Re: 'Directed' evolution?

Howard J. Van Till (
Mon, 21 Sep 1998 17:21:54 -0400

In response to what I wrote about the thesis of Denton's new book,
_Nature's Destiny_, Keith Miller asked:

" How can Denton reconcile
this view with the perspective presented in "Evolution: A Theory in
Crises?" It is hard, I would say impossible, to see that work as anything
else than a polemic against common descent. Its arguments, many of them
without scientific merit, have fueled much of the recent attack on
macroevolution and theistic evolution."

It may be the case that Denton's _Evolution: A Theory in Crisis_ was either
misunderstood or misrepresented by many. Correct me if I am wrong on this,
but I believe his criticisms there (whether valid or not is another
question) were mostly about undirected Darwinian gradualism. He had no
objections to the concept of evolutionary continuity, just to certain types
of attempts to give a scientific account of it.

Many Christian antievolutionists welcomed his criticisms of Darwinism (in
that narrow gradualist sense) as if they were criticisms of the broader
concept of biological evolution. I do not think that Denton ever intended
that his book be used to strengthen any form of episodic creationism. Many
years ago, when he heard the title of our book, _Science Held Hostage:
What's Wrong with Creation Science AND Evolutionism_, he commented to me,
"That sounds like a book I would agree with."

Howard Van Till