Monday, February 18, 2008

PoE: 1.1.1. No standard definition of "evolution"

At last, here is subsection 1.1.1, "There is no standard definition of `evolution,'" the first actual page of my online book outline, "Problems of Evolution"!

[Left: The late Ernst Mayr's, "What Evolution Is" (2001), which however does not really say what "evolution" is! See below.]

Now that I have posted more than half of the Bibliography pages, I should be able to post these pages more rapidly, my aim being at least one subsection page per week.

However, I am now dividing my time between three blogs, the other two being My other blogs: TheShroudofTurin and Jesus is Jehovah!, progress will inevitably be slower. These pages are really only first drafts, so I make no claim to them being perfect. This is a work-in-progress.

© Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).




1.1. What is evolution?

1.1.1. There is no standard definition of "evolution"

The first problem of evolution is that evolutionists seem unable to agree on a standard definition of what evolution is!

This is evident in that leading biology dictionaries all have different definitions of "evolution." For example, the Oxford Dictionary of Biology, defines "evolution" as, "The gradual process by which the present diversity of plant and animal life arose from the earliest and most primitive organisms, which is believed to have been continuing for at least the past 3000 million years" (Martin & Hine, 2000, p.219). According to the Cambridge Dictionary of Biology, "evolution" is "Changes in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations" and "The gradual development of more complex organisms from simpler ones" (Walker, ed, 1989, pp.105-106). The Collins Dictionary of Biology states that "evolution" is "an explanation of the way in which present-day organisms have been produced, involving changes taking place in the genetic make-up of populations that have been passed on to successive generations." (Hale, et al., 1995, p.249). The Penguin Dictionary of Biology does not define "evolution" but instead gives a distinction between "Microevolution" being "changes in appearance of populations and species over generations" and "Macroevolution" involving "origins and extinctions of species and grades" (Thain & Hickman, 2000, pp.228-229).

One would think that if anyone could give a definition of what "evolution" it would be the late Ernst Mayr (1904-2005), who for more than a half-century was regarded as "the greatest living evolutionary biologist" (Raeburn, 2001). And if there was any of Mayr's works that would have the definitive definition of "evolution" it would be in his last book on evolution, "What Evolution Is" (2001). But in that book Mayr's definition of "evolution" is "the gradual process by which the living world has been developing following the origin of life" (Mayr, 2001, p.286), is so vague that it would encompass most versions of creation! But this is to be expected of one once frankly admitted that evolution "looks alike to no two persons" with different "attempts at causal explanation" being determined by the different backgrounds of each biologist (Mayr, 1970, p.1)!

But as the late Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) once admitted that the theory of "evolution" was "a conglomerate idea consisting of conflicting hypotheses" and that he and his "colleagues teach it as such" (Gould, 1987a, p.65). British paleontologist Simon Conway Morris observed that, "the only point of agreement" among evolutionists is that "It happened" and "Thereafter, there is little consensus" (Conway Morris, 2000, p.1).

However, this lack of a standard definition of "evolution" provides evolutionists with an enormous tactical advantage, in that the same word "evolution" can mean something as narrow as "dog-breeding" and as wide as "all living things are the accidental products of a purposeless universe" (Johnson, 1997, pp.44-45). "Evolution" therefore is a highly manipulable term that enables the evolutionist to switch back and forth between those very different meanings of "evolution" and any meaning in between, during in the course of the same discussion (Johnson, 1995, p.74).

We will next consider what "evolution" is not, and finally what "evolution" really is.

Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).

My other blogs: TheShroudofTurin & Jesus is Jehovah!

"When discussing organic evolution the only point of agreement seems to be: `It happened.' Thereafter, there is little consensus, which at first sight must seem rather odd." (Conway Morris, S., 2000, "Evolution: Bringing Molecules into the Fold," Cell, Vol. 100, January 7, pp.1-11, p.1).

""evolution an explanation of the way in which present-day organisms have been produced, involving changes taking place in the genetic make-up of populations that have been passed on to successive generations. According to DARWINISM, evolutionary MUTATIONS have given rise to changes that have, through NATURAL SELECTION, either survived in better adapted organisms (See ADAPTATION, GENETIC), or died out. Evolution is now generally accepted as the means which gives rise to new species (as opposed to SPECIAL CREATION) but there is still debate about exactly how it has taken place and how rapidly changes can take place." (Hale, W.G., Margham, J.P. & Saunders, V.A. , 1995, "Collins Dictionary of Biology," [1988], HarperCollins: Glasgow UK, Second edition, p.249. Emphasis original).

"Of course the official caricature utterly misrepresents the scope of the controversy. Creationists are not necessarily Genesis literalists or believers in a young earth, nor do they necessarily reject `evolution' in all senses of that highly manipulable term. A creationist is simply a person who believes that God creates-meaning that the living world is the product of an intelligent and purposeful Creator rather than merely a combination of chance events and impersonal natural laws. Critics of evolutionary theory are well aware of the standard examples of microevolution, including dog breeding and the cyclical variations that have been seen in things like finch beaks and moth populations. The difference is that we interpret these observations as examples of the capacity of dogs and finches to vary within limits, not of a process capable of creating dogs and finches, much less the main groups of plants and animals, in the first place. This skepticism about the extrapolationist view of evolution is hardly unreasonable, because many distinguished evolutionary biologists have also written that large-scale evolutionary change cannot be explained as a product of merely the accumulation of generation-to-generation variations. As any creationist (and many evolutionists) would see the matter, making the case for `evolution' as a general theory of life's history requires a lot more than merely citing examples of small-scale variation. It requires showing how extremely complex biological structures can be built up from simple beginnings by natural processes, without the need for input or guidance from a supernatural Creator." (Johnson, P.E., 1995, "Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law, and Education," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, p.74).

"Vague Terms and Shifting Definitions Make sure people don't mislead you by using vague terms that can suddenly take on a new meaning. In the creation-evolution debate, the key terms that are subject to manipulation are science and evolution. Everybody is in favor of science, and everybody also believes in evolution - when that term is defined broadly enough! But science has more than one definition, and so does evolution. Watch out for `bait and switch' tactics, by which you are led to agree with a harmless definition and then the term is used in a very different sense. Here's an example of how you can be deceived: `You believe in dog breeding, don't you? Well, did you know that dog breeding is an example of evolution? Now that you know that, and have seen all those breeds of dogs for yourself, you realize that you actually do believe in evolution, don't you? Good. That's enough for today. Later on we'll tell you more about what evolution means.' (It's going to mean that all living things are the accidental products of a purposeless universe.) This is not a `straw man' example, by the way. Selective breeding of animals is a process guided by intelligence, and it produces only variations within the species; yet Darwinists from Charles Darwin himself to the more recent Richard Dawkins and Francis Crick have cited it as a powerful example of `evolution.' If somebody asks, `Do you believe in evolution?' the right reply is not `Yes' or `No.' It is: `Precisely what do you mean by evolution?' My experience has been that the first definition I get will be so broad as to be indisputable - like `There has been change in the course of life's history.' Later on a much more precise and controversial definition- like the one by the National Association of Biology Teachers I quoted in chapter one - will be substituted without notice. That one word evolution can mean something so tiny it hardly matters, or so big it explains the whole history of the universe. Keep your baloney detector trained on that word. If it moves, zap it!" (Johnson, P.E. , 1997, "Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, pp.44-45. Emphasis original).

"Learn to use terms precisely and consistently. Evolution is a term of many meanings, and the meanings have a way of changing without notice. Dog breeding and finch-beak variations are frequently cited as typical examples of evolution. So is the fact that all the differing races of humans descend from a single parent, or even that Americans today are larger on average than they were a century ago (due to better nutrition). If relatively minor variations like that were all evolution were about, there would be no controversy, and even the strictest biblical fundamentalists would be evolutionists. Of course evolution is about a lot more than in-species variation. The important issue is whether the dog breeding and finch-beak examples fairly illustrate the process that created animals in the first place. Using the single term evolution to cover both the controversial and the uncontroversial aspects of evolution is a recipe for misunderstanding." (Johnson, 1997, p.57. Emphasis original).

"evolution The gradual process by which the present diversity of plant and animal life arose from the earliest and most primitive organisms, which is believed to have been continuing for at least the past 3000 million years. Until the middle of the 18th century it was generally believed that each species was divinely created and fixed in its form throughout its existence (see special creation). Lamarck was the first biologist to publish a theory to explain how one species could have evolved into another (see Lamarckism), but it was not until the publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species in 1859 that special creation was seriously challenged. Unlike Lamarck, Darwin proposed a feasible mechanism for evolution and backed it up with evidence from the fossil record and studies of comparative anatomy and embryology (see Darwinism; natural selection). The modern version of Darwinism, which incorporates discoveries in genetics made since Darwin's time, probably remains the most acceptable theory of species evolution (see also punctuated equilibrium). More controversial, however, and still to be firmly clarified, are the relationships and evolution of groups above the species level. See also macroevolution; microevolution." (Martin, E. & Hine, R.S., eds. , 2000, "Oxford Dictionary of Biology," [1985], Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, Fourth edition, p.219. Emphasis original).

