F.R. Duplantier reporting Behind The Headlines

Week of:
December 31, 2000
The Dogmatic Faith of Evolutionists

F.R. Duplantier

by: F.R. Duplantier

"Students and the public are being systematically misinformed about the evidence for evolution."

"Biological evolution is the theory that all living things are modified descendants of a common ancestor that lived in the distant past," explains biologist Jonathan Wells. "It claims that you and I are descendants of ape-like ancestors, and that they in turn came from still more primitive animals. This is the primary meaning of 'evolution' among biologists," Wells affirms. "For Charles Darwin, descent with modification was the origin of all living things after the first organisms."

In his new book, Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Jonathan Wells acknowledges that "descent with modification occurs in the course of ordinary biological reproduction. The question," he emphasizes, "is whether descent with modification accounts for the origin of new species -- in fact, of every species." Wells asserts that "descent with modification within a species is utterly uncontroversial. But Darwinian evolution claims much more. In particular, it claims that descent with modification explains the origin and diversification of all living things."

That claim can be tested "by comparing it with observations or experiments. Like all other scientific theories, Darwinian evolution must be continually compared with the evidence," says Wells. "If it does not fit the evidence, it must be reevaluated or abandoned -- otherwise it is not science, but myth. When asked to list the evidence for Darwinian evolution," he remarks, "most people -- including most biologists -- give the same set of examples, because all of them learned biology from the same few textbooks." Those examples include similar bone structures in diverse species, pictures of similarities in early embryos, peppered moths, Darwin's finches, and drawings of ape-like creatures evolving into humans. "These examples are so frequently used as evidence for Darwin's theory that most of them have been called 'icons' of evolution," Wells comments. "Yet all of them," he charges, "in one way or another, misrepresent the truth."

Wells claims that "in Darwin's lifetime the evidence in favor of his theory was much too meager to support [his] sweeping claims about human nature." Nevertheless, he laments, "the Darwinian view of human origins was soon enshrined in drawings that showed a knuckle-walking ape evolving through a series of intermediate forms into an upright being." Wells acknowledges that in our own time the Darwinian view of human origins "seemed to acquire the evidence it initially lacked." He emphasizes, however, that "interpretations of fossil evidence for human evolution are heavily influenced by personal beliefs and prejudices." Wells argues that, "from the very beginning, the ape-to-human icon was simply a restatement of materialistic philosophy. Its form," he reiterates, "preceded any fossil evidence of ancestor-descendant relationships. . . ."

Wells affirms that "the human species has a history. Many fossils have been found that appear to be genuine, and many of them have some features that are ape-like and some that are human-like," he continues. "On these statements, all paleoanthropologists would no doubt agree. When it comes to reconstructing entire individuals or the history of human evolution, however, agreement is hard to find." Wells concludes that the ape-to-human icon is "old-fashioned materialistic philosophy disguised as modern empirical science."

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