Science in Christian Perspective
Alternative Views of Evolution
DAVID L. WILLIS
Department of General Science
Oregon State University' Corvallis, Oregon 97331
From: JASA 27 (March 1975): 2-7.
The world of life poses questions to every thinking man who examines it. These questions are the same whether the examiner is oriented philosophically toward theism or atheism, Some of these questions might be stated as follows:
1. How can the tremendous diversity of distinct forms of life (species) bond on earth today be explained?
2. Why is it that certain of these species are very similar to one another, while at the same time quite markedly different from other species?
3. Why do living species, which are so remarkably varied in form and size, seem to show the same basic cellular and biochemical composition?
4. How do the remains of organisms of past ages (fossils) relate to present day species?
5. How and when did the first forms of life originate?
Thus, the central question centers on the seeming contradiction of an enormous diversity of living forms (organisms) of complex nature which display an apparent underlying unity of composition. The origins of such organisms and their subsequent development demand our attention.
Biologists, like all other scientists, abhor chaos. This diversity of species certainly appears chaotic at first glance. Clearly, some system of classification is the cure for chaos. Like tidy housewives we are pleased with an orderly arrangement of species. However, this arrangement must not he artificial, but should reveal the actual or presumed phylogcnetic relationship of the species. Thus, it is not surprising that studies of taxonomy or systematics play such a key role in biological thinking and have done so for centuries.
General Patterns of Species Relationships
Three general patterns of relationships between the myriad species of organisms are possible: (1) the "fixity of species" concept, (2) the monophyletic idea and (3) the polyphyletic view. The first scheme suggests that each species is unrelated to any other species, but has remained unchanged since its origin (creation). This pattern is usually associated with the so-called "Special Theory of Creation." It was the dominant scientific viewpoint until the mid-18th century and was the working hypothesis of Linnaeus, the father of modern taxonomy. Evidence to support this view must show unbroken continuity of present species hack to the time of their origin with no occurrence of speciation.
that all organisms (present and past) are genetically related because they are
derived from a unique original form of life, thus the term
This pattern represents the well-known general theory of evolution.
It is schematically
shown in numberless textbooks as the evolutionary "tree of
for this view must demonstrate speciation (formation of new species by natural
processes) and show historical connections betsveen all the major categories of
The third possible scheme of relationships is intermediate between the first two. Multiple original forms of life (thus the term "polyphletic") have speciated through time giving rise to groups of related species. Each group of species is distinct from and unrelated to the species in other groups. This is essentially limited evolution or general creation. Evidence for this pattern, like that for the second, must demonstrate speciation. However, unlike the general evolutionary pattern, it must reveal several unrelated groups of organisms whose origins were not demonstrably in common.
A failure on the part of a speaker to clearly define his terms often results in needless misunderstanding on the part of the listener. Therefore, before proceeding, let me define two key terms that will he important to the following discussion:
Evolution basically refers to changes in populations of living
organisms by natural
processes over a span of time. There are really two levels of usage
for this terns,
although the important distinctions between them are often blurred in
Limited evolution I speciations or microevolution ) involves the formation of
new species by natural selection operating on distinct populations
over a limited
period of time. By contrast,
general evolution extrapolates speciation as the mechanism by which
have been derived from a single original source over the span of
It is this broad generalization about the interrelationship of all
that is usually intended by the term "evolution." To avoid confusion,
I shall use the terms speciation and evolution to refer to the
limited and general
aspects of evolution, respectively. The term "chemical evolution" is
frequently used today and refers to assumed pre-biotic changes on the
gave rise to the first orgainism(s) by purely natural means, In current usage this
additional concept is often added to the meaning of general evolution and I
shall so use it.
Creation is the action of a supernatural power (God) in bringing the natural world into existence. The term is used with a wide range of meanings As I shall use it, the term does not necessarily involve all instantaneous events or the absence of either accompanying natural processes of pre-existing material. Clearly then, it is not used here as the equivalent of the ''Special Theory of Creation" referred to above.
Note that the major distinction between these definitions at this point lies
in the supernatural element in creation, whereas evolution (as
purely natural causes for the origin and development of life.