"The theory of evolution is quite rightly called the greatest unifying theory in biology. The diversity of organisms, similarities and differences between kinds of organisms, patterns of distribution and behavior, adaptation and interaction, all this was merely a bewildering chaos of facts until given meaning by the evolutionary theory. There is no area in biology in which that theory does not serve as an ordering principle. Yet this very universality of application has created difficulties. Evolution shows so many facets that it looks alike to no two persons. The more different the backgrounds of two biologists, the more different their attempts at causal explanation." (Mayr, E.W., 1970, "Populations, Species and Evolution," Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, Reprinted, 1974, p.1).

"Evolution The gradual process by which the living world has been developing following the origin of life." (Mayr, E.W., 2001, "What Evolution Is," Basic Books: New York NY, p.286. Emphasis original).

"Mayr has been called `the greatest living evolutionary biologist' by his colleague Stephen Jay Gould. He has held that honorary title for more than half a century: one of his most important contributions came in 1942, when he published `Systematics and the Origin of Species,' which incorporated genetics, ecology and paleontology into what has become the modern view of evolution. And Mayr has been hard at it ever since, turning out two books this year alone. (Besides this one, he has a 500-page scholarly work on the birds of Melanesia, written with Jared M. Diamond.)." (Raeburn, P., 2001, "An Evolving Idea." Review of "What Evolution Is," by Ernst Mayr, Basic Books. New York, 2001. The New York Times, December 16)

"evolution (1) Microevolution: changes in appearance of populations and species over generations. (2) Macroevolution or phyletic evolution: origins and EXTINCTIONS of species and grades (see SPECIATION). .... It is usually accepted that causes of evolutionary change include NATURAL SELECTION and GENETIC DRIFT, and that macroevolutionary change can be explained by the same factors that bring about microevolution. ... Opposed to evolutionary explanations of the composition of the Earth's fauna and flora is the group of views termed 'SPECIAL CREATIONISM', which holds that there are no bonds of genetic relationship between species, past or present." (Thain, M. & Hickman, M., 2000, "The Penguin Dictionary of Biology," [1951], Penguin Books: London, Tenth Edition, pp.228-229. Emphasis original).

"evolution Changes in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations. The gradual development of more complex organisms from simpler ones." (Walker, P.M.B., ed., 1989, "Cambridge Dictionary of Biology," Cambridge University Press: New York NY, Reprinted, 1990, pp.105-106. Emphasis original).

"Well, Mr. Kristol, evolution (as theory) is indeed `a conglomerate idea consisting of conflicting hypotheses,' and I and my colleagues teach it as such." (Gould, S.J., 1987, "Darwinism Defined: The Difference Between Fact and Theory," Discover, January, pp.64-70, p.65).

Friday, February 15, 2008

PoE: Bibliography "J"

This is the Bibliography "J" page for authors' surnames beginning

[Right: "Darwin on Trial," (First edition, 1991), by then Berkeley University Professor of Law, Phillip E. Johnson. The importance of this book, over previous critiques of Darwinism (and perhaps of any since), is in Johnson's brilliant exposé of the prior metaphysical assumption of Naturalism, i.e. "nature is all there is, and all things supernatural ... do not exist" (Wikipedia), which underpins Darwinism, i.e.

"Darwinism ... is a necessary implication of a philosophical doctrine called scientific naturalism, which is based on the a priori assumption that God was always absent from the realm of nature" (Johnson P.E., "What is Darwinism?" 1992)

and which makes Darwinian (or any other form of fully naturalistic of evolution), automatically true, irrespective (and even despite) the evidence. See also PS]

with "J" which I may refer to in my book outline, "Problems of Evolution."

© Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology)



Jacob, F., 1970, "The Logic of Life: A History of Heredity," Spillmann B.E., transl., Pantheon: New York NY, Reprinted, 1982.
Jacob, F., 1998, "Of Flies, Mice, and Men," [1997], Weiss, G., transl., Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA.
Jaki, S.L., 1988, "The Absolute beneath the Relative and Other Essays," University Press of America: Lanham MD.
Jarman, C., 1970, "Evolution of Life," Hamlyn: London.
Jastrow, R., 1968, "Stars, Planets and Life: The Evolution of the Cosmos," Heinemann: London.
Jastrow, R., 1977, "Until the Sun Dies," Fontana/Collins: London, Reprinted, 1979.
Jastrow, R., 1992, "God and the Astronomers," [1978], W.W. Norton: New York NY, Second edition.
Jauncey, J.H., 1961, "Science Returns to God," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Second printing, 1962.
Jeans, J., 1930, "The Mysterious Universe," Penguin: Harmondsworth UK, Second edition, 1931, Reprinted, 1937.
Jeeves, M.A., 1967, "Scientific Psychology and Christian Belief," Inter-Varsity Fellowship: London.
Jeeves, M.A., 1969, "The Scientific Enterprise and Christian Faith: Main Themes from a Conference of the Research Scientists' Christian Fellowship," Tyndale Press: London.
Jeeves, M.A., 1994, "Mind Fields: Reflections on the Science of Mind and Brain," Lancer: Homebush NSW, Australia.
Jeeves, M.A. & Berry, R.J., 1998, "Science, Life and Christian Belief: A Survey and Assessment," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Second printing, 2000.
Jenkins, D.E., 1987, "God, Miracle and the Church of England," SCM: London.
Jewett, P.K., 1991, "God, Creation, and Revelation: A Neo-Evangelical Theology," Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI.
Joad, C.E.M., 1932, "Philosophical Aspects of Modern Science," Unwin: London, Reprinted, 1963.
Joad, C.E.M., 1952, "The Recovery of Belief: A Restatement of Christian Philosophy," Faber & Faber: London.
Johanson, D.C. & Edey, M.A., 1981, "Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind," Paladin: London, Reprinted, 1982.
Johanson, D.C. & Shreeve, J., 1989, "Lucy's Child: The Discovery of a Human Ancestor," Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1991.
Johnson, G., 1995, "Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order," Penguin Books: London, Reprinted, 1997.
Johnson, J.W.G., 1982, "The Crumbling Theory of Evolution," Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, Inc: Los Angeles CA, 1987, Third printing.
Johnson, M.L., Abercrombie, M. & Fogg, G.E., eds, 1954, "The Origin of Life," New Biology, No. 16, Penguin Books: London, April.
Johnson, P., 1976, "A History of Christianity," Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1990.
Johnson, P., 1987, "A History of the Jews," Weidenfeld & Nicolson: London.
Johnson, P., 1988, "Intellectuals," Phoenix: London, Reprinted, 1996.
Johnson, P., 1996, "The Quest for God: A Personal Pilgrimage," Phoenix: London, Reprinted, 1997.
Johnson, P.E., 1990, "Evolution as Dogma: The Establishment of Naturalism," Reprint from First Things, November 1990, Foundation for Thought and Ethics: Richardson TX.
Johnson, P.E., 1991, "Darwin on Trial," Regnery Gateway: Washington DC, First edition.
Johnson, P.E., 1993, "Darwin on Trial," [1991], InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second edition.
Johnson, P.E., 1995, "Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law and Education," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL.
Johnson, P.E., 1997, "Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL.
Johnson, P.E., 1998, "Objections Sustained: Subversive Essays on Evolution, Law & Culture," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL.
Johnson, P.E., 2000, "The Wedge of Truth: Splitting the Foundations of Naturalism," Intervarsity Press: Downers Grove IL..
Johnson, P.E., 2002, "The Right Questions: Truth, Meaning & Public Debate, InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL.
Johnson, P.E. & Lamoureux, D.O., 1999, "Darwinism Defeated? The Johnson-Lamoureux Debate on Biological Origins," Regent College Publishing: Vancouver, Canada.
Jones, H.S., 1940, "Life on Other Worlds," [Mentor: New York NY, Sixth printing, 1955.
Jones, J.S., 1993, "The Language of the Genes: Biology, History and the Evolutionary Future," Flamingo: London, Reprinted, 1994.
Jones, J.S., 1996, "In the Blood: God, Genes and Destiny," HarperCollins: London.
Jones, J.S., 1999, "Almost Like a Whale: The Origin of Species Updated," Doubleday: London.
Jones, J.S., 2002, "Y: The Descent of Men," Little, Brown: London.
Jones, J.S., Martin, R. & Pilbeam, D., eds, 1992, "The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Evolution," Cambridge University Press, Reprinted, 1994.
Jones, P., 2001, "Pagans in the Pews," Regal: Ventura CA.
Jones, R.N. & Karp, A., 1986, "Introducing Genetics," John Murray: London.
Jordan, W., 1992, "Divorce Among the Gulls: An Uncommon Look at Human Nature," HarperPerennial: New York NY.
Jowett, B., transl, 1871, "The Essential Plato," The Softback Preview: London, 1999.
Judson, H.F., 1979, "The Eighth Day of Creation: Makers of the Revolution in Biology," Simon and Schuster: New York NY.
Jurmain, R., Kilgore, L, Trevathan, W.R. & Nelson, H., 2004, "Essentials of Physical Anthropology," [1992], Wadsworth/Thomson: Belmont CA, Fifth edition.

