Jonathan Wells Iconoclast and Molecular and Cell Biologist

Articles

Darwinism and Intelligent Design in Poland 

On January 29, 2020, I arrived in Warsaw, Poland, in the middle of a blizzard. Fortunately, most of the snow had cleared away by January 31, when I lectured at an event celebrating the release of a new Polish translation of my book, Icons of Evolution.  The event was organized by Fundacja En Arche (the En Arche Foundation, or roughly, the Origins Foundation). Although its critics call it a “creationist” organization, Fundacja En Arche is not about biblical creationism (whether young Earth or old Earth). Instead, it focuses on the scientific and philosophical issues of Darwinism and intelligent design. I told the staff that the foundation reminded me of Discovery Institute twenty years ago.  A major part of En Arche’s work so far has been translating into Polish books

On Evolution, Can’t We All Just Get Along?

On February 10, 2020, Lutheran theologian Ted Peters published an online article titled “Fighting over Evolution. Why?“ He concluded that “a culture war is raging, to be sure. But, this is not a war between science and faith.” I agree completely — if by “science” we mean empirical science. Empirical science searches for the truth by proposing hypotheses and comparing them with the evidence. If a hypothesis is consistent with the evidence we tentatively take it to be true. If it is inconsistent with the evidence we revise it or reject it as false. In reality, things can get a bit more complicated. But this is science at its best. A Different Meaning Yet “science” has taken on a different meaning in the modern world. For many people, “science” is the search

Cancel Culture Comes to Poland

The term “cancel culture” has recently come to mean the practice of boycotting, or denying a speaking platform to, people whose ideas are considered offensive. I experienced it recently in Warsaw, Poland. Fundacja En Arche (the En Arche Foundation, or roughly, the Origins Foundation) is a Polish group that focuses on the scientific and philosophical issues of Darwinism and intelligent design. Although often labeled “creationist,” it is not about biblical creationism (whether young Earth or old Earth). In many ways it is a lot like Discovery Institute.  A Job Well Done A major part of the foundation’s work so far has been translating into Polish books such as Phillip Johnson’s Darwin on Trial, Michael Denton’s Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, Michael Behe’s

Meeting Phil Johnson at Berkeley

Editor’s note: Phillip E. Johnson, Berkeley law professor and author of Darwin on Trial and other books, died on November 2. Evolution News is currently sharing remembrances from Fellows of Discovery Institute. Dr. Wells is the author most recently of Zombie Science: More Icons of Evolution. In 1991 I was a graduate student in molecular and cell biology at the University of California at Berkeley when I heard that a Berkeley law professor had just published a book critical of Darwinism. Although I was quietly a critic of Darwinism, I resisted reading the book because most of the critiques of Darwinian evolution I had already seen were either focused on the age of the Earth or they were embarrassingly shoddy. It seemed unlikely that a law professor could do any better. A

Is Gender in Penguins a Human Construct?

“Gay penguins at London aquarium are raising ‘genderless’ chick.” So announced NBC News on September 10, 2019. The penguins are of the Gentoo species. According to the Irish Post, “Staff have taken the decision not to describe the Gentoo penguin as either male or female because they say gender is more of a human construct.” The penguins caring for the chick at the London aquarium are both females. There have also been reports of two male penguins caring for chicks. In Gentoos and other penguin species, males share responsibility with females to incubate eggs. Penguins have no external genitalia. Even as adults, the males and females can be difficult to tell apart. In many cases, the only way to distinguish reliably between male and female penguins is to examine

An Unintended Endorsement of Marcos Eberlin’s New Book, Foresight

Some reviews that try to make a book look bad are so ill-informed and malicious that they actually make a good book look better. A person who calls himself or herself “Puck Mendelssohn” (hereafter PM) on Amazon, and “Darwin’s Bullfinch” in his or her profile, has long ridiculed books critical of Darwinism or supportive of intelligent design. PM’s latest hatchet job mocks Brazilian chemist Marcos Eberlin’s new book, Foresight: How the Chemistry of Life Reveals Planning and Purpose. Obligatory Sneering After some obligatory sneering (which dismisses most Americans as “rubes” and Eberlin’s internationally recognized expertise in mass spectrometry as “not a promising start”), PM calls Eberlin’s argument even looser and sloppier than Michael Behe’s argument

Why the Design in Living Things Goes Far Beyond Machinery

Seventeenth-century French philosopher René Descartes conceived of living things as complex machines, a concept now known as the “machine metaphor.” In 1998, Bruce Alberts (who was then president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences) wrote that “the entire cell can be viewed as a factory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each of which is composed of a set of large protein machines.”1 In Salvo 20, Casey Luskin wrote about how such machines pose a problem for unguided evolution and provide evidence for intelligent design (ID).2 Luskin focused on three molecular machines in particular: ATP synthase, which operates like a rotary engine, recharges molecules of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which in turn provide energy for just

