  23. 23
    cambion says:

    This is a form of natural selection (though from an individual cell’s perspective, rather than that of the organism). Mutation results in an increase of fitness over that of the other cells in the body. If certain cancer cells undergo futher genetic change that results in them either reproducing more quickly, or better evading the body’s defense systems, then these will be selected for and come to replace the original cancer cells. Pretty neat huh?

  24. 24
    cambion says:

    Most my argument keeps refusing to post. I’m giving up…

  25. 25
    crandaddy says:

    Yes, HeLa cells have evolved the ability to survive and reproduce on their own. Intelligent Design Theory does not preclude *all* evolution, but they’re still cervical cancer cells. Are they not?

    David

  26. 26
    jboze3131 says:

    Evolution only deals with life after the first cell come into existence, thus your term “mud to man” is incorrect.

    lol. come on! you cant claim a mechanism and a line of descent but refuse to speak of how on earth the first cell came about. 1st cell to man is a narrative. its still a narrative, even putting in your nonsense about how evolution doesnt deal with how the first cell got here. if you cant account for that, you also cant account for how natural selection, if it is truly the mechanism, came about.

  27. 27
    jboze3131 says:

    thats absurd. cancer cells evolved and NS selected for them? if NS only works on a cellular level to benefit particular cells- well, thats a big problem to begin with. if that were true, the cells could take over the body itself, kill it…but then what? the cells cant live without the body.

    on top of that- what advantage in general does a cancer cell like this have? how does it lead to more and better reproduction to make more cells and more dna?

    this doesnt fit with RM+NS. unless NS is suddenly selecting for harmful mutations that will ultimately destroy the body, which will ultimately mean death to ALL the cells!

  28. 28
    Gumpngreen says:

    I’m not sure how a degenerative modification of pre-existing CSI would be a threat to ID. I imagine it would be in the same category as that nylon-eating enzyme discussed back in September. It would only be a threat to ID if it could be shown that new CSI was generated in that cancerous cell.

  29. 29
    cambion says:

    jboze3131,

    It’s a tradeoff. The cell’s within our body our kept in line as best we can. However, note the massive prevalence of cancer as a cause of death once other causes are removed (as what’s happened in the 1st world). Organisms (not the cells within them) are selected to have mechanisms to control their cells. If an organisms cannot control it’s cells well enough, it will indeed “mean death to ALL the cells.” However, these organisms will be eliminated by natural selection. It can take place on multiple levels at the same time, so that selection on one level conflicts with selection at another. Check out “Intragenomic conflict” at Wikipedia if you’re interested…

    Gumpngreen,

    Yes, the new HeLa cells could be considered “a degenerative modification of pre-existing CSI.” However, I would argue that these cells are indeed a new cell type. Theoretically, they could thrive outside the human body (almost like bacteria) given the proper environmental conditions. I don’t know if you’d consider that a new species or not, given that the genome is almost exactly the same an the canonical human genome, but they live a unicellular lifestyle.

  30. 30
    Gumpngreen says:

    Just so cambion, testerschoice, etc. know what I’m talking about, here are the three categories that account for CSI in biological systems: (1) Inheritance with modification (2) Selection (3) Infusion

    The first category appears to be the relevant one for this topic.

    “Inheritance is thus merely a conduit for already existing information.
    ……
    By modification I mean all the instances where chance enters an organism’s developmental pathway and modifies its CSI. Modification includes–to name but a few–point mutations, base deletions, genetic crossover, transpositions and recombination generally.”

    I read the brief Wiki outline. The question is, did these HeLa cells generate CSI or is the uncontrolled growth caused by a devolution of regulating functions?

  31. 31
    Gumpngreen says:

    Cambion,

    I have no problem with designating these HeLa cells as a “novel cell type”. That’s no threat to ID. What would be a threat is if this new cell type came about by the generation of new CSI.

  32. 32
    johnnyb says:

    jmcd:

    That’s half the problem. If it takes millions of years just to perform an experiment, how can we say that it is scientifically proven? That just means it is untestable. If a definitive test takes 5 million years, then it seems like evolution is neither testable (because we can’t perform the test) nor usable (because we don’t have 50 million years to make use of its results).

    I think DaveScot has the right idea — why not just teach experimental biology? In this there is no dispute, and it is much more inline with actual experimental evidence and *gasp* science.

