Dissent from Darwinism
“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”
How many scientists agree with that statement? More than you might think. Since the Discovery Institute first asked the question in 2001, over 700 scientists—including many biologists and biochemists—have signed a petition affirming that yes, they do agree. Darwinism, and all the evolutionary theories drawn from it, are inadequate. While the petition is called “Dissent from Darwinism,” the statement applies to any evolutionary theory which relies on random mutation and/or natural selection—meaning the statement applies to the majority of evolutionary theories.
Mutations are genetic changes; therefore, random mutations are changes that occur randomly, i.e. not with the aid of a creator (whether that creator is a scientist conducting lab experiments or God) or in direct response to an environmental change. Berkeley’s Understanding Evolution for Teachers website explains it this way: “Mutations are random—whether a particular mutation happens or not is generally unrelated to how useful that mutation would be.” The page goes on to talk about lice shampoo. When people use lice shampoo, the lice seem to become resistant to the chemicals in the shampoo. Understanding Evolution explains that, while it’s possible the lice developed their resistance because of exposure to the chemicals, the more likely option is that “resistant strains of lice were always there—and are just more frequent now because all the non-resistant lice died a sudsy death.”
This is natural selection. Beneficial mutations survive because the individuals who possess those mutations survive to pass on their genes. The individuals who lack that mutation die. Evolutionary theories dictate that natural selection drives the creation of new species, despite the fact no one has ever seen this happen. No scientist has recreated speciation (the emergence of a new species) in the lab. Still natural selection remains a keystone of evolution.
So, for over 700 scientists to dissent from the mainstream view that natural selection accounts for the complexity of life on earth is astonishing.
How many more fear admitting their dissent? Any professor how hasn’t achieved tenure yet must consider job security when voicing dissent from the mainstream viewpoint.