Analysis of the Patterns of Phylogeny
Let us now proceed to evaluate the three possible schemes of interrelationships on the basis of evidence from (a) living species and (b) the fossil record.
A serious consideration of the diversity of living species reveals a systematic pattern of interrelationships best interpreted as resulting from speciation. The major lines of evidence that speciation (microevolution) has occurred are well known, They include comparative morphology, physiology and embryology, biogeographic distribution and population genetics, among others. Such areas of study with living species allow the employment of experimental techniques and repeated field observations. Some degree of speciation is demanded by these biological "facts" and natural selection appears to provide a reasonable mechanism. The cumulative effect of this overwhelming evidence demolished the "fixity of species" view in the last century and we shall not give it further consideration here. Note, however, that the evidence from a study of living species does not distinguish between the other two schemes. Either scheme of phylogeny could produce the present pattern of species diversity.
The fossil record of past forms of life in the earth is generally regarded as the major argument in favor of general evolution. However, the student of past life forms (a paleontologist or paleobiobogist) uses a basically different methodology from that employed by the biologist investigating living forms, and this difference is often overlooked. The paleontologist uses an historical approach that is rarely amenable to planned experimentation. He is limited to the chance recovery of artifacts, usually only a very haphazard basis, due both to the process of fossilization itself and the limited opportunity for recovery of the existing fossils. His results are largely in the form of dynamic inferences based on the static artifacts available.
The application of fossil evidence to unravelling the scheme of species relationships in the past is hazardous at best. Svstematists dealing with living species frequently wrangle at length over the taxonomic status of is given population. Is it a subspecies, a separate species, or even it distinct genus when compared to similar populations? This situation occurs even when living organisms are available for laboratory experimentation and repeated field observations may be made,. The range of variation within it single species is often
The question centers on the seeming contradiction of an enormous diversity of living forms (organisms) of complex nature which display an apparent underlying unity of composition.
enormous, as witness the variety of breeds of dogs. (One wonders
into how main'
different species paleontologists would separate fossils of the various breeds
of dogs, if they had only skeletal remains and did not know that all
were inter-fertile. Would the Dachshund and the St. Bernard even be in the same
Obviously, paleontologists are acutely aware of such handicaps. Thus, they do not use the term "species" in quite the same sense that biologists normally do. Instead, they' describe "form species," i.e.. species based primarily on morphological differences, and those only partial and fragmentary in many' cases. It must he clearly noted, then, that fossil species may not he directly equated with living species. Their determinations are not based on the same range of characteristics. Furthermore, interfertility and genetic compatibility of the various members of a living species are must significant criteria in classification. Since breeding experiments with fossils are a lot out of the question, it is likely' that morphologically different members of a fossil assemblage may he regarded as different species when, in fact, the v may have been quite interfertile in life, (Remember the Dachshund and the St. Bernard!).
The interpretation of the fossil record is plagued with with another difficulty-the geographical discontinuity of fossil remains. Frequently, lines of descent for a graded series of fossil species (for example, the horse) are based on fossils found at random in widely remote regions of the earths, The questionable nature of such a practice has often been noted, but the standard answer is to appeal to hypothetical dispersion routes, and assumed biogeographic corridors or filter routes. In the past five years, with the emergence of the geophysical theory of plate tectonics, a greatly renewed interest in the old idea of continental drift loss developed. In a recent article in Science, Raven and Axelrod1 made a strong case for the existence of the hypothetical continent of Gondwanaland ( comprising Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica, South America, India, Madagascar and Africa) in mid-Cretacecous time (about 100 million ago). Years Its subsequent breakup is then plotted and related to Australasian paleobiography. Such concepts appear to have strong support from geophysical evidence and are forcing the wholesale revision of earlier accepted paleobiogeographic conclusions. Clearly, it is to be dogmatic about the past history of life from the the fossil record.
A more serious shortcoming of the fossil record is noted by George Gaylord Simson its his widely used biology textbook Life.
