I’m often asked what I do for a living. My answer, that I am a professor at the University of Kentucky, inevitably prompts a second question: “What do you teach?” Responding to such a question should be easy and invite polite conversation, but I usually brace for a negative reaction. At least half the time the person flinches with disapproval when I answer “evolution,” and often the conversation simply terminates once the “e-word” has been spoken. Occasionally, someone will retort: “But there is no evidence for evolution.” Or insist: “It’s just a theory, so why teach it?”
At this point I should walk away, but the educator in me can’t. I generally take the bait, explaining that evolution is an established fact and the foundation of all biology. If in a feisty mood, I’ll leave them with this caution: the fewer who understand evolution, the more who will die. Sometimes, when a person is still keen to prove me wrong, I’m more than happy to share with him an avalanche of evidence demonstrating I’m not.
Just listen to all his trite talking points of the Darwin-in-the-schools lobby.
Evolution [by which one reasonably suspects he means Darwinism (natural selection acting on random mutation), not horizontal gene transfer or epigenetics, for example] is certainly not the foundation of all biology.
Biology, as such, would go on regardless if the world had been created a century ago. The cell theory of life is the foundation of all biology.
And get this: “the fewer who understand evolution, the more who will die.” A statement that makes absolutely no sense.
How about: The fewer who understand the importance of handwashing, sterilized drinking water, and sanitary washrooms, the more who will die. Now there is a statement that is easily defensible. And it won’t matter at all what they believe about evolution.
Can you imagine actually paying good money to hear the prof? Yet, there are probably students going into debt to do just that.