Jonathan Wells, PhD, was the keynote speaker at this year’s Pathways for STEM Education Conference. He presented Evolution: Science of Myth and Future Pathways for STEM Education.
From his Icons of Evolution, 2000.
“When asked to list the evidence for Darwinian evolution, most people–including most biologists–give the same set of examples, because all of them learned biology from the same few textbooks. The most common examples are:
- a laboratory flask containing a simulation of the earth’s primitive atmosphere, in which electric sparks produce the chemical building-blocks of living cells;
- the evolutionary tree of life, reconstructed from a large and growing body of fossil and molecular evidence;
- similar bone structures in a bat’s wing, a porpoise’s flipper, a horse’s leg, and a human hand that indicate their evolutionary origin in a common ancestor;
- pictures of similarities in early embryos showing that amphibians, reptiles, birds and human beings are all descended from a fish-like animal;
- Archaeopteryx, a fossil bird with teeth in its jaws and claws on its wings, the missing link between ancient reptiles and modern birds;
- peppered moths on tree trunks, showing how camouflage and predatory birds produced the most famous example of evolution by natural selection;
- Darwin’s finches on the Galapagos Islands, thirteen separate species that diverged from one when natural selection produced differences in their beaks, and that inspired Darwin to formulate his theory of evolution;
- fruit flies with an extra pair of wings, showing that genetic mutations can provide the raw materials for evolution;
- a branching-tree pattern of horse fossils that refutes the old-fashioned idea that evolution was directed; and
- drawings of ape-like creatures evolving into humans, showing that we are just animals and that our existence is merely a by-product of purposeless natural causes.
These examples are so frequently used as evidence for Darwin’s theory that most of them have been called “icons” of evolution. Yet all of them, in one way or another, misrepresent the truth.”
Please visit the conference page here for information regarding this event.
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