The disappointing scarcity of the earliest fossil records unfortunately applies to a long span of geological time. Life probably existed 2 and perhaps even 3 billion years ago, but fossils become varied and abundant only with the beginning of the Cambrian, a mere 600 million years past. Thus the reasonably good fossil record as now known may not cover more than about the last fourth or fifth of the history of life.2 (p. 760)
Let us now apply this limitation on the fossil record to phylogenetic schemes (2) and (3). The fossil record does not enable os to distinguish between the correctness of the monophyletic and the polyphyletic patterns. Although there has been an abundance of speculation concerning the development of life before Cambrian time, there is little or no scientific evidence to support it. Simpson gives a refreshingly frank appraisal of the situation,
The sudden contrast between the Pre-Cambrian rocks, in which animal fossils are iii rare or dubious, and the Cambrian, in which they are abundant, poses a serious question: Why? A good scientist must be prepared to say, "I don't know," and that is at the present the correct answer.2 (p. 760)
Thus, our search for complete order in the scheme of interrelationships between living and extinct forms of life ends at a blank wall. While we can discard scheme (1), we cannot distinguish between schemes (2) and (3) on the basis of the available scientific evidence.
Regrettably, at this point some of the more avid proponents of general evolution begin to speculate, hypothesize and engage in outright fantasy'. Current general biology textbooks abound with dogmatic statements and pontilications about how life might have, could have, must have or did originate and evolve in the Pre-Cambrian period by purely natural means. Some texts even orient their entire treatment of cellular physiology and biochemistry around such hypothetical schemes. To the beginning student, often dazzled by the factual basis of all science, such unsupported and unsupportable speculations come across as what did occur. It is this speculating, pontificating and propagandising without factual evidence that I, as a biologist, find unacceptable and most irritating.
The Case for Polyphyletie Origins (General Creation)
My thesis is that the available scientific evidence fits a polyphyletic origin and development of life just as well as it does the monophyletic evolutionary view. As noted earlier, evidence for such multiple origins and separate development of distinct groups of species would take the form of systematic differences between major taxonomic categories. A series of quotations from leading biologists of this generation will summarize this evidence.
In the preface to his book Implications of Evolution, C. A. Kerkut, a leading invertebrate zoologist at the University of Southampton, England, succintly summarizes the ease,
May I here humbly state as a part of my biological credo that I believe that the theory of Evolution as presented by orthodox evolutionists is in many ways a satisfying explanation of some of the evidence. At the same time I think that the attempt to explain all living forms in terms of an evolution from a unique source, though a brave and valid attempt, is one that is premature and not satisfactorily supported by present-day evidence. It may in fact he shown ultimately to be the correct explanation, but the supporting evidence remains to he discovered. We can, if we like, believe that such an evolutionary system has taken place, but I for one do not think that ''it has been proven beyond all reasonable doubt.'' In the pages of the book- that folow I shall present evidence for the point of view that there are many discrete groups of animals and that we do not know how they have evolved nor how they are interrelated, It is possible that they might have evolved quite independently from discrete and separate sources. 3 (pp. vii-viii)
Current general biology textbooks abound with dogmatic statements and pontifications about how life might have, could have, must have or did originate and evolve.
Dr. John T. Btsniter of Princeton University, in his review of Kerkist's book
in the American scientist, responded with deep feeling to Kerkut's
This is a book with a disturbing message; it points to some unseemly cracks in the foundations. One is disturbed because what is said gives us the uneasy feeling that we knew it for a long time deep down but were never willing to admit this even to ourselves, It is another one of those cold and uncompromising situations where the naked truth and human nature travel in different directions.
