Lecture 4 - BME 418 Quantitative Cell Biology Alan J Hunt...

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BME 418, Quantitative Cell Biology Alan J. Hunt Lecture #4: evolution cont., transport across membrane, Boltzmann distribution and Nernst Equation Almost 400 years ago Galileo had a disagreement with the Catholic Church. He supported Copernicus' idea that the planets revolve around the sun, while the church asserted that this was heresy. Eventually the church forced Galileo to recant, but over time, in light of an ever-increasing mass of evidence, the idea was accepted. Today the original reasons for the church's opposition have been all but forgotten, the Copernican model for planetary motion has been accepted, and the church has continued to prosper. A similar fight is now occurring over evolution. While the Catholic Church does not oppose evolution, some other religious groups do. In view of this and the probability of future conflicts between science and various religions, it's worth considering the responsibilities of scientists and engineers dealing with such potentially volatile conflicts. In general, science does not address faith. When something is accepted as a "matter of faith", it is intrinsically outside the realm of science. Given this, I personally would not quibble with someone who rejected evolution for the sole reason that it was against his or her faith. So, why discuss it? Because “creation science”, recently rebranded “intelligent design”, is being promoted as "science" and it is not. Whenever something is falsely asserted as being backed up by scientific principals, it not only falls within the domain of what can be addressed, but in fact scientists and engineers have a responsibility to refute it.
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