A look at "Explore Evolution" -- EXTREMELY LONG !!!!!!!!!!

Sorry in advance for the extreme length of this post . . . .

Over at the "After the Bar Closes" forum, there's been some discussion
about the latest tome from Discovery Institute, titled "Explore
Evolution". It's billed as a "Supplemental Text" to "teach students
more about evolution" which does NOT teach "intelligent design


Since it seems entirely possible that this book may lead to a future
court case, we thought that it'd be a good idea to go through the
whole book and trace the creationist/ID ancestry of every argument in
it. I undertook that task over the weekend. The results follow, as I
posted them at the AtBC forum:

Just got my first look at the tome today. I can sum up my feelings in
one word:

BWA HA HA HA HA HA AH AH A !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If these retards think they can fool any Federal Judge anywhere in the
United States of America with this, then they are even MORE deluded
and desperate than I thought they were --- and I already thought they
were pretty damn deluded and desperate.

Yes, folks, every typical creationist/ID argument you've heard in the
past 40 years, is in here. "Cambrian Explosion". "Abrupt Appearence
(yes, they were indeed stupid enough to use ***that very phrase***,
repeatedly)". "Fossil Gaps". "Created Kinds". "Microevolution and
Macroevolution". "Bats have no fossil ancestors". "Flowering plants
appear suddenly". "Common structures are the result of common
function". "Common structures are just convergence". "Haeckel's
drawings show that darwinists are liars". "Mutation and natural
selection can't produce new structures". "Peppered moths were
faked". "DNA can only change within fixed limits". "Evolution is just
an assumption". "Biological information cannot increase". "No new
genetic information". "No beneficial mutations". "Goldschmidt's
monster". "Behe and the flagellum". "Irreducible complexity".
"Evolution is a tautology". "The big bad scientific establishment
crushes dissent".

Indeed, the entire fossil discussion is straight out of Gish's
"Evolution? The Fossils Say No!". The whole Introduction is one big
long AiG "were you there?" discussion. The "A New Challenge" section
is all about "Intelligent Design Theory", without ever mentioning the
name (I expect that Dover had something to do with that, right

Give me the weekend, and I'll link all of these to their previously
published creationist/ID ancestors. While ALL of these are standard
ICR/AiG/DI boilerplate, some of them I literally haven't heard in 20
years, so it'll take some digging to find them again in print.

Taking the quickest method, I've begun cross-checking the statements
in the tome with the standard creationist/ICR boilerplate enumerated
in the Index of Creationist Claims.

So far, just in the three-page Preface, we get:

"The theory of evolution remains the focus of intense public
controversy. So what's all the controversy about?"
CA041 "Teach the Controversy", CA201 "Evolution is only a theory"

"We hope this book will help you understand what contemporary
Darwinian theory is, why many scientific find it persuasive, and why
other scientists question key aspects of it."
CA041 "Teach the Controversy", CA111 "Many current scientists reject
evolution", CA112 "Many scientists find problems with evolution",
CI001 "Intelligent Design theory is scientific"

"It allows you to evaluate answers to scientific questions on your own
and form your own conclusions".
CA041 "teach the controversy", CI001 "Intelligent Design theory is

"Teaching scientific ideas openly and critically not only helps
prepare you for possible careers in science, but it helps you learn to
make informed decisions about such issues."
CA041, "teach the controversy", CI001 "Intelligent Design theory is

"This allows you to do what scientists do - think and argue about how
best to interpret evidence."
CA230 "Interpreting evidence is not the same as observation", CA230.1
"Evolutionists interpret evidence on the basis of their

"United States federal education policy, for example, calls for
teaching students about competing views of controversial scientific
issues. As the US Congress has stated, "[W]here topics are taught
that may generate controversy (such as biological evolution) the
curriculum should help students to understand the full range of views
that exist". FOOTNOTE: This statement occurs in the authoritative
conference report language of the No Child Left Behind federal
education act."
CA041.1 "Federal law (Santorum Amendment) supports teaching

(Note also that this statement is a flat-out deceptive lie ---- not
only is the conference report NOT "authoritative", in fact it has no
legal authority whatsoever, but teaching creationism and ID is illegal
under Federal law. Period.)

"Throughout this book, you will discover that there are, indeed,
important scientific controversies about the key claims of
evolutionary theory and about the arguments used to support them."
CA111 "Many current scientists reject evolution", CA112 "Many
scientists find problems with evolution", CI001 "Intelligent Design
theory is scientific"

"We have written this book, in part, so that you could learn about the
controversial aspects of evolutionary theory that are discussed openly
in scientific books and journals but which are not widely reported in
CA041 "teach the controversy", CA320 "Scientists are pressured not to
challenge established dogma", CI001 "Intelligent Design theory is

"For each argument in Darwin's case, we will begin by explaining the
argument, and examining the evidence in support of it. (We call this
the Case For.) Then, we will spend some time examining the claims and
evidence that lead some scientists to question the argument. (We call
this the Reply.) We then look at the current state of the discussion
in a section called "Further Debate".
CA510 "Creationism and evolution are the only 2 models", CA510.1
"Problems with evolution are evidence for creation"

"The Reply section has not yet been presented in most school
CA230 "scientists are pressured not to challenge established dogma".

"As you will find throughout this book, there are qualified, respected
scientists on both sides of each argument."
CA041 "teach the controversy", CA111 "Many current scientists reject
evolution", CA112 "Many scientists find problems with evolution",
CI001 "Intelligent Design theory is scientific"

"We don't want you to simply accept this book as the last word on this
subject any more than we'd want you to uncritically accept the word of
other textbooks that present only the case for Darwinian evolution."
CA041 "teach the controversy", CA320 "Scientists are pressured not to
challenge established dogma"

The one phrase in the Preface that leaped right out at me, though, was
this one:

"This makes for exciting viewing, but is not always helpful in finding
answers to the real questions in the origins debate".

