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Ernst Haeckel  Judith Hooper  Fred Hoyle  Thomas Huxley  

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Charles Hodge  (1797 -1878)  Principal of Princeton Theological Seminary  Web  GBS  Amazon

We have thus arrived at the answer to our question, What is Darwinism? It is Atheism. This does not mean, as before said, that Mr. Darwin himself and all who adopt his views are atheists; but it means that his theory is atheistic, that the exclusion of design from nature is, as Dr. Gray says, tantamount to atheism.    What is Darwinism?  (1874)  p.177 

 

Judith Hooper  Amazon  GBS

Behind the story, lie a monster lurking under a five-year-old's bed, is the bogeyman of creationism. Worried friends have asked me: 'Aren't you playing into the hands of creationists?' The truth is that it is already too late to disguise the damage      Of Moths and Men   (2002)  p.xix

They conceived the evidence that would carry the vital intellectual argument, but at its core lay flawed science, dubious methodology and wishful thinking. Clustered around the peppered moth is a swarm of human ambition, and self-delusions shared among some of the most renowned evolutionary biologists of our era.     Of Moths and Men  (2002)  pp.xix-xx 

Everyone now concedes that these densities were unnatural. Kettlewell was, in effect, creating a feeding tray, and the ‘intensity of predation’ recorded in his experiments simply reflected a learned response by the local birds.     Of Moths and Men  (2002)  p.266

Then there is the issue of bird vision. Bernard’s experiments implicitly assumed that what is cryptic to the human eye would also be cryptic to a bird. Yet since the 1980s it has been known that bird vision and human vision are quite different. Birds have greater visual acuity and colour discrimination than we, and, with their additional vision ‘cone’, can see well into the ultraviolet spectrum, discriminating different wavelengths in the UV range. One scientist, Jim Stalker, reported that while to the human eye black moths were more conspicuous on foliose lichens, the reverse was true in the UV spectrum perceived by birds. Majerus hazards the suggestion that peppered moths are adapted to crustose lichens instead, but he concludes that ’none of the assessment of the relative crypsis of moths as determined by humans should be applied to birds. Moths look different if you are a bird.     Of Moths and Men  (2002)  p.267-268

And what about the caterpillars? Kettlewell knew that mortality among peppered moths (and all moths) occurs overwhelmingly before the adult stage. Eggs, larvae and pupae perish in nature at a rate of at least 90 per cent. Moths on the wing are only a small band of lucky survivors. ‘If you did a life table of peppered moths,’ Majerus reckons, ‘I would be very surprised if you got the per cent of eggs that were laid surviving to pupae.’ Another lepidopterist estimated the percentage at 1 to 3 per cent. This doesn’t affect the theory of industrial melanism as long as egg, larval an pupal mortality isn’t differential mortality – which Majerus assumes is the case – but the truth is that we know very little about the natural history of the peppered moth. Focusing exclusively on avian predation of adult resting moths seems a bit like determining which law students will pass the bar by examining their clothing during the final week of classes and ignoring study habits, exams, and brief-writing ability. In 1980 Robert Creed and David Lees determined from breeding records that physiological events during the pre-adult phases appeared to be crucial, giving melanics the edge. Lees told me that larval characteristics, for example, may explain why there are more typicals or more carbonaria in a given place in a given year. The unsettling implication is that we may be seeing the outcome of selection on the larvae – and adult differences may be random.     Of Moths and Men  (2002)  pp.269-270

Bats further complicate the picture: Kettlewell himself admitted that they probably accounted for 90 per cent of the predation of adult moths.     Of Moths and Men  (2002)  p.270

Can we really be sure that bat predation is not selective, that there is not some yet unidentified difference between melanics and typicals that makes one morph more vulnerable to bats? Certain night-flying moths can dodge or jam bat sonar, according to several studies, and it not known whether this ability is equally distributed.     Of Moths and Men  (2002)  pp.270-271

