Web Page Exclusive - February 1999

Short Shrift to Evolution?

One of our critics sent us the link to an article in Volume 13, #3 (February 1, 1999) of The Scientist. She apparently thinks it is a very good defense of evolution. If it is, then the theory of evolution is in even worse trouble than we thought.

It would be unfair to take parts of the article out of context to refute them, so here is the entire article, with our responses to it interspersed.

Short Shrift to Evolution?
Author: Barry A. Palevitz and Ricki Lewis
Date: February 1, 1999
Editor's Note: In this essay, the authors--both scientists and writers--discuss recent news stories on evolution and express their opinions on how the stories were handled by the mainstream press.
Evolution took center stage at the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) annual meeting in Reno, Nev., Nov. 3­8, 1998. If the teachers needed a theme, evolution was a logical choice--after all, it underlies and unifies contemporary biology. But NABT had other fish to fry. Despite a spate of court victories, evolution hasn't made much, if any, headway with the public. And many high school teachers apparently aren't aware of its centrality to the discipline, or they feel too intimidated to stress its importance in biology. With a recent National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report, "Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science"1 for focus, NABT rallied the troops.

As with most of this article, we agree with the facts, but disagree with the interpretation. We agree that high school teachers are de-emphasizing evolution. More and more people, especially people with scientific backgrounds, are rejecting the theory of evolution. We first reported this in December of 1996 in our third newsletter. We mentioned it again in February, 1998, when we reported on a survey of what public-school science teachers believe. Just last month (January, 1999), we dealt with the issue in our feature article. The facts are not in dispute. We agree completely that evolution is going out of vogue.

The difference is that they interpret the facts differently than we do. They see the decreasing belief in evolution as a bad thing. We see it as a good thing. They think evolution is losing popularity because of a sinister plot by the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. We think evolution is losing popularity because 20th century science is disproving the fundamentally flawed 19th century theory of evolution. We believe modern science has shown evolution for what it really is--bad science. The more we know about science, the less we believe in evolution.

Another fact this opening paragraph points out is that, because evolution is losing on its merits, certain groups have been trying to get the courts to force people to believe the unbelievable. But, according to this article, despite the victories in the courts, they are not being very successful at restoring the popularity of evolution. They are disappointed by this, but we are glad to hear that using the law to suppress valid scientific criticism of an incorrect theory isn’t working.

You don’t read stories about geography teachers going to court to make sure that every child is taught the world is round. The round-earth world view beat the flat-earth view because scientific inquiry showed that the round-earth view is correct. There is no need to legislate the shape of the world.

You may have read, however, that a law was once was passed that defined the value of Pi to be 3.0. That law failed because the court cannot decree facts that are contrary to nature. That’s why laws that proclaim the theory of evolution to be true are bound to fail.

Enter The New York Times
Also in attendance was New York Times reporter Jon Christensen, who solicited comments about the evolution theme on the message board. Christensen's Nov. 24 story, "Teachers Fight for Darwin's Place in U.S. Classrooms,"2 captured biologists' frustration, mixing attendees' comments with accounts of meeting sessions. But he didn't say why the NAS and NABT think teaching evolution is so important. When asked about the omission, Christensen said, "I wasn't able to cover everything that I might have liked to cover in my story."

That was a very diplomatic response. We think that if he felt it was important, he certainly would have worked it into his story. He did not say, “I put it in there, but the editor cut it out.”

Maybe he was insightful enough to realize that the NAS and NABT think the teaching of evolution is vital to advancing their religious agenda, and didn’t want to put that in print. We don’t know if that was the case or not. But it does seem clear to us that Christensen consciously decided not to explain the reason why NAS and NABT think teaching evolution is important in his article. Our interpretation is that he either didn’t agree with the NAS/NABT position, or didn’t think it was important. Their interpretation is that Christensen failed to recognize the importance of the issue.

Instead, with only a modicum of science, and anecdotes carefully chosen to paint a particular portrait, the story gave the impression that evolution is still so iffy that biologists could reasonably disagree on its validity.

