Monday, October 28, 2013

Michael Egnor Keeps Digging

When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
Will Rogers
I favor teaching biochemistry from an evolutionary perspective and I was pleased to see that ASBMB considers evolution to be one of the fundamental concepts in biochemistry and molecular biology [ASBMB Core Concepts in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: Evolution]. (ASBMB screws up their description of evolution but at least their heart's in the right place.)

Unless they understand evolution, students can't really understand why some parts of a protein are the same in all species and other parts are quite variable. They certainly can't understand why you can construct a phylogenetic tree from sequences and why this tree closely resembles those trees made from comparing anatomy/embryology. They won't know why those molecular trees are consistent with a fossil record unless they understand evolution.

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