years ago I expressed an opinion about the impossibility of evolution during a
philosophy class. The class ran for two and a half hours, so we took a
coffee break about halfway through. I was confronted by a young man who
insisted that I was wrong—my point was based upon the second law of
thermodynamics, which requires that disorder increases in any closed
system over time. The young man was insistent that the light of the
Sun, continually illuminating the Earth, made the planet an open system and
would produce order over time.
He didn’t really have a good explanation how the additional energy would
do more than heat and further randomize the molecules of Earth, but it was
interesting to see a true believer in evolution extolling the theory as proven
fact. The young man had all of the zeal one associates with the religious
zealots who preach in town squares or go door to door—his eyes lit up and his
face was all aglow.
Wells’ Politically Incorrect Guide is written for the non-scientist who
would like to know what evidence is presented to “prove” evolution to be
scientific and thus give it the exclusive right to be taught in schools and to
be incorporated in public policy. After reading the book, one can only ask
whether anyone at all would believe in Darwinism were it not for false
philosophy and “religious” zeal like that of my young friend.
of evolution generally claim to have found proof of the theory in (a) the
fossil records, (b) the development of embryos, (c) molecular biology,
and (d) the commonality of DNA to all life forms. Wells carefully
answers each of these pieces of purported evidence.
essence of Darwin’s theory is known as “descent with modification.”
All life is supposed to have originated with a single ancestor. Over the
eons the descendents of this ancestor have occasionally had offspring differing
somewhat from the ancestor. Ultimately, the differences become great
enough that the descendents are no longer of the same species as the ancestor.
If the differences are beneficial, the descendent is more likely to survive than
the original. More and more advanced creatures come into being thorough this
process of “natural selection” or “survival of the fittest.”
Allegedly, it is possible to observe this differentiation of species in fossils
they left behind—a so-called “tree of life” connecting all living beings
to a common ancestor. The fossil record is far from complete. In some time
periods (e.g. the Cambrian) we find fossils that seem to have no similar species
from which they might have sprung. But more importantly, Wells points out,
the finding of two different but greatly similar fossils proves nothing about
whether one was descended from the other.
1990 Ohio State University biologist Tim Berra published a book intending to
refute critics of Darwinian evolution. To illustrate how the fossil record
provides evidence for Darwin’s theory of descent with modification, Berra used
pictures of various models of Corvette automobiles. “If you compare a
1953 and a 1954 model, and so on, the descent with modification is
overwhelmingly obvious.” But “descent” in Darwin’s theory means
biological continuity through the same reproductive processes we observe in
living things today: fertilization, development and birth. Automobiles are
made, not born. Corvettes actually prove the opposite of what Berra
intended—namely that a succession of similarities does not, in and of
itself—provide evidence for descent with modification. [Clearly an
intelligent designer—not natural selection—is involved in changing
cannot be used to establish ancestor-descendant relationships. Imagine
finding two human skeletons in your backyard, one about thirty years older than
the other. Was the older individual the parent of the younger.
Without written genealogical records and identifying marks it is impossible to
answer the question. And in this case we are dealing with two skeletons
from the same species that are only a generation apart.
do claim that it is possible to establish ancestry in the maternal line, even
with very old fossil specimens, by comparing the DNA in the cellular
mitochondria of two related creatures. The technique is obscured by
mutations known to occur in the mtDNA. Nonetheless, the point stands that
descent with modification is not proven by similarity alone.
And, in fact, the mtDNA analysis has been used and has established that modern
humans are not descended from the Neanderthals (nor Chimpanzees).
course the fossil records are far from complete. Wells chose not to
mention how Darwinists looking for the “missing link” between man and
his claimed ancestors have occasionally tried to “fudge” the record a bit.