This article in The Scientist, with only a modicum of science, and anecdotes carefully chosen to paint a particular portrait, is trying to give the impression that evolution isn’t iffy, and that biologists can’t reasonably disagree on its validity.

Journalists present the facts as they see them. Christensen sees the facts differently than Palevitz and Lewis see them. We believe that Christensen has a correct understanding of the situation.

The impression was reinforced on Dec. 1 when the Times's Gina Kolata began a supposed news story with the hardly objective statement, "Evolutionary biology can be long on theory and short on evidence."3

Kolata’s statement is true and objective. The phrase “supposed news story”, however, is not objective. It shows that Palevitz and Lewis have made a subjective (and rather emotional) value judgment about Kolata’s article. We can't really blame them. Their ox is being gored. Their religious beliefs and prejudices have made their evaluation of Kolata’s article less than objective.

Christensen offered several shopworn examples of evolutionary evidence such as antibiotic and pesticide resistance, and managed to tip his hat to the Human Genome Project. But, he needed only to have picked up any recent life science journal to see the vast and ongoing supply of data supporting evolution.

Antibiotic and pesticide resistance are “shopworn examples" that evolutionists are embarrassed by because they show natural selection, but not evolution. For example, it has been shown (using bacteria cultures that were sealed before the invention of modern antibiotics) that some bacteria were resistant to certain modern antibiotics before these antibiotics were invented. Bacteria did NOT evolve a resistance to them. Natural selection merely removed the non-resistant bacteria, giving the APPEARANCE that modern bacteria had evolved. That’s why evolutionists don’t like to use those examples any more.

Instead, evolutionists make vague references to “the vast and ongoing supply of data supporting evolution.” We don’t really know what they are talking about. Presumably, the lame examples cited later in this article are representative of that vast and ongoing supply of supporting data. If so, then evolution really doesn’t have a leg to stand on (or even a fin to evolve into a leg to stand on).

By not relaying the strength of evolution as a scientific principle, his story made evolution seem like just one more thing to fight about. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

We think that if someone offered to give you $1 for each statement you can make that is further from the truth, you would accept the offer and become very wealthy.

A Matter of Science and Philosophy
There is no real debate among life scientists about the central role of evolution in the field.

We agree that evolution has a central role in evolutionary biology. We feel that is very unfortunate because it retards scientific progress. Biologists waste a lot of time and money trying to understand how species evolved into other species, and trying to learn from that. Since species did not evolve into other species, there is nothing to be learned.

Supposed challenges are largely rhetorical and contain arguments from ignorance (we don't understand everything about evolution, so it must be wrong).

We agree that evolutionists don’t claim to understand everything about evolution. For every qualified expert who claims some “fact” of evolution is true, one can generally find another equally qualified expert who disagrees. That’s because the theory of evolution is wrong; not because the theory is poorly understood.

The alternative to evolution is supernatural, most recently incarnated as "intelligent design theory."

Their hidden agenda has finally emerged. Evolutionists don't want to admit that there is anything supernatural. Their religion is based on the premise that everything is the result of a natural process. Ironically, the impossibility of evolution is a strong argument that there must be a supernatural cause for the origin of life.

Much of the argument boils down to the nature of science, a second theme of the NAS report.

We touched on this in our January, 1999, newsletter. There is an attempt to redefine "science" to make evolution scientific. That’s why there is an argument about “what science really is.” We plan to deal with this topic in more detail in a future issue.

Can the objective, material methods of science be used to investigate the supernatural? Most scientists say no; therefore, attempting to cloak "intelligent design" and the like in the attire of bona fide science is silly and pernicious.

We all agree that science can’t be used to investigate supernatural (or natural) unobserved events that happened in the past and cannot be reproduced. It doesn’t matter what that unobserved, non-reproducible event is. Whether it is a global flood, or a spark in the soup, experimental science can’t prove it happened. Science can only help us judge if an explanation is reasonable or not.