That word "origins" is significant. It ties, I believe, this book
directly to not only creationism and ID, but specifically to their
previous legal attempts to introduce creationism and ID into public
school science classrooms, since the phrases "origins science" and
"origins debate" is not used in any scientific sense and does not
appear in any scientific papers or textbooks --- but it appears
EVERYWHERE in creationist/ID tracts and in their legal arguments,
where it has a very specific meaning for the anti-evolutionists (a
meaning held by no other political, religious or educational group).

I am in the process of tracking down a couple references that I
recall, and will post more when I'm done.

OK. On the first page of the preface of "Explore Evolution", in the
second paragraph, we find the sentence " "This makes for exciting
viewing, but is not always helpful in finding answers to the real
questions in the origins debate".

That phrase "origins debate" is significant -- it (along with its
companion phrase "origins science") ties this book directly not only
to the creationist/ID movement, but specifically to previous legal
attempts to push religiously-motivated criticisms of evolution into

The phrase "origins science" or "origins debate" or "origins model"
does not occur in scientific papers, or in scientific textbooks. But
it appears extensively in creation "science" and intelligent design
"theory" literature, a history that goes back over 30 years -- in ICR
Impact June 1, 1973, Duane Gish writes, "To restrict the teaching
concerning origins to a single theory, that of organic evolution, and
to teach it as an established scientific fact, constitutes
indoctrination in a humanistic religious philosophy. Such a procedure
violates the Constitutional prohibition against the teaching of
sectarian religious views just as clearly as if the teaching
concerning origins were restricted to the Book of Genesis."

The phrase has a very specific meanign to creationists -- a meaning
that is used by them alone, and by no other education or sciecne
group. That meaning is explained by creationsit Jonathan Sarfati at
the Answers In Genesis website:

"This fails to note the distinction between normal (operational)
science, and origins or historical science. Normal (operational)
science deals only with repeatable observable processes in the
present, while origins science helps us to make educated guesses about
origins in the past."

"In contrast, evolution is a speculation about the unobservable and
unrepeatable past. Thus it comes under origins science. Rather than
observation, origins science uses the principles of causality
(everything that has a beginning has a cause) and analogy (e.g. we
observe that intelligence is needed to generate complex coded
information in the present, so we can reasonably assume the same for
the past). And because there was no material intelligent designer for
life, it is legitimate to invoke a non-material designer for life.
Creationists invoke the miraculous only for origins science, and as
shown, this does not mean they will invoke it for operational
science." (Jonathan Sarfati, "Who's Really Pushing 'Bad Science'?")

As used by creationists, "origins science" ties directly to the
standard creationist "were you there?" argument, as well as to the
"evolution and creation are just different interpretations of the same
evidence" argument. And, as Sarfati notes, the concept ties directly
to their religious beliefs ("Creationists invoke the miraculous only
for origins science").

For creationists, "origins science" and the "origins debate" mean far
more than just explanations of previous earth history -- it ties
directly to their religious and moral worldview, and their religious
and moral rejection of evolutionary biology:

"Does what one believes about creation and evolution affect his or her
worldview? Do origin assumptions provide a foundation upon which
important moral questions are answered? Creationists have advanced the
idea that what one believes about creation and evolution affects his
or her worldview. For example, Morris [24] stated in the "When Two
Worldviews Collide" videotape, "wrong thinking always begets wrong
behavior and evolution is wrong thinking." Ham [14, p. 41] said,
"there is a connection between origins and issues affecting society
such as marriage, clothing, abortion, sexual deviancy, parental
authority, etc." More directly, Barnes [5, p. 21] claims, "not only
have many given away institutions of higher learning to the
evolutionary establishment, but they are also giving away their own
children to be trained in an evolutionary mind set. This is causing
our children to abandon the traditional Judeo-Christian values upon
which our society is founded." Morris and Morris [22, p. 12] state, "a
person's philosophy of origins will inevitably determine sooner or
later what he believes concerning his destiny, and even what he
believes about the meaning and purpose of his life and actions right
now in the present world" (emphasis added)." (COMPARING ORIGINS
Fourth International Conference on Creationism, Pittsburgh, PA, August
3-8, 1998)

ICR still declares today that consideration of "origins" is vital to
its religious message: "The creation record is factual, historical
and perspicuous; thus all theories of origins or development which
involve evolution in any form are false." (http://www.icr.org/home/

Given the religious importance of the idea of "origins", and the
religious implications of the "origins debate", it's no surprise that
this terminology is found in ICR's earliest attempts to legislate the
inclusion of "origins science" in public school classrooms as creation


"Evolution is science, creation is religion, we cannot have religion
in the classroom." All too often this is the rule when it comes to the
manner in which teachers perceive their role in the instruction of
origins in the classroom. Fortunately, this type of thinking does not
prevail in the majority of cases."

"A Two-Model Approach to Origins should not include sectarian religion
for the public schools; the approach should base its emphasis on the
interpretation of scientific data presently available. It is
conceivable, even, desirable, that sectarian schools will embellish
the scientific limits of the model by making open reference to
biblical history. A Two-Model Approach, in essence, is significant
only when students have had an opportunity to hear, see, or read, all
pertinent data on topics relating to origins." A Two-Model Approach
to Origins: A Curriculum Imperative, by Richard Bliss, Ph.D., ICR
Impact June 1, 1976)


