Phillip Johnson in his book, Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds, suggests that whenever the word evolution appears in schools, nature programs, or museums, a red light should go off in our heads flashing, “SNOW JOB ALERT … SNOW JOB ALERT”. This is because the same word, evolution, is used to convey completely different meanings and the definition tends to shift without notice.
The most general use of the word evolution is “change.” No one can argue with this – things do change. The second meaning of the word is also agreed upon by everyone. This is when evolution is used to mean micro-evolution or minor variations within a type of animal. Examples of this are different breeds of dogs and cats. Micro-evolution also happens in nature to produce such relatively minor changes as different beaks on finches (which Darwin observed on the Galapagos Islands). Notice that the dogs are still dogs and the finches are still finches.
The bait and switch happens whenever the evolutionist switches to the third definition without notice. Macro-evolution is the concept of one animal turning into a completely different type. Evolutionists often use the same word (evolution) to mean both minor variations and major transformations. How can minor variations create completely new biological features or creatures? The information needed for micro-evolution is already present within a creature’s genetic code. To prove macro-evolution it must be explained where new information comes from. Furthermore, the fossil record reveals no evidence that one completely different type of creature ever turned into another. In any other type of scientific endeavor or debate, using the same word to mean completely different things and changing the meaning of the definition without notice would be intolerable. Yet this is exactly what public school science textbooks and evolutionists usually do.
Many examples of this bait and switch can be sited:
• Almost all high school biology texts use micro-evolution such as finch beak variation or breeding as examples of evolution, yet nothing new is ever created. How can breeding of existing characteristics transform a bird or a dog into some completely different type of creature?
• In 1996, Danny Phillips, a high school student in Denver, Colorado, wrote a lengthy defense of creation after being required to watch a government funded Nova television series which presented evolution as fact and glossed over the problems with the evolutionism. The response to his request that such propaganda for an atheistic worldview be removed from the classroom was for the “scientific establishment” to come down on him like a ton of bricks. Bruce Alberts, president of the National Academy of Sciences, felt that he needed to personally respond to Danny in a Denver Post editorial. His primary evidence to prove that evolution is a fact … finch beaks show variations! 1
• Francis Crick argued for evolution with these words, “Richard Dawkins (in The Blind Watchmaker) shows that man, by selection, has produced an enormous variety of dogs.” 2 Note that lost to this brilliant scientist is the obvious fact that the dogs remained dogs – what is not already present in an animal’s DNA can never be produced by such selective breeding.
The next time you see the word evolution, examine how it is being used. Is it the modification of already existing features (which proves nothing about the origin of those features), or is it a bait and switch where micro-evolution is used as “proof” of macro-evolution (for which there is no proof)?
1. Bruce Alberts, The Denver Post, September 10, 1996, p. B9.
2. Francis Crick, What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery, 1988, p.29.