Friday, July 24, 2009
Book Excerpt: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design by Jonathan Wells, Ph.D.
Nothing in Biology?
Dobzhansky claimed that "nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." Yet most of the fundamental disciplines in modern biology were pioneered by scientists who lived before Darwin was born. Those pioneers include the sixteenth-century anatomist Andreas Vesalius, the sixteenth-century physiologist William Harvey, and the seventeenth-century botanist John Ray. They include the seventeenth-century founders of microbiology, Robert Hooke and Anton van Leeuwenhoek; the eighteenth-century founder of systematics, Carolus Linnaeus; and the eighteenth-century founder of modern embryology, Caspar Friedrich Wolff. Even paleontology, which Darwinists now treat as theirs, was founded before Darwin's birth by Georges Cuvier.
Several great pioneers in biology who lived to see the publication of The Origin of Species explicitly rejected Darwin's theory. These include embryologist Earl Ernst van Baer, comparative biologist Richard Owen, zoologist Louis Agassiz, and geneticist Gregor Mendel.
One discipline deserves special mention: comparative biology. Darwinists sometimes claim that their theory helps us to understand what animals are most closely related to us and thus most likely to serve as models for human disease and drug testing. Such animals are identified on the basis of their genetic and biochemical similarities to us. This is just comparative biology at the level of genes and proteins. Linnaeus did comparative biology, yet he was a creationist who lived a century before Darwin; Owen and Agassiz did comparative biology, yet they rejected Darwin's theory. Mendel was no Darwinist, and Darwin was no biochemist. So comparative biology, like most other fields in biology, owes nothing to Darwinism.
In the final episode of PBS's television series, the narrator states that for decades after the 1925 Scopes trial "Darwin seemed to be locked out of America's public schools." When Soviets launched Sputnik, the first man-made satellite, in 1957, according to the narrator, Darwin was restored to the curriculum and "long-neglected science programs were revived in America's classrooms." Yet during the supposedly benighted decades between 1925 and 1957, American schools produced more Nobel Prize winners than the rest of the world put together. And in physiology and medicine-the fields that should have been most stunted by a neglect of Darwinism-the U.S. produced fully twice as many Nobel laureates as all other countries combined. Obviously, biomedical science does just fine without Darwinism.