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William Robin Thompson  (1887 - 1