PS: The `tagline' quotes below are all from the 1993 second edition of Prof. Johnson's "Darwin on Trial." Emphases in italics are original and those in bold are mine.

Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).
My other blog: TheShroudofTurin & Jesus is Jehovah!

"IN 1981 THE STATE legislature of Louisiana passed a law requiring that if `evolution-science' is taught in the public schools, the school must also provide balanced treatment for something called `creation-science.' The statute was a direct challenge to the scientific orthodoxy of today, which is that all living things evolved by a gradual, natural process-from nonliving matter to simple microorganisms, leading eventually to man. Evolution is taught in the public schools (and presented in the media) not as a theory but as a fact, the `fact of evolution.' There are nonetheless many dissidents, some with advanced scientific degrees, who deny that evolution is a fact and who insist that an intelligent Creator caused all living things to come into being in furtherance of a purpose." (Johnson, P.E., 1993, "Darwin on Trial," [1991] InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second edition, p.3).

"The conflict requires careful explanation, because the terms are confusing. The concept of creation in itself does not imply opposition to evolution, if evolution means only a gradual process by which one kind of living creature changes into something different. A Creator might well have employed such a gradual process as a means of creation. `Evolution' contradicts `creation' only when it explicitly or tacitly defined as fully naturalistic evolution-meaning evolution that is not directed by any purposeful intelligence." (Johnson, 1993, pp.3-4).

"Similarly, `creation' contradicts evolution only when it means sudden creation, rather than creation by progressive development. For example, the term `creation-science,' as used in the Louisiana law, is commonly understood to refer to a movement of Christian fundamentalists based upon an extremely literal interpretation the Bible. Creation-scientists do not merely insist that life was created; they insist that the job was completed in six days no more than ten thousand years ago, and that all evolution since that time has involved trivial modifications rather than basic changes. Because creation-science has been the subject of so much controversy and media attention, many people assume that anyone who advocates `creation' endorses the `young earth' position and attributes the existence of fossils to Noah's flood." (Johnson, 1993, p.4).

"Clearing up confusion requires a careful and consistent use of terms. In this book `creation-science' refers to young-earth, six-day special creation. `Creationism' means belief in creation in a more general sense. Persons who believe that the earth is billions of years old and that simple forms of life evolved gradually to become more complex forms including humans, are `creationists' if they believe that a supernatural Creator not only initiated the process but in some meaningful sense controls it in furtherance of a purpose. As we shall see evolution' (in contemporary scientific usage) excludes not just creation-science but creationism in the broad sense. By `Darwinism I mean fully naturalistic evolution, involving chance mechanisms guided by natural selection." (Johnson, 1993, p.4).

"As a legal scholar, one point that attracted my attention in the Supreme Court case was the way terms like `science' and `religion' are used to imply conclusions that judges and educators might be unwilling to state explicitly. If we say that naturalistic evolution is science, and supernatural creation is religion, the effect is not very different from saying that the former is true and the latter is fantasy. When the doctrines of science are taught as fact, then whatever those doctrines exclude cannot be true. By the use of labels, objections to naturalistic evolution can be dismissed without a fair hearing. My suspicions were confirmed by the `friend of the court' argument submitted by the influential National Academy of Sciences, representing the nation's most prestigious scientists. Creation-science is not science, said the Academy in its argument to the Supreme Court, because `it fails to display the most basic characteristic of science: reliance upon naturalistic explanations. Instead, proponents of `creation-science' hold that the creation of the universe, the earth, living things, and man was accomplished through supernatural means inaccessible to human understanding.' [National Academy of Sciences, "Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences," 1984] Because creationists cannot perform scientific research to establish the reality of supernatural creation-that being by definition impossible-the Academy described their efforts as aimed primarily at discrediting evolutionary theory. `Creation-science' is thus manifestly a device designed to dilute the persuasiveness of the theory of evolution. The dualistic mode of analysis and the negative argumentation employed to accomplish this dilution is, moreover, antithetical to the scientific method. The Academy thus defined science' in such a way that advocates of supernatural creation may neither argue for their own position nor dispute the claims of the scientific establishment. What may be one way to win an argument, but it is not satisfying to anyone who thinks it possible that God really did have something to do with creating mankind, or that some of the claims that scientists make under the heading of `evolution' may be false." (Johnson, 1993, pp.7-8).

"`Evolution' can mean anything from the uncontroversial statement that bacteria `evolve' resistance to antibiotics to the grand metaphysical claim that the universe and mankind `evolved' entirely by purposeless, mechanical forces. A word that elastic is likely to mislead, by implying that we know as much about the grand claim as we do about the small one. That very point was the theme of a remarkable lecture given by Colin Patterson at the American Museum of Natural History in 1981. Patterson is [was] a senior paleontologist at the British Natural History Museum and the author of that museum's general text on evolution. His lecture compared creationism (not creation-science) with evolution, and characterized both as scientifically vacuous concepts which are held primarily on the basis of faith. Many of the specific points in the lecture are technical, but two are of particular importance for this introductory chapter. First, Patterson asked his audience of experts a question which reflected his own doubts about much of what has been thought to be secure knowledge about evolution: `Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing ... that is true? I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all I got there was silence for a long time and eventually one person said "I do know one thing-it ought not to be taught in high school." Patterson suggested that both evolution and creation are forms of pseudo-knowledge, concepts which seem to imply information but do not. One point of comparison was particularly striking. A common objection to creationism in pre-Darwinian times was that no one could say anything about the mechanism of creation. Creationists simply pointed to the `fact' of creation and conceded ignorance of the means. But now, according to Patterson, Darwin's theory of natural selection is under fire and scientists are no longer sure of its general validity. Evolutionists increasingly talk like creationists in that they point to a fact but cannot provide an explanation of the means. Patterson ... was making an important point. We can point to a mystery and call it `evolution,' but this is only a label. The important question is not whether scientists have agreed on a label, but how much they know about how complex living beings like ourselves came into existence." (Johnson, 1993, pp.9-10).

"When outsiders question whether the theory of evolution is as secure as we have been led to believe, we are firmly told that such questions are out of order. The arguments among the experts are said to be about matters of detail, such as the precise timescale and mechanism of evolutionary transformations. These disagreements are signs not of crisis but of healthy creative ferment within the field, and in any case there is no room for doubt whatever about something called the `fact' of evolution. But consider Colin Patterson's point that a fact of evolution is vacuous unless it comes with a supporting theory. Absent an explanation of how fundamental transformations can occur, the bare statement that `humans evolved from fish' is not impressive. What makes the fish story impressive, and credible, is that scientists think they know how a fish can be changed into a human without miraculous intervention. Charles Darwin made evolution a scientific concept by showing, or claiming to have shown, that major transformations could occur in very small steps by purely natural means, so that time, chance, and differential survival could take the place of a miracle. ... Disagreements about the mechanism of evolution are therefore of fundamental importance to those of us who want to know whether the scientists really know as much as they have been claiming to know. An adequate theory of how evolution works is particularly indispensable when evolution is deemed to imply, as countless Darwinists have insisted, that purposeless material mechanisms are responsible for our existence. `Evolution' in the sense in which, these scientists use the term as a mechanistic process, and so the content of any `fact' that is left when the mechanism is subtracted is thoroughly obscure." (Johnson, 1993, pp.11-12).

"Before undertaking this task I should say something about my qualifications and purpose. I am not a scientist but an academic lawyer by profession, with a specialty in analyzing the logic of arguments and identifying the assumptions that lie behind those arguments. This background is more appropriate than one might think, because what people believe about evolution and Darwinism depends very heavily on the kind of logic they employ and the kind of assumptions they make. Being a scientist is not necessarily an advantage when dealing with a very broad topic like evolution, which cuts across many scientific disciplines and also involves issues of philosophy. Practicing scientists are of necessity highly specialized, and a scientist outside his field of expertise is just another layman." (Johnson, 1993, p.13).

"The last subject I should address before beginning is my personal religious outlook, because readers are bound to wonder and because I do not exempt myself from the general rule that bias must be acknowledged and examined. I am a philosophical theist and a Christian. I believe that a God exists who could create out of nothing if He wanted to do so, but who might have chosen to work through a natural evolutionary process instead. I am not a defender of creation-science, and in fact I am not concerned in this book with addressing any conflicts between the Biblical accounts and the scientific evidence. My purpose is to examine the scientific evidence on its own terms, being careful to distinguish the evidence itself from any religious or philosophical bias that might distort our interpretation of that evidence. I assume that the creation-scientists are biased by their precommitment to Biblical fundamentalism, and I will have very little to say about their position. The question I want to investigate is whether Darwinism is based upon a fair assessment of the scientific evidence, or whether it is another kind of fundamentalism." (Johnson, 1993, p.14).

