A Review of "Darwin On Trial"
Phillip E. Johnson is a lawyer. He is a graduate of Harvard and the University of Chicago. He has taught law at the University of California for over twenty years. He has written a book about the theory of evolution, not so much from a scientific standpoint as an evidential standpoint. What he has found is that, contrary to popular opinion, there is not the vast body of empirical evidence supporting the theory as many would like for us to believe. The theory must be accepted by faith, if it is to be accepted at all.
By all means, get the book if this controversy is of interest to you. The book's title is "Darwin on Trial" and is published by Intervarsity Press.
Johnson tackles the theory in several ways, He shows how the evidence for natural selection is completely inadequate to support the theory. The supposed evidence is really not evidence at all. The arguments used amount to a tautology; or saying the same thing twice and trying to prove the one by the other. For example, natural selection means that nature weeds out inferior species by allowing only the fittest to survive. How do we know? Well, we know this because the earth is covered with the fossils of extinct species. They were not fit, you see. How do we know they weren't? Because they all died. The fact is, creatures which have become extinct at one place may have done very well in another. You see what they have done? Natural selection defines "fittest" as those species which survived, and those species which survived are said to prove "natural selection"!
The theory is so problematic that many scientists have tried in vain to find some way to make it work. One of these is called "the hopeful monster" theory. Essentially, since the evidence for a slow evolution of organs is so lacking, and since natural selection holds that any change must be beneficial to the animal for evolution to occur, and since a partially developed eye that will take thousands of generations to become useable is not beneficial to the animal, some have suggested "the hopeful monster" theory. This suggests that a great leap is made in one generation with the offspring possessing entire organs that their parents did not have. Such a thing is called a "macro-mutation". All the parts must develop suddenly in lock-step, and every part is needed else the mechanism will be useless. If only 50% of the mechanisms needed for sight developed, the creature would have a useless eye that could not see at all. Well, the theory was tried, and some still hold to it today, but most have rejected it because for such a thing to happen sounds too much like a miracle. The secular evolutionist does not like to even get close to admitting such.
Johnson also looks at other various arguments made to support evolution, and how they really do not prove what they are said to prove. Darwinism is a faith; its proponents are as fanatical as any "religious fanatic" has ever been. They are the ones fighting to keep any evidence that counters their dogma from being taught. To question Darwinism is to commit sacrilege to them. Any interpretation of data that supports Darwin's theory seems to be fine, and high school science textbooks today continue to advance theories in support of evolution that have even been discarded by evolutionists themselves! There are textbooks rolling off the press today that argue that the developing embryo of animals goes through its evolutionary stages, for example. And the state sanctioned proselytizing of the young to the Darwinian faith continues. As one high priest of Darwinism preached:
"In the evolutionary pattern of thought there is no longer either need or room for the supernatural. The earth was not created, it evolved. So did all the animals and plants that inhabit it, including our human selves, mind and soul as well as brain and body. So did religion...
Finally, the evolutionary vision is enabling us to discern, however incompletely, the lineaments of the new religion that we can be sure will arise to serve the needs of our coming era."
At the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species, Chicago; 1959.
By Jon W. Quinn
The Final Page
From Expository Files 4.11; November 1997