Brace yourself for a shock, dear reader — a big shock. At the website Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention’s news service, we spotted this headline: Evolutionary scientist admits theory’s major flaws.
Egad — this looks serious! Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Gerd Müller, a highly regarded Austrian evolutionary theorist, recently gave a presentation, published in Interface Focus, in which he admitted Charlies Darwin’s theory largely avoids explaining how life originated and how complexity developed.
Gasp — that’s stunning news! Wikipedia has a write-up on Gerd B. Müller. He’s no bible college science teacher; he seems to be real. The Baptist Press says:
Müller did not espouse any creationist or design beliefs, but his presentation demonstrated that even the staunchest advocates of evolution are forced to admit the theory has many holes. The presentation was devastating “for anyone who wants to think that, on the great questions of biological origins, orthodox evolutionary theory has got it all figured out,” Discovery Institute experts wrote on their organization’s blog.
[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] The Discoveroids say Müller’s admission is “devastating.” The Baptist Press tells us:
Müller’s admission offers a particularly damning critique since answers to questions about how things originated and how complexity developed form the basis for all origin theories. He also referred to the concept of macroevolution, the idea that one species can evolve into a totally different species, as “vague” and advised proponents of an expanded framework of evolution to avoid the term altogether.
We had to verify Müller’s remarks. We’re told that his presentation was reported in Interface Focus. That’s a publication of the Royal Society. At their website we found Why an extended evolutionary synthesis is necessary, dated 18 August 2017. You can read it online without a subscription. According to the abstract, Müller recommends a “renewed and extended theoretical synthesis” of evolutionary biology to replace the modern synthesis (MS) of the 1940s because:
Whereas the MS theory and its various amendments concentrate on genetic and adaptive variation in populations, the extended framework emphasizes the role of constructive processes, ecological interactions and systems dynamics in the evolution of organismal complexity as well as its social and cultural conditions. Single-level and unilinear causation is replaced by multilevel and reciprocal causation. Among other consequences, the extended framework overcomes many of the limitations of traditional gene-centric explanation and entails a revised understanding of the role of natural selection in the evolutionary process. All these features stimulate research into new areas of evolutionary biology.
That doesn’t sound much like creationism to us. Müller says the extended evolutionary synthesis (EES):
takes account of the plurality of factors and causal relations in evolutionary processes. It continues to see variation, differential reproduction, heredity, natural selection, drift, etc., as necessary components of evolution, but it differs in how these factors are conceptualized. In addition, in the EES, development assumes a constructive role, natural selection is not the only way that variation in populations can be modified, causation does not run solely in one direction from the external environment to populations and, instead of a single inheritance mechanism, several modes of transmission exist between generations.
Müller refers to “the never ending micro-versus-macroevolution debate” and says:
The real issue is that genetic evolution alone has been found insufficient for an adequate causal explanation of all forms of phenotypic complexity, not only of something vaguely termed ‘macroevolution’. Hence, the micro–macro distinction only serves to obscure the important issues that emerge from the current challenges to the standard theory. It should not be used in discussion of the EES, which rarely makes any allusions to macroevolution, although it is sometimes forced to do so.
In his final paragraph, Müller says:
This is an exciting period in evolutionary biology. The principal Darwinian research tradition is upheld, but the specifics of evolutionary theory structure are undergoing ferment, including the revision of some of its traditional elements and the incorporation of new elements. Instead of privileging selected mechanisms such as random variation, genetic control and natural selection, the multitude of factors that dynamically interact in the evolutionary process will be better expounded by a pluralistic theory framework. [Emphasis supplied.]
We don’t see anything that even remotely refers to divine creation or intelligent design. Yet the Baptist Press implies otherwise. They say:
Many Christians reject the theory of macroevolution because the Bible teaches that God created everything according to its kind. Somewhat less controversial is the theory of microevolution, which refers to changes or adaptations within a species. For example, dog breeders can breed a dog that sheds less, but it’s still a dog. But they can’t breed a dog that can fly. Many evolutionists believe microevolutionary changes lead to macroevolution, but Müller admitted even evolutionary experts argue among themselves about whether microevolutionary adaptations actually produce macroevolution.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We’ll be charitable and avoid saying that the Baptist Press is deliberately giving us a gross distortion of Müller’s remarks, but their article is clearly the result of their misunderstanding, or perhaps wishful thinking, which isn’t uncommon when creationists discuss science.
So don’t be misled, dear reader. The latest reports about the collapse of evolution are, shall we say, somewhat exaggerated.
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