"Darwin did not insist that all evolution was by natural selection, nor do his successors. He wrote at the end of the introduction to the first (1859) edition of The Origin of Species that `I am convinced that natural selection has been the main but not the exclusive means of modification' and later complained of the `steady misrepresentation' that had ignored this qualification [Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species," John Murray: London, First edition, 1859, p.6]. On the other hand, Darwin was vague about the importance of the alternatives, one of which was `variations which seem to us in our ignorance to arise spontaneously.' [Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species," John Murray: London, Sixth edition, 1872, p.421] Contemporary neo-Darwinists also practice a tactically advantageous flexibility concerning the frequency and importance of non-selective evolution. Stephen Jay Gould wrote that this imprecision `imposes a great frustration upon anyone who would characterize the modern synthesis in order to criticize it,' [Gould, S.J., "Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?," Paleobiology, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1980, p.120] and I am sure that every critic shares the frustration. Readers should therefore beware of taking at face value claims by neo-Darwinist authorities that some critic has misunderstood or mischaracterized their theory." (Johnson, 1993, p.16).

"Darwin could not point to impressive examples of natural selection in action, and so he had to rely heavily on an argument by analogy. In the words of Douglas Futuyma: `When Darwin wrote The Origin of Species, he could offer no good cases of natural selection because no one had looked for them. He drew instead an analogy with the artificial selection that animal and plant breeders use to improve domesticated varieties of animals and plants. By breeding only from the woolliest sheep, the most fertile chickens, and so on, breeders have been spectacularly successful in altering almost every imaginable characteristic of our domesticated animals and plants to the point where most of them differ from their wild ancestors far more than related species differ from them.' [Futuyma D.J., "Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution," Pantheon: New York, 1982, p.117] The analogy to artificial selection is misleading. Plant and animal breeders employ intelligence and specialized knowledge to select breeding stock and to protect their charges from natural dangers. The point of Darwin's theory, however, was to establish that purposeless natural processes can substitute for intelligent design." (Johnson, 1993, p.17).

"What artificial selection actually shows is that there are definite limits to the amount of variation that even the most highly skilled breeders can achieve. Breeding of domestic animals has produced no new species, in the commonly accepted sense of new breeding communities that are infertile when crossed with the parent group. ... The eminent French zoologist Pierre Grassé concluded that the results of artificial selection provide powerful testimony against Darwin's theory: `In spite of the intense pressure generated by artificial selection (eliminating any parent not answering the criteria of choice) over whole millennia, no new species are born. A comparative study of sera hemoglobins, blood proteins, interfertility, etc., proves that the strains remain within the same specific definition. This is not a matter of opinion or subjective classification, but a measurable reality. The fact is that selection gives tangible form to and gathers together all the varieties a genome is capable of producing, but does not constitute an innovative evolutionary process.' [Grassé, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms," Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.124-125] In other words, the reason that dogs don't become as big a elephants, much less change into elephants, is not that we just haven't been breeding them long enough. Dogs do not have the genetic capacity for that degree of change, and they stop getting bigger when the genetic limit is reached." (Johnson, 1993, p.18).

"Darwinists ... point with pride to experiments with laboratory fruitflies. These have not produced anything but fruitflies, but they have produced changes in a multitude of characteristics. Plant hybrids have been developed which can breed with each other, but not with the parent species, and which therefore meet the accepted standard for new species. With respect to animals, Darwinists attribute the inability to produce new species to a lack of sufficient time. Humans have been breeding dogs for only a few thousand years, but nature has millions and even hundreds of millions of years at her disposal. In some cases, convincing circumstantial evidence exists of evolution that has produced new species in nature. Familiar examples include the hundreds of fruitfly species in Hawaii and the famous variations among "Darwin's Finches" on the Galapagos Islands." (Johnson, 1993, p.19).

"The time available unquestionably has to be taken into account in evaluating the results of breeding experiments, but it is also possible that the greater time available to nature may be more than counterbalanced by the power of intelligent purpose which is brought to bear in artificial selection. With respect to the famous fruitfly experiments, for example, Grassé noted that `the fruitfly (drosophila melanogaster) the favorite pet insect of the geneticists, whose geographical, biotropical, urban, and rural genotypes are now known inside out, seems not to have changed since the remotest times.' [Grassé, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms," Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.130] Nature has had plenty of time, but it just hasn't been doing what the experimenters have been doing. Lack of time would be a reasonable excuse if there were no other known factor limiting the change that can be produced by selection, but in fact selective change is limited by the inherent variability in the gene pool. After a number of generations the capacity for variation runs out. It might conceivably be renewed by mutation, but whether (and how often) this happens is not known. Whether selection has ever accomplished speciation (i.e. the production of a new species) is not the point. A biological species is simply a group capable of interbreeding. Success in dividing a fruitfly population into two or more separate populations that cannot interbreed would not constitute evidence that a similar process could in time produce a fruitfly from a bacterium. If breeders one day did succeed in producing a group of dogs that can reproduce with each other but not with other dogs, they would still have made only the tiniest step towards proving Darwinism's important claims." (Johnson, 1993, pp.19-20).

"`Natural selection favors fitness only if you define fitness as leaving more descendants. In fact geneticists do define it that way, which may be confusing to others. To a geneticist fitness has nothing to do with health, strength, good looks, or anything but effectiveness in breeding.' [Simpson, G.G., "This View of Life," Harcourt, Brace & World, 1964, p.273] The explanation by Simpson just quoted indicates why it is not easy to formulate the theory of natural selection other than as a tautology. It may seem obvious, for example, that it is advantageous for a wild stallion to be able to run faster, but in the Darwinian sense this will be true only to the extent that a faster stallion sires more offspring. ... Just about any characteristic can be either advantageous or disadvantageous, depending upon the surrounding environmental conditions. ... In all such cases we can presume a characteristic to be advantageous because a species which has it seems to be thriving, but in most cases it is impossible to identify the advantage independently of the outcome. That is why Simpson was so insistent that `advantage' has no inherent meaning other than actual success in reproduction. All we can say is that the individuals which produced the most offspring must have had the qualities required for producing the most offspring." (Johnson, 1993, pp.20-21).

"The famous philosopher of science Karl Popper at one time wrote ... `some of the greatest contemporary Darwinists themselves formulate the theory in such a way that it amounts to the tautology that those organisms that leave most offspring leave most offspring,' citing Fisher, Haldane, Simpson, `and others.' One of the others was C.H. Waddington ... `Natural selection, which was at first considered as though it were a hypothesis that was in need of experimental or observational confirmation, turns out on closer inspection to be a tautology, a statement of an inevitable but previously unrecognized relation. It states that the fittest individuals in a population (defined as those which leave most offspring) will leave most offspring. This fact in no way reduces the magnitude of Darwin's achievement; only after it was clearly formulated, could biologists realize the enormous power of the principle as a weapon of explanation.' [Waddington, C.H., "The Evolution of Life," in Tax, S., ed., "Evolution After Darwin," University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Vol. I, 1960, p.385]. That was not an offhand statement, but a considered judgment published in a paper presented at the great convocation at the University of Chicago in 1959 celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species. Apparently, none of the distinguished authorities present told Waddington that a tautology does not explain anything. ... It is not difficult to understand how leading Darwinists were led to formulate natural selection as a tautology. The contemporary neo-Darwinian synthesis grew out of population genetics, a field anchored in mathematics and concerned with demonstrating how rapidly very small mutational advantages could spread in a population. The advantages in question were assumptions in a theorem, not qualities observed in nature, and the mathematicians naturally tended to think of them as `whatever it was that caused the organism and its descendants to produce more offspring than other members of the species.' This way of thinking spread to the zoologists and paleontologists, who found it convenient to assume that their guiding theory was simply true by definition." (Johnson, 1993, pp.21-22).

"None of the `proofs' provides any persuasive reason for believing that natural selection can produce new species, new organs, or other major changes, or even minor changes that are permanent. The sickle-cell anemia case, for example, merely shows that in special circumstances an apparently disadvantageous trait may not be eliminated from the population. That larger birds have an advantage over smaller birds in high winds or droughts has no tendency whatever to prove that similar factors caused birds to come into existence in the first place. Very likely smaller birds have the advantage in other circumstances, which explains why birds are not continually becoming larger. Pierre Grassé was as unimpressed by this kind of evidence as I am, and he summarized his conclusions at the end of his chapter on evolution and natural selection: `The "evolution in action" of J. Huxley and other biologists is simply the observation of demographic facts, local fluctuations of genotypes, geographical distributions. Often the species concerned have remained practically unchanged for hundreds of centuries! Fluctuation as a result of circumstances, with prior modification of the genome, does not imply evolution, and we have tangible proof of this in many panchronic species [i.e. living fossils that remain unchanged for millions of years]....' [Grassé, P.P., "Evolution of Living Organisms," Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p130)." (Johnson, 1993, p.27. Parentheses Johnson's).

