I am a Carmel Valley resident and I read [Marsha Sutton’s] enlightening [column titled “Evolutionary revelations” in this newspaper Jan. 9]. I am a pharmaceutical scientist and we live and breathe genetics, chemistry and biology, while trying to discover potential drugs. I cannot agree more with what you have said and admire the clarity with which you have presented your thoughts. I share your frustration with how such a simple and fully resolved scientific fact is being constantly litigated in the public domain. More so, this is being pursued by people who are not qualified (under any stretch of the imagination) to address such topics and while following a narrow agenda driven by a belief system.
We scientists see evidence of evolution everywhere. Every protein, receptor and neurotransmitter in the body has an underlying genetic code (say the mRNA) that shows a beautiful pattern of similarity (and differences) that can almost surely occur only if there was a clear process of adaption (from early life forms to the more advanced). Even within mammals (our species), from rodents to non-human primates to humans (in our present form) there is incontrovertible evidence of a sequence of biological events that have led to the establishment of each living form. In short, there is no doubt that evolution happened and it is happening and it will happen. The antibiotic resistant forms of bacteria that constantly emerge, the latest H1N1-like flu virus etc. are the most obvious evidence of evolution in those microorganisms.
The existence of God has provided much succor to the human race and is an undeniable necessity for the sustenance of a functioning-benevolent human society. But, using such beliefs to propagate false and non-scientific lies serves to divide people and weaken the fundamental tenets of faith (be it any faith). Evidence of this is seen in every war in human history, and it is indeed very sad. Ironically, war itself is evidence enough that we haven’t moved too far ahead of our ancestors in the animal kingdom.
Thanks for patiently reading my thoughts and please keep up the excellent journalistic work.
Karthik Srinivasan, Ph.D.