Challenges to Macroevolutionary Theory
Posted by ssbg on July 24, 2006
At some point, I hope to write a summary of the criticisms of macroevolutionary theory. In the meantime, I thought I would begin to gather links to some of the best articles I have read. This is meant as a resource for those who are interested in evaluating the evidence for and against macroevolutionary theory for themselves.
Don’t miss Phillip Johnson’s piece from the August 16, 1999, Wall Street Journal entitled The Church of Darwin.
For a very brief article listing some of the main problems with Darwinian theory, there is this one by David Berlinski. Berlinski is an accomplished mathematician, with a PhD. from Princeton University, who happens to be Jewish. (I only say this because some Darwinian fundamentalists seem to dismiss out of hand any criticisms of Darwinian theory written by a Christian.)
Berlinski wrote a much longer discussion in Commentary, entitled The Deniable Darwin (also here). If you only have time to read one article from the web, this may be the best. He also happens to be fairly witty, which makes this an enjoyable read. Here is some of the flavor:
The facts in favor of evolution are often held to be incontrovertible; prominent biologists shake their heads at the obduracy of those who would dispute them. Those facts, however, have been rather less forthcoming than evolutionary biologists might have hoped. If life progressed by an accumulation of small changes, as they say it has, the fossil record should reflect its flow, the dead stacked up in barely separated strata. But for well over 150 years, the dead have been remarkably diffident about confirming Darwin’s theory.
. . .
Most species enter the evolutionary order fully formed and then depart unchanged. Where there should be evolution, there is stasis instead – the term is used by the paleontologists Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge in developing their theory of “punctuated equilibria” – with the fire alarms of change going off suddenly during a long night in which nothing happens.
Letters in response to Berlinski’s Commentary article, including a few from some of the leading evolutionary scientists, can be found here. Berlinski’s response to the letters follows at the bottom.
I strongly recommend Phillip Johnson’s classic book, Darwin on Trial. This is widely viewed as the book that launched the current intelligent design movement. However, it does not promote intelligent design directly, but simply evaluates the evidence for and against Darwin’s theory based on common principles of logic and proof. Johnson is a former law professor at the law school at the University of California, Berkeley.
A great short summary of the peer-reviewed scientific literature dealing with the Cambrian Explosion can be found here.
What justification is there for insisting that students be taught the evidence for evolutionary theory but banning any information against it, like the fossil record of the Cambrian Explosion, which all mainstream scientists acknowledge? What possible basis can there be for banning this information, when many people view this as extremely relevant to evaluating macroevolutionary theory?