Stick to the science, please |

Stick to the science, please

The science articles written by Alan Stahler are usually highly informative and interesting. Alan clearly has a gift for transmitting difficult scientific concepts in plain language and an engaging style.

However, I would like to see Mr. Stahler stick with truly scientific subjects and leave the religious speculations to the theologians. Many of his readers are not scientists, so they don’t realize that he frequently departs from pure science and dabbles in unsubstantiated theories and fanciful tales of past events which never actually happened.

An example of this departure appeared last week. He attempted to present a scientific explanation for the origin of black and white human skin colors on our planet. He said that the melanin which colors the skin of our African brothers evolved in order to protect them from UV radiation from the sun.

It is a nice story, but there is no scientific evidence to support it, and neither is there any possible way for it to happen.

The complex and highly specific DNA code for melanin would have to come together through an unlikely series of chance mutations, none of which would be subject to natural selection since each individual mutation event would not increase the organism’s chances of survival. In addition, the DNA code of the melanocytes, the organs which produce melanin in the epidermis, would also have to develop by chance mutations and their location in the skin cells genetically determined as well. The complexity of the process is mind-boggling and the mathematical improbability of these chance events is staggering. It could not happen, not even in a billion years.

In addition, only a change in the survival rate before reproduction could effect a change in the physical characteristics of a population. Therefore, even if a person died of cancer due to lack of melanin, it would not direct the process of natural selection.

Unfortunately, most non-scientists would merely accept Stahler’s explanation as scientific rather than what it really is, a speculation which has no basis in fact.

Susan L. Bauman

Nevada City

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


See more