The Myth of Vestigial Organs and Bad Design: Why Darwinism Is False

Note: This is Part 5 in a series reviewing Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution Is True. Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, and Part 4 here. Darwin argued in The Origin of Species that the widespread occurrence of vestigial organs — organs that may have once had a function but are now useless — is evidence against creation. “On the view of each organism with all its separate parts having been specially created, how utterly inexplicable is it that organs bearing the plain stamp of inutility … should so frequently occur.” But such organs, he argued, are readily explained by his theory: “On the view of descent with modification, we may conclude that the existence of organs Read More ›

Shoddy Engineering or Intelligent Design? Case of the Mouse’s Eye

We often hear from Darwinians that the biological world is replete with examples of shoddy engineering, or, as they prefer to put it, bad design. One such case of really poor construction is the inverted retina of the vertebrate eye. As we all know, the retina of our eyes is configured all wrong because the cells that gather photons, the rod photoreceptors, are behind two other tissue layers. Light first strikes the ganglion cells and then passes by or through the bipolar cells before reaching the rod photoreceptors. Surely, a child could have arranged the system better — so they tell us. The problem with this story of supposed unintelligent design is that it is long on anthropomorphisms and short Read More ›

Benjamin Wiker on the Problem of Evil

This week Inside Catholic republished an absolutely brilliant essay by Discovery Institute Senior Fellow Benjamin Wiker on the problem of evil. This essay is one of the most thoughtful replies to the problem of evil — that the existence of evil evidences against God’s existence — I’ve seen packed into a short essay. It is a must read. Wiker describes how, in a feat of fuzzy thinking, evolution typically plays into dialogue on the problem of evil. Evolutionary answers to the problem, he argues, are more likely to do away with evil than explain it. And among the many important questions Wiker poses is whether we really want all evil purged from the earth. Take a look to see his Read More ›

How Not to Defend Free Will

Friday in Washington, D.C. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) hosted an event titled “Genes, Neuroscience, and Free Will.” The panel, which discussed whether new findings in neuroscience and genetics have destroyed our notion of free will, consisted of James Q. Wilson (Pepperdine), David Brooks (New York Times), Charles Murray (AEI), Sally Satel (AEI), and moderator Christina Hoff Sommers (AEI). I won’t bother to record the differing views of the panelists, for their differences were very few and very far between. Essentially, they all argued that we have an innate sense of free will and that findings in genetics and neuroscience have not undermined it because: (1) sure, genes determine behavior, but not 100%; often the environment contributes to our behavior Read More ›

Save the Privileged Planet!

Today is Earth Day. And it is worth pondering once again how marvelous Earth really is. Yet I find my mind today asking why anyone should care for Earth. From the materialist perspective, we are not really “supposed” to be here. And, we’re the late-comers to the party! So it always amazes me that many materialists are such avid environmentalists. But maybe this should not be surprising; after all, if one is a materialist, the earth is all there is, so we better keep it going! This response, however pragmatic, doesn’t satisfy me, though. For why should we keep anything going? For if the materialist is saying that the Earth is of intrinsic value, we can (indeed we must!) ask, Read More ›