• Question: do you believe in the theory of evolution?

    Asked by wozjaztim to AndrewL, Andrew, Emma, Marianne, on 14 Jun 2010 in Categories: . This question was also asked by purplewolf9, kw28.
    • Photo: Andrew Maynard

      Andrew Maynard answered on 12 Jun 2010:

      Hi wozjaztim,

      Do I think that evolution provides a plausible and powerful explanation of how living organisms change over time? Absolutely!

      But I’m always a little wary about using the word “believe” when to comes to science (even though everyone does it), because science is about evidence – and how you interpret and use it – than it is about belief.

      And of course, whether I believe something like the theory of evolution or not makes not one iota of difference to whether it is true 🙂

    • Photo: Marianne Baker

      Marianne Baker answered on 13 Jun 2010:


      This question, to my mind, is like saying ‘Do you believe in gravity?’

      The evidence is all around us, it’s just a little bit less obvious than the evidence, for example, for gravity. In fact, I’d say we understand evolution a lot better than gravity (ask a physicist!)!

      I’m a geneticist at heart and having spent years learning about our genes and the genes in lots of other species, how they’re similar and different, genes in bacteria and viruses, genes of things living in different environments today and in the past… it’s undeniable.

      Sure we don’t know everything, but that doesn’t mean the theory falls apart.
      It’s like a jigsaw with a few little pieces missing – you can see the big picture but some of the details are yet to be filled in. The evidence keeps coming.

      I’ve been given Richard Dawkins’ “The Greatest Show on Earth – The Evidence for Evolution” book as a present so I’ll read that soon and I’m sure he answers this kind of question much better than I can 🙂

    • Photo: Andrew Leitch

      Andrew Leitch answered on 14 Jun 2010:

      Hi there. I have the same answer to this question as to ‘do you believe in god or the big bang? ‘. If you don’t mind I’ll refer you to my argument there. I don’t think you ought to ‘believe’ in evolution. However I do think (uncontroversially) it is one of the most amazing scientific theories ever to illumine our existence and ought to be an inspiration to all of us. It has everything. A chap trained at Edinburgh (therefore undoubtedly a good sort) goes on a fantastic voyage, collects copious beautiful data and uses penetrating insight to formulate a World-shaking theory. Marvellous.

    • Photo: Emma Pilgrim

      Emma Pilgrim answered on 14 Jun 2010:

      Yes I do. There is also plenty of evidence for it in our fossil record. I think that Paleontology (study of fossils) is a fascinating area and one I would like to know more about.

      The ability to study the DNA of all organisms is also helping us to see how we all evolved from the bacteria to us humans. Linking ecology and evolution also helps us to see how we have adapted to our surrounding environment and is something that I am very passionate about!