Common Descent Debate
Speakers: Joel Velasco and Paul Nelson
Science carries great authority in our culture. For much of the public, however, aspects of the scientific enterprise are marked by controversy. Near the top of that list is evolution, a theory widely held by scientists to be the cornerstone of modern biology. Yet over the past decade, in the face of unexpected genetic discoveries, even some evolutionary biologists have openly questioned Darwin's "Tree of Life" — the theory of common descent of all life on Earth from a single organism.
In this forum, two philosophers of biology with expertise in the area debated the current status and the future of Common Descent. Velasco defended the mainstream evolutionary position; Nelson challenged it.