Evolution’s explanatory power under scrutiny

In October of 1980, the world’s leading evolutionists met in Chicago for a conference summarized popularly by Adler and Carey in Newsweek for November 3, 1980, and professionally by Lewin in Science for November 21, 1980. According to the professional summary:

“The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution.”

That is, the processes of mutation, selection, and sexual recombination all produce variation within type (microevolution — or creationist adaptation), but can these processes be logically extended (extrapolated) to explain the presumed evolutionary change generally from simpler to more complex types (macroevolution)?

“At the risk of doing violence to the positions of some of the people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear, No.”

Just plain capital N, No. No, one cannot logically extrapolate from mutation, selection, and sexual recombination to evolution. Creationists pointed out a series of logical and observational limits to that gross over-extrapolation decades ago, and we are pleased, of course, that the world’s leading evolutionists now agree with us — without giving us any credit — that the textbook and television picture of minuscule mutations being slowly selected to produce elaborate evolution is just flatly false.

At this point many evolutionists say, in effect, “Well, at least we agree that evolution is a fact, even though we are not certain about the mechanism.” Although I used to say that myself, it now sounds almost comically incongruous — both to me and to Colin Patterson (1981), leading paleontologist at the British Museum. Evolutionists used to accuse creationists of affirming the fact of diversity without offering any mechanism to explain it, says Patterson, but now, he says, that is what evolutionists are doing. A theory that simply accepts the diversity of life without offering a mechanism to explain how that diversity came into being, adds Patterson, cannot be considered a scientific theory at all.

Quote source

Parker, G. (1982). What is Creation Science? [ebook] Master Books, Green Forest. Location 1609-1620


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