"Proposal To Anderson School District #5
Board Of Trustees
by Paul Ellwanger
Whereas, the Constitution prohibits government from infringing upon
free exercise of an individual's religion, and
Whereas, an infringement occurs when a state program has content
contrary to religious precepts, and
Whereas, exclusive instruction by public secondary and elementary
schools in the general theory of evolution infringes upon the free
exercise of creationist students and parents, and
Whereas, many citizens of this community believe in the special
creation concept of origins and are convinced that exclusive
indoctrination of their children in the evolutionary concept is
inimical to their religious faith and to their moral and civic
teachings, as well as to scientific objectivity, academic freedom, and
civil rights, and
Whereas, even most citizens who are not opposed to the evolution
concept at least favor a balanced treatment of these two alternative
views of origins in their schools, so as to allow students to consider
all of the evidences favoring each concept before deciding which to
believe, and
Whereas, instruction in creation in a scientific context without use
of the Bible would not violate the establishment clause of the
Constitution, and
Whereas, there are now available, though quite limited in options,
instructional material which do not expound the Bible in presenting
creation science, but instead, employ scientific discussion by authors
highly trained in science,
I hereby propose that the Board of Trustees of Anderson School
District #5 take whatever steps necessary to have objectively
presented in the public classrooms of District #5 a balanced treatment
of evolution and creation in all courses and library materials dealing
in any way with the subject of origins, such treatment to be limited
to the scientific, rather than the religious aspects of the two
In the event this Board goes on record in favor of this proposal, I
respectfully suggest ...
1. That only those instructional materials be considered which would
supplement current State-adopted texts in providing unbiased
information about these two explanations for origins.
2. That only instructional materials be considered for selection which
give an objective and nondogmatic treatment of the creation model, so
as not to violate the establishment clause of our Constitution.
The following resource/reference items are immediately available, upon
request, and offered as a courtesy/convenience, from Paul Ellwanger,
2820 LeConte Road, Anderson, either as a complimentary copy or loan-
item (as indicated): [This section is summarized as follows]
- article by Bird6
- an unpublished article by Gish, "Creation, Evolution and Public
Education" (available from ICR)
- a news article about Dr. John N. Moore and one of his Impact
articles (No. 52, published October, 1977).
- Impact article No. 51, September, 1977, by Henry Morris.
- Impact article No. 36, June, 1976, by Richard Bliss.
- the student's book, teacher's guide, and transparencies entitled
Origins: Two Models, Creation/Evolution by Richard Bliss.
- Scientific Creationism, Public School Edition, by Henry
Morris." (ICR Impact, January 1, 1979, "Creation Science and the
Local School District")


"[T]hose of creationist persuasion could maintain church-state
separation in the same manner as an evolutionist teacher might, so
long as they teach both views of origins and limit their approach to
empirical evidence?" (ICR Impact, March 1, 1981, Establishing
Scientific Guidelines for Origins-Instruction in the Public Education,
by Judith Tarr Harding)

Given the pervasive presence of "origins" language in ICR's effort to
introduce creation 'science', it is no surprise that Act 590, the
Arkansas law that introduced "balanced treatment" for "evolution
science" and "creation science", was permeated by the same "origins"


Act 590 of 1981


This Act does not require or permit instruction in any religious
doctrine or materials. This Act does not require any instruction in
the subject of origins, but simply requires instruction in both
scientific models (of evolution-science and creation-science) if
public schools choose to teach either.

Only evolution-science is presented to students in virtually all of
those courses that discuss the subject of origins. Public schools
generally censor creation-science and evidence contrary to evolution.

Public school presentation of only evolution-science without any
alternative model of origins abridges the United States Constitution's
protections of freedom of religious exercise and of freedom of belief
and speech for students and parents, because it undermines their
religious convictions and moral or philosophical values, compels their
unconscionable professions of belief, and hinders religious training
and moral training by parents.

Presentation of only one model rather than alternative scientific
models of origins is not required by any compelling interest of the

Creation-science is an alternative scientific model of origins and can
be presented from a strictly scientific standpoint without any
religious doctrine just as evolution-science can, because there are
scientists who conclude that scientific data best support creation-
science and because scientific evidences and inferences have been
presented for creation-science.

Most citizens, whatever their religious beliefs about origins, favor
balanced treatment in public schools of alternative scientific models
of origins for better guiding students in their search for knowledge,
and they favor a neutral approach toward subjects affecting the
religious and moral and philosophical convictions of students."

And indeed ICR still uses this same "origins science" language to
refer to bills requiring that the "controversy over evolution" be


"Earlier this year House Bill 481 was submitted to the Ohio State
Assembly. The bill addresses the issue of teaching "origins science"
in the Ohio public schools. The carefully crafted bill scrupulously
follows the intent of recent Supreme Court decisions and attempts to
implement the 2002 U.S. Education Bill, specifically its Santorum
Quoting directly from HB 481:
It is the intent of the general assembly that to enhance the
effectiveness of science education and to promote academic freedom and
the neutrality of state government with respect to teachings that
touch religious and non-religious beliefs, it is necessary and
desirable that "origins science," which seeks to explain the origins
of life and its diversity, be conducted and taught objectively and
without religious, naturalistic, or philosophic bias or assumption. To
further this intent, the instructional program provided by any school
district or educational service center shall do all of the following:
(A) Encourage the presentation of scientific evidence regarding the
origins of life and its diversity objectively and without religious,
naturalistic, or philosophic bias or assumption;
(B) Require that whenever explanations regarding the origins of life
are presented, appropriate explanation and disclosure shall be
provided regarding the historical nature of origins science and the
use of any material assumption which may have provided a basis for the
explanation being presented;
© Encourage the development of curriculum that will help students
think critically, understand the full range of scientific views that
exist regarding the origins of life, and understand why origins
science may generate controversy. " (ICR Impact, Oct 1, 2002, Who
Could Argue with Teaching Good Science? by John Morris, Ph.D.)

This same "origins debate" language was also quickly adopted by the
Intelligent Design movement. It is found on many existing ID


Welcome to Origins. This site features scholarly and popular
resources concerning intelligent design and philosophical theism.


