In an earlier post, I discussed chemist Philip Skell’s attack on evolutionary biology and my own defense of it in Forbes magazine. Now a member of his own family has written in disowning Skell’s ludicrous ideas. Here is a response to Skell’s post I just received from one of his relatives (n.b. Skell is a member of The National Academy of Sciences, which apparently doesn’t require members to evince a general ability to evaluate evidence!)
While natural selection and evolution are different matters, if they truly are, that does not change the fact that things have the ability to adapt and change as they are exposed and that the only way they can do that is by changing the manner in which they are structured. I find it hard to believe that appendages that look like vestigial arms and the like were put there because a higher being thought they would be useful, even though they are quite useless. If everything were developed by a supremely intelligent being then there would be nothing extra that was without a cause. All beings would be streamlined, sleek, strong, fast and perfect. Pick any animal you want and there are obvious errors with it. It is not simply enough to say that evolution isn’t valid and therefore creationism is. What you need to do, Mats, is prove that things in fact didn’t evolve but were designed by a creator. When there is scientific proof of this then the creationists will be left alone. And it is worth noting that Skell is the only person in the family who actually holds these values. The rest of us think it is absolutely absurd.