BIO: Help wanted explaining evolution to students

Max More (
Mon, 15 Sep 1997 19:21:54 -0700

I'm currently teaching a Philosophy of Religion class. I'm about to examine
the Design Argument which includes a discussion of evolution (where did all
these complex creatures come from if not designed by a god...) Of course I
have Dawkins The Blind Watchmaker at hand. But I'm hoping someone can
suggest a really compact source of information on how evolutionary theory
accounts for observations. I can already bring up examples such as how the
theory explains maladjustments of structure -- insects that use wings to
swim, the webbed feet of upland geese and of frigate birds which do not use
them for paddling.

Is there a compact source of such points that I can use, and perhaps copy
for my students? There are a bunch of creationists in the classes, so the
more solid examples I have at hand the better.

I always use Dawkins' explanation of the evolution of the eye, but I want
to improve on what I've done before. I'm disapointed at how few of the
students have any background in biology and any comprehension of evolution.
So, I'm trying to fit in a very brief but useful discussion of Darwin's
ideas. It's been a while since I read The Blind Watchmaker, so perhaps I
can find a few pages in there that do the job...

BTW, a couple of weeks ago, after explaining humanism, I also explained
extropianism to my 3 classes of 120 students. Getting *paid* to explain
these ideas makes a nice change!

Any suggestions appreciated.


Max More, Ph.D.
President, Extropy Institute:,