The particular truth is simply that we have no reliable evidence as to the evolutionary sequence of invertebrate phyla. We do not know what group arose from which grout) or whether, for instance, the transition from Protozoa occurred once, or twice, or many times. Most of us make the tacit assumption that the origin of life, and the origin of the Protozoa themselves are unique events, but can we he sure? The evidence from fossils for these primitive groups has so fur been of no bell). The sole basis has been on the structural resemblances between adults or their development, but as the author shows in a most effective manner, it one were to tally the views of experts on such resemblances, then one can find qualified, professional arguments for any grout) being the descendant of almost any other. In a particularly illuminating chapter, he discusses the biochemical evidence for affinities between groups. What we have all accepted as the whole truth, turns out with some mild inspection, to be rather far from it. Apparently, if one reads the original papers instead of relying on some superficial remarks in a textbook, the affinities become extremely clouded indeed. We have all been telling our students for years not to accept any statement on its face value but to examine the evidence, and, therefore, it is rather a shock to discover we have failed to follow our own sound advice.4 (p. 240)
The confused invertebrate phylogenetic relationships are further revealed in the words of Dr. Libbie II. Hyman of the American Museum of Natural History, author of the classic multi-volume reference work The invertebrates, at the end of her chapter entitled "Retrospect,"
The author regards such phylogenetie questions as the origin of the Metazisa from the Protozoa or the origin of the Bilateria from the Radiata as insoluble on present information. Also insoluble are such questions as to whether entoderm, mesoderm, and enelom have or have not sonic original mode 0f formation from which other modes are derived. Anything said on these questions lies in the realm of fantasy.5 (p. 754)
That a similar situation exists for major plant taxa is seen from the statement of Dr. W. H. Wagner, Jr., of the University of Michigan, in the recent volume Plant Biology Today,
One of the chief problems regarding ferns, of course, has to (10 with their origin. From what plants were ferns, as we see know them now, first derived? What were the most primitive ferns? Unfortunately the modern work gives us no reliable answer. In many was the origin of the ferns seems to become hazier and hazier. The more we learn about Devonian plants, where the origins of ferns are usually sought, the further we seem to get away from logical ancestral types.6 (pp. 173-174)
The comprehensive volume An Evolutionary Survey of the Plant Kingdom by six botanists at the University of British Columbia confirms the serious lack of evidence regarding the origin and interrelationships of the higher plants,
Many paleobotanists are actively pursuing the complex and exciting problem of the origin of the first vascular plants. However, at present no fossil evidence even suggests the likely ancestors of vascular plants; much speculation has occurred on the groups of living plants that could have been the ancestors to early vascular plants.7 (p. 586)
Lam has supplied a very comprehensive and critical review of the various theories of phylogenetic relationships of the Anthnphyta. He feels that the phylogenetic connections of the flowering plants are entirely speculative, and this view is gaining favor among systematists. According to Constance, there is general agreement that sufficient evidence to formulate a satisfactory phylogenetic arrangement of flowering plants is not yet available.7 (p. 537)
However, it is doubtful if any modern taxonomist is satisfied with the sequence of families still currently followed in most floras and texts. For the great majority of living flowering plants we have no direct knowledge of the course of evolutionary history.7 (p. 586)
Dr. John Keosian of Rutgers University, in his intriguing book The Origin of Life, states the case straightforwardly,
the Animal and Plant Kingdoms may have no common ancestry. Each may have had its separate beginnings in nenbionts unrelated to each other except for the fact that each arose from a complex chemical milieu. Further, some of the phyla in each Kingdom may have no ancestry in common with the other phyla of that Kingdom. The difficulties met in constructing a single taxonomic scheme embracing all organisms past and present may be due to the possibility that the discontinuities in such schemes are real and represent the existence of separate lines of descent from independent neobiologic events at different times in the history of the earth down to the present. ( p. 111 )
The available scientific evidence fits a polyphyletic origin and development of life fiat as well as it does the mono phyletic view.
Dr. Jay NI. Savage of the University of Southern California, in his textbook Evolution, clearly distinguishes between the mechanisms of speciation and the undetermined mechanism (s) required for general evolution to occur,
The essential features of microevolution and speciation are now fairly well understood by biologists, but the complex processes leading to evolution on a grander scale remain an area inviting investigation. At the present time, we base only the most shadowy impressions of the forces contributing to the adaptive radiation and diversification of life. For example, can the evolution and diversity of the flowering plants be explained simply on the basis of simple population change, or are other forces contributing to macro-and mega-evolution? The interaction of variation, selection, and drift and the taking on of new adaptive efficiency must play an exceedingly important part in these processes, but is the grand pattern of evolution only the result of simple population change? To mane paleontologists, and to those biologists interested in major evolutionary shifts, the question remains open. No satisfactory mechanism or mechanisms have been proposed that might explain these phenomena, but the characteristics, modes, patterns, and pathways of evolution at this level all suggest that other factors besides those operating at the population level must contribute to adaptive radiation and to the origin of new biological systems .l (pp. 118-119)
Perhaps the clearest summary of the case is found in the statement by Dr. Austin H. Clark, long associated svith the United States National Museum, in his book of a past generation, The New Evolution Zoogenesis,
Since all our evidence shows that the phyla or major groups of animals have maintained precisely the same relation with each other back to the time when the first evidences of life appear, it is much more logical to assume a continuation of the parallel interrelationships further hack into the indefinite past, to the time of the first beginnings of life, than it is to assume somewhere in early pee-Cambrian times a change in these interrelationships and a convergence toward a hypothetical common ancestral type from which all were derived. This last assumption" has not the slightest evidence to support it. .All of the evidence indicates the truth of the first assumption.
