Permutations of Evolution
At a very early stage of the campaign for the 2008 presidential election, a television event was staged at which a domineering host insisted that the Republican candidates answer “yes” or “no” to his question, “Do you believe in evolution?” It was a trick question designed to embarrass, because evolution is not a single, precisely defined concept, but a set of related concepts, some of which are much better supported than others. The candidates should have demanded a precise definition before they would answer, but the format did not permit that option.
If the question had referred only to the evolutionary process by which disease-causing viruses become resistant to antiviral drugs, the . . .