Darwin on Trial by Phillip E. Johnson

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Darwin on Trial is a useful addition in the war against naturalistic evolution. Johnson himself is a creationist but not an “uncompromising literalist,” meaning that he believes that God created all things, but may have used evolution as one of His methods. He rejects the literal 24-hour day explanation of Genesis 1, implying that only narrow-minded fundamentalists, who know little about science, hold to such a view. Fortunately the author is not out to prove his progressive creationist views, quickly moving on to his subject, which is to demonstrate the weakness of the naturalistic evolutionary position and make evident that evolution has much more in common with religion than with science.

Johnson is a lawyer, not a scientist. Therefore, his interest lies not so much with scientific data as with the interpretation of that data: “The question I want to investigate is whether Darwinism is based upon a fair assessment of the scientific evidence, or whether it is another kind of fundamentalism” (p.14). He weighs the evidence for and against the case for evolution and pronounces the scientific community guilty of logical fraud. Scientists, it seems, have made huge unfounded assumptions, then have gone on to base their views on those assumptions.

The author devotes most of his chapters to derailing the “cardinal doctrines” of naturalistic evolution: natural selection, mutations, the fossil record, molecular evidence, etc. The evidence, he will prove, simply does not support the claim made by the evolutionists. So why do most scientists believe in the system? Because the only other choice is some form of Theism — a concept that they cannot allow or condone: “Darwinists know that the mutation-selection mechanism can produce wings, eyes, and brains not because the mechanism can be observed to do anything of the kind, but because their guiding philosophy assures them that no other power is available to do the job. The absence from the cosmos of any Creator is therefore the essential starting point for Darwinism” (p.117).

Despite Johnson’s views on the Genesis account of creation, this is an excellent volume that strongly challenges naturalistic evolution.

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