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Saturday, November 8, 1997

Evolution

by Dr. Eugenie Scott
Executive Director
National Center for Science Education

Good morning. I am very pleased to be here at Cal Academy, one of my favorite places. The theme of this first Bioforum Seminar for 1997 is evolution, and there is a reason for this. The great geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky wrote an article for the American Biology Teacher. The title of the article was "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense, Except in "the Light of Evolution." That is a very strong statement. What do you suppose he meant? I think that Dobzhansky was saying that evolution is the reason why things in biology are as they are, and not some other way.

Th. Dobzhansky, ABT, 1973



Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution


For example, life on earth is very diverse. There are many species. Well, why is there this diversity of organisms? Why does life on earth come in so many different packages?

Why do all the terrestrial vertebrates have this four on the floor tetrapod pattern that everybody is familiar with? Why do we have only one bone close to the body, two bones external to that? Why not have three bones close to the body? Why don't some creatures have wheels? Why are things as they are instead of some other way?

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