To this plain statement of fart the objection might be raised, "This is all very true so far as it goes, but we must admit that the earliest evidences of life are the traces of simple and primitive forms; and, an,. wav, there was an enormous lapse <<f time between the first appearance of life and the period wherein are found the earliest fossil remains, So it is easier to believe that life gradually developed from simpler to more complex forms than that the major groups arose spontaneously.'
The answer to this is that science is based upon ascertained facts. We take the facts as we find them and coordinate them into broad generalizations. The facts are that all of the fossils, even the very earliest of them, fall into existing major groups. This is indisputible.10 (p. 104-105)
The Origin of Life
Up to this point we have examined primarily the scientific evidence relating to the development of life. Let its now consider the question of the origin of life. Many schemes of chemical evolution have been proposed to account for the appearance of living organisms from non-living matter. Some intriguing experiments have even been performed to show that some rather complex molecules can be formed snider circumstances duplicating those assumed for the primordial earth. At this point, it is instructive to note Dr. C. C. Simpson's terse summery of the evidence here,
Nothing is directly known about the origin of life.2 (p.752)
Unfortunately, he could not bring himself to stop here, hot continued on,
Scientific consideration of the origin of life must thus be based on indirect evidence. Nevertheless, it need not be entirely speculative. The diverging paths that life has followed can he extrapolated backward into time and can give us sonic idea of what the most primitive organisms of all must have been like.2 (1). 7541
Despite his plea that such considerations are not entirely, speculative, they certainly' violate the rules of logic. lie holds that extrapolation backward in time allows one to know what the earliest forms of life most have been like." From the standpoint of logic, he is assuming the point to he proved (namely that monophyletic origins led to all subsequent divergence) and then using it as the basis of his argument. This is known as circular reasoning.
Dr. Simpson next enunciates dogma on majority opinion,
In the first place, most biologists agree that the earliest forms if life could and almost certainly did arise trims in-living niatter by ii natural process (emphasis mine). On the basis of what is now known there is, at least, nothing improbable in this view.2 I p. 754)
No evidence is proffered as a basis for this statement, except that "most biologists agree." This is not the voice of science, but of philosophical speculation. One might with equal fervor and logic say that "time earliest forms of life could and almost certainly did arise from nonliving matter by a supernatural process.
A more intellectually honest approach is stated by Kerkut in his concluding chapter,
(1) The first assumption was that non-living things gave rise to living material. This is still just an assumption.. .There are many schemes by which biogenesis could have occurred but these are still suggestive schemes and nothing else. They may indicate experiments that can be performed, but they tell us nothing about what actually happened some 1,000 million years ago. It is therefore a matter of faith on the part of the biologist that biogenesis did occur and he can choose whatever method of biogenesis happens to suit him personally; the evidence for what did happen is not available.
(2) The second assumption was that biogenesis occurred only once. This again is a matter for belief rather than proof...