"The National Academy of Sciences told the Supreme Court that the most basic characteristic of science is `reliance upon naturalistic explanations,' as opposed to `supernatural means inaccessible to human understanding.' In the latter, unacceptable category contemporary scientists place not only God, but also any non-material vital force that supposedly drives evolution in the direction of greater complexity, consciousness, or whatever. If science is to have any explanation for biological complexity at all it has to make do with what is left when the unacceptable has been excluded. Natural selection is the best of the remaining alternatives, probably the only alternative. In this situation some may decide that Darwinism simply must be true, and for such persons the purpose of any further investigation will be merely to explain how natural selection works and to solve the mysteries created by apparent anomalies. For them there is no need to test the theory itself, for there is no respectable alternative to test it against. Any persons who say the theory itself is inadequately supported can be vanquished by the question `Darwin's Bulldog' T. H. Huxley used to ask the doubters in Darwin's time: What is your alternative?" (Johnson, 1993, p.28).

"I am not implying that there is anything inherently unreasonable in invoking pleiotropy, or kinship selection, or developmental constraints to explain why apparent anomalies are not necessarily inconsistent with Darwinism. If we assume that Darwinism is basically true then it is perfectly reasonable to adjust the theory as necessary to make it conform to the observed facts. The problem is that the adjusting devices are so flexible that in combination they make it difficult to conceive of a way to test the claims of Darwinism empirically. Apparently maladaptive features can be attributed to pleiotropy, or to our inability to perceive the advantage that may be there, or when all else fails simply to `chance.' Darwin wrote that `If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection.' [Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species," John Murray: London, Sixth edition, 1872, p.162] But this was the same Darwin who insisted that he had never claimed that natural selection was the exclusive mechanism of evolution [Darwin, 1872, p.421]." (Johnson, 1993, p.30).

"The more pressing difficulty was theoretical. Many organs require an intricate combination of complex parts to perform their functions. The eye and the wing are the most common illustrations, but it would be misleading to give the impression that either is a special case; human and animal bodies are literally packed with similar marvels. How can such things be built up by `infinitesimally small inherited variations, each profitable to the preserved being?' The first step towards a new function-such as vision or ability to fly-would not necessarily provide any advantage unless the other parts required for the function appeared at the same time. As an analogy, imagine a medieval alchemist producing by chance a silicon microchip; in the absence of a supporting computer technology the prodigious invention would be useless and he would throw it away. Stephen Jay Gould asked himself `the excellent question, What good is 5 per cent of an eye?,' [Gould, S.J., "The Problem of Perfection," in "Ever Since Darwin," Penguin: London, 1991, p.107] and speculated that the first eye parts might have been useful for something other than sight. Richard Dawkins responded that: `An ancient animal with 5 per cent of an eye might indeed have used it for something other than sight, but it seems to me as likely that it used it for 5 per cent vision. And actually I don't think it is an excellent question. Vision that is 5 per cent as good as yours or mine is very much worth having in comparison with no vision at all. So is 1 per cent vision better than total blindness. And 6 per cent is better than 5, 7 per cent better than 6, and so on up the gradual, continuous series.' [Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker," Penguin: London, 1991, p.81] The fallacy in that argument is that `5 per cent of an eye' is not the same thing as `5 per cent of normal vision.' For an animal to have any useful vision at all, many complex parts must be working together. Even a complete eye is useless unless it belongs to a creature with the mental and neural capacity to make use of the information by doing something that furthers survival or reproduction. What we have to imagine is a chance mutation that provides this complex capacity all at once, at a level of utility sufficient to give the creature an advantage in producing offspring." (Johnson, 1993, pp.34-35).

"One particularly eminent scientist of the mid-twentieth century who concluded that it [Darwin's theory] had absolutely broken down was the German-American geneticist, Professor Richard Goldschmidt of the University of California at Berkeley. Goldschmidt issued a famous challenge to the neo-Darwinists, listing a series of complex structures from mammalian hair to hemoglobin that he thought could not have been produced by the accumulation and selection of small mutations. Like Pierre Grassé, Goldschmidt concluded that Darwinian evolution could account for no more than variations within the species boundary; unlike Grassé, he thought that evolution beyond that point must have occurred in single jumps through macromutations. He conceded that large-scale mutations would in almost all cases produce hopelessly maladapted monsters, but he thought that on rare occasions a lucky accident might produce a `hopeful monster,' a member of a new species with the capacity to survive and propagate (but with what mate?). The Darwinists met this fantastic suggestion with savage ridicule. As Goldschmidt put it, `This time I was not only crazy but almost a criminal.' Gould has even compared the treatment accorded to Goldschmidt in Darwinist circles with the daily `Two Minute Hate' directed at "Emmanuel Goldstein, enemy of the people" in George Orwell's novel 1984. [Gould, S.J., "The Return of the Hopeful Monster," in "The Panda's Thumb," 1980, p.155] " (Johnson, 1993, p.37).

"The advantageous micromutations postulated by neo-Darwinist genetics are tiny, usually too small to be noticed. This premise is important because, in the words of Richard Dawkins, `virtually all the mutations studied in genetics laboratories-which are pretty macro because otherwise geneticists wouldn't notice them-are deleterious to the animals possessing them.' [Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker," Penguin: London, 1991, p.233] But if the necessary mutations are too small to be seen, there would have to be a great many of them (millions?) of the right type coming along when they are needed to carry on the long-term project of producing a complex organ. The probability of Darwinist evolution depends upon the quantity of favorable micromutations required to create complex organs and organisms, the frequency with which such favorable micromutations occur just where and when they are needed, the efficacy of natural selection in preserving the slight improvements with sufficient consistency to permit the benefits to accumulate, and the time allowed by the fossil record for all this to have happened." (Johnson, 1993, p.38).

"Some mathematicians did try to make the calculations, and the result was a rather acrimonious confrontation between themselves and some of the leading Darwinists at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia in 1967. The report of the exchange is fascinating, not just because of the substance of the mathematical challenge but even more because of the logic of the Darwinist response. For example, the mathematician D.S. Ulam [S.M. Ulam] argued that it was highly improbable that the eye could have evolved by the accumulation of small mutations, because the number of mutations would have to be so large and the time available was not nearly long enough for them to appear. Sir Peter Medawar and C. H. Waddington responded that Ulam was doing his science backwards; the fact was that the eye had evolved and therefore the mathematical difficulties must be only apparent. ["Discussion: Paper by Dr. Ulam," in Moorhead, P.S. & Kaplan, M.M., ed., "Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution," The Wistar Institute Press: Philadelphia PA, 1967, pp.28-29] Ernst Mayr observed that Ulam's calculations were based on assumptions that might be unfounded, and concluded that `Somehow or other by adjusting these figures we will come out all right. We are comforted by the fact that evolution has occurred.' [Ibid., p.30] The Darwinists were trying to be reasonable, but it was as if Ulam had presented equations proving that gravity is too weak a force to prevent us all from floating off into space. Darwinism to them was not a theory open to refutation but a fact to be accounted for, at least until the mathematicians could produce an acceptable alternative." (Johnson, 1993, pp.38-39).

"There was a way to test the theory by fossil evidence, however, if Darwin and his followers had wanted a test. Darwin was emphatic that the number of transitional intermediates must have been immense, even `inconceivable.' Perhaps evidence of their existence was missing because in 1859 only a small part of the world's fossil beds had been searched, and because the explorers had not known what to look for. Once paleontologists accepted Darwinism as a working hypothesis, however, and explored many new fossil beds in an effort to confirm the theory, this situation ought to change. In time the fossil record could be expected to look very different, and very much more Darwinian. The test would not be fair to the skeptics, however, unless it was also possible for the theory to fail. Imagine, for example, that belief in Darwin's theory were to sweep through the scientific world with such irresistible power that it very quickly became an orthodoxy. Suppose that the tide was so irresistible that even the most prestigious of scientists-Harvard's Louis Agassiz, for example-became an instant has-been for failing to join the movement. Suppose that paleontologists became so committed to the new way of thinking that fossil studies were published only if they supported the theory, and were discarded as failures if they showed an absence of evolutionary change. As we shall see, that is what happened. Darwinism apparently passed the fossil test, but only because it was not allowed to fail." (Johnson, 1993, pp.48-49).

