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Updated October 13, 2020

Darwin on Trial

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Darwin on Trial essay
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The book Darwin on Trial is written by Phillip E. Johnson. He is a law professor and he establishes himself as an anti-evolutionist. The book Darwin on trial is a book that tries to get evolution out of the equation and thus it is a prominent evangelistic book.

Johnson makes his thesis very clear he states the purpose of the book and where he stands as an author. The purpose of this book is to investigate if the theory proposed by Darwin is a fair evaluation of the evidence or is it just Darwinists being fanatic. In an interview with Jerold Aust on August 16, 1998, Johnson claims that evolutionists endorse their views on evolutionism despite the evidence being against it and his book Darwin On Trial goes deeply into the science of it. He is a Christian who is determined to take an unbiased view on the case of evolution vs. creationism. Johnson agrees to the fact that the earth is old but believes the existence of life on earth is not a result of evolution this idea makes Johnson an old-earth creationist. He also claims that life on earth is not possible through evolution because if life came from evolution then it would not have the systems of foundation it has now. The goal of this book is primarily to say that the complex organisms that we have today are not a result of natural selection nor evolution. He also includes that evolutionism is atheistic.

In the book Johnson has been very careful not to take a religious bias, instead, he expresses himself as a seeker who examines the theory of evolution to find solutions. Johnson himself is a law professor and this allows him to analyze an argument and find the truth that hides behind it. Johnson being a law professor makes him an outsider to science and thus gives him the outsider perspective. In fact, outside perspective is very important especially in this case because outside perspectives are unbiased to doctrines. As a lawyer, Johnson throughout the book does an excellent job in analyzing the evidence provided by evolutionist and in taking advantage of the same.

Johnson has a very unique style of debate “precision”. In the chapter “Mutations great and small” he talks about saltations — “sudden leaps by which a new type of organism appears in a single generation. “Saltations ( or systems of microevolution…)” these are believed by macro evolutionists to be theoretically impossible. Johnson mentions that saltations are completely eliminated by Darwin. This example shows the precision and keen analysis of the law professor.

Throughout the book, Johnson seems to be unconvinced by the persuasive arguments brought up by the evolutionary scientists, he refutes those arguments with convincing evidence and seems exceedingly fair is doing so. For instance, when the Darwinists claim that evolution has occurred in large-scale and has caused for the complexity we see today he looks for the mechanism that has caused it. He finds the evidence provided the neo-Darwinists unconvincing and thus he refutes such a claim with molecular studies, the state of research into the origin of life and has exploited such an argument.

As mentioned earlier Johnson himself is not a scientist, but he seems informed enough to support his thesis. On many occasions in his book, he seems to quote many authors and scientists to support his arguments. His book is a collection of various authors supporting and opposing theism, throughout the book he quotes more than 28 authors and scientists who Johnson uses to support his argument. The language that Johnson uses throughout the book is much simpler than other books which makes it comprehensible and makes the reader understand quickly enough to support or agree with. Many reviewers have pointed out that Johnson does not use accuracy is his book, I do not expect this from his book because Johnson himself states that he is an outsider to this field, but Johnson does a great job is expressing his outsider perspective on the case of evolution vs. creationism and an outsider is not expected to provide professional accuracy on the subject.

Johnson fails to look into evolution as evolution rather he looks at it as evolutionism a possibility of the creation of earth that excludes the divine intervention. In schools all over evolution is taught and not always evolutionism. As long as science classes teach evolution and creationism and allow the pupils to make the decision of agreeing with either creationism or evolutionism then we have no problem, but Johnson seems to have an issue finding the difference between evolution and evolutionism.

One of the points I was quite surprised with was that Johnson does not deny natural selection or speciation which are one of the most prominent evidence of evolution. But he does not deny it because the proof of speciation does not exist. Since the proof is lacking he does not deny natural selection and speciation and claims to be the creator’s work. He analyzes that there is no actual proof from the evidence of new evolving or transition organs. He also adds that there are modifications which seem to have occurred in a long period of time, but all the available evidence proves the contrary and artificial selection and natural selection are often confused but I personally do not understand how this can explain the fixity of species.

In conclusion, the book can be regarded as a collective set of arguments that mainly support the theistic view. John also does an excellent job in analyzing the pieces of evidence, interpreting them and find conclusions which comes from his experience as a lawyer, his attempt to prove evolution false and inadequate to prove the existence of life has been quite successful but not completely.

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Darwin on Trial. (2020, Sep 06). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/darwin-on-trial/

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