Evolutionist Overreacts

Rob Crowther
San Angelo Standard Times
August 18, 2003
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Unfortunately, evolutionist Sean Carroll does not appear to have actually read the guest column by John G. West he so furiously attacked in his letter Wednesday. Carroll falsely accused West of citing an article by Carroll “as purported support for his view that alternatives to contemporary evolutionary science ought to be presented in biology textbooks.”

In fact, West in his article never advocated that “alternatives to contemporary evolutionary science . . . be presented in biology textbooks.” Still less did he imply that Carroll's article advocated such a view. West merely urged that clear errors in textbook presentations of evolution should be corrected, and that ''students should be exposed to legitimate scientific (not religious) controversies over evolutionary theory.''

Carroll's article was cited on one point and one point only - to show that even evolutionists concede there is a legitimate scientific debate over whether microevolutionary processes can be extrapolated to explain macroevolution. Carroll acknowledged the existence of such a debate in the quote cited by West, and later in his article he even called it “one of the longest running debates in evolutionary biology.”

It is preposterous to claim that West somehow misrepresented Carroll by simply pointing out Carroll's own admission. West's larger argument, to which Carroll does not reply, is that students ought to be able to read about such scientific debates in their textbooks.

Rather than answer West's real argument, Carroll invented a straw man to attack. In what has become a standard ploy among Darwin activists, Carroll tried to silence legitimate debate with an unfounded character attack. How ironic it is that Carroll resorted to a spurious charge of misquotation when he is the one engaging in wholesale misrepresentation.

Rob Crowther
Discovery Institute
Seattle, Wash.