Of course Penn and helpers are quite enthusiastic about evolution, because after all:
Darwin presented a massive amount of evidence from a wide variety of disciplines to show that evolution is a fact. Species change over time.
There you have it. Species change over time, so evolution must be true. An excellent demonstration of evolutionary logic.
The fact of evolution is no longer debated among scientists, as the evidence for evolution is overwhelming.
And that overwhelming evidence would be? Oh, I forgot already, species change over time. Right.
Penn’s next penetrating revelation is that Darwin’s theory of natural selection “not only explains how the diversity of species has arisen, but also the complex, design-like properties of organisms.” No citation given for that one, but no matter, after all species change over time right? In fact, as Penn summarizes:
For many scientists and scholars, Darwin's theory is “the single best idea that anyone has ever had.”
That one did have a citation. It came from that objective sage Daniel Dennett.
Although you would never know it, Penn and co-workers point out that evolution is the key to just about everything in the life sciences, and even more:
Today, evolution provides the conceptual foundation that integrates all of the biological sciences, including genetics, molecular and cell biology, developmental biology, physiology, behavioral biology, ecology, and paleontology. Evolutionary biology is increasing being integrated into the social sciences, as it is central for efforts to understand human origins and behavior. Evolution has many practical implications and it has contributed to important advances in applied sciences. In the biomedical sciences, evolution plays an increasing role in research on HIV, influenza, and other infectious diseases, and in the discovery of genes that cause disease and treatments. Evolution has been critical for understanding the emergence of bacteria resistant to antibiotics and other drugs. Evolution has contributed to advances in agriculture, such as development of crops and livestock and pest management (the evolution of pesticide resistance). Evolution even influences research in biotechnology, and fields outside of the life sciences, including the development of computer technologies and information sciences (evolutionary algorithms).
Strange that biotechnology developers don’t actually use evolution in their work. But surely the influence must be there.
The discussion also includes the usual evolutionary confusion about theories, laws, facts, and evidence. The reader learns that “evolution is not a theory in the colloquial sense of the word, which implies a mere hypothesis, conjecture, or speculation.” No, Darwin’s theory is “a comprehensive explanation strongly supported by evidence, and useful for making predictions.” No mention that those predictions were false, but that’s an aside.
The reader next learns that “Scientific theories are not less than scientific laws, contrary to what is often assumed.” That’s helpful, particularly in light of the next flash of insight: “Scientific laws describe facts whereas theories explain them.” If this seems confusing, just consider that “Darwin’s Theory, for example, explains the fact of evolution.” That should clarify things, and if it doesn’t, the reader is left with this hilarious attempt at objectivity: “It is crucial to understand that evolution — like all facts in science — remains open to question.”
Right, evolution is open to question, just like those veering atoms were open to question to the Epicureans. Evolution has made so many false predictions we’ve stopped counting, but rest assured, it is always open to question. Its truth is never actually questioned, but it is always open to question.
But what is really amazing is that evolution created science itself:
The most important lesson from this controversy is that science is a precious gift, and the greatest accomplishment of human intellect for solving nature's mysteries.
It’s truly amazing that evolution created the brain by which those evolutionists learn truths like evolution. How precious.