Every major point of evolution is a doctrine of faith. For example, one must believe by faith that dead chemicals formed the first living cell despite scientific evidence that it can’t happen. One must believe by faith that critters beget substantially different critters; either via a long gradual process (for which there is no fossil evidence) or by rapid spurts (which have never been observed). One must accept, by faith, that a part of a skull and a leg bone found in Java came from the same individual, and that individual was an upright-walking ape-like creature.

Evolution has been inferred from fragmentary, controversial evidence. Inference is not science. Any attempt to cloak evolution in “the attire of bona fide science is silly and pernicious.”

But evolution prevails by more than default.

Oops! Did they really want to get that close to admitting the truth? Evolution does prevail by default because it once was the only reasonable, natural explanation. Now science has shown that it is no longer reasonable. But since there isn’t any other natural explanation to take its place, it still prevails by default.

As a scientific fact or theory, it's incredibly robust--the evidence is accumulating faster than most of us can assimilate it.

That is wishful thinking, not a factual statement.

Like the recently discovered square mile of Patagonia covered with sauropod eggshells so numerous that paleontologists cannot sidestep them,4 the footprints of evolution are everywhere and unavoidable.

The “footprints of evolution” are not “everywhere and unavoidable.” They exist only in the imagination of evolutionists. Their use of a colorful simile does not make the statement true.

By the way, it seems to us that a reference to footprints and those dinosaur eggs was a blunder on their part. If one is going to use a colorful expression of speech to try to give authority to a statement that has no basis in fact, one should at least pick a simile that doesn’t conjure up troublesome images. (Follow the link if you don't already know why those dinosaur eggs and certain footprints are troublesome to evolution.)

To illustrate the pervasive impact of evolution on life science research, we thought it would be worthwhile to survey recent issues of the journals Nature and Science.

There is no question that evolution has a pervasive, negative impact on life science research. As long as biologists attempt to twist the data to fit an evolutionary model, progress will be slower than it could be.

We start with an ecological study that directly links plant biodiversity to the kinds of mycorrhizal fungi associated with their roots.5 The fungi aid uptake of phosphorus and other elements, and provide pathways for plants to exchange carbon. That is, fungi are crucial in the function of terrestrial ecosystems. But that provokes the question of how these relationships were established.

It sure does! How could two such diverse life forms have evolved together? Mathematicians have determined that it could not happen by chance. These relationships are more likely to have been established by design.

The historical record in the form of fossils and gene sequences shows that fungi were probably partners of the first plants more than 400 million years ago, and were important for their success on land.6,7 Clearly, ecology is inextricably tied to evolution.

No, ecology is inextricably tied to decay, corruption, and extinction. Our once perfectly balanced ecological system is falling apart.

Does anyone really think that if Biosphere II had been filled with random organisms and left alone long enough that it would have balanced itself into a perfect ecological system? The truth is that the Biospherians tried to create a small, perfectly balanced environment to begin with. It became unbalanced almost immediately. If the theory of evolution were true, this little environment would have improved its balance all by itself.

Biosphere I (the Earth) was once perfectly balanced, but it is falling over, too. That’s why so many species are now extinct.

If people really believed that environmental pressure accelerates evolution, and causes inferior species to be replaced by superior ones, then they would not protect endangered species. They would try to get those wimpy species out of the way, so better species can evolve into their ecological niches.

To paraphrase noted geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky, nothing in biology makes sense, except in the light of evolution.

Nothing in EVOLUTIONARY biology makes sense, except in the light of evolution, because evolutionary biology is the study of how life evolved.

How does the life cycle of a butterfly make sense in light of evolution? A butterfly lays an egg. That in itself is not surprising. Chickens do that. But a miniature butterfly does not hatch out of the egg. Instead, a caterpillar comes out. The caterpillar grows for a while, then ties its tail to a branch, sheds its skin (including all its legs, eyes, and mouth) and hangs helpless for days in a chrysalis stage. During this time, all its internal organs dissolve, and it turns into another egg. Just like the yolk and white of an egg congeal into a chicken, the goo inside a chrysalis congeals into a butterfly.