"The single greatest problem which the fossil record poses for Darwinism is the 'Cambrian explosion' of around 600 million years ago. Nearly all the animal phyla appear in the rocks of this period without a trace of the evolutionary ancestors that Darwinists require. As Richard Dawkins puts it, `It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history.' [Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker," Penguin: London, 1991, p.229] In Darwin's time there was no evidence for the existence of pre-Cambrian life, and he conceded in The Origin of Species that `The case at present must remain inexplicable, and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained.' [Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species," John Murray: London, Sixth edition, 1872, p.287] If his theory was true, Darwin wrote, the pre-Cambrian world must have `swarmed with living creatures.' [Darwin, Ibid., p.286] In recent years evidence of bacteria and algae has been found some of the earth's oldest rocks, and it is generally accepted today that these single-celled forms of life may have first appeared as long ago as four billion years. Bacteria and algae are `prokaryotes' which means each creature consists of a single cell without a nucleus and related organelles. More complex `eukaryote' cells (with nucleus) appeared later, and then dozens of independent groups multicellular animals appeared without any visible process of evolutionary development. Darwinist theory requires that there have been very lengthy sets of intermediate forms between unicellular organisms and animals like insects, worms, and clams. The evidence that these existed is missing, however, and with no good excuse." (Johnson, 1993, p.54).

"Much confusion results from the fact that a single term- `evolution'-is used to designate processes that may have little or nothing in common. A shift in the relative numbers of dark and light moths in a population is called evolution, and so is the creative process that produced the cell, the multicellular organism, the eye, and the human mind. The semantic implication is that evolution is fundamentally a single process, and Darwinists enthusiastically exploit that implication as a substitute for scientific evidence. Even the separation of evolution into its `micro' and `macro' varieties- which Darwinists generally resist-implies that all the creative processes involved in life comprise a single, two-part phenomenon that will be adequately understood when we discover a process that makes new species from existing ones. Possibly this is the case, but more probably it is not. The vocabulary of Darwinism inherently limits our comprehension of the difficulties by misleadingly covering them with the blanket term `evolution.'" (Johnson, 1993, pp.69-70).

"The purpose of this review has been to clarify what we would have to find in the molecular evidence, or any other body of new evidence, before we would be justified in concluding that Darwinism is probably true. We would need to find evidence that the common ancestors and transitional intermediates really existed in the living world of the past, and that natural selection in combination with random genetic changes really has the kind of creative power claimed for it. It will not be enough to find that organisms share a common biochemical basis, or that their molecules as well as their visible features can be classified in a pattern of groups within groups. The important claim of Darwinism is not that relationships exist, but that those relationships were produced by a naturalistic process in which parent species were gradually transformed into quite different descendant forms through long branches (or even thick bushes) of transitional intermediates, without intervention by any Creator or other non-naturalistic mechanism. If Darwinism so defined is false then we do not have any important scientific information about how life arrived at its present complexity and diversity, and we cannot turn ignorance into information by calling it evolution." (Johnson, 1993, p.91).

"WHEN THE SUPREME COURT struck down the Louisiana law requiring balanced treatment for creation-science, Justice Antonin Scalia dissented from the decision because he thought that `The people of Louisiana, including those who are Christian fundamentalists, are quite entitled ... to have whatever scientific evidence there may be against evolution presented in their schools.' Stephen Jay Gould was baffled that a jurist of Scalia's erudition (he had held professorships at several major universities) would entertain the absurd notion that fundamentalists could have scientific evidence against evolution. Gould went looking in Scalia's opinion for an explanation, and found it in various sentences implying that evolution is a theory about the origin of life. In an article correcting `Justice Scalia's Misunderstanding,' Gould tried to set the matter straight. Evolution, he wrote, `is not the study of life's ultimate origin, as a path toward discerning its deepest meaning.' Even the purely scientific aspects of life's first appearance on earth belong to other divisions of science, because 'evolution' is merely the study of how life changes once it is already in existence. In fact, Justice Scalia used the general term `evolution' exactly as scientists use it-to include not only biological evolution but also prebiological or chemical evolution, which seeks to explain how life first evolved from nonliving chemicals. Biological evolution is just one major part of a grand naturalistic project, which seeks to explain the origin of everything from the Big Bang to the present without allowing any role to a Creator. If Darwinists are to keep the Creator out of the picture, they have to provide a naturalistic explanation for the origin of life." (Johnson, 1993, pp.102-103).

"The basic difficulty in explaining how life could have begun is that all living organisms are extremely complex, and Darwinian selection cannot perform the designing even in theory until living organisms already exist and are capable of reproducing their kind. ... The simplest organism capable of independent life, the prokaryote bacterial cell, is a masterpiece of miniaturized complexity which makes a spaceship seem rather low-tech. Even if one assumes that something much simpler than a bacterial cell might suffice to start Darwinist evolution on its way-a DNA or RNA macromolecule, for example-the possibility that such a complex entity could assemble itself by chance is still fantastically unlikely, even if billions of years had been available." (Johnson, 1993, pp.103, 105-106).

"An imaginative idea about what a prebiotic genetic system might have been like has been proposed by A. G. Cairns-Smith, most recently in a charming book titled Seven Clues to the Origin of Life. Bizarre as the idea may appear at first, or even upon reflection, Cairns-Smith thinks that clay crystals have qualities that might make possible their combination into a form of pre-organic mineral life. According to Darwinist assumptions, natural selection would then favor the more efficient clay replicators, preparing the way for an eventual `genetic takeover' by organic molecules that had evolved because of their increasing usefulness in the pre-organic process. The imagination involved in the mineral origin of life thesis is impressive, but for my purpose it is sufficient to say that it is altogether lacking in experimental confirmation. According to the biochemist Klaus Dose, `This thesis is beyond the comprehension of all biochemists or molecular biologists who are daily confronted with the experimental facts of life.' [Dose, K., "Book Review of Clay Minerals and the Origin of Life by A.G. Cairns-Smith and H. Hartman," BioSystems, Vol. 22, No. 1, 1988, p.89]. That would ordinarily be more than enough reason to discard a theory, but many scientists still take the idea of a mineral origin of life seriously because there is no clearly superior competitor." (Johnson, 1993, pp.108-109).

"Assuming away the difficult points is one way to solve an intractable problem; another is to send the problem off into space. That was the strategy of one of the world's most famous scientists, Francis Crick, codiscoverer of the structure of DNA. Crick is thoroughly aware of the awesome complexity of cellular life and the extreme difficulty of explaining how such life could have evolved in the time available on earth. So he speculated that conditions might have been more favorable on some distant planet. That move leaves the problem of getting life from the planet of origin to earth. First in a paper with Leslie Orgel [Crick, F.H.C. & Orgel, L.E., "Directed Panspermia," Icarus, Vol. 19, 1973, pp.341-346], and then in a book of his own [Crick, F.H.C., "Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, 1981], Crick advanced a theory he called `directed panspermia.' The basic idea is that an advanced extraterrestrial civilization, possibly facing extinction, sent primitive life forms to earth in a spaceship. The spaceship builders couldn't come themselves because of the enormous time required for interstellar travel; so they sent bacteria capable of surviving the voyage and the severe conditions that would have greeted them upon arrival on the early earth. What kind of scientific evidence supports directed panspermia? Crick wrote that if the theory is true, we should expect that cellular microorganisms would appear suddenly, without evidence that any simpler forms preceded them. We should also expect to find that the early forms were distantly related but highly distinct, with no evidence of ancestors because these existed only on the original planet. This expectation fits the facts perfectly, because the archaebacteria and eubacteria are at the same time too different to have evolved from a common ancestor in the time available, and yet also too similar (sharing the same genetic language) not to have a common source somewhere. Those who are tempted to ridicule directed panspermia should restrain themselves, because Crick's extraterrestrials are no more invisible than the universe of ancestors that earth-bound Darwinists have to invoke. Crick would be scornful of any scientist who gave up on scientific research and ascribed the origin of life to a supernatural Creator. But directed panspermia amounts to the same thing. The same limitations that made it impossible for the extraterrestrials to journey to earth will make it impossible for scientists ever to inspect their planet. Scientific investigation of the origin of life is as effectively closed off as if God had reserved the subject for Himself." (Johnson, 1993, pp.110-111).

"If an omnipotent Creator exists He might have created things instantaneously in a single week or through gradual evolution over billions of years. He might have employed means wholly inaccessible to science, or mechanisms that are at least in part understandable through scientific investigation. The essential point of creation has nothing to do with the timing or the mechanism the Creator chose to employ, but with the element of design or purpose. In the broadest sense, a `creationist' is simply a person who believes that the world (and especially mankind) was designed, and exists for a purpose." (Johnson, 1993, p.115).

"`Theistic' or `guided' evolution has to be excluded as a possibility because Darwinists identify science with a philosophical doctrine known as naturalism. Naturalism assumes the entire realm of nature to be a closed system of material causes and effects, which cannot be influenced by anything from `outside.' Naturalism does not explicitly deny the mere existence of God, but it does deny that a supernatural being could in any way influence natural events, such as evolution, or communicate with natural creatures like ourselves." (Johnson, 1993, pp.116-117).