No matter how flawed, the basic message continues to be broadcast that one factor, avian predation on resting moths, is effecting the changes in gene frequencies. Other factors may be invoked ad hoc to explain discrepancies, but they are treated as mere details, akin to errors in spelling or punctuation. The accumulation of fifty years’ research has built a monument that researchers in the field are understandably loath to dismantle. The worst-case scenarios, such as the possibility that the rise of melanic peppered moths may not have demonstrated natural selection, are unthinkable. Only slightly less disturbing is the possibility that natural selection is operating at a little-understood pre-adult stage, when the adult wing colours are still concealed from selection and the key element of crypsis in relation to environmental change would not apply. If the major predators should turn out to be bats or beetles, instead of birds hunting by sight, or alternatively if the birds are picking the moths out of the air, the standard model is in trouble again. But almost no one really wants to re-examine the theory itself. Those few who do are demonized.     Of Moths and Men  (2002)  pp.276-277

 

Earnest Hooton  (1887 – 1954)  Professor of Anthropology at Harvard  Web  GBS

But the most remarkable artifact which was found in the Piltdown pit is a sixteen inch piece of the femur of an extinct elephant (Elephas meridionalis) which had been pointed at the end and shows the part of a hole bored through it, some of the margin having been broken away. This great slab of elephant bone came from the yellow clay at the very base of the deposit and must have been contemporary with the human remains.    Up From the Ape  (1932)  p.304

In order to fit the simian jaw to the human socket we must model upon the mandible a humanly shaped condyle which is incongruous with the rest of the bone. This little difficulty need not, however, embarrass us. If nature puts conjoined human and anthropoid parts in to the same organism, some compromise has to be made at the junctures.    Up From the Ape  (1932)  p.311

If the Piltdown jaw belongs with the skull, and of this there can be little reasonable doubt, we shall have to abandon the old functional theory that the human brain evolved because the jaws atrophied and shrank, as a result of their loss of function through the freeing of the arms for prehension.    Up From the Ape  (1932)  p.314

An inept presentation of evolution to persons of limited mentality is likely to destroy their religious beliefs and fears, and to free them of inhibitions which make them socially tolerable. A knowledge of . . . evolution ought perhaps to be reserved for those of sufficient intellect to enable them to reconcile it with their religious convictions or to those who, having no religious beliefs, at least possess sufficient character and fastidiousness to maintain and practice a system of ethics without supernatural props.    Time  November 8 1937

 

Fred Hoyle  (1915 – 2001)  Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge University  Web  GBS

The chance that higher life forms might have emerged in this way is comparable with the chance that 'a tornado sweeping through a junk yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein'.    "Hoyle on Evolution"  Nature  November 12, 1981  p.105 

At all events, anyone with even a nodding acquaintance with the Rubik cube will concede the near-impossibility of a solution being obtained by a blind person moving the cube faces at random. Now imagine 1050 blind persons each with a scrambled Rubik cube, and try to conceive of the chance of them all simultaneously arriving at the solved form. You then have the chance of arriving by random shuffling of just one of the many biopolymers on which life depends. The notion that not only the biopolymers but the operating programme of a living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial organic soup here on the Earth is evidently nonsense of a high order.    "The Big Bang in Astronomy"  New Scientist  November 19, 1981  pp.521-527  

Consider now the chance that in a random ordering of the twenty different amino acids which make up the polypeptides it just happens that the different kinds fall into the order appropriate to a particular enzyme. The chance of obtaining a suitable backbone can hardly be greater than one part in 1015, and the chance of obtaining the appropriate active site can hardly be greater than on e par in 105. Because the fine details of the surface shape can be varied we shall take the conservative line of not 'piling on the agony' by including any further small probability for the rest of the enzyme. The two small probabilities we are including are quite enough. They have to be multiplied, when they yield a chance of one part in 1020 or obtaining the required enzyme in a functioning form. 