Science and Faith — A Report from Colombia

Are science and faith incompatible or complementary? From November 7 to 9, 2018, Richard Sternberg and I from Discovery Institute joined three other speakers in Bogotá, Colombia, to address this question before a large audience at the First International Congress of Science and Faith. I would have posted this report much sooner, but after returning from Bogotá I came down with a bad case of the flu. By the time I recovered the holidays were upon us, and I found myself preoccupied with our visiting children and grandchildren. I apologize for the long delay. The Congress was held at a Roman Catholic private school, Liceo de Cervantes, which is affiliated with the Catholic university Unicervantina. Its principal organizers were Fr. Ronal Antívar and Mr. Fernando Loaiza, and

Evolution Miseducation at the University of Utah

If you want your sons and daughters to be well educated about evolution, then hope their biology teachers don’t rely on materials from the Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah. The GSLC created evolution learning materials for classrooms nationwide with National Science Foundation funding.  The Center produced a four-minute video titled “The Unity and Diversity of Life” to educate its students about evolution. The video begins by pointing out that “life has existed on Earth for a very, very long time,” and even though we now share the planet with millions of diverse species the “DNA evidence strongly supports the idea that all living things share a common ancestor.” Except that it doesn’t.  “Unresolved” Relationships If all living

Does Cancer Disprove Intelligent Design?

Critics of intelligent design (ID) sometimes argue that if the human body were designed, it would be perfect. Among other things, we would not suffer from diseases such as cancer. Defenders of ID point out that this criticism is misplaced. Design does not imply perfection. Many things we know to be designed (such as cars) are imperfect. The “argument from imperfection” against ID is implicitly a theological argument, namely, that God is the designer and anything designed by God must be perfect. ID does not make that claim.  But cancer is now being used as an argument against ID in another sense. Writing at the BioLogos website, which presents “an evolutionary understanding of God’s creation,”1 computational biologist Joshua Swamidass has argued that “cancer

Archives

Zombie Science

More Icons of Evolution
About the Book In 2000, biologist Jonathan Wells took the science world by storm with Icons of Evolution, a book showing how biology textbooks routinely promote Darwinism using bogus evidence—icons of evolution like Ernst Haeckel’s faked embryo drawings and peppered moths glued to tree trunks. Critics of the book complained that Wells had merely gathered up a handful of innocent Read More ›

Icons of Evolution 10th Anniversary: Archeopteryx

In “Icons of Evolution” (http://www.iconsofevolution.com), biologist Jonathan Wells compared icons of evolution –such as homology in vertebrate limbs– with published scientific evidence, and revealed that much of what we teach about evolution is wrong. Published in 2000, the book raised troubling questions about the status of Darwinian evolution that are still plaguing scientists today.

Icons of Evolution 10th Anniversary Celebration

In Icons of Evolution, biologist Jonathan Wells compared icons of evolution — such as homology in vertebrate limbs — with published scientific evidence, and revealed that much of what we teach about evolution is wrong. Published in 2000, the book raised troubling questions about the status of Darwinian evolution that are still plaguing scientists today.

Icons of Evolution 10th Anniversary: The Miller Urey Experiment

In Icons of Evolution, biologist Jonathan Wells compared icons of evolution — such as homology in vertebrate limbs — with published scientific evidence, and revealed that much of what we teach about evolution is wrong. Published in 2000, the book raised troubling questions about the status of Darwinian evolution that are still plaguing scientists today.

The Myth of Junk DNA

About the Book Is most of our genome garbage? A number of leading proponents of Darwinian evolution claim that “junk DNA”—the non-protein-coding DNA that makes up more than 95% of our genome—provides decisive evidence for Darwin’s theory and against intelligent design, since an intelligent designer would not have littered our genome with so much garbage. In The Myth of Junk Read More ›

The Myth of Junk DNA

A number of leading proponents of Darwinian evolution claim that “junk DNA”—the non-protein-coding DNA that makes up more than 95% of our genome—provides decisive evidence for Darwin’s theory and against intelligent design, since an intelligent designer would not have littered our genome with so much garbage. In The Myth of Junk DNA, biologist and senior Discovery Institute fellow Jonathan Wells Read More ›

Jonathan Wells Discusses Theistic Evolution and "Junk DNA"

A critique of Francis Collins' "Biologos" and the unfolding truth about "Junk DNA"
Can you believe in God and evolution at the same time? What is “theistic” evolution, and how consistent is it with traditional theism? What challenges does Darwin’s theory pose for Protestants, Catholics, and Jews? Is it “anti-science” to question Darwinian theory? Explore these questions and more in this conference at Biola University.

The Party's Over

The party’s over, it’s time to call it a day. They’ve burst your pretty balloon and taken the moon away. It’s time to wind up the masquerade. Just make your mind up — the piper must be paid. The party’s over, the candles flicker and dim. You danced and dreamed through the night, it seemed to be right just being with Read More ›