"I am not implying that scientific naturalists do any of this with an intent to deceive. On the contrary, they are as a rule so steeped in naturalistic assumptions that they are blind to the arbitrary elements in their thinking. For example, examine carefully the following passage from The Dreams of Reason, a book about scientific reasoning, by Heinz Pagels:

So powerful is [the scientific-experimental] method that virtually everything scientists know about the natural world comes from it. What they find is that the architecture of the universe is indeed built according to invisible universal rules, what I call the cosmic code-the building code of the Demiurge. Examples of this universal building code are the quantum and relativity theory, the laws of chemical combination and molecular structure, the rules that govern protein synthesis and how organisms are made, to name but a few. Scientists in discovering this code are deciphering the Demiurge's hidden message, the tricks he used in creating the universe. No human mind could have arranged for any message so flawlessly coherent, so strangely imaginative, and sometimes downright bizarre. It must be the work of an Alien Intelligence! ... Whether God is the message, wrote the message, or whether it wrote itself is unimportant in our lives. We can safely drop the traditional idea of the Demiurge, for there is no scientific evidence for a Creator of the natural world, no evidence for a will or purpose that goes beyond the known laws of nature. Even the evidence of life on earth, which promoted the compelling `argument from design' for a Creator, can be accounted for by evolution. [Pagels refers his readers to books by Dawkins and Gould for the evidence.] So we have a message without a sender.' [Pagels, H.R., "The Dreams of Reason," Simon & Schuster: New York, 1988, pp.156-58]

The first paragraph of that passage tells us that the presence of intelligent design in the cosmos is so obvious that even an atheist like Pagels cannot help noticing it, and rhapsodizing about it, dubbing the Creator `the Demiurge.' The second paragraph offhandedly remarks that there is no scientific evidence for a Creator. What makes the passage a good illustration of the scientific naturalist mentality is that Pagels assumes all the critical points. What seemed to be evidence of a Creator turned out to be no evidence at all, because scientific evidence for something that goes beyond the laws of nature would be a contradiction in terms. On the other hand, evidence of `evolution' (which may mean no more than microevolution plus the existence of natural relationships) automatically excludes the possibility of design. Naturalistic philosophy controls his mind so completely that Pagels can stare straight at evidence of intelligent design, describe it as such, and still not see it." (Johnson, 1993, pp.118-119. Ellipses and parentheses Johnson's).

"Mixing religion with science is obnoxious to Darwinists only when it is the wrong religion that is being mixed. To prove the point, we may cite two of the most important founders of the modern synthesis, Theodosius Dobzhansky and Julian Huxley. Julian Huxley's religion of `evolutionary humanism' offered humanity the `sacred duty' and the `glorious opportunity' of seeking `to promote maximum fulfilment of the evolutionary process on the earth.' [Huxley, J.S., "Religion Without Revelation," 1958, p.194]That did not mean merely working to ensure that the organisms that have the most offspring continue to have the most offspring, but rather promoting the `fullest realization' of mankind's `inherent possibilities.' ... . Soon thereafter, Hitler and Stalin provided a stunning realization of some of mankind's inherent possibilities ... The continual efforts to base a religion or ethical system upon evolution are not an aberration, and practically all the most prominent Darwinist writers have tried their hand at it. Darwinist evolution is an imaginative story about who we are and where we came from, which is to say it is a creation myth." (Johnson, 1993, pp.130-131, 133).

"In its mythological dimension, Darwinism is the story of humanity's liberation from the delusion that its destiny is controlled by a power higher than itself. Lacking scientific knowledge, humans at first attribute natural events like weather and disease to supernatural beings. As they learn to predict or control natural forces they put aside the lesser spirits, but a more highly evolved religion retains the notion of a rational Creator who rules the universe. At last the greatest scientific discovery of all is made, and modern humans learn that they are the products of a blind natural process that has no goal and cares nothing for them. The resulting `death of God' is experienced by some as a profound loss, and by others as a liberation. But liberation to what? If blind nature has somehow produced a human species with the capacity to rule earth wisely and if this capacity has previously been invisible only because it was smothered by superstition, then the prospects for human freedom and happiness are unbounded. That was the message of the Humanist Manifesto of 1933. Another possibility is that purposeless nature has produced a world ruled by irrational forces, where might makes right and human freedom is an illusion. In that case the right to rule belongs to whoever can control the use of science. It would be illogical for the rulers to worry overmuch about what people say they want, because science teaches them that wants are the product of irrational forces. In principle, people can be made to want something better. It is no kindness to leave them as they are, because passionate stone age people can do nothing but destroy themselves when they have the power of scientific technology at their command. Whether a Darwinist takes the optimistic or the pessimistic view, it is imperative that the public be taught to understand the world as scientific naturalists understand it. Citizens must learn to look to science as the only reliable source of knowledge, and the only power capable of bettering (or even preserving) the human condition. That implies, as we shall see, a program of indoctrination in the name of public education." (Johnson, 1993, pp.133-134).

"The Framework's [Science Framework for California public schools, California State Board of Education, 1990] most constructive recommendation is that teachers and textbook writers should avoid terminology that implies that scientific judgments are a matter of subjective preference or vote-counting. Students should never be told that `many scientists' think this or that. Science is not decided by vote, but by evidence. Nor should students be told that `scientists believe.' Science is not a matter of belief; rather, it is a matter of evidence that can be subjected to the tests of observation and objective reasoning.... Show students that nothing in science is decided just because someone important says it is so (authority) or because that is the way it has always been done (tradition). The Framework immediately contradicts that message, however, by defining `evolution' only vaguely, as `change through time.' A vaguely defined concept cannot be tested by observation and objective reasoning. The Framework then urges us to believe in this vague concept because so many scientists do: `It is an accepted scientific explanation and therefore no more controversial in scientific circles than the theories of gravitation and electron flow.' An appeal to authority is unavoidable, because Darwinist educators cannot afford to reveal that their theory rests squarely on what the Policy Statement calls philosophical beliefs that are not subject to scientific test and refutation." (Johnson, 1993, pp.145-146).

"The Darwinists may have made a serious strategic error in choosing to pursue a campaign of indoctrination in the public schools. Previously, the high school textbooks said relatively little about evolution except that most scientists believe in it, which is hard to dispute. Serious examination of the scientific evidence was postponed until college, and was provided mostly to biology majors and graduate students. Most persons outside the profession had little opportunity to learn how much philosophy was being taught in the name of science, and if they knew what was going on they had no opportunity to mount an effective challenge. The Darwinists themselves have changed that comfortable situation by demanding that the public schools teach a great deal more `about evolution.' What they mean is that the public schools should try much harder to persuade students to believe in Darwinism, not that they should present fairly the evidence that is causing Darwinists so much trouble. What goes on in the public schools is the public's business, however, and even creationists are entitled to point out errors and evasions in the textbooks and teaching materials. Invocations of authority may work for a while, but eventually determined protestors will persuade the public to grant them a fair hearing on the evidence. As many more people outside the Biblical fundamentalist camp learn how deeply committed Darwinists are to opposing theism of any sort, and how little support Darwinism finds in the scientific evidence, the Darwinists may wish that they had never left their sanctuary." (Johnson, 1993, p.146).

"Manipulation of the terminology also allows natural selection to appear and disappear on command. When unfriendly critics are absent, Darwinists can just assume the creative power of natural selection and employ it to explain whatever change or lack of change has been observed. When critics appear and demand empirical confirmation, Darwinists can avoid the test by responding that scientists are discovering alternative mechanisms, particularly at the molecular level, which relegate selection to a less important role. The fact of evolution therefore remains unquestioned, even if there is a certain amount of healthy debate about the theory. Once the critics have been distracted, the Blind Watchmaker can reenter by the back door. Darwinists will explain that no biologist doubts the importance of Darwinian selection, because nothing else was available to shape the adaptive features of the phenotypes." (Johnson, 1993, pp.153-154).

