Re: Evolution Archive List

Susan Brassfield (
Fri, 28 May 1999 16:34:07 -0600

>I've met many theists, and even creationists, who never mention Genesis or
>the bible. Having just joined this list, I learned to my surprise that it
>was originated by Phillip Johnson. He calls himself a creationist, but
>having read nearly everything he has written about evolution, I've never
>heard him offer Genesis as scientific evidence.

After the court wrangles in the early 80s it seems like the creationists
tried to switch their efforts to "creation science." When they couldn't get
anywhere with it (there's very little science in creation science) then
they began to try to nit-pick evolution to death. They have nothing at all
to replace it with, and creationists like Phillip Johnson don't seem to
think that any replacement is necessary.

>I disagree with him about
>religion, but then I believe differences of opinion are healthy. Apparently
>you and most biologists (who seem to call themselves Darwinists) regard
>natural selection and genetic drift adequate to explain macro evolution

actually evolutionary biologists tend to refer to themselves as
evolutionary biologists. The following is from the archives:

The modern theory of the mechanism of evolution differs from Darwinism in
three important respects:

1.It recognizes several mechanisms of evolution in addition to natural selection. One of these, random genetic drift, may be as important as natural selection. 2.It recognizes that characteristics are inherited as discrete entities called genes. Variation within a population is due to the presence of multiple alleles of a gene. 3.It postulates that speciation is (usually) due to the gradual accumulation of small genetic changes. This is equivalent to saying that macroevolution is simply a lot of microevolution. -----

>(appearance of new organs, systems and body parts). Do you regard anyone who >doesn't find those mechanisms adequate a "creationist"? Do you regard Denton >and Behe as "creationists"?

Denton is a creationist (as far as I know). Behe appears to not be a creationist.

>Do you believe no one should question "random mutation and natural >selection"?

questioning and doubt are sacred to a scientist. How else could you get at the truth? However, there is so much evidence that mutation and natural selection take place and are at least one of the mechanisms of evolution, nobody has really seriously doubted it for a very long time.

>Bertvan: >Materialists, determinists, reductionists, Dawkins and other Atheists believe >these rare, useful mutations are random accidents--without plan, purpose, >meaning or direction. I suppose theists believe the process is supervised by >god. Personally, I like the idea that they are the result of the many >individual choices made by organisms over long periods of time, ideas >resembling those of Larmarck or Rupert Shelldrake.

Ah! Lamarck! You may want to read some Cuvier. He pretty much demolished Lamarck in the very early 19th century. Why does Lamarck interest you?

>All are speculations compatible with our personal ideologies. >However I doubt any of us will >find "proof" for the validity of our ideologies.

evidence and proof are not exactly the same thing, but evidence can lift an idea out of the realm of speculation.



Life is short, but it's also very wide.