Jonathan Well's Icons of Evolution

From: Adrian Teo (
Date: Tue Apr 10 2001 - 14:31:01 EDT

  • Next message: george murphy: "Re: Jonathan Well's Icons of Evolution"

    Jonathan Wells, Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute, presented at
    Whitworth College on his new book, Icons of Evolution, last night. I thought
    it was a polished presentation, and he did not go into the ID argument at
    all. His point was that the majority of evolutionary biology textbooks used
    discredited examples to support the Darwinian claims of common descent and
    modification. For example, the widely used peppered moths example to
    illustrate natural selection is based on doctored photos and the mistaken
    understanding that those moths actually rested on the tree trunks. The
    so-called Darwin's finches used as examples of speciation was based on
    extrapolation of data, and in actual fact, the data showed no net
    evolutionary changes, but rather, minor variations. He also talked about the
    well-known (among biologists but apparently still in textbooks) Haeckel
    drawings of embryos in different stages of development. Archaeopteryx was
    another example of misinformation. Wells made the claim that many
    professional biologists are not even aware of these problems because they
    have been trained with these textbook examples as well and never thought to
    question them. I am wondering if these perceptions of Wells are accurate,
    and if so, this is a major problem. Can ASA do something about this? Should
    publishers be persuaded to be more careful with what they put out?

    One parent asked a very good question of what she could do, given that the
    school district spent thousands of dollars on these textbooks and that some
    science teachers have been quite reluctant to admit nor see the errors in
    these books (applies to physics texts as well). Wells did not really have an
    answer for her.


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