Confusing Evidence for Common Ancestry With Evidence for Darwinian Evolution


Both at the Dover trial and in his lectures and books (such as Only a Theory), one of Dr. Kenneth Miller’s primary responses to Michael Behe’s arguments for irreducible complexity is to cite evidence for common ancestry. This class of evidence does not refute Behe because at most, evidence of sequence similarity in DNA demonstrates common ancestry-not a Darwinian evolutionary pathway. Indeed, on closer inspection, it turns out that much of Miller’s favorite evidence does not even provide a strong case for common descent: Miller assumes that functional genetic similarities must result from common descent, ignoring the possibility that such biochemical similarities might result from common design upon a functional blueprint.

First, one of Miller’s most common mistakes is to forget that evidence of common ancestry is NOT evidence of a Darwinian pathway, and thereby does not refute irreducible complexity. Behe, the leading proponent of irreducible complexity who also accepts common descent, aptly observes that “modern Darwinists point to evidence of common descent and erroneously assume it to be evidence of the power of random mutation” (The Edge of Evolution, p. 95, 2007).



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