It is a convenient assumption that life arose only once and that all present-day living things are derived from this unique experience, but because a theory is convenient or simple, it does not mean that it is necessarily correct. It the simplest theory was always correct we should still he with the tour basic elements-earth, air, fire and water! The simplest explanation is not always the right one even in biology.3 (pp. 150-151 )
Perhaps the most striking analysis of the problem of origins is given by Drs. Fuller and Tippo of the University of Illinois in their widely used textbook College Botany,
Some people assume. entirely as a matter of' faith, a Divine Creation of living substance. The only alternative seems to be the assumption that at sonic time in the dim past. the chance association of the requisite chemicals in the presence of favorable temperature, moisture, etc., produced living protoplasm. In other words, if one Subscribes to this theory , lie admits that the first protoplasm to appear on our earth was a product of spontaneous generation. Then, it he accepts the evidence of Pasteur and others against spontaneous generation, he must reverse his explanation of the origin of the first protoplasm to explain the origin of all subsequent livings from that first protoplasm . In other words, spontaneous generation, according to these opponents of the idea of Divine Creation, worked when the first living Substance was formed, but probably hasn't worked since. Actually , biologists are still as far as ever they ever were in their attempts to explain how the first protoplasm originated. The evidence of those scholars would explain life's origin on the basis of the accident combination of suitable chemical elements is no more tangible than that of those people who place their faith in Divine Creation as the explanation of the development of life. Obviously, the latter have as much justification for their hichim'l as do the turner. It is possible that the problem of life's beginning on our planet will always remain insoluble, a philosophical question rather thana subject capable of experimental investigation and solution.11 (p. 25.
The Biblical Record of Creation
Up to this post we have dealt strictly' with scientific evidence, Let us now consider historical literary evidence. Questions of origin and the past history of life have intrigued men of all times. Most cultures have produced some folklore explaining how life and the earth began. Nearly all such material is fanciful in the extreme and hears no relation to the real world. Multiple deities interacting in bizarre circumstances give rise to the world and its biota in these myths.
Of particular interest are those stories from the Near East, where archetshtgieal investigations of literate civilizations have been most extensive. One of the most lengthy and well preserved is the Babylonian creation story recorded in eunr'iforn1 nit seven day tablets. Dr. Alexander Heidel of the University of Chicago has produced a complete translation and cogent analysis of these tablets (12). Even it cursory examination of this narrative will show its total incompatibility with a scientific view of the world.
In sharp contrast, the book of Genesis in the Jewish-Christian scriptures presents all abbreviated, but majestic account of the origin of the earth and its organisms. The account Outlines in its broader aspects a series of creative actions by a supernatural being (God) that closely parallels present scientific understanding. This cannot he said of any other ancient creation story, Magical and fanciful elements are notably absent. The opening statement sets the tone, "Its the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)
The antiquity of the Genesis account is unquestioned. Its existence raises the obvious question. "How could its author have been so accurate in his statements that thousands of years later it can reasonably he viewed as an acceptable summary of the sequence of events connected with origins?" One cannot pass off Genesis as just a lucky guess, for compared to its contemporary creation stories from surrounding cultures it is unique. This document cannot be dismissed out of hand. It constitutes a valid form of historical evidence. Its very existence and accuracy demand that it also be considered when the problem of origins is examined.
It is inappropriate to attempt to relate the Genesis record to any contemporary scientific viewpoint. However, the general tenor of the narrative appears to show a series of discrete creations of major groups of organisms at successive intervals. These groups are then said to subsequently reproduce "after their own kind," presumably maintaining their distinctiveness from other created "kinds." In broad outline, this would seem to he reasonably accommodated by a scheme of polyphyletic origins, which, as we have seen, appears favored by the available scientific evidence today. The major point here is that the Genesis record is not incompatible with contemporary scientific evidence.
We have already seen that direct scientific evidence about the origin of life is non-existent. At this time, the problem of origins lies outside the scientific realm and is purely philosophical. One may believe that life originated by purely natural causes, but this is one's philosophy, not his science. Alternatively, one may believe that supernatural intervention was involved in the origin of life. (This latter view does not necessarily rule out the operation of some natural processes.) However, in the latter case the existence of the Genesis record and its eerie accuracy from a scientific standpoint lends additional weight. If a supernatural being (God) did oversee the origin of life, and if he desired to communicate some summary information about these events to his rational creatures (men), then the Genesis record would seem to qualify. In no other way does it seem possible for human beings to he informed of such events. Furthermore, Genesis claims to he just such a record.
Implications and Conclusions
In conclusion, let ate summarize the implications of the foregoing:
1. Recognize the theory of general evolution for what it is-an
whose basis in speciatiou is sound enough, but whose more extensive aspects are
mere extrapolations from limited evidence. Kerkut summarizes this viewpoint in
his closing paragraph.
