What I like about James Houk’s letter of Aug. 25 (in response to mine of Aug. 20) is his description of science. He said, among other things, that “Standard science ... is our best attempt to understand the world as it actually is.” I could not agree more.
Where Professor Houk and I diverge is on the treatment of scientists and scientific findings that cast doubt on the adequacy of Darwin’s theory. He disrespects anyone who disagrees with his pro-Darwin position, including the 800 highly credentialed scientists who have endorsed the statement “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.” He belittles all of the signatories by referring to them as “scientists,” adding the quotation marks.
Houk also accuses all who question Darwin as having an “anti-evolution agenda.” Actually, I find the reality of evolution is not in doubt by any of the scientists who have published books and articles on the subject. The controversy (and it is indeed a controversy) is over the mechanisms involved. The actual mechanisms that drive evolution have not been found, and the quest for the truth remains one of the great unsolved problems in science. Another rhetorical ploy used persistently by many Darwinists in general and by Houk in particular is to brand all who question Darwin as pushing “a religious agenda.” While there are indeed a few people with that motive, it is quite wrong to assume that all the scientists who question Darwin have that view. My reading of their books indicates that they are keenly focused on the scientific issues. To accuse them all of having a hidden agenda is disrespectful and contemptuous.
I urge interested readers, including Houk, to judge for themselves by looking up some of the leading authors and their books on the weaknesses in Darwin’s theory, including Stephen C. Meyers, Donald E. Johnson, Michael J. Behe, William A. Dembski, Jonathan Wells, Jerry Fodor, Michael Denton, Lee Spetner, Thomas Woodward, and Geoffrey Simmons.
Cecil R. Phillips