"The TrueOrigin Archive comprises an intellectually honest response
to what in fairness can only be described as evolutionism-the
doctrine of strict philosophical naturalism as a necessary
presupposition in matters of science history (i.e., origins). This
doctrine is abundantly evident in much material advocating the Neo-
Darwinian macro-evolution origins model, including-but not limited to-
the "Talk.Origins" newsgroup and the "Talk.Origins Archive" website. "

"The question of origins is plainly a matter of science history-not
the domain of applied science. Contrary to the unilateral denials of
many evolutionists, one's worldview does indeed play heavily on one's
interpretation of scientific data, a phenomenon that is magnified in
matters concerning origins, where neither repeatability, nor
observation, nor measurement-the three immutable elements of the
scientific method-may be employed. "


"This graphic shows the ideal way to practice origins science, where
only the scientific method--not religion or naturalistic philosophy--
is guiding the research."



Intelligent Design Network: "Seeking Objectivity in Origins Science"
Intelligent Design Network, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that
seeks institutional objectivity in origins science.

And finally, the very same "origins" language is found in legal
arguments for the teaching of Intelligent Design 'theory' in schools:


Utah Law Review, 2000 39:1

"Teaching the Origins Controversy:
Science, Or Religion, Or Speech?"

David K. DeWolf
Stephen C. Meyer
Mark Edward DeForrest



Teaching Origins Science In Public Schools

John H. Calvert, J.D.
William S. Harris, Ph.D.

Published by Intelligent Design network, inc
Copyright © 2001 by Intelligent Design network, inc..
Subject: Legal Opinion Regarding the Teaching of Origins Science in
Public Schools

John H. Calvert, Esq.
Attorney at Law
460 Lake Shore Drive
Lake Quivira, Kansas
Fax: 913-268-0852
March 21, 2001
Intelligent Design network, inc.
P.O. Box 14702,
Shawnee Mission, Kansas 66285-4702
Ladies and Gentlemen,
You have requested my opinion as to how public schools may develop
science curriculum regarding the teaching of biological origins (the
origin of life and the origin of the diversity of life) in a way that
is consistent with the Constitution of the United States. I will refer
to this area of science as "origins science."

So it's no surprise at all to see the same "origins" language re-
appearing in EE. It's the same meaning as before. And, in the case
of Meyer, it's the very same guy making the arguments.

OK, moving on to EE's Introduction, we find that it's just one big
long discussion of "where you there?" (creationist claim CA221):
"All theories of origins confront us with the challenge of explaining
the unobservable past. These theories try to explain unseen events,
such as the origin of plants and animals -- or the origin of our own
species, Homo sapiens. This task can be difficult because, for nearly
all of the history of life on earth, there was no one there to observe
these events."

"Experimental scientists can observe phenomena under controlled
conditions. However, historical scientists, like archaeologists and
paleontologists, must try to figure out what happened in the past
without the benefit of observing the past directly."
CA220 "Evolution cannot be replicated"

"Sometimes, we find that the same evidence can be explained in more
than one way. When there are competing theories, reasonable people
can (and do) disagree about which theory best explains the evidence.
Furthermore, in the historical sciences, neither side can directly
verify its claims about past events."
CA230 "Interpreting evidence is not the same as observation"

"Some people use 'evolution' to refer to something as simple as small
changes in bird beaks. Others use the same word to mean something much
more far-reaching. Used one way, the term 'evolution' isn't
controversial at all; used another way, it's hotly debated."
CB901 "macroevolution has never been observed", CB902 "Microevolution
is distinct from macroevolution"

"Evolution as 'change over time' can also refer to minor changes in
features of individual species -- changes which take place over a
short amount of time. Many biologists think this kind of evolution
(sometimes called 'microevolution') results from a change in the
proportion of different variants of a gene within a population."
CB110 "Microevolution selects only existing variations"

"Evolution #1: 'Change over time'
Evolution #2: 'Universal Common Descent'
Evolution #3: 'The creative power of natural selection' "
"The discussion also gets confusing when someone takes evidence for
Evolution #1 and tries to make it look like it supports Evolution #2."
CB901 "Macroevolution has never been observed", CB 902 "Microevolution
is distinct from macroevolution", CB902.2 "Small changes do not imply
large changes"

"Many of these scientists have begun to doubt whether natural
selection can produce fundamentally new forms of life, or major
innovations in the anatomical structure of animals (their 'body
plans'). They see natural selection acting as an editor, weeding out
harmful variations in body design, while conserving (keeping) helpful
CB 904 "No entirely new features have evolved"

"Neo-Darwinists contend that 'a single tree of lfie containing
multiple branches' is the most accurate picture of the history of
life. Other scientists doubt that all organisms have descended from
one -- and only one -- common ancestor. They say the evidence does
indeed show some branching taking place within larger groups of
organisms, but not between the larger groups. According to these
scientists, the history of life should not be represented as a single
tree, but as a series of parallel lines representing an orchard of
distinct trees. In the orchard view, each of the trees has a separate
CB822 "Evolution's tree-like pattern is discredited", CB 901.1 "Range
of variation is limited within kinds"

"When we use the term common descent (no capitals), we're referring to
limited common descent -- the view that separate groups of organisms
have common ancestors."
CB901.1 "Range of variation is limited within kinds"

Here's one that I missed previously -- it's buried in an Endnote to
the Introduction:

"Scientists define 'species' in many different ways. (There are 25
different definitions at last count.)"
CB801 "Science cannot define 'species' "

Chapter heading "Universal Common Descent -- Arguments for and

"The purpose of this book is to introduce you to both the case for and
the case against major aspects of neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory.
CA510 "creation and evolution are the only 2 models", CA510.1
"Problems with evolution are evidence for creation"

"About 530 million years ago, more than half of the major animal
groups (called phyla) appear suddenly in the fossil record. . . Many
evolutionary biologists doubt that this is enough time for the slow,
gradual Darwinian processes to produce the amount of change that
arises in the Cambrian explosion. For this reason, many scientists
think this geologically sudden appearance of many new life forms
contradicts Darwin's prediction that new forms would emerge gradually
over vast spans of geological time."
CC301 "Cambrian explosion contradicts evolutionary tree pattern"

"Turtles are another fascinating example of a group of animals that
appears abruptly in the fossil record. The order Chelonia, to which
turtles and tortoises belong, appears suddenly in the late Triassic,
around 200 million years ago. The very first time turtles appear,
their body plan is already fully developed, and they appear in the
fossil record without intermediates."