Excuse us for being dense, but how does that make sense in light of evolution? What is the survival advantage to hanging blind and immobilized for days, defenseless against any predators? On the other hand, it makes perfect sense in light of creation. Countless ministers have used the life cycle of the butterfly to teach lessons about being born again.

The next week's Nature offered the genome sequence of Rickettsia prowazekii, the bacterium that causes typhus.8 Knowing the sequence provides ammunition to fight this serious disease, but once again, evolutionary implications shine through. The Rickettsia genome more closely resembles that of mitochondria than other bacteria studied so far, providing important clues to the microbial origin of mitochondria. This discovery strengthens the endosymbiont theory, which predicts that some bacteria would be more closely related to mitochondria than others, and that genetic control of organelle function was progressively ceded to the nucleus (the evolutionary implications were also discussed in news articles in Nature and the Nov. 13 Science ). Interestingly, the theory also predicts that some mitochondria are more closely related to bacteria than others. Work with a protozoan called Reclinomonas confirmed that prediction last year.9 When we sequence genomes, from organisms as diverse as Rickettsia and humans, often in search of useful genes, evolution sticks out like a tree in the Sahara.

What this really proves is that Palevitz and Lewis are more distantly related to mathematicians than any other scientists. If you generate 100 seven-digit numbers, we predict that one of those will be closer to your telephone number than any other. Furthermore, we predict that if you generate a thousand more random numbers, one of them will be even closer to your telephone number.

Let us try to make the same point with less emphasis on mathematics. If you throw three darts at a dart board, one of the darts will be closer to the center of the bulls eye than the other two. This will be true regardless of whether you aim the darts at the bulls eye, or blindfold yourself and throw them at random. The fact that one dart is closer to the bulls eye than another does not prove that it evolved from the bulls eye first. Nor does it prove that someone was aiming for the bulls eye. It just proves that it is practically impossible to throw three darts in such a way that they are equally distant from the center of the bulls eye.

Nobody with a good understanding of mathematics would expect that one particular genome would NOT be more closely related to mitochondria than all others. Given any set of different numbers, it is axiomatic that one of those numbers will be smaller than all the others. It doesn't matter if those numbers represent distances from the bulls eye, differences in digits of a telephone number, or differences in base pairs in a genome sequence. One number will always be the smallest.

The Nov. 12 issue of Nature also reported on glutamate receptors, important signal molecules that function in nerve transmission in animals.10 As it turns out, plants also have these proteins, and they are strikingly similar to their animal counterparts in gene sequence and predicted 3-D structure. The plant receptors are involved in signaling too, in response to light.

The link between animal and plant kingdoms in signal transduction grew stronger yet in the Nov. 20 issue of Science. The cryptochromes are photoreceptors responsible for initiating a number of growth and developmental responses including phototropism, the turning of plant shoots toward light. Cryptochromes also help set the circadian clock, in Arabidopsis and probably other plants.11 But nature grew even more fascinating in the following paper--cryptochromes are also present in humans and mice, where they regulate the clock!12 One of the Arabidopsis cryptochromes has been expressed in insect cells where it acts as an autophosphorylating kinase consistent with its role as a photoreceptor.13 And diverting for a moment to the journal Cell, we find two reports on cryptochromes in Drosophila, where they are again blue light photoreceptors with an integral link to biological clocks.14, 15

The wheels on bicycles are remarkably similar to the wheels on automobiles. They both roll, too. Duh.

Wouldn’t it be surprising if cryptochromes were related to clocks in humans but not in mice? Wouldn’t it be surprising if blood carried oxygen in humans, but blood carried hydrogen in mice? Similar things should behave similarly.

Just as one would expect a designer to put wheels on bicycles and cars, one would expect a designer to use cryptochromes to regulate timing in a number of living creatures. The evidence fits creation as well (if not better) than it fits evolution. Why would anyone consider this proof of evolution (unless all the other “proof” was even weaker)?

The evolutionary implications of glutamate receptors and cryptochromes are unavoidable.

We could make a stronger argument that the creationary implications are unavoidable.

