En el lugar de Darwin

BERKELEY – Imagine que, siendo usted un científico joven, pasó años recabando información sobre los fundamentos de cómo funciona la naturaleza. Construyó su reputación recogiendo plantas, animales, fósiles y muestras geológicas de todo el mundo, y enviando cartas que registraban su progreso hasta convertirse en un científico de primer nivel. Para cuando regresó de un gran viaje de cinco años, se sorprendió al darse cuenta de que era una estrella en ascenso.

A lo largo de su viaje, y en los años posteriores, se disipó la bruma que había oscurecido algunas explicaciones naturales increíblemente simples pero a la vez poderosas. Usted llegó a darse cuenta de que estaba en territorio intelectual virgen. Sus mentores académicos y los científicos cuyos trabajos usted había leído seguían tropezando con grandes problemas que ahora parecían, si no resueltos, al menos solucionables.

La gente venía hablando de la evolución desde hacía décadas, pero usted había descubierto un mecanismo -la selección natural- que le encontraba una explicación a gran parte de todo eso. Usted toma conciencia de que revelar lo que acaba de entender no sólo revolucionará la ciencia, sino que potencialmente sacudirá muchos de los fundamentos religiosos y filosóficos de sus compatriotas.

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