Re: Final Textbook Insert

David Campbell (
Mon, 1 Dec 1997 16:12:32 -0400

>Although your textbook may suggest that all animals evolved gradually
>from a primitive ancestral form, the truth is that almost all basic animal
>types ("phyla") appeared in the fossil record within a relatively brief
>interval known as the "Cambrian explosion," and that their presumed common
>ancestors have not been found.

As pointed out in previous discussion, this is not the truth-many phyla
appear before this and some appear afterwards.

>Although your textbook may give you the impression that similarities
>among early embryos provide evidence for Darwin's theory, the truth is that
>there are significant differences among these embryos, especially at the
>earliest stages.

There are significant differences and significant similarities. The
statement is half true. (One could try to explain the similarities by
common design, but to deny their existence is untrue.)

>Although your textbook presents evidence that the Darwinian mechanism of
>natural selection operating on random mutations has produced minor
>changes such as variations in the colors of moths and the sizes of finch beaks,
>the controversial question is whether the same mechanism can account for
>major innovations such as the origin of insects, birds, and scientific
>observers in the first place.

This point is good.

However, this version misses the real point more badly than the old one.
It's still trying to question the scientific evidence when the real problem
is misuse of the scientific evidence for metaphysical purposes. Most
textbooks I've seen claim that evolution supports atheistic (or possibly
deistic) worldviews; this is neither true nor science.

David Campbell