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Kenneth R. Miller’s “Random and Undirected” Testimony: An Update

Last summer I reported how theistic evolutionist and biologist Kenneth Miller gave some inaccurate testimony during the Dover trial when he wrongly claiming that the phrase “[e]volution is random and undirected” exists only in the third edition of his textbook. Miller claimed, “[T]hat statement was not in the first edition the book, it was not in the second edition, it was not in the fourth edition.” The problem is that the phrase “[e]volution is random and undirected” was in the first, second, and fourth editions. As I noted, “The facts are very different from Miller’s testimony. All of the first four editions of his ‘elephant’ Biology textbook contain the phrase ‘[e]volution is random and undirected.'”

Now, I have recently discovered a 5th printing of the “elephant” Biology textbook from 2000, and it also contains Miller’s infamous phrase, “[e]volution is random and undirected.” Why is this significant? Miller admitted during the Kitzmiller trial that this phraseology was “about meaning and purpose” and “beyond the realm of science,” implying it could be offensive to religion. Yet Miller is the Darwinian biologist that Josh Gilder observed was the “religious mascot” of the PBS Evolution Series.

Miller was also the plaintiffs’ star biology expert witness in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, where he testified before Judge Jones that evolution does not conflict with religion. Judge Jones was so enamored with Miller’s testimony (as Gilder put it earlier, “all religious issues were reconciled, as it were, in his person”) that Judge Jones ruled it is “utterly false” to believe that evolution conflicts with religion. Yet combined with two editions of Biology: Discovering Life that state, “Darwin knew that accepting his theory required believing in philosophical materialism,” it appears that no fewer than 7 editions of Miller’s textbooks have used language to describe evolution that many traditional theists might find offensive.

Casey Luskin

Associate Director, Center for Science and Culture
Casey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.



Ken MillerKitzmiller v. Dover Area School District