The “Piltdown man,” discovered by Charles Dawson around 1910 was a modern
human skull with the jaw of an orangutan attached. The
“Nebraska man” was the artistic extrapolation of an entire human form from a
single tooth, identified by a paleontologist as that of a “higher
primate”—which turned out to be that of a pig. The “Peking man”
(or “men,” for some accounts claim a number of them) was said to be the
“missing link” between the gorilla and man. It is highly touted in
Darwinian circles, having not been proven a fraud, because all of the
Just about everyone who took biology in
high school saw a series of drawings that purport to show the similarities
between embryos of different species. The drawings, made in the 1860s by
the German Darwinist Ernst Hæckel, suggest that all early stage embryos are
very much alike, and that they “evolve” into their final stage organisms as
they mature prior to birth. Such similarity would, again, prove nothing
about ancestor-descendant relationships, but in any event, the Hæckel drawings
are purposefully misleading. Species that don’t look identical enough
were omitted. And the point at which various embryos appear most similar
is somewhere in the middle of their gestation—there are pronounced differences
both in the earliest and latest stages of development.Hæckel's admirers:
"German zoologist Ernst Hæckel, the racist Darwinist who coined the term
'ecology' in 1866, posited that the Jewish transcendent view of man over nature
made them resistant to evolutionary biological change, and hence the Jews had
become a lesser race."[LINK-
"Hitler's Green Killing Machine"]
expected a great boost when biologists began to explore the inner workings of
the cell. Various protein sequences could be compared between species and
were expected to fill in the gaps in the “tree of life” left by the fossil
record. Again, like the fossil records, the molecules do show
similarities—and again, with no proof of ancestor-descendent relationships.
What has to be embarrassing to the evolutionist is that the similarities claimed
by the paleontologists based on the shapes of the fossil bones (called
“morphology”) do not correspond to the similarities found at the molecular
whale series may be the Darwinist’s best fossil scenario. Since the
oldest specimens in the series consist of skulls and teeth that are similar to
an extinct group of hyena-like mammals called mesonychians, University of
Chicago evolutionary biologist Leigh Van Valen proposed in the 1960s that
modern whales are descended from mesonychians. For several decades that
was the consensus view among paleontologists.
the 1990s, molecular studies suggested a very different picture. By
comparing various molecules from whales with their counterparts in other living
mammals, molecular evolutionists concluded that the closest living relatives of
whales where hippopotamuses. Many paleontologists considered this
anathema, since on morphological grounds hippos seem much more closely related
to other even-toed hoofed mammals, such as pigs and camels. On molecular
grounds, however, the “whippo” hypothesis claimed that hippos are more
closely related to whales than they are to other land animals.
of the cellular studies are based on the assumption that evolution is fact and
not theory. A recent reconstruction of the DNA of ancient cave bears
depended on the assumption that modern bears and dogs were evolutionary
cousins—if that supposition is false, so will be the reconstructed genome.
of the very important things that distinguishes the natural sciences from
philosophy is the ability of a theory to make predictions, and for those
predictions to be confirmed by independent researchers. For example,
numerous independent researchers have performed experiments which fairly well
confirm the predictions made by Albert Einstein in his theory of
relativity—the bending of light by a large mass, the gravitational red shift,
and alterations in the orbit of Mercury have been measured and agree very well
with what Einstein predicted.
But, at least according to Wells, no scientist has ever demonstrated the bring
into being of a new species!
Many have tried, but at most they report no more than changes in secondary
characteristics. Of course evolution is said to have taken place over
“zillions” of years, but one would expect some small success with all of the
observers and the modern equipment employed. Would we consider the
alchemist to be a scientist if his only reason for not changing lead into gold
is that “it takes too long”?
characteristic of all sciences is the encouragement of its practitioners to
“think outside the box”—to come up with newer and better theories to
explain what is observed—even if it is necessary to go against the currently
prevailing theories. Real science depends upon the free and open exchange
of ideas and observations. By way of illustration, in 1989 Martin
Fleishmann and Stanley Pons reported that they had produced nuclear fusion at
room temperature (it usually occurs in the sun and in hydrogen bombs).
