Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Fisking McDowell on Evolution

I don’t know how, but I somehow managed to get on the mailing list of the Christian Worldview Network and I get their emails regularly. Most recently, I was sent a link to this ridiculous article from Sean McDowell (Josh McDowell’s son, I imagine) about evolution. It’s probably not worth fisking, but there are at least a few whoppers that ought to be pointed out, beginning with this one:

As a high school student in the late 1950’s Jonathan Wells was steeped in the theory of evolution. Even though he had grown up in a Christian home Jonathan abandoned his faith when he went off to college. He credits the theory of evolution as playing a major role in his decision to become an atheist. According to Jonathan, “The evolutionary story simply replaced the religious imagery I had grown up with.” Jonathan continued his education by earning two college degrees and two doctorate degrees, but all the while he continued to assume evolution was true. After all, that’s what everybody was teaching him. But when he began to look at evolution critically, he came to an entirely different conclusion.

This is pretty much one big pack of lies that Wells has been pushing for years. Wells did not “abandon” his upbringing in a “Christian home” because of evolution; rather, he left Christianity to become a follower of the Rev. Moon. Yes, Wells is a Moonie. And on a Moon webpage, he gave his testimony in which he admitted that, contrary to this claim that he “continued to assume evolution was true” while earning his doctorates, he was in fact sent to grad school by Rev. Moon specifically to attack evolution:

Father’s words, my studies, and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism, just as many of my fellow Unificationists had already devoted their lives to destroying Marxism. When Father chose me (along with about a dozen other seminary graduates) to enter a Ph.D. program in 1978, I welcomed the opportunity to prepare myself for battle.

McDowell then goes on to cite three of Wells’ “Icons of Evolution” as though his word was gospel truth. Wells’ book is in fact a highly dishonest one that has been debunked again and again. Nick Matzke’s rebuttal is here and Alan Gishlick’s is here. McDowell goes through the whole creationist jokebook, from the Miller-Urey experiments (now only 50 years out of date) to the Cambrian explosion (which he absurdly and falsely claims occured in a mere 5 million years – not even close) to Piltdown Man (where he falsely calls Charles Dawson a paleontologist). I won’t bother to fisk those claims, they’ve been refuted a million times already.

But I am always amused when Christian apologists cite Jonathan Wells as having his “Christian upbringing” destroyed by evolution. You would think the last person Christians would want to be associated with is a follower of Moon, who claims that he came to Earth to do what Jesus failed to do.


  1. #1 pough
    December 27, 2005

    “Nick Matzke’s rebuttal is here and Alan Gishlick’s is here.”

    Psst! You left out the links!

  2. #2 spyder
    December 27, 2005

    Is the Christian Worldview Network in any way affiliated with any of Moon’s various media enterprises??? That “octopus” is pretty elaborate and deeply embedded in all forms of US media.

  3. #3 Ed Darrell
    December 28, 2005

    Learning evolution in the 1950s? Um, evolution wasn’t in the textbooks in the 1950s. Remember, it wasn’t until the Russkies scared the BeJesus out of Americans with the launch of Sputnik in 1957 that we got serious about science. It took at least a couple of years for evolution to be written back into the textbooks — so if someone was in school in the U.S. up through 1960, they’d have missed evolution in their curriculum.

    One more falsehood to toss on the enormous pile of falsehoods that surround “Jonathan Wells.” (Do you really think that’s his name?)

    (Oh — and several ID folks have claimed to me recently that Wells is no longer a Moonie. Does anyone know for sure? Does Wells?)

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