ILLogical Evolution

Arthur V. Chadwick (
Thu, 26 Aug 1999 08:46:36 -0700

These unbelievable paragraphs may help some of you understand why the
Kansas School situation exists:

Kenneth Miller's 1998 highschool textbook (p 658, Miller/Levine, Biology,
Prentice/Hall) offers an explanation as to why intelligent people object to
the way "evolution" is presented to their children.

The following quotes come from the place in the text where the authors
ought to have been talking about the origin of body plans in the Cambrian
explosion (the Cambrian explosion is never mentioned in the entire textbook).

"In many ways, each animal phylum represents an experiment in the design
of body structures to perform the tasks necessary for survival. Of course,
there has never been any kind of plan to these experiments because evolution
works without either plan or purpose. Nevertheless, the appearance of each
phylum in the fossil record represents the random evolutionary development
of a basic body plan that is different in some way from other body plans.
The rest of the history of each phylum is the story of further evolutionary
changes in that plan.
We can learn a great deal about the nature of life by comparing body
systems among invertebrate groups and by tracing the patterns of change as we
move from one phylum to another. As we do so, it is important to keep this
concept in mind: Evolution is random and undirected."
["Evolution is random and undirected" is in bold in the textbook and
Evolution is with a capital E]

Note also the following fallacy of equivocation in Miller‚s definition of
Evolution: „evolution: process by which modern organisms have descended
from ancient
organisms; any change in the relative frequencies of alleles in the gene pool
of a population.š [page 29]