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On April 20, 1998, the Editor of Chemical & Engineering News published a leading article entitled, "Kudos to the Academy".
I submitted the attached letter on May 23 in disagreement. It was not published, and no reason was given for this.
Arthur S. Lodge     |     home
C&E News
I disagree with your April 20th editorial lauding the National Academy of Sciences' new guidebook, "Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science".  All scientific theories have strengths and weaknesses.  No reference was made to any of the many books and papers which describe the formidable difficulties faced by Darwinism (= chance mutation + natural selection - intelligent design).

In particular, the NAS committee ignored the book, Darwin's Black Box - The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution (The Free Press, New York, 1996), written by the microbiologist, Michael Behe, who states, on p.232: "Over the past four decades modern biochemistry has uncovered the secrets of the cell..... The result of these cumulative efforts to investigate the cell - to investigate life at the molecular level - is a loud, clear, piercing cry of "design!".

You quote the opinion expressed by the NAS President, Bruce Alberts: "Evolution is the central organizing principle that biologists use to understand the world'.  This opinion conflicts with the results of a literature search made by Professor Behe, who states (p. 182)-.  "A survey of thirty biochemistry textbooks... used in major universities over the past generation shows that many textbooks ignore evolution completely ... One textbook has one citation to evolution in its index out of a total of about 2,500.  It refers to a sentence: Organisms have evolved and adapted to changing conditions on a geological time scale and continue to do so.  Nothing else is said." Professor Belie concludes that "Many students learn from their textbooks how to view the world through an evolutionary lens.  However, they do not learn how Darwinian evolution might have produced any of the remarkably intricate biochemical systems that those texts describe."

It would be unfortunate if anything as one-sided and uncritical as the NAS guidebook were to influence schools.  Children (and adults) can benefit from opportunities for developing their intellectual and critical faculties by assessing fair presentations of both sides of controversial topics.

Yours faithfully,

Arthur S. Lodge