  33. 33
    DaveScot says:

    Cancer cells are hardly a new type. They’re simply cells that have had the delicate homeostatic mechanism of apoptosis damaged and rendered inoperable. To call them a novel cell type would be like calling a car with worn out brakes a novel transportation device. Sheesh.

  34. 34
    cambion says:

    Gumpgreen,

    I’ll admit my (at least partial) ignorance to what, exactly, constitutes CSI. As I see it, you and me (and DaveScot) would find the progression of complex multicellular eukaryote (ie. human) to a subsystem of this eukaryote (i.e. HeLa cell) as an easy task for RM + NS. Thus, some apparently phenotypic macroevolution (notice I say apparently, human -> bactera seems to me to be macroevolution) can be easily created by RM + NS by modifying (in this case subtracting some information) already existing CSI. So, for evolution and ID, what becomes important is not ‘macroevolution’ in the sense of large phenotypic change (whether HeLa represents this is besides the point), but instead becomes about creating CSI. The progress human -> bacteria, is very different from the progression bacteria -> human.

    So the question becomes, can evolution by natural selection create CSI. I know that the bacterial flagellum is toted as an example of a piece of genetic code containing CSI. But I don’t have a real definition of it. I would appreciate it if you could provide me with one, and maybe an example what you might consider a ‘minimal’ example of CSI.

  35. 35
    Gumpngreen says:

    DaveScot,

    I agree with the overall sentiment but with your car analogy the broken down car is still a car while these cells are existing as a separate, standalone reproducing organism (albeit containing human DNA). If your sole qualification is the ability to be standalone then on that basis only could you consider it to be novel cell type. Personally it doesn’t matter much to me either way, but the argument that it could be considered a novel cell type “appears” to be valid to this engineer. It really depends on what are the qualifications for being considered a separate entity.

    Cambion,

    The short explanations available on the internet really don’t do it justice and I didn’t fully comprehend the concept until I read the full-length literature on the subject. The books also answered the quibbles I had with the idea. No Free Lunch and The Design Inference are the more technical but also more expensive ($32.43 and $76.13…ouch!). You can get the Design Revolution for under $15 shipped on Amazon.

  36. 36
    Gumpngreen says:

    Oh, and “human -> bacteria” would be macro-DEvolution. In a similar vein of thought, I know some people have posited that the bacterial flagellum came about by recombining information from a more complex organism in the same sort of fashion. That’s all well and good but still doesn’t explain where the original CSI came from.

  37. 37
    cambion says:

    Gumpngreen,

    “Oh, and “human -> bacteria” would be macro-DEvolution.”

    One needs strict definition of terms to properly communicate science. I think the word ‘evolution’ is actually used quite differently by different people in different situations. This is quite unfortunate. When I think of ‘evolution’ I think of a change in heritable information (genotype) over time. In most non-biological settings, ‘evolution’ also implies progress. I think it is ill used when ‘evolution’ (in biology) in equated alternately with both change and change + progress. These are two very different things. Seems like different words are in order.

  38. 38
    Gumpngreen says:

    Yeah, I’d agree the term evolution is context-sensitive and can lead to confusion if not defined exactly. Also, the bacterial flagellum itself is posited to be the precursor for the type three secretory system. Again, the problem still is where did that original CSI come from? It’s not like ID claims that simple systems that do not meet the definition of CSI cannot evolve…only that CSI must be generated by an intelligence.

  39. 39
    cambion says:

    Gumpngreen,

    I really like this perspective. It seems to me like a much more concrete formulation of ID than I usually hear espoused (i.e. arguments that evolution by natural selection must explain every aspect of the fossil record, or of the formation of a particalar biochemical complex) It definitely provides a better framework for examining whether RM + NS presents a plausible mechanism for the creation of the complexities we seen inherent in biological systems. Evolution via natural selection must be capable of generating CSI, either in theory or in practice (i.e. in the lab).

    Thus, it would present a strong argument for ID if one could show RM + NS to be incapable of creating CSI, and a strong argument for standard evolutionary theory if the converse were shown to be true.

    One question though, if one were to prove unequivically (I know this is actually impossible) that a particular biological system’s CSI was created by RM + NS, would that be enough for you to reject ID. If not, how many examples would you require?