(This argument isn't specifically listed in the Index of Creationist
Claims, but it appears in several creationist sources, and apparently
has at least 25 years of history behind it:


"The oldest fossil turtles (along with the earliest dinosaurs) appear
abruptly in the Triassic rocks, fully developed and without any
obvious precursors. ...Proganocheles retained many features inherited
from its pareiasaurian forebears. ...Nevertheless, a forty-million-
year gap, spanning almost the entire Triassic still exists between the
last pareiasaurs and the earliest-known turtles. When turtles first
appear in the fossil record, in the late Triassic, they are
represented by at least four distinct lineages, suggesting that the
group evolved and radiated slightly earlier." The Creation
Explanation, Robert Kofahl, Chapter 3b, March 1995)


Evolutionists claim turtles first appeared during the Triassic Period
(supposedly 200 million years ago), when they were 'numerous and in
possession of basic turtle characteristics.' Turtles allegedly sprang
from the 'primitive' reptiles called cotylosaurs, yet intermediates
are 'completely lacking.'
Paula Weston, "Turtles; ", Creation Magazine, Answers in Genesis,
March 1999

"The first fossil bat appears suddenly in the fossil record. When it
does, it is unquestionably a bat, capable of true flight. Yet, we
find nothing resembling a bat in the earlier rocks."

(This one, too, is not specifically in the Index of Creationist
claims, but appears to have a long creationist history behind it:


"Bats, for example, appear suddenly in the fossil record with no
evidence of "pre-bat"
ancestors. Fossil bats have all the same distinctive features we see
in bats today, including extraordinarily long webbed fingers on their
fore limbs and "backward" facing hind limbs. (Bat knees and toes face
to the rear!) Even the distinctive shape of the bat skull, which
serves to
channel sound to their ears for navigation by sonar (echo location),
is found in fossil bats just as it is in all modern bats." David
Menton, "The Hopeful Monsters of Evolution", June 1994)


Bats (of the order Chiroptera), the only flying mammal, are especially
interesting. Evolutionists assume, of course, that bats must have
evolved from a non-flying mammal. There is not one shred of evidence
in the fossil record, however, to support such speculations, for, as
Romer says, "Bats appear full fledged in both hemispheres in the
Middle Eocene ..."

On the cover page of Science of December 9, 1966 (Vol. 154) appears a
picture of what the author (Glenn L. Jepsen) of the accompanying
article (pp. 1333-1339) describes as the oldest known bat. He reports
that it was found in Early Eocene deposits, which are dated by
evolutionists at about 50 million years. While stating that this bat
possessed a few "primitive" characteristics, Jepsen states that it was
fully developed, an "anatomically precocious" contemporary of
Eohippus. Thus, bats appear fully-formed, with no trace of ancestors
or intermediate forms, as a contemporary of Eohippus, supposedly the
ancestor of horses. According to Jepsen this leaves many questions
unanswered, including when, from what, where, and how did bats

ICR Impact, Sept 1, 1980, "The Origin of Mammals", by Duane Gish)

"For example, flowering plants appear suddenly in the early Cretaceous
period, 145-125 million years ago."
CC250 "THere are no fossil ancestors of plants"

"As a result, critics say the pattern of fossil appearance does not
support Darwin's picture of a gradually branching tree."
CC201 "We should see smooth change through the fossil record, not

"The fossil record provides many examples of living organisms that
have remained stable in their form and structure over many millions of
years -- sometimes over hundreds of millions of years."
CB930 "Some fossils pecies are still living"

In a discussion of punctuated equlibrium:

"The sudden appearance of major new forms of life, and the stability
of these forms over time, have led some scientists to doubt that the
fossil record supports the case for Common Descent".
CC201.1 "Punctuated equlibrium was ad hoc to justify gaps." (I'm not
really sure this shouldn't be a new entry in the Index, since this
whole "sudden appearance and stasis supports creation" has been a
creationist staple ever since Gould and Eldredge wrote their paper in

"Even advocates of the Darwinian account acknowledge that the fossil
record displays far fewer transitionals than predicted by the theory
of Common Descent."
CC201 "There should be billions of transitional fossils"

"[B]iologist Malcolm Gordon and paleontologist Everett Olson point out
that land-dwelling amphibians, themselves, appear suddenly in the
fossil record. They first show up in the late Devonian period, with
no apparent connection to earlier life forms. Gordon and Olson point
out that the earliest amphibian fossils unmistakably show them as four-
footed creatures."
CC212 "There are gaps between fish and amphibians".
(It should also be pointed out that the reference from Gordon and
Olson givena bove is from *1995*, and that no mention is amde in EE of
more recent fossil finds such as Tiktaalik. I'm quite sure this is
just an innocent oversite on the part of the authors, and not an
attempt to be dishonest -------- oh, who am I kidding. Nelson,
Meyer and their ilk are just being dishonest deceptive liars,
deliberately and deceitfully.)

"Where were the multitudes of transitional forms connecting different
groups, as predicted (and expected) by his theory?"
CC200.1 "There should be billions of transitional fossils"

Several pages of "punctuated eqilibrium says there is stasis and
sudden appearance and thus disproves Darwinism" crapola. Again, that
is not specifically listed in the Index of Creationist Claims, but has
been standard ICR fare for thirty years or more.

Another phrase that appears several times in the "Common Descent"
chapter of EE is "abrupt appearance", along with "sudden appearance".