Convergent evolution may account for some similarities, but plants and animals also inherited genes from a common ancestor(s) which, like any other biological entity, responded to its environment. And that common ancestor obtained them in a continuous evolutionary process dating back to the origin of life.

You realize, of course, that this is a doctrine of faith, not fact. One must accept the mysterious, unknown common ancestor by faith. Has anyone ever seen or identified this mythical common ancestor? No. That's why they said "ancestor(s)". They don't know if there was more than one because they haven't got a clue how many there were. But they believe in the "common ancestor(s)," anyway.

Convergent evolution (the idea that the same feature evolved independently in different species) is another doctrine of faith. Richard Dawkins says, “It has been authoritatively estimated that eyes have evolved no fewer than forty times, and probably more than sixty times, independently in various parts of the animal kingdom.” (Climbing Mount Improbable, page 39 (Ev+).) He believes it because he has to believe it to believe in evolution. He doesn’t believe it because it has been demonstrated in a laboratory. He doesn’t believe it because it is so logically reasonable. He merely believes that if you can wave the magic wand once, you can wave it 40 times.

Supported by a wealth of other data,

of similar dubious value,

it's the simplest and most scientifically logical explanation of why disparate organisms share similar genes.

What a ridiculous thing to say. It is simpler to tell a child that the stork brought his baby sister than it is to tell him about sex. Does that make the stork story true and “scientifically logical”?

Is the message not getting through, or do people not want to hear it?

People hear it, and recognize the message is foolish.

This is only a sample of relevant articles from a scant few weeks. On the other hand, we found no papers offering objective, material evidence in favor of intelligent design or any other supernatural explanation of plant diversity, mitochondrial origins, glutamate receptors, cryptochromes, or any other biological structure or process.

Were they really expecting to find any papers offering supernatural explanations of biological structures or processes in Nature? If such papers were submitted to Nature, would they be published? Of course not. So that isn’t really a fair criticism, is it?

We could not find any articles on high-definition television (HDTV) in Nature, either. The fact that Nature doesn’t publish articles on HDTV doesn't mean HDTV doesn't exist, or that the articles on HDTV published in Circuit Cellar INK are wrong. You just have to look in the right places. If you want to read articles about the latest scientifc evidence that supports intelligent design, we suggest you read the Creation Ex Nihilo Techical Journal or the Creation Research Society Quarterly.

That's one of the reasons why invoking supernatural intervention is, as director of the center for cognitive studies at Tufts University Daniel Dennett likes to say, a skyhook that is not only cumbersome but scientifically untenable.16

What about the “skyhook” that combines chemicals in a mythical primordial soup to form the first living cell? If anything is “scientifically untenable,” it is the spontaneous origin of life. Ever hear of some experiments done by a guy named Pasteur?

Yet the public remains untouched by the evolutionary implications that pervade the scientific literature but less frequently penetrate the popular press. Widely read newspaper accounts that exaggerate the degree of disagreement within the biology community do not help matters.

What about the widely-read textbooks that exaggerate the “proof” for the “fact” of evolution? Shouldn't that be the real concern? The real problem is that students are being taught that an incorrect theory is true and unquestionable.

And the problem isn't that Jane and John Doe haven't heard about the impact of DNA evidence. In addition to O.J. Simpson's trial and Bill Clinton's encounter with Monica Lewinsky's blue dress, the recent report that Thomas Jefferson probably fathered a child by his slave Sally Hemmings predictably hit the media in a way that the typhus genome implications never would.

Since they brought up Jefferson, it gives us the opportunity to point out how news frequently gets distorted. We suspect that most people believe that scientists used samples of Thomas Jefferson's DNA to determine if he fathered the child or not. That's simply not true.

DNA evidence established with reasonable certainty that someone in Jefferson’s family fathered that child. Although the headline that appeared in the November 5, 1998 issue of Nature said, "Jefferson fathered slave's last child", one has to read the article to find out that, "No Y-chromosome data were available from male-line descendants of President Thomas Jefferson because he had no surviving sons." They did not analyze Thomas Jefferson's DNA because they didn't have any.