By itself, this small probability could be face, because one must contemplate not just a single shout at obtaining the enzyme, but a very large number of trials such as are supposed to have occurred in an organic soup early in the history of the Earth. The trouble is that there are bout two thousand enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in (1020)2000=1040,000, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup.    Evolution from Space  (1981)  p.24

Any theory with a probability of being correct that is larger than one part in 1040,000 must be judged superior to random shuffling. The theory that life was assembled by an intelligence has, we believe, a probability vastly higher than one part in 1040,000 of being the correct explanation of the many curious facts discussed in preceding chapters. Indeed, such a theory is so obvious that one wonders why it is not widely accepted as being self-evident. The reasons are psychological rather than scientific.    Evolution from Space  (1981)  p.130

If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just about where these levels are actually found to be... A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question. 

To press the matter further, if there were a basic principle of matter which somehow drove organic systems toward life, its existence should easily be demonstrable in the laboratory. One could, for instance, take a swimming bath to represent the primordial soup. Fill it with any chemicals of a non- biological nature you please. Pump any gases over it, or through it, you please, and shine any kind of radiation on it that takes your fancy. Let the experiment proceed for a year and see how many of those 2,000 enzymes have appeared in the bath. I will give the answer, and so save the time and trouble and expense of actually doing the experiment. You would find nothing at all, except possibly for a tarry sludge composed of amino acids and other simple organic chemicals. How can I be so confident of this statement? Well, if it were otherwise, the experiment would long since have been done and would be well known and famous throughout the world. The cost of it would be trivial compared to the cost of landing a man on the Moon... In short there is not a shred of objective evidence to support the hypothesis that life began in an organic soup here on Earth.    The Intelligent Universe (1983)  pp.20-21, 23

The random chance is not a million to one against, but p to 1 against, with p minimally an enormous superastronomical number equal to 1040,000 (1 followed by 40,0000 zeros). The odds we have thus computed are only for the enzymes, and of course correct arrangements with many other important macromolecules histone-4 and cytochrome-c are two such examples, each with exceedingly small probability of being obtained by chance. If all these other relevant molecules for life are also taken account of in our calculation, the situation for conventional biology becomes doubly worse. The odds of one in 1040,000 against are horrendous enough, but that would have to be increased to a major degree. Such a number exceeds the total number of fundamental particles through the observed Universe by very, very many orders of magnitude. So great are the odds against life being produced in a purely mechanistic way that the difficulties for an Earthbound, mechanistic biology are in our view intrinsically insuperable.

Such criticisms of this conclusion as have been voiced are, in the main, of a superficial polemical kind. By prevailing cultural standards it is usually thought that this type of conclusion is so outrageous and unacceptable that it has to be fought and condemned at all costs. Facts themselves cease to be important, and it is considered permissible to pile unlikely hypotheses, one upon another. If there remains even the slightest chance of maintaining the status quo within some type of quasi-logical framework the situation is that anything goes. The hypotheses that come to be invoked take on an extremely complex character, which appear to remain invisible to the protagonists of conventional theory.    Cosmic Life-Force  (1990)  p.134 

The overt rejection of logic in relation to such matters, as is apparent in the present day, can be traced back to a series of historical accidents that happened over a century ago. In the middle years of the nineteenth century the Church had become a formidable social force to be reckoned with through most of Western Europe. The power of the Church provoked resentment in some circles, and the only way forward to become freed of what seemed to be its repressive regime was to attack the very foundation of its beliefs. To such an end an intellectual movement was launched that culminated in the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species. This book has been widely acclaimed and interpreted as being a justification for abandoning the biblical ideas of creation in favour of random processes. Such processes are thought initially to operate on inorganic chemicals leading to primitive life, and thereafter on living systems themselves to produce the spectacle of life in its entirety.    Cosmic Life-Force  (1990)  p.139

The general belief that is common to all religions is that the Universe, particularly the world of life, was created by a 'being' of incomprehensibly magnified human-type intelligence. It would be fair to say that the overwhelming majority of humans who have ever lived on this planet would have instinctly accepted this point of view in some form, totally and without reservation. In view of the thesis of this book, it would seem to be almost in the nature of our genes to be able to evolve a consciousness of precisely this kind, almost as if we are creatures destined to perceive the truth relating to our origins in an instinctive way.    Cosmic Life-Force  (1990)  p.144

 

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Ernst Haeckel  Judith Hooper  Fred Hoyle  Thomas Huxley  

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