The Infinite Monkey Cage (BBC Radio 4), July 23rd, 2013's broadcast (available here) dealt with Alfred Russel Wallace.
Brian Cox and Robin Ince discuss the life and works of Alfred Russel Wallace, the lesser known co-founder of the theory of evolution by natural selection. They are joined on stage by biologists Steve Jones and Aoife McLysaght and comedian Tony Law to ask whether Wallace is the great unsung hero of biology and why it was Darwin who seems to have walked away with all the glory.
Aoife McLysaght remindes listeners of Theodosius Dobzhansky's important summation: "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution."
(Image: Alfred Russel Wallace, OM, FRS)
"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." - Theodosius Dobzhansky.
Nothing. Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. Nothing. The "nothing" to which Dobzhansky refers is an enormous and varied reality--from vestigial limbs and vestigal organs in various species to intercontinental species-similarities, from heredity to human experimentation on animals. (Whatever you think of it morally, experimentation on animals wouldn't even serve as a guide to things like pharmaceutical development if evolution wasn't "real," for goodness sake; it wouldn't work any more than would wind tunnels work as a guide to aircraft construction if physics wasn't "real;" it wouldn't work any than would vaccines work if the Germ Theory of Disease wasn't "real.")
Yet, in the United States (and in countries with strong Islamist segments of society) more than 50% of the population doesn't "believe" in evolution, as if it's something that can reasonably be considered either real or unreal, based on whim or opinion, like whether or not you think ghosts are real or astrology is real. It's like not "believing" that oxygen is "real."