"The odds that the association is simply due to chance are only one in 250, substantially higher than the standard confidence level of one chance in 20 that scientists demand."
Contrast this to many lay people's misunderstanding that something shown to 98% confidence "is not proven" -- a key element of the global warming debate.
-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
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Charles Darwin would undoubtedly be both pleased and chagrined.
The famous scientist would be pleased because a study published online this week provides the first clear evidence that natural selection, his favored mechanism of evolution, drives the process of species formation in a wide variety of plants and animals. But he would be chagrined because it has taken nearly 150 years to do so.
What Darwin did in his revolutionary treatise, "On the Origin of Species," was to explain how much of the extraordinary variety of biological traits possessed by plants and animals arises from a single process, natural selection. Since then a large number of studies and observations have supported and extended his original work. However, linking natural selection to the origin of the 30 to 100 million different species estimated to inhabit the earth, has proven considerably more elusive.