NOVA Online presents a debate on evolution and its validity. The discussion was facilitated between Phillip E. Johnson and Kenneth R. Miller. In terms of specialization, the two individuals are quite distinct from each other. Phillip E. Johnson is a professor of law while Kenneth R. Miller is a professor of biology. From this, one can assume a highly different approach or way of thinking between the two.
Phillip E. Johnson believes that the concept of evolution is invalid, largely due to the fact that it leaves out the possibilities of a creator due to a sense of materialist ideology. He argues that the current proofs for the theory are rather imagined and stretched out. Kenneth R. Miller, on the other hand, believes that evolution is in fact an established concept and is in the process pointing out proof based on paleontology, embryo development mechanism, and the tendencies of DNA. A list of key argument points provided by each of the two participants is presented below.
Phillip E. Johnson • Paleontology data, specifically the fossils, provide an unclear outline of the process of evolution since the relationships between supposedly related fossils in terms of descent cannot be properly tested by any means (Johnson, 1996a). • The embryo development mechanism, as seen by pro-evolutionists to be a link to the past, cannot be treated as such due to the fact that the similarity of embryonic development in various creatures is not entirely definite but rather quite imagined (Johnson, 1996a).
• DNA data suggesting that evolution occurs and begins at the genetic scale is contradictory to established facts, as there have been studies pointing out that the only variation produced at the genetic level is of microevolution. Hence, there is no substantial change to prove that evolution in terms of organ development can be attained through the genetic level (Johnson, 1996a). • Materialist ideology is utilized in explaining evolution, and in effect, points that cannot be determined are still given nonfactual explanations (Johnson, 1996b).
Kenneth R. Miller • Paleontology data, specifically the fossils, provides a clear view of the evolutionary process as the relationship between current and ancestral forms of the lineage of creatures; the fossils provide insight into the transitional phases, portraying the changes in organ development in plain view (Miller, 1996a). • The embryo development mechanism further supports the concept of evolution, as it presents a sense of likeness in certain stages between highly different creatures as well as humans (Miller, 1996a).
• DNA data suggests that microevolution as well as macroevolution can be altered at a genetic level, thus pointing out that tail development can be triggered or prevented through the alteration of a single gene (Miller, 1996b). • Materialist ideology cannot be seen as a fault of science as scientific pursuits cannot simply place the creator as the answer for everything currently unknown (Miller, 1996c). References Johnson, P. E. (1996a, November 19) Letter 2 – How did we get here?.
NOVA Online – Odyssey of Life. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from <http://www. pbs. org/wgbh/nova/odyssey/debate/deb02joh1119. html>. Johnson, P. E. (1996b, December 9) Letter 8 – How did we get here?. NOVA Online – Odyssey of Life. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from <http://www. pbs. org/wgbh/nova/odyssey/debate/deb08joh1209. html>. Miller, K. R. (1996a, November 23) Letter 3 – How did we get there?. NOVA Online – Odyssey of Life. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from <http://www.
pbs. org/wgbh/nova/odyssey/debate/deb03mil1123. html>. Miller, K. R. (1996b, November 30) Letter 5 – How did we get there?. NOVA Online – Odyssey of Life. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from <http://www. pbs. org/wgbh/nova/odyssey/debate/deb05mil1130. html>. Miller, K. R. (1996a, December 6) Letter 7 – How did we get there?. NOVA Online – Odyssey of Life. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from <http://www. pbs. org/wgbh/nova/odyssey/debate/deb07mil1206. html>.