THE AUTHORS and I are puzzled by Sally Lehrman’s characterization of the Discovery Institute’s biology textbook “Explore Evolution” as “pseudoscience” in her Aug. 9 op-ed “Understanding evolution is crucial to debate.” After all, we describe the main evolutionary mechanism much as Lehrman herself does as “natural selection acting on random mutations.” We also explain evidence and arguments for the creative power of this mechanism, basing our treatment on current and classical sources in evolutionary biology. How is that pseudoscience? Perhaps Lehrman judges our book pseudoscience because we also describe current scientific criticisms of evolutionary theory. Perhaps she is unaware that skepticism about the creative power of natural selection and random mutation is common in peer-reviewed scientific literature and in the scientific community. No less an authority than the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences published a recent paper stating: “Natural selection based solely on mutation is probably not an adequate mechanism for evolving complexity.”
“Explore Evolution” not only tells students about such skepticism, but offers the evidential basis for it. But it does so alongside a thorough discussion of the strengths of evolutionary theory. That isn’t pseudoscience, that’s good science education.
STEPHEN C. MEYER
Senior Research Fellow