"To scientific naturalists like Steven Weinberg, the distinction I make between naturalism and science is senseless. In their minds science is applied naturalism and can be nothing else. As Weinberg puts it, "The only way that any sort of science can proceed is to assume that there is no divine intervention and to see how far one can get with this assumption." [Weinberg, S., "Dreams of a Final Theory," Pantheon: New York NY, 1992, p.247] One can get very far indeed, because science judges its theories by relative rather than absolute standards, and so the best naturalistic theory currently available can retain the status of `scientific knowledge' even if it is at odds with a great deal of the evidence. Thus Weinberg was able to defend neo-Darwinism from my critique on the basis of general principles, without having to consider the evidence. He simply observed that, if the neo-Darwinian synthesis is having trouble with some nonconforming evidence, this is not unusual in science. All it means is that `in using the naturalistic theory of evolution biologists are working with an overwhelmingly successful theory, but one that is not finished with its work of explication.' [Weinberg, 1992, p.248] For a professional group that takes metaphysical naturalism for granted and seeks only to provide ever more complete naturalistic explanations, that way of thinking may be appropriate. When the naturalistic project itself is called into question, however, a different kind of reasoning is called for. Darwinists tell us that there is no need to consider the possibility that plants and animals owe their existence to a supernatural Creator, because natural mechanisms like mutation and selection were adequate to perform the job of creation. I want to know whether that claim is true, not just whether it is the best naturalistic speculation available. No doubt evolutionary biologists are devoted to the theory that defines their field, and no doubt scientific naturalists regard the project of naturalistic explanation as overwhelmingly successful. Persons who do not share their a priori commitment to naturalism may nonetheless be correct in thinking that the reigning theory is not merely incomplete, but quite inconsistent with the evidence." (Johnson, 1993, pp.158-159).

"In February of 1993, [Michael] Ruse made some remarkable concessions in a talk at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The program was organized by Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), a privately funded group dedicated to protecting science education from the menace of creationism. In practice this project involves mounting a rhetorical attack on anyone who questions naturalistic evolution. The usual NCSE line is that all critics of naturalism are either overt or covert Biblical literalists, and so it was probably a step toward reality for the group to ask Ruse to speak on a topic labeled `Nonliteralist Anti-Evolutionism The Case of Phillip Johnson.' ... After indulging in a few moments of the ritual Johnson-bashing that the spirit of the occasion required, Ruse changed his tone dramatically and engaged in some profound public soul-searching. The Dallas conference seemed to have made a big impression on him. He reported that he had found me and the other participants to be very likable people, and he thought our discussions had been `quite constructive.' Mainly we had talked about metaphysics and my position that naturalistic metaphysics underlies Darwinist belief. Ruse admitted to his AAAS audience, `In the ten years since I performed, or I appeared, in the creationism trial in Arkansas, I must say that I've been coming to this kind of position myself.' Although he is as much an evolutionist as ever, Ruse now acknowledges that the science side has certain metaphysical assumptions built into doing science, which-it may not be a good thing to admit in a court of law-but I think that in all honesty that we should recognize.' [Ruse, M., "The New Antievolutionism," Annual Meeting of the AAAS, February 13, 1993] I am told that the audience greeted these remarks with stunned silence, indicating that they sensed the political consequences that might follow from this line of reasoning." (Johnson, 1993, p.163).

"The reaction among Darwinists to the prospect of admitting that they make metaphysical assumptions is indicated by the title of zoologist Arthur Shapiro's commentary in the next issue of NCSE Reports: `Did Michael Ruse Give Away the Store?' Shapiro, who was also a participant in the Dallas conference, disputed the view of his colleagues who had answered that question in the affirmative. ... `Of course there is an irreducible core of ideological assumptions underlying science'... The `New Anti-evolutionism' program was reported in the Times Higher Education Supplement, April 9, 1993, in the article `The Ascent of Man's Ignorance' by Michael Ince. This lengthy article was very complete in its coverage of the program, with one exception: it omitted any mention of Michael Ruse, although Ruse was the most prominent speaker. I find a delightful irony in this omission. As Thomas Kuhn taught us, a shaky paradigm lives on through its power to make anomalies invisible." (Johnson, 1993, pp.163-164; 210-211. Emphasis Shapiro's).

"My secular colleagues usually assume that a book which challenges the central pillar of scientific naturalism must have been received with wild enthusiasm in the Christian world. It is true that many Christian readers are enthusiastic, but there are also many with serious reservations. There is a very wide range of opinion among Christians about evolution, ranging from `young-earth' creation-scientists to liberal theologians who embrace naturalistic evolution with enthusiasm. One group with which I have been particularly engaged in discussion and debate consists of the Christian professors of science and philosophy who attempt to accommodate science and religion by embracing `theistic evolution.' Reviewers in this category include William Hasker, Nancey Murphy, Howard Van Till, and Owen Gingerich." (Johnson, 1993, p.166).

"The central point is that to define the question as whether `evolution' is `good science' is to allow naturalistic categories to define the terms of the debate and thus to control the outcome. `Evolution' stands for the modest knowledge that science actually has gained about how organisms vary, and also for the vast naturalistic creation story about how mutation and selection brought life to its present complexity. Do you admit or deny the `fact of evolution'? Deny it and you seem to be denying that island species vary from mainland ancestors, or that dog breeders have produced St. Bernards and dachshunds from an ancestral breed. Admit it and you are taken to have admitted, quite without support in the evidence, that an ancestral bacterium changed by a vast series of purposeless adaptive steps to produce today's whales, humans, insects, and flowers. If `evolution' is assumed to be a single process, then to admit any aspect is to admit the entire story." (Johnson, 1993, p.167).

"Scientific naturalism, on the other hand, does leave a place for `religious belief,' provided that the religious believers do not challenge the authority of naturalistic science to say what is real and what is not. ... blurring the issues a little to save a place for theistic religion in a naturalistic intellectual culture may seem like a sound strategy. Of course, I do not agree with that strategy. I do not think that the mind can serve two masters, and I am confident that whenever the attempt is made, naturalism in the end will be the true master and theism will have to abide by its dictates." (Johnson, 1993, p.169).

"Darwinian evolution with its blind watchmaker thesis makes me think of a great battleship on the ocean of reality. Its sides are heavily armored with philosophical barriers to criticism, and its decks are stacked with big rhetorical guns ready to intimidate any would-be attackers. In appearance, it is as impregnable as the Soviet Union seemed to be only a few years ago. But the ship has sprung a metaphysical leak, and the more perceptive of the ship's officers have begun to sense that all the ship's firepower cannot save it if the leak is not plugged. There will be heroic efforts to save the ship, of course, and some plausible rescuers will invite the officers to take refuge in electronic lifeboats equipped with high-tech gear like autocatalytic sets and computer models of self-organizing systems. The spectacle will be fascinating, and the battle will go on for a long time. But in the end reality will win. ... The sinking ship. .... The reference to `high-tech' damage-control mechanisms is to the school represented by Stuart Kauffman's Origins of Order (1993). I assume this is what Gould had in mind when he referred to `the self-organizing properties of molecules and other physical systems.' [Gould S.J., "Impeaching a Self-Appointed Judge," Scientific American, Vol. 267, No.1, July 1992, pp.92-95] If the rulers of science really mean to jump into this lifeboat, I will be happy to participate in the ensuing discussion, but I think that after assessing the prospects they will elect to stay on the sinking ship and keep trying to plug the holes." (Johnson, 1993, pp.169-170, 213).

"In his second classic, The Descent of Man, Darwin came close to repudiating the theory of natural selection as he had stated in The Origin of Species:

A very large yet undefined extension may safely be given to the direct and indirect results of natural selection; but I now admit...that in the earlier editions of my `Origin of Species' I probably attributed too much to the action of natural selection or the survival of the fittest. ... I had not formerly sufficiently considered the existence of many structures which appear to be, as far as we can judge, neither beneficial nor injurious; and this I believe to be one of the greatest oversights as yet detected in my work. I may be permitted to say as some excuse, that I had two distinct objects in view, firstly, to show that species had not been separately created, and secondly, that natural selection had been the chief agent of change, though largely aided by the inherited effects of habit, and slightly by the direct action of the surrounding conditions. Nevertheless, I was not able to annul the influence of my former belief, then widely prevalent, that each species had been purposely created; and this led to my tacitly assuming that every detail of structure, excepting rudiments, was of some special, though unrecognized, service.... If I have erred in giving to natural selection great power, which I am far from admitting, or in having exaggerated its power, which is in itself probable, I have at least as I hope, done good service in aiding to overthrow the dogma of separate creations. [Darwin, C.R., "The Descent of Man," London, 1871, First edition, Vol. I, pp.152-153]

... Darwin's explanation for having exaggerated the importance of natural selection is particularly intriguing, because he had no lingering attachment to creationism in 1859, and any overstatement would have been motivated by a desire to make the case against creation as powerful as possible. The passage almost implies that natural selection was a rhetorical device, important mainly for building the case against creationism, which could be re-evaluated and downgraded once its purpose had been served." (Johnson, 1993, p.178).

"Piltdown Man became an anomaly after the discovery of `Peking Man' in China in the 1930s (in which Teilhard also played an important role) led the experts to hypothesize a different path of evolution for early man, and retesting eventually established in 1953 that the skull skilfully combined the jaw of an orangutan with the skull of a modern man. Until the Piltdown fossil became inconvenient, after the British scientists who received the credit for its discovery had passed from the scene, the skull was guarded from skeptical investigators in a safe in the British Natural History Museum. Considering that some knowledgeable scientists had expressed skepticism about Piltdown Man from the time of its discovery, this concealment of the evidence is a greater scandal than the original fraud." (Johnson, 1993, p.203).