There is a theory which states that man living animals can be observed over the course of time to undergo changes so that new species are formed. This can he called the 'Special Theory of Evolution" and can he demonstrated in certain eases by experiments. On the other hand there is the theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came trims an inorganic form. This theory can he called the ''General Theory of Evolution" and the evidence that supports it is not sufficiently strong to allow us to consider it as anything more than a working hypothesis. It is not clear whether the changes that bring about speciation are of the same nature as those that brought about the development of new phyla. The answer still be found by future experimental work and not by dogmatic assertions that the General Theory of Evolution most he correct because there is nothing else that will satisfactorily take its tilaee.5 (p. 157)
2. Recognize that insufficient evidence is available to answer the ultimate questions of phylogenetic relationships. As limner so frankly stated in his review of Kerkut's book,
The message is that the great phylognetic schemes, no matter how delicious and tempting, must wait. They must wait because our present evidence is inadequate to decide between schemes, and working hypotheses lost their glitter if there does not stem to i be any possible oceans of critically testing them.4 (p. 244)
3. Recognize that the question of how life originated is a philosophical one at present, not subject to direct
One cannot pass off Genesis as just a lucky guess, for compared to its contemporary creation stories from surrounding cultures it is unique.
scientific inquiry. On an equally valid scientific basis one may hold to a natural or a supernatural (creation) origin of life. Dr. A. H. Clark even felt that the odds were in favor of the latter view, even though he was by no means a creationist.
Thus so tar as concerns the major groups of animals, the creationists see,ss to have the better of the argument. There is not the slightest evidence that any one of the major groups arose from any other. Each is a special animal complex related, more or less closely, to all the rest, and appearing, therefore, its a special and distinct creation.13. 539
4. Recognize the uniqueness and majesty of the Genesis record of origins. The relevance of this historical document cannot he dismissed from consideration. It constitutes valid evidence.
5. Recognize that all informed scientists are not agreed on the factual nature of general evolution or wholly natural origins. The extensive quotations presented above hear this out.
6. Recognize and emphasize the difference between observed or experimental "facts" and unsupported speculation, or, as Bonner stated it,
All that is asked is that a sense of proportion is always maintained and that an hypothesis is never allowed to sneak into the false clothing of a tact.4 (1). 242
In more everyday terms, Sgt. Joe Friday, the TV hero of Dragnet, would say, "Just give us the facts, Ma'am, otulv the facts!"
1Raven, Peter Hand Daniel 1. Axelrod. (1972) "Plate Tectonics and Australasiau Paleobiogeography." Science 176:1379-1386.
2Simspsisn. George Gaylord and William S. Beck. (196.51 LIFE, An Introduction to Biology, 2isd id. New York, Harcourt, Brace & World. 869 p.
3Kerkot, G, A. (1960 Implications of Evolution. New York, Pergamon Press. 174 p.
4Bonner, John Tyler. (1961) ''Perspectives''. American Scientist 49:240-244. June.
5Hyman, Libbie Henrietta. (1959) The Invertebrates: Smaller Coelomate Groups, Vol V New York, McGraw. Hill, 783 p.
6Wagner, 'A'. H., Jr. (1966) "Modern Research on Evolution in the Ferns,'' In: Plant Biology Today , 2nd ed., cit. hiy William J. Jensen and Leroy C. Kavaljian. Belmont, Calif., Wadsworth, 208 p.
7Seagel, Itohert F. et a!. (1966) An Evolutionary Survey of the Plant Kingdom, Belmont CA, Wadsworth, 658 p.
8Ketisian, John. (1964) The Origin of Life. New Turk, Reinhold. 118 p.
9Savage, Jay Nh. (1969) Evolution, 2nd ed. New York, Holt, Reinhart and Winston. 152 p.
10Clark . Austin II. (1930) The New Evolution Zoogenesis. Baltimore, 'Williams and Wilkins. 297 p.
11Fuller, Harry J. and Oswald Tippo. (1954 ) College Botany, rev. ed. New York, Henry Holt. 993 p.
12 Heidel, Alextander. (1951) The Babylonian Genesis, 2nd ed. Chicago, University of Chicago Press. 153 p.
13Clark. Austin H. (1928) "Animal Evolution". The Quarterly Review of Biology 3:523-541. December.