They published a detailed report of their apparatus, the test conditions, and
all of the things necessary for other scientists to replicate their work
independently. For seventeen years no one did so conclusively. But
in 2002, Mosier-Boss and Szpak, researchers in the U.S. Navy's Space and Naval
Warfare Systems Center San Diego, developed a new technique, which currently
the opposite is the attitude taken by proponents of Darwinism. Wells
devotes several chapters to the outright persecution of scientists and educators
who question Darwinian “orthodoxy”. Highly educated professionals are
known to lose jobs and to be ostracized for any suggestion that their might be
an alternative to Darwin’s theory. The federal courts have been (ab)used
to silence the opposition on the theory that teaching any other theory would
constitute an “establishment of religion” in violation of the Constitution.
Materialism is the only religion allowed to be established. Darwinism is
one of its parish churches.
is a tremendous danger in conducting science by consensus rather than by free
and independent research.—not the least of it being the danger that science
will cease to progress. Not all that long ago there was a strong consensus
that the physics of Aristotle were true. What scientific progress would
have been made if that consensus had stopped men like Isaac Newton from
proposing new theories? Or Copernicus? or Galileo? or Kepler? or Einstein?
science is likely to become politicized. Only those with “orthodox”
views get those lucrative government research grants, get their books published,
or get to make their ideas known through the mainstream media. Only they
may teach in the public schools and colleges—and in many of the private ones
as well. We have seen that politicized science can lead entire nations
down ruinous paths. Nazi genetics suggested that certain ethnic groups
were not fully human. Lysenkoism in Soviet agriculture agreed with the
Marxist party line and starved millions for decades. Do we want consensus
on “survival of the fittest” to shape our national policies in the future?
(Or consensus on the magnitude and causes of global warning?) Do we
want that consensus manipulated by the moneyed elite, and the political and media
power which they control?
hope to write more in the near future on the effects of thinking by consensus on
all of the major institutions of modern society. One can see great
similarities in the ills of the Church, of national governments, and the
scientific establishment. Darwinism in only a part of the problem.
makes a reasonable case for “Intelligent Design” (ID) as an alternative to
Darwin. The intelligent designer is not necessarily the God of the Bible,
although he might be. Wells mentions a few atheists who endorse ID.
In a nutshell, ID is sort of evolution, but an evolution more like Tim Berra’s
Corvettes. Every so often, the intelligent designer intervenes to make a
change to the biological product lines, which may or may not have sprung from a
common ancestor. Wells points out that Pope Pius XII in Humani generis
condemned Darwinian evolution while admitting the possibility of accepting such
a theory as ID (with God as the Designer)
Some imprudently and indiscreetly hold that evolution, which has not been fully
proved even in the domain of natural sciences, explains the origin of all this,
and audaciously support the monistic and pantheistic opinion that the world is
in continual evolution. Communists gladly subscribed to this opinion so that,
when the souls of men have been deprived of every idea of a personal God, they
may the more efficaciously defend and propagate their dialectical materialism.
fictitious tenets of evolution which repudiate all that is absolute, firm and
immutable, have paved the way for the new erroneous philosophy which, rivaling
idealism, immanentism and pragmatism, has assumed the name of existentialism,
since it concerns itself only with existence of individual things and neglects
all consideration of their immutable essences.
36. For these reasons the Teaching
Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present
state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the
part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine
of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as
coming from pre-existent and living matter—for the Catholic faith obliges us
to hold that souls are immediately created by God. However this must be done in
such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and
those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary
seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to
submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of
interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the dogmas of
Wells introduces a concept, “irreducible complexity” which seems to require an
Since Darwinism works in small steps, an organism with several parts, each
required to make the organism function but useless without the others could not
have evolved according to Darwin’s survival of the fittest. His argument
is convincing, but in this writer’s mind it is not of the order of natural
science. Both Darwinism and ID seem to be in the realm of philosophy.
Both examine the physical evidence, and then try to describe a plausible
explanation of how things might have gotten to be the way they are. Both
point out weaknesses in the other’s theory (although the ID people seem more
honest in this). But both lack means to test their theories. No
experiments are conducted (at least not successfully), and no data is given to
allow verification by independent researchers. This is not natural
science, but as philosophy, ID has Darwin beat, hands down.
The reader might also enjoy Tom
Bethell’s The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science, Regnery 2005,
270pp. $19.95 list (discount available). It also has a useful
section on evolution.