The researchers made the assumption that Thomas Jefferson was a legitimate child himself. Assuming this to be true, they used DNA from descendants of Jefferson's male relatives. The conclusion of the article was

The frequency of the Jefferson haplotype is less than 0.1 per cent, a result that is at least 100 times more likely if the president was the father of Eston Hemings Jefferson than if someone unrelated was the father. We cannot completely rule out other explanations of our findings based on illegitimacy in various lines of descent. For example, a male-line descendant of Field Jefferson could possibly have illegitimately fathered an ancestor of the presumed male-line descendant of Eston. But in the absence of historical evidence to support such possibilities, we consider them to be unlikely.

Thomas Jefferson probably did father the child, but it is the historical data that is convincing, not the DNA evidence. The DNA evidence merely verifies that the historical data is probably accurate. If there had been historical evidence that Field Jefferson had fathered the child, the DNA would have supported that conclusion, and it would not have been reported in the newspapers because that's not what people wanted to read.

The popular press is quick to print headlines that say, "Missing Link Found!" whenever there is anything in a report that can, by any stretch of the imagination, support that conclusion. Whenever discoveries are made that show the impossibility of evolution, the popular press never runs the headline, "Evolution Disproved!" on the front page. The story gets buried somewhere in the middle of the paper, with a benign headline, and plenty of statements to the effect that the results are preliminary, and probably wrong. The press is clearly on the side of the evolutionists.

People believe what they read in the paper. So when the Times merely reports that the support for evolution among science teachers may be waning, the NAS and NABT jump all over the Times reporters. Evolutionists won't stand for any criticism of evolution, no matter how mild.

The Jefferson case was made through a systematic search of historical records combined with the tools of molecular genetics.17 If people are willing to accept such evidence to prove family genealogy 200 years removed, why not evolution over millions of years? The concepts and tools are essentially the same.

And, we suppose, an abacus and a Pentium are "essentially the same," too!

There aren't any historical records of the evolution of fish into amphibians. Therefore, you can't combine historical records with DNA as was done in the Jefferson case.

If people are willing to accept Jefferson’s paternity, it might not be because of the strength of the evidence. It might be because of a sensational headline, biased reporting, or a political predisposition to believe it. (If certain political events had not been happening in November of 1998, would anyone have cared if Jefferson fathered a child out of wedlock? Wasn't the issue of presidential promiscuity the only reason the story was reported and given such lavish coverage?)

Similarly, the people who so readily accept evolution might do so because of childhood indoctrination, or a religious predisposition to believe it. They certainly don't accept evolution because of the strength of the evidence. If you ask most people why they believe the theory of evolution is true, they can't tell you. Generally, they believe it because "all the scientists say it is true" or "because my science teacher said it was true."

We, at Science Against Evolution, want people to examine the evidence for and against evolution and come to a rational conclusion based on the evidence. That's why we have shown you every word of Palevitz' and Lewis' article. We want you to know both sides.

Evolutionists can't make that statement. They are going to court to make sure only one side is presented in school. Would they do that if the evidence for evolution were strong?

The scientific facts are against evolution. That's why evolutionists want to make it illegal to teach them. They just want the biology teachers to repeat, over and over, that the theory of evolution is "robust." In fact, it is so feeble it won't stand criticism.

The Bottom Line
It is unrealistic to expect every high school biology teacher to follow the latest developments in the pages of Science and Nature, let alone the many more specialized scientific journals. Still, the scientific community can do a better job relaying the robustness of evolution and its centrality to modern biology to people who play such an important role in the education of our children.

Notice, they aren't encouraging every biology teacher to follow the latest developments in the pages of Science and Nature. They just want them to chant the evolution mantra louder.

Palevitz and Lewis tried to relay the robustness of evolution in their article, and did a pretty poor job of it. Perhaps they should not be criticizing others for doing a poor job, too.