Both phrases are extremely significant --- as with "origins science",
these terms are not used in any scientific texts, but they both have
long and glorious creationist histories. As I recall, both of them
were suggested by the YECs as alternative labels for creation
'science' after the 1987 Supreme Court decision, before ID 'theory'
stepped in to fill their shoes.

And if I recall correctly, there was some talk during the Dover trial
about "sudden appearance", which prompted the lawyer to wonder if
everyone would be back in a few years for the "sudden appearance
theory trial", and the judge to retort "Not in MY courtroom" . . .


I therefore am surprised beyond comprehension that even Paul Nelson
was stupid enough to use these particularly loaded phrases in this
book. (I am assuming that it was Nelson who wrote that particular
section, since the entire "fossil" discussion is nothing but
regurgitated thirty-year-old ICR boilerplate, and Nelson is the only
YEC hack amongst the book's authors).

In the Anatomical Homology section, we have:

"Many biologists before Darwin thought that these similarities (called
"homologies") were due to a common plan or "archetype".

This one doesn't seem to be specifically covered in the Index to
Creationist Claims, but the whole "common plan" or "common design"
argument is a long-lived creationist argument:

"This idea that a fundamental similarity in structures is due to
common descent is called homology. But this still-common idea is not
in the slightest a proof of evolution. It is simply an assumption by
those who reject creation.

Darwin revealed this was his position when he said some believe 'that
it has pleased the Creator to construct all the animals and plants in
each great class on a uniform plan'. He finished that sentence by
saying, 'but this is not a scientific explanation.'3 He was therefore
ruling out the possibility of creation based on a common plan by
implying it was not scientific, so he wouldn't believe it whether it
was true or not."


"So-called homologous structures are no proof of common descent, so
are no proof of evolution. Darwin's approach-to reject the creation
explanation as unscientific because you don't want to believe it-is
not rational. This is particularly so when the facts are readily
explained as the product of a Designer who created each unique
structure to fulfill a different purpose."

Answers in Genesis, Creation Magazine, "Similarities Don't Prove
Evolution", March 1992

My argument is that the "common ancestry" explanation for homology has
not been empirically demonstrated, so the "common design" explanation
cannot be ruled out.
(Jonathan Wells, "Icons of Evolution -- A Response to Critics Pt 7"

"The existence of similarities between organisms--whether in external
morphology or internal biochemistry--is easily explained as the
Creator's design of similar systems for similar functions, but such
similarities are not explicable by common evolutionary descent."
Henry Morris, "The Vanishing Case for Evolution", ICR Impact, June 1,

"Some modern biologists explain homology in another way. Brian
Goodwin of the Open university says homology does not reflect a
process of historical change, but instead reflects contraints imposed
upon the structure of organisms by the laws of nature. Goodwin
contends that the laws of nature dictate that a liquid, for example,
has only a limited number of shapes it can take -- a spiralling funnel
when going down the drain, a droplet when it falls, and so on. In the
same way, says Goodwin, the laws of nature ensure that only a certain
number of anatomical patterns are possible. Therefore, we should
expect to see similarities in the anatomical structure of even
different types of organisms."

This isn't addressed in the Index of Creationist Claims. I cite it
here just to point out that Nelson and his ilk are either too stupid
or too dishonest to differentiate between "homology" and "analogy".

"Contrary to these predictions, biologists are learning that
homologous structures can be produced by different genes and may
follow different developmental pathways."
CB811 "Homologous structures are not produced by homologous genes"

"In another surprising twist, biologists have also discovered many
cases in which the same genes help to produce different adult
structures. Consider, for instance, the eyes of the squid, the fruit
fly and the mouse (see figure 2:2). The fruit fly has a compound eye,
with dozens of separate lenses. The squid and the mouse both have
single-lens camera eyes, but they develop along very different
pathways, and are wired differently from each other. Yet the same
gene is involved in the development of all three of these eyes."

This one isn't addressed in the Creationist Claims Index either,
though it is a subspecies of CB811. Nelson and his ilk, of course,
are simply being dishonest by not mentioning that the common gene
involved is a HOX gene, which doesn't regulate the detailed structure
of the eye.

"Some scientists are skeptical that an undirected process like natural
selection and mutation would have stumbled upon the same complex
structure many different times."

This isn't specifically covered in the Index to Creationist Claims --
it's sort of a conflation of CB100 "mutations are rare", and CB 150
"Functional genetic sequences are too rare to evolve from one to
another". I cite this sentence primarily to contrast it with the
earlier sentence: " In the same way, says Goodwin, the laws of nature
ensure that only a certain number of anatomical patterns are
possible. Therefore, we should expect to see similarities in the
anatomical structure of even different types of organisms." On page
43, we are told that body structures are tightly restricted by natural
law to just a few possible SIMILAR STRUCTURES. Then, just five pages
later, we are told that evolution faces a problem because mutations

"This made the concept of homology circular, say many critics. If
homology is defined as 'similarity due to common ancestry', then to
say that homology provides evidence for common descent is to reason in
a circle."
CB810 "Homology cannot be evidence of ancestry if it is defined

Molecular Homology

"Critics of the argument from molecular homology agree that the
molecules in living things exhibit many remarkable similarities in
sequence. They interpret this evidence differently, however. Critics
argue that similarities may reflect common functional requirements,
rather than a common evolutionary past. And they point out that some
molecular evidence challenges common descent."

The same "common design" argument as in the previous chapter. Long a
creationist staple.

"A 'family tree' based on anatomy may show one pattern of
relationships, while a tree based on DNA or RNA may show quite
another. . . . In fact, a family tree based on one protein may differ
from a family tree based on a different protein."
CB821 "Phylogenetic analyses are inconsistent."

"Based on his study of the different domains of life, Woese says life
probably had multiple, independent starting points."

