I haven’t been able to respond to Michael Egnor’s idiocy about evolution because I’ve been recovering from a meeting, but fortunately my fellow ScienceBloglings have. But I’ll add my two cents anyway. Here’s the really stupid part from Egnor (italics mine):
Doctors don’t study evolution. Doctors never study it in medical school, and they never use evolutionary biology in their practice. There are no courses in medical school on evolution. There are no ‘professors of evolution’ in medical schools. There are no departments of evolutionary biology in medical schools.
The evolution–not the rise or spread–but evolution of antibiotic resistance puts the lie rather simply to that inanity. Good doctors, who are concerned not only with the health of the patient in front of them, but also with the health of the community consider how their antibiotic prescribing practices can result in–wait for it–the evolution of antibiotic resistance.
Of course, some of the creationist morons will hie in here and claim that antibiotic resistance really isn’t evolution because it’s ‘only’ microevolution. What these ignorant people apparently* do not know is that many of the same theories and methods (both laboratory and analytical) that biologists use to understand macroevolution (patterns at the species level and above) are used to understand microevolution:
Population genetic theory?
Phylogenetic reconstruction (systematics)?
The comparative method?
Even “devo-evo” (development and evolution) is finding its way in through the medically important phenomenon of multicellular biofilms which can affect antibiotic resistanc. Of my collaborators over the last few years, about a third are MDs who examine the evolutionary biology of pathogens and commensal microorganisms.
So any doctor who is interested in or works in public health needs to have some understanding evolutionary biology.
*I write apparently because they could be aware of this and choose to be willfully ignorant.