From Good News, vol. 5, no. 7, July 1992, p. 37.
I would like to thank Margaret Niel for consulting me for her article on
creationism and evolution. I must point out, however, a number of points on
which the article may have been misleading.
- The article portrays Duane Gish's false statement about certain human proteins
being more similar to bullfrog proteins than to ape proteins as a minor mistake which
was blown out of proportion by Robert Schadewald, who pursued the issue for two years
and wrote a nine-page article about it. Gish's statement was more than a minor mistake,
it was a blatant falsehood which Gish has never retracted, despite requests (some by his
fellow creationists) that he provide his documentation or withdraw the claim.
- Niel mentions no examples of out-of-context quotation by creationist writers in which
the meaning of the quoted satement was reversed by leaving out certain words, despite the
fact that this is typical creationist methodology. I had provided her with several examples
of such misquotation.
- The article failed to mention the existence of old-earth creationists--Bible-believing
evangelical Christians who are disturbed by the pseudoscience practiced by groups such as
the Institute for Creation Research. These creationists include Davis Young, Hugh Ross,
Alan Hayward, and Daniel Wonderly, each of whom have written books on the subject.
- The article gives the mistaken impression that there is still a battle over the
existence of evolution going on in the scientific community. There isn't, and hasn't been
for about a century. What is still debated is whether or not the mechanisms which Darwin
proposed--mutation and natural selection--are sufficient to account for all evolutionary
changes which are evident in the fossil record and in the data of molecular genetics.
Those who promote "creation science," however, quote from these debates over Darwinism
in such a way to mislead their readers and lecture audiences into believing that evolution
is on its deathbed and that the nonexistent theory of scientific creation is waiting in
the wings to take its place.
- The article gives a mistaken view of what is and is not science when she claims that
"science can deal directly only with what is observed in the present." Geology,
astronomy, paleontology, archaeology, and other sciences discover facts about the past,
in part by making predictions about what will be discovered in the future. Many sciences,
including particle physics, rely on indirect forms of observation.
- Niel is in error when she states that I offered color changes in moths as an example
of observed evolutionary change (though it is an example of natural selection), and fails to
note that I offered several examples of observed changes from one species to another,
such as the Hawaiian wallaby.
I urge those who are interested in the claims of creationism to pay attention to
extensive rebuttals of those claims which have been published by scientists:
Arthur N. Strahler's Science and Earth History, Philip Kitcher's Abusing
Science: The Case Against Creationism, Howard Van Till et al.'s Science Held
Hostage, Laurie Godfrey's Scientists Confront Creationism, and
the National Center for Science Education's journal, Creation/Evolution.