This one isn't specifically addressed in the Index of Creationist
Claims. It's a variant of the standard creationist "created kinds"
argument, CB901 and CB902.

This whole section appears to be the basis of Paul Nelson's always-
forthcoming magnum opus disproving common descent. It seems to
consist largely of "lateral gene transfer disproves common descent".
It's not addressed specifically in the Index of Creationist Claims,
and the stuff it is based on -- Woese's molecular studies, mostly --
are new enough that they don't have a long creationist history.
However, it has appeared in recent creationist and ID tracts:

In particular, Woese recommends abandoning the idea that the universal
common ancestor is a living organism. "The universal ancestor is not
an entity, not a thing," wrote Woese in 1998, "it is a process." As
Woese conceives it, that process did not involve organisms "in any
conventional sense," but an interchange of genetic material in a
complex primordial soup. He concludes: "The universal phylogenetic
tree, therefore, is not an organismal tree at its base." (Jonathan
Wells, Comments on the Majority's "Response to the Changes to the
Science Curriculum Standards", August 1, 2005

In 1998, Woese wrote: "No consistent organismal phylogeny has emerged
from the many individual protein phylogenies so far produced." He
concluded that primitive organisms acquired many of their genes and
proteins, not by Darwinian descent with modification, but by "lateral
gene transfer" from other organisms. "The universal ancestor,"
he wrote," is not an entity, a thing," but a community of complex
molecules-a sort of primordial soup-from which different kinds of
cells emerged independently.

- from Jonathan Wells' The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism
and Intelligent Design , p. 44


"[Haeckel] formulated and popularized his famous 'Biogenetic Law',
which states 'ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny'."
CB701.1 "Recapitulation theory is not supported"

"It turns out that Haeckel's drawings misrepresented the features of
the embryos, exaggerating their apparent similaritites to support the
argument for Common Descent."
CB701 "Haeckel falsified his embryo pictures"


"These scientists accept that plants and animals of the Galapagos were
transported or migrated to the islands and then adapted in some ways
to their new environment. They point out, however, that migration and
adaptation does not equal macroevolutionary change."
CB902 "Microevolution is distinct from macroevolution"

"If Universal Common Descent is true, it must have a mechanism that
can produce macroevolutionary change -- that can transform one type of
animal into a fundamentally different type of animal. Yet critics note
that the examples of mockingbirds in the Galapagos and fruit flies in
the Hawaiian Islands show only small-scale variations in existing
CB901 "Macroevolution has never been observed", CB901.1 "Range of
variation is limited within kinds", CB901.3 "Darwin's finches show
only microevolution", CB110 "Microevolution selects only existing

"Further, some geneticists think that these changes have occurred
because the populations of these birds and fruit flies became
isolated, and lost genetic information over time."
CB932 "Some modern species are apparently degenerate, not higher

"Large-scale macroevolutionary change requires the addition of new
genetic information, not the loss of genetic information."
CB102 "Mutations do not add new genetic information"

"For their part, dissenters will continue to point out that the
evidence is completely consistent with other views of the history of
life, in which small-scale changes in form and features do occur
within separate but disconnected groups of organisms."
CB901.1 "Range of variation is limited within kinds", CB902.1 "There
are barriers to large changes".

(Note too that the "other views", of small changes within separate
kinds, consist of creationism and intelligent design -- which the
authors are too dishonest to point out.)

Natural Selection

Most critics of Darwin's argument would agree that nature can 'select'
for successful variations or adaptations. Moust would also agree that
natural selection can produce small-scale changes (Evolution #1).
Nevertheless, critics contend that natural selection's power to change
a species is limited; it does not have the almost boundless power the
theory requires."
CB901.1 "Range of variation is limited within kinds", CB902
"Microevolution is distinct from macroevolution"

"For the critic, the question is not whether sheep can become
woollier sheep; the question is whether sheep can eventually become
sheepdogs . . . or horses . . . or camels. In other words, can
natural selection transform one form of life into a fundamentally
different form of life?"
CB901.1 "Range of variation is limited within kinds"

"No new traits arose. The only thing that changed was the proportion
of big beaks to small beaks."
CB110 "Microevolution selects only existing variation"

"Nowhere in the finch beak story does a new family, genus, or even
species emerge."
CB901.3 "Darwin's finches show only microevolution", CB901.2 "No new
phyla, classes, or orders have appeared"

"Critics question whether the peppered moth story shows that
microevolution can eventually produce large-scale change. They point
out that nothing new emerged."
CB601 "The traditional peppered moth story is no longer supportable",
CB110 "Microevolution selects only existing variation", CB904 "No
entirely new features have evolved".

"So what about all those amazing pictures of camouflaged moths on tree
trunks? Most of these moths were placed on the tree trunks by the
researchers themselves. Some are actually pictures of dead moths that
have been pinned or glued to the trunk!"
CB601.1 "Peppered moths do not rest on tree trunks, and pictures of
them were faked"

"Just like a computer program, DNA contains the biological equivilent
of lines of computer code."
CB180 "The genetic code is a language"

"So, biological information is stored in DNA. But where does new
biological information come from? Critics of neo-Darwinism contend
that contemporary evolutionary theory doesn't have an adequate answer
for this question. They say that the examples of artificial selection
and microevolution in particular do not demonstrate the ability to add
new biological ifnormation into a population."
CI010 "There is a law of conservation of information:, CB102
"Mutations do not add information"

"But these traits -- whether darw wings in moths or longer beaks in
finches -- are not new. The capacity to produce these traits was
present all along in the gene pool of the original (large)
CB110 "Microevolution selects only existing variation", CB904 "No
entirely new features have evolved", CB102 "Mutations do not add

"Here's the rub; producing new organs or new body plans requires new
lines of genetic code -- more information, not less. Not
surprisingly, many scientists argue that small-scale microevolutionary
change cannot be extrapolated to explain large-scale macroevolutionary
CB902 "Microevolution is distinct from macroevolution", CB 102
"Mutations do not add information"

