From Katherin T. Phan and Christian Post.
The Access Research Network – which reports on science, technology and society from an intelligent design perspective – recently released its “Top 10 Darwin and Design News Stories” list for 2007.
“Overall in 2007 I’d say we’ve observed a growing consternation running through many scientific disciplines over Darwinian explanations of the evidence that were once thought to be resolved long ago,” said Kevin Wirth, ARN director of media relations.
Among the top stories the group considers a “growing burden” to Darwinists is the increasing level of complexity being discovered in small biological systems such as living cells and in early life history such as jellyfish. Newly uncovered jellyfish fossils in Utah were dated back 200 million years earlier than the oldest specimens of the modern jellyfish yet showed the same complexity as modern orders and families of jellyfish. These findings, according to ARN, challenge Darwin’s molecule-to-man theory because they reveal that there was an insufficient amount of time for complex life to have developed only via the Darwinian principles of random mutations and natural selection.
Darwin’s “Tree-of-Life” model was also hit hard in 2007 when a scientist at the National Center for Biotechnology Information published a paper claiming the tree pattern could not explain major transitions in biological evolution and instead proposed a “Biological Big Bang” model.
ARN executive director Dennis Wagner noted that science is still recovering from a whole generation of people who have been raised according to “Darwinian fairytales,” such as the teaching that human and chimpanzee genetics only differ by 1 percent and that the appendix is a leftover evolutionary vestige.
“These are Darwinian ‘arguments from ignorance’ that continue to be discarded as scientists uncover the incredible design and purpose of biological systems,” he said.
But the challenges to Darwinism have not been without opposition.
The group notes in its list that political and academic persecution against those who question the evolutionary theory has also been a hallmark for 2007.
“Our modern western culture is so ingrained in the naturalistic Darwinian creation story that those who challenge the story, even with scientific evidence in hand, are treated as outsiders and outcasts,” observed Wagner.
He hopes that Ben Stein’s documentary “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” scheduled for release in early 2008, will serve as a “eye-opener” to Americans on the growing hostility toward individuals who have suggested alternative views to Darwinism.
The debate about origins is expected to heat up again significantly in 2008, Wirth said.
“I think we’re beginning to see a growing trend overall that the sufficiency of Darwinian explanations to describe how life evolved is turning out to be substantially inadequate in a growing number of fields, particularly in the areas of genetics and molecular biology,” he noted.
“I think it’s becoming clear that Darwinism is on the verge of one of the greatest challenges it has faced in many decades.”
On the Web: ARN’s “Top 10 Darwin and Design News Stories” at www.arn.org/top10