July 29, 2002

Wells Vindicated on Multiple Counts


By Mark Hartwig

Chalk up some points for biologist Jonathan Wells, author of Icons of Evolution. Ever since the publication of his book, which is critical of how biology textbooks teach evolution, both it and Wells have been trashed by Darwinists. But some Darwinist authors are now admitting that Wells was right-by quietly revising their textbooks.

Two years ago, Wells' book stirred up enormous controversy by pointing out that some of the most powerful "evidence" for evolution cited by textbooks is either misleading, false or-in at least one case-fraudulent. Examples include Haeckel's embryos, peppered moths, Darwin's finches, Miller's origin-of-life experiment, and others. These and other examples are the "icons" that Wells' book refers to. (See my review, "Crumbling Icons," for more background.)

Darwinist critics, writing in some of the most prestigious science journals, lashed out at Wells, accusing him of being dishonest, confused and having a "simplistic" and "naïve" view of science. One review went so far as to say that "the education system at Berkeley [where Wells earned his Ph.D.] has failed in his case."

Yet textbook authors are apparently dropping some of the icons Wells criticized. Wells himself reports that the high school textbook, Biology, by Kenneth R. Miller and Joseph Levine, has dropped the peppered moth icon.

Additionally, biologist David Dewitt, of Liberty University, reports that the newest edition of the college textbook, Molecular Biology of the Cell, has dumped at least two icons: Haeckel's embryos and Miller's origin-of-life experiment.

The omission in the college text is particularly significant because the lead author, Bruce Alberts, is not only a noted cell biologist but also president of the National Academy of Sciences. Alberts' status may put strong pressure on other textbook authors to follow suit.

"This is a major step forward," DeWitt said.

Hopefully, there will be more changes to come.

"If the Darwinists stop using all of their icons and begin to take a hard look at their 'evidence,' " he said, "the end of Darwinism will be in sight."

Even if it isn't, the textbooks will be certainly be better.

Copyright 2002 Mark Hartwig. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.
File Date: 7.29.02