How Scientists Are Changing Their Spots

If you pulled a book off the library shelf titled How the Leopard Changed His Spots, you might expect to find a children's story. But a new book by that name is anything but children's literature. It's written by a well-known British biologist named Brian Goodwin, and it promotes a surprising theme: that Darwinism has failed. Goodwin is one of a growing number of biologists who are questioning Darwinist orthodoxy. You see, Darwin attributed evolution to small-scale changes taking place over vast periods of time. Darwin studied the work of farmers and breeders who produced colorful varieties of domesticated animals, like pigeons, horses, and dogs. If the same small changes were to accumulate over long periods of time, Darwin said, they might add up to produce large changes—the kind that separate fish and reptiles, birds and mammals. This assumption is the essence of Darwinism: that small-scale change, like the differences between breeds of dog, is the source of large-scale change, like the difference between a dog and a horse. To use biological lingo, micro-evolution—small, gradual change—is the mechanism for macro-evolution—from molecules to man. But it is precisely this link that biologists like Goodwin are throwing out. "Look at all the variety of dogs," Goodwin writes. "But they're still dogs. You never go beyond canine characteristics." No breed of dog ever leads gradually to another kind of animal. Nature gives us variations on a theme, not a ladder to new and different life forms. "Clearly something is missing from biology," Goodwin concludes. He urges biologists to drop Darwinism and adopt a theory based on what he calls laws of form in biology. Now, most biologists are skeptical of Goodwin's proposals, and some have even called him a mystic. But the important thing for Christians to grasp is that serious scientists are indeed questioning Darwinist dogma. The scientific establishment would have us believe that the only dissenters from Darwinism are creationists and religious fundamentalists. A myth is perpetrated that all sensible scientists are Darwinists. Christians who question evolution are admonished in no uncertain terms to enter the modern world and reconcile their faith with the dictates of science. But biologists like Brian Goodwin are exploding that myth. They show that the case against Darwinism is not simply a matter of religious prejudice. Good scientific arguments can be raised against Darwinism: As Goodwin puts it, Darwinism is simply "inconsistent with the evidence." Ironically, Darwin's revolutionary book was titled On the Origin of Species, yet, as Goodwin points out, that is exactly what Darwin failed to explain. "The large-scale aspects of evolution remain unexplained," Goodwin writes, "including the origin of species." So don't be intimidated by sweeping claims that "all scientists" accept Darwinian evolution. Biology has never demonstrated that all the wonderful variety of life can develop on its own, by purely natural causes, without a Creator. And today some scientists—even non-Christian ones—are honest enough to admit it.


Chuck Colson



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