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"Darwin was not wrong"

Steven NewtonSteven Newton

Writing at the Huffington Post (August 26, 2010), NCSE's Steven Newton debunked the latest round of "Darwin was wrong" sensationalism in the media. A recent paper in Biology Letters, Sarda Sahney, Michael Benton, and Paul Ferry's "Links between global taxonomic diversity, ecological diversity and the expansion of vertebrates on land," was widely proclaimed as showing that Darwin was wrong. But Newton commented, "These reporters really should have 1) talked to the authors, 2) read the Biology Letters paper, and 3) familiarized themselves with what Darwin wrote. When I talked to lead author Sarda Sahney, of the University of Bristol, she told me unequivocally: 'We are not in any way suggesting Darwin was wrong.'" After briefly describing the real significance of the paper, which represents "a refinement of the details of how evolution happens," Newton lamented the prospect of these misleading reports fueling creationist efforts to undermine the teaching of evolution: "Once misguided, sensationalist headlines such as these start to spread, this poisonous misinformation — despite all the hard work and research of scientists — becomes a tool for those who reject science."