Robert F. Shedinger, religion prof at Luther College in Iowa and author of The Mystery of Evolutionary Mechanisms: Darwinian Biology’s Grand Narrative of Triumph and the Subversion of Religion, offered a series of reflective posts at ENST, analyzing a Darwinian biology text. His last one focused on the eye:
In my previous post analyzing Strickberger’s Evolution, a prominent textbook by Brian K. Hall and Benedikt Hallgrimsson, I focused on the phenomenon of convergent evolution. One of the most amazing examples of convergence is the repeated evolution of the camera eye. I will begin this final post by considering Strickberger’s treatment of eye evolution along with comments on a few other problematic aspects of the textbook.
On eye evolution, Hall and Hallgrimsson write:
“As explained by the process of convergent evolution, the structural similarity of squid and vertebrate eyes does not come from an ancestral visual structure in a recent common ancestor of mollusks and vertebrates, but rather from convergent evolution as similar selective pressures led to similar organs that enhance visual acuity. Such morphological convergences may have arisen independently in numerous other animal lineages subject to similar selective visual pressures. “
But how could a similar series of mutations of the sort necessary to produce similarly structured eyes in different lineages occur so many times independently if the mutations are randomly produced? Hall and Hallgrimsson are not bothered by this question, but in order to convince the reader that such a thing is possible, they appeal to the well-known work of Dan-Eric Nilsson and Susanne Pelger.Robert F. Shedinger, “Squeezing Out the Mystery: Final Comments on Strickberger’s Evolution” at Evolution News and Science Today: (August 19, 2020)
But the textbook authors ignore the caveats, he tells us. He concludes,
In this post and the five that preceded it I have tried to highlight some of the more egregious ways Strickberger’s Evolution fundamentally distorts the science of evolutionary biology in service to its real intention to indoctrinate students into the Darwinian worldview. Clearly this textbook is not alone. Many of the errors and distortions outlined in this series of posts could be found in many other evolutionary biology textbooks.Robert F. Shedinger, “Squeezing Out the Mystery: Final Comments on Strickberger’s Evolution” at Evolution News and Science Today: (August 19, 2020)
Here’s a question: How many people would study biology with interest if we took the Darwin out of it and said, learn what the natural world of life is like without all these theories of how it came to be that way? Who would still be interested?
See also: Darwin skeptic Robert Shedinger calls out Paul Davies