"These critics would say that natural selection works well as an
editor, but not an author. It has a demonstrated capacity to weed out
the failures from among what already exists, but it has not been shown
to generate new biological informaiton or structures."
CB110 "Microevolution selects only existing variations"

Natural Selection and Mutation

"But critics point out that bacterial cells either have a
penicillinase gene, or they don't. They do not develop such a gene
when penicillin is introduced. Consequently, critics say that the
enzyme defense system tells us nothing about whether mutations can
produce novel forms of life."
CB110 "Microevolution selects only existing variation"

"Critics of neo-Darwinism acknowledge that point mutations can give
bacterial cells resistance to some antibiotics. They agree that when
natural selection acts upon such mutations, it can produce small-scale
(microevolutionary) change. However, they do not think that mutations
like those that cause antiobiotic resistance can go on to produce
major (macroevolutionary) changes in organisms."
CB102 "Mutations do not add information", CB902.1 "There are barriers
to large change"

"The cell cannot endure an unlimited number of mutation-induced
changes at these critical active sites. At some point, the cell's
information processing system will be damaged so badly that it stops
functioning altogether. For this reason, multiple mutations at active
sites inevitably do more harm than good."
CB120 "Genetic load from mutations would make populations unviable"

"And because mutations at these critical active sites coem witha
fitness cost, critics of neo-Darwinism argue that additional mutations
of the same kind are more likely to destroy essential functions than
to produce fundamentally new forms of life. This strongly suggests
that there are limits to the amount of change that such mutations can
CB120 "Genetic load from mutations would make populations unviable",
CB902.1 "There are barriers to large change", CB102 "Mutations do not
add information"

"They claim that mutations to many separate proteins are necessary to
produce major biological change. Yet critics insist that mutation-
induced antiobiotic resistance provides no support for this claim
either. They note that mutations that cause antibiotic resistance
only change a small site on the surface of a relatively large protein
molecule and that these mutations do not alter the overall structure
of the protein. Since the kind of mutations that produce antibiotic
resistance do not change the structure of the protein components of
the organism, they will not fundamentally change the organization of
the organism or the organism as a whole."
CA350 "No gradual biochemical models have been published", CB150
"Functional genetic sequences are too rare to evolve from one to

"Small, limited mutations (like those that produce antibiotic
resistance) can eb beneficial in certain environments, but they don't
produce enough change to produce fundamentally new forms of life.
Major mutations can fundamentally alter an animal's anatomy and
structure, but these mutations are always harmful or outright elthal."
CB101 "Most mutations are harmful", CB101.2 "Mutations do not produce
new features"

(There is also a discussion of Goldschmidt's "hopeful monster", which
no serious evolutionary biologist today either supports or asserts.
As with in the extensive list of previous creationist tracts which
drag Goldschmidt into the discussion, Nelson and his ilk have only
mentioned it to dishonestly and deceptively erect an irrelevant
strawman which they can happily set fire to.)

A New Challenge

"As it turns out, some scientific critics of neo-Darwinism have
recently gone on the offensive. They are making a new argument based
upon some new discoveries about the complexity of life -- structures
in the cell that have many intricate and interconencted parts. Some
scientists say that these structures cast doubt on the creative power
of Natural Selection, because they canot be explained by numerous,
small, successive changes."

(This one isn't listed in the Index of Creationist Claims. I cite it
here only to note that this "new argument" is nothing more than the
same old "intelligent design theory" that IDers have been crowing
about for ten years now -- which the authors of EE are, naturally,
too dishonest and evasive to point out.)

This entire chapter centers soley on Behe and his flagellum. The
entire chapter, then, falls under:

CB200.1 "Bacterial flagella are irreducibly complex"

And as a further addition, we have:

"Research has shown that the motor only functions after all 30 of the
motor's protein parts are in place."

CB200.1.1 "The flagellum has 30 or so unique (non-homologous)

Special Studies

Natural Selection as Survival of the Fittest

"All we can say now is that some finches leave more offspring (our
definition of 'survival') because they produce and sustain more eggs
(our definition of 'fittest'). Cause and effect have flowed into each
other, which makes the reasoning circular."
CA500 " 'Survival of the fittest' is a tautology"

(I have to note here that I was very very happy to see this old
chestnut in EE --- I haven't seen this "argument" in literally 20
years, and am happy to see Paul dig it out and dust it off. I am
assuming this nugget came from Nelson because the younger IDers have
probbaly forgotten all about it by now. Snicker, giggle.)

What Fossils Can't Tell You

This entire chapter is a rehash of Gish's "Evolution? The Fossils Say

It deals with two topics, both covered in the Index of Creationist
claims -- the reptile to mammal transition (CC215 "There are gaps
between reptiles and mammals"), and the reptile to bird transition
(CC214 "There are gaps between reptiles and birds")

EE concludes with a section titled "The Nature of Dissent in Science",
which is a whine about how nobody ever presents "their side", and
therefore falls under:

CA325 "Creationists are prevented from publishing in science journals"

Thus endeth my look at "Explore Evolution".

To sum up, it consists of nothing but the same old crap that
creationist/IDers have been putting out for forty years now, and it
won't survive ten minutes in court. If this book ever goes to trial,
I want a front rwo seat --- I want to see, with my own eyes, Paul
Nelson attempt to testify, with a straight face, that this book has
nothing at all whatseover to do with either creation "science" or
intelligent design "theory".

The only surprise, to me, is that the book doesn't mention the Isaac
Newton of Information Theory or his world-shattering discoveries about
CSI and the EF anywhere.

Perhaps that's because Behe and Minnich had the balls to testify at
Dover, and Dembski didn't.

Lenny Flank
"There are no loose threads in the web of life"

Editor, Red and Black Publishers


Relevant Pages