Re:Alvin Plantinga's paper

Keith B Miller (
Mon, 18 Jan 1999 16:00:31 -0600

Bob Dehaan wrote:

>Darwin predicted that phyletic hierarchies would be formed from the bottom up
>(in Linnaean terms). He states this clearly in _Origin of Species_ (Everyman
>Library Edition, pp. 109-122). Varieties and species, being constantly
>modified by natural selection, would eventually form what could be called
>genera, these in turn by further modification would form families, which in
>turn would form orders. He stops at this point. I call this "bottom-up"
>because the process of evolution begins with the lowest categories, according
>to Darwin, and eventually forms the higher taxonomic categories through the
>process of natural selection.
>The fossil record, however, fails to confirm this bottom-up direction.
>Numerous studies indicate that the direction is from the top-down, that higher
>taxonomic categories appear before lower ones in the fossil record. Once the
>phyla became organized in the Cambrian explosion, they began to differentiate
>into ever lower taxonomic categories over geologic time, until today only
>species and varieties are formed.

For a rebuttal to this argument see my article "The Precambrian to Cambrian
fossil record and transitional forms" in _Perspectives on Science and
Christian Faith_, Vol 49, No.4 (December),1997. I can snail mail a copy to
those who don't have access to this journal.

I second the comments made by David Campbell concerning classification systems.


Keith B. Miller
Department of Geology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506