  40. 40
    dchammer says:

    Interesting discussion, my acronym-loving friends. But give an old liberal-arts dunce a break. What’s CSI?

  41. 41
    cambion says:

    CSI = Complex Specified Information

    There is a Wikipedia article on it at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specified_complexity

    From what I can tell from my internet meanderings, Dr. Dembski uses CSI as the hallmark of intelligent agency, arguing that CSI cannot arise through undirected evolution. I would not argue against Dr. Dembski’s defination of CSI, however, I think that evolution via natural selection is quite a good candidate for creating it.

  42. 42
    Gumpngreen says:

    Hmph. I wrote a long reply after #42 and it never came up. Probably hit the automatic filters. Perhaps it’ll pop up later.

  43. 43
    cambion says:

    Yeah, that the reason for the eight more or less identical posts above. Pretty frustrating…

  44. 44
    DaveScot says:

    Cambion

    “human -> bactera seems to me to be macroevolution”

    That’s wrong. Human genomes are supersets of bacterial genomes. Bacteria->human is macroevolution. Human->bacteria is devolution. The former represents a gain of information and the latter represents a loss.

    This does bring up an interesting scenario. Given that human cells can devolve into bacteria-like cells, it seems possible that humans came first and bacteria came next. This of course begs the question of where the humans came from but there’s many possibilities for that ranging from God to crash-landed spacecraft.

    If all life descended (devolved, more or less) from a few initial, perfect forms would we expect to find any fossil evidence of these precious few progenitors? Nope. They’d make a needle in a haystack look like an elephant in your bedroom by comparison.

    I’m not saying that’s true or even likely but it’s possible and fun to work through as a mental exercise. What predictions about modern observations would follow from that?

    To be quite honest I’m more intrigued by the scenario that Mike Behe mentions – a front loaded uber-cell that was the seed (or egg… omne vivo ex ovum) that was the universal common ancestor.

  45. 45
    cambion says:

    DaveScot,

    About what to call human -> bacteria, see my post above about definitions. I’ve always heard the scientific definition of evolution as “a change in genotype of a population over time.” Thus, I was taking ‘macroevolution’ as just being a question of scale. Again, to me ‘evolution’ means only change, progress should require a separate word. You’re, of course, welcome to think that the definitions should run otherwise…

    “What predictions about modern observations would follow from that?”

    One simple prediction I think it would make is that eukaryotic cells (representing macroevolutionary step away from bacteria) should show up first in the fossil record. What’s interesting is we can actually visually inspect earth’s earliest fossils and determine whether they look like eukaryotes or prokaryotes.

    From my intro. to evolution textbook: “The oldest fossils of microorganisms are found in rocks 3.5 billion years old in western Australia. These microfossils resemble bacteria that exist today.” And then later: “At 1.7 billion years, microfossils first appear that are noticeably different in appearance. They are larger than the earlier prokaryotes, exhibiting evidence of internal membranes and thick walls.”

    We could have been really unlucky in what fossilized, but that’s an unlikely scenario. I think the hypothesis would have to be ammended so that the front loaded uber-cell looks a lot like modern day bacteria…

  46. 46
    DaveScot says:

    “What’s interesting is we can actually visually inspect earth’s earliest fossils and determine whether they look like eukaryotes or prokaryotes.”

    I think you should be a little more critical of your sources. This is the problem when when criticisms of a theory don’t get mentioned. Was there any mention in your text of the controversy over the authenticity of the Pilbara microfossils?

    http://scholar.google.com/scho.....#038;hl=en

  47. 47
    cambion says:

    That’s quite interesting… I wonder how many putative micofossil finds exist between 3.5 bya and 1.7 bya. I would love to see the sort of analysis done by Brasier et al. on all of them.

  48. 48
    DaveScot says:

    Actually the older microfossil claims, if authentic, greatly undermine the conjecture that life evolved on this planet. The less time that DNA/ribosomes had to evolve on earth the harder it is to claim that time heals all gaps in evolution. The younger the earth at the time when life can be first detected the more unstable and hostile it was to life as we know it and the less time that random combinations of delicate organic molecules had to produce the first organic living thing.

    I’m only interested in reliable evidence so I don’t care if those Pilbara microfossils are authentic or not as long as the conclusion is reliable. I’ll follow the evidence wherever it leads. That, my friend, is real science.

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