The NAS report should be part of a continual stream of information geared to teachers, and steps should be taken to assure that the stream gets through. As Susan Epperson, plaintiff in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision (Epperson v. Arkansas) noted, "I would like to see the NAS booklet put into the hands of every biology teacher.

Read that paragraph several times. Doesn’t it frighten you? Who is going to take those steps to make sure the message gets through? Just what should those steps be?

They know that propaganda flows downhill. If they can brainwash the teachers, the teachers will brainwash the children. Their goal is to direct a steady stream of propaganda against the teachers. They are trying to use the courts to make sure teachers teach it.

We realize that resistance to evolution stems from religious convictions--in the end, people will believe what they want. But at least students and teachers should be aware of the strength of science's case.

We realize that promotion of evolution in public schools stems from religious convictions. Secular humanists will do all they can to try to convince people that evolutionary theory is good science. They want to make evolution appear to be scientific so they can indoctrinate children with it. But at least students and teachers should be aware of the weakness of evolution’s case, and the strength of science's case against evolution..

Barry A. Palevitz (palevitz@dogwood.botany.uga.edu) is a professor of botany at the University of Georgia. Ricki Lewis (rickilewis@nasw.org) is a textbook author and a contributing editor for The Scientist.

R. David Pogge (do_while@ridgecrest.ca.us) is an internationally recognized expert on the Ada programming language, an NWC Fellow, and president of Science Against Evolution.

Quick links to
Science Against Evolution
Home page
Back issues of
(our newsletter)
Web Site
of the Month
Topical Index


1 Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science, Washington, D.C., National Academy Press, 1998.

2 J. Christensen, "Teachers fight for Darwin's place in U.S. classrooms," The New York Times, Nov. 24, 1998, p. F3.

3 G. Kolata, "Mice fail to verify an evolutionary theory," The New York Times, Dec. 1, 1998, p. F2.

4 L.M. Chiappe et al., "Sauropod dinosaur embryos from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia," Nature, 396:258­61, Nov. 19, 1998.

5 M.G.A. van der Heijden et al., "Mycorrhizal fungal diversity determines plant biodiversity, ecosystem variability and productivity," Nature, 396:69­72, Nov. 5, 1998.

6 L. Simon et al., "Origin and diversification of endomycorrhizal fungi and coincidence with vascular land plants," Nature, 363:67­9, 1993.

7 W. Remy et al., "Four hundred-million-year-old vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizae," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 91:11841­3, 1994.

8 S.G.E. Andersson et al., "The genome sequence of Rickettsia prowazekii and the origin of mitochondria," Nature, 396:133­40, Nov. 12, 1998.

9 B.F. Lang, "An ancestral mitochondrial DNA resembling a eubacterial genome in miniature," Nature, 387:493­7, 1997.

10 H.M. Lam et al., "Glutamate-receptor genes in plants," Nature 396:125­6, Nov. 12, 1998.

11 D.E. Somers et al., "Phytochrome and cryptochromes in the entrainment of the Arabidopsis circadian clock," Science, 282:1488­90, Nov. 20, 1998.

12 R.J. Thresher et al., "Role of mouse cryptochrome blue-light photoreceptor in circadian photoresponses," Science, 282:1490­4, Nov. 20, 1998.

13 J.M. Christie et al., " Arabidopsis NPH1: A flavoprotein with the properties of a photoreceptor for phototropism," Science, 282:1698­1701, Nov. 27, 1998.

14 P. Emery et al., "CRY, a Drosophila clock and light-regulated cryptochrome, is a major contributor to circadian rhythm resetting and photosensitivity," Cell, 95:669­79, Nov. 25, 1998.

15 R. Stanewsky et al., "The CRYb mutation identifies cryptochrome as a circadian photoreceptor in Drosophila," Cell, 95:681­92, Nov. 25, 1998.

16 D. Dennett, Darwin's Dangerous Idea--Evolution and the Meanings of Life, New York, Simon & Schuster, 1995.

17 E.A. Foster et al., "Jefferson Fathered Slave's Last Child," Nature, 396:27­8, Nov. 5, 1998.