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Rants, Raves, Interesting Science & Awful Puns
April 26, 2001

Evolution Facts?

Questioning Things That 'Everyone Knows'

A book that's predictably drawing flak from the Darwinian entrenchments is ICONS OF EVOLUTION. SCIENCE OR MYTH? Why Much of what we teach about evolution is wrong, by Jonathan Wells, a postdoctoral biologist with Ph.D.s from both Yale University and the University of California at Berkeley. Fundamental pillars of evidence for the theory, taught for decades and contained in even the most recent textbooks, turn out to be not only wrong but known to be wrong, in some cases for half a century or more.

Some Examples:

-- Since the 1960s it has been generally accepted that Earth never possessed a reducing atmosphere of the kind used in the Miller-Urey simulation that created amino acids. All the experiment really demonstrated was that organic compounds can be synthesized under suitably contrived conditions - long known to the chemicals industry.

-- The Tree of Life, a mainstay of textbooks and museum exhibits, posits a branching of progressively more varied forms from ancestors that were closer together. But the fossil record shows no convergence of similarities as one goes back in time. Species, families, orders, classes appear suddenly, fully differentiated and specialized, with none of the transitional forms that ought to be found in abundance. The pattern found is the inverse of that expected, with selection winnowing down an initial proliferation of diversity, rather than producing new types.

-- Haeckel's Embryos. Darwin considered the similarities of embryos in their initial growth stages to be "by far the strongest single class of facts in favor of" his theory. A prime source of evidence was the work of Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), whose comparisons of vertebrate embryos have been familiar to generations of students. But it has been known to biologists for over a century that Haeckel faked his drawings. Yet the illustrations are still used.

-- The British Peppered Moth. Described as "evolution in action," although really a simple example of population dynamics, with light and dark variants present to begin with and nothing genetically new coming into existence. However, even the facts as given are false. The moth does not normally rest on tree bark as photographs show. The pictures were staged, with specimens glued or pinned in position. And the camouflage story doesn't stand up to scrutiny anyway. Later research shows that in many areas the color change in the dominant population preceded the changes in background - possibly induced by the same environmental factors. Offered nevertheless as one of the strongest proofs of the theory.

As Wells asks, if the evidence is "overwhelming" as we're constantly being told, why is it necessary to keep recirculating the same tired and discredited myths?

The book also gives such accounts as that of the Washington high-school teacher who tried to supplement the material he was required to teach with articles from mainstream science publications questioning items presented uncritically in textbooks, but was prohibited by school officials after threats of legal action by the ACLU. Apparently, any criticism of Darwinism now constitutes "religion" and is sufficient to incur State intervention. The force of government is thus used to promote an approved secular religion and put down all dissent - precisely what the Constitution was designed to protect against.

Icons of Evolution by Jonathan Wells, 2000. ISBN 0-89526-276-2 Regnery Publishing, One Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, D.C., 20001 www.regnery.com.

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