The journal Nature pushes “An anti-evolution strategy”

I just thought it was a bit humorous to see in a recent issue of nature a box that was labeled “An anti-evolution strategy.”  And yes, they are in favor of that anti-evolution strategy.

Of course the box occurs in an article titled “The evolution of cancer,” (Patrick Goymer, Nature 454:1046-1048  28 Aug. 2008), which article gets into the serious fact that cancer evolves to become effective in metastasis (spreading across the body) and in survival in general–including resistance to chemotherapy.  The anti-evolution strategy is to try to prevent said evolution, which seems to be the only reasonable form of anti-evolution of which I know (it’s also important in preventing the evolution of human pathogens).

Anyhow, the title “An anti-evolution strategy” took me by surprise, when I first saw it.  One might, though, learn from articles such as that one that the complex evolution may not be so difficult, for in fact cancers require quite a number of mutations in order to become effective at thwarting all of the body’s defenses against cancer.  Certainly cancers do not have anything like the difficulty in evolving that Behe suggests exist, although one would have to exercise considerable caution in analogizing cancer evolution to the evolution of organisms.  But I could say the same thing about trying to figure out how hard it is to evolve by looking at a highly evolved and highly specialized parasite such as Plasmodium falciparum.

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