Now why can’t a Darwinist do something like this? Review a book you don’t entirely agree with, but state its thesis correctly and evaluate its contents fairly.
At The Stream, Sean McDowell contributes a thoughtful article about Michael Denton’s Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis. Dr. McDowell is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University. He admits the book is “challenging” to read, and says he disagrees with Denton on “some points.” But he gives an admirably lucid summary of its argument and judiciously weighs its significance.
Here from Dr. McDowell is a fine précis of the book:
While Denton believes in common descent, and embraces a non-Darwinian law-based explanation for the diversity and complexity of life (although he concedes that his theory “may point to the intelligent design of the universe as uniquely fit for life”), he launches a trenchant critique of the Darwinian model of adaptive gradualism. Essentially, he defies the claim that macroevolution is merely an extension of microevolution. There exist certain “homologs” or “primal patterns” in nature, claims Denton, which simply cannot be accounted for by cumulative selection. According to Denton, natural selection does play a minor role in the development of various organisms in nature, but there must be other operational forces.
Simply put, there are not the innumerable transitional links Darwin predicted, and in many cases, there is not even conceivable links to account for various “structures” in nature. According to Denton, this is one of the major unsolved challenges for Darwinian evolution.
Denton provides a number of examples in nature that lack Darwinian pathways, such as the cell, limbs, feathers, wings, flowering plants, language and more.
You can’t improve on that. And the bottom line? McDowell writes:
If [Denton] is right, then where do we go from here?
He concludes: “Either the ‘jump’ was … already prefigured into the biology of the ancestral form and its actualization due to internal causal factors according to a structuralist ‘laws of form’ framework, or it came about as the result of special creation.”
He’s right. The Darwinian model faces significant hurdles, which seem to get increasingly higher. Either the naturalist needs to answer the challenges raised by Denton, pose another naturalistic model (as Denton does at the end of his book) or be open to special creation. There are only so many available options.
That is well said. What more could you ask for? There is indeed a limited selection of responses to Denton and the challenge he poses. You can choose any of them, but you must choose. We don’t demand agreement, but merely accuracy and fairness. And why, tell me, is that within reach of a Christian apologist, but not a Darwin apologist?