-= THE DARWIN TIMES =-
A Column on the Field of BIOLOGY and other
With an Emphasis on MEDICAL NEWS, ANIMAL BEHAVIOR,
PSYCHOLOGY, and EVOLUTIONARY THEORY
First Issue August 26, 1991
Contents of the First Issue:
* An Introduction: The Author, Purpose of This Column
* Part I: Charles Darwin and His Legacy to Science
*** The Author, Purpose of This Column
First of all, HI to everyone out there in StarTextLand! My
name is Ray Lopez. I am a graduate student at UTA, studying
Experimental Psychology. One of my biggest interests is in the
field of biology, especially evolutionary biology. As I
have looked at the listings of science articles on StarText, I
noticed something almost immediately, and that was the lack of
This is no surprise to me. The state of science education in
the USA is such that the study of biology is almost neglected in
favor of the so-called "hard sciences" (i.e., chemistry, physics,
etc.). This also is understandable to a certain extent,
especially since it is from the hard sciences where much of our
technological progress has been made.
Another reason for the terrible lack of biological education in
this nation has to do with the teaching of evolutionary theory.
Teaching evolution in the public schools is, of course, a
situation which has unfortunate difficulties. This is sad,
because all of what biologists do, and much of what people in
other fields do (psychology, anthropology, etc.), is based to
a large extent on Darwinian thought. As I will discuss
in the future, Darwinism need not be considered "evil" or
I have decided to put in my two-cents worth to help further the
cause of biological education here at StarText. I feel that
it is important for the general public to be at least familiar
with some basic concepts in biology for a variety of different
* there is a tremendous amount of new and exciting research going
on in medicine, genetics, etc., which will someday directly affect
all of our lives. Understanding this requires some knowledge of
* evolution should not be viewed by anyone as being evil. It isn't.
There is nothing contradictory about saying that life evolved on
this planet, and that God created this life. Understanding
evolution gives one a powerful heuristic tool with which to look
at a wide range of phenomena related to life on this planet
* ignorance regarding nature and biological systems is, in my
opinion, at the root of many problems we face in society today.
First, the ways in which we are polluting this planet are having
awesome consequences for the biological systems of this planet.
Knowlege about biology and of the way animals and plants live
might help some people better understand and perhaps control
pollution and its effects. Another consequence of biological
ignorance has to do with the current "animal rights" and
"animal liberation" movements. These movements have gained
immense momentum in the last 10 years. One reason for this is
because the general public has fallen for the "Bambi" view
of nature which these movements base their respective
philosophies on. This is very dangerous, becasue these move-
ments are duping the general public, growing stronger and
stronger, and threatening the lives and safety of many people,
as well altering the way in which biomedical science is being
I hope to expand greatly on these topics and many others as time
progresses, if this column survives.
As an instructor at UTA, I have been appalled at the lack of
knowledge regarding biology and evolution. It simply isn't
being taught in our schools. I hope to use this article as
a means by which to introduce readers to the beautiful world
of biology, and perhaps to get a few people interested enough in
biology to do some extra reading.
I hope to pick out some interesting stories related to basic
biomedical research, and perhaps expand a little bit on them.
StarText usually has a few good articles on such topics
listed under the MED or SCI keyword. Look them up!!
These are just some vague notions as to what I want to talk
about in this column. There are many other topics
which I feel need to be discussed. If the column survives, I
will continue to write about these and other topics.
** Part I: Charles Darwin and His Legacy to Science
My Series on Chuck Darwin will concentrate on the effect which
his theories have had on the development of modern biological
thought. I've decided to break this up into different Parts
because it is easier for me to write and easier for you to
read if things are broken up into chunks!
I wish I had the time, space and patience to write a complete
primer on evolution, but I don't. In this series on Darwin and
his legacy to science, I intend to concentrate on some ideas and
concepts which I feel are important in understanding evolution,
and which you might find interesting. For those who may
want to do some more reading, I invite you to LEARN SOMETHING
ABOUT DARWIN AND EVOLUTIONARY THEORY!!!
The way in which you could begin doing so would be to go to the
StarText Reference Room, type ENC, and at the prompt, enter
DARWIN and EVOLUTION. You might be surprised what you read,
especially if you've never taken the time to look into things
Next time (if there BE a next time), I'll begin this series
with a look at how Darwin inflenced his contemporaries, and how
his theorizations inflenced the foundations of our current
thinking in biology. Although this is somewhat debatable,
DARWIN'S MOST IMPORTANT LEGACY TO SCIENCE WAS HIS CONCEPT
OF NATURAL SELECTION. UNDERSTANDING DARWINISM BEGINS WITH
UNDERSTANDING NATURAL SELECTION! In my next column, I will
try to offer a bit of insight into the concept of natural
selection by looking at it from a historical viewpoint.
This is all for now. I spent a lot of space in this issue
introducing myself and the purpose of the column, and I
will always try to keep it short!
Some Contents of the Second Issue:
* Evolution or Evilution?
* Part II: Charles Darwin and His Legacy to Science
Thank you very much for reading THE DARWIN TIMES. Any reader
responses via StarMail would be greatly appreciated, and will
be answered as soon as possible (send to mail code 414500).
The contents of this column may be freely distributed or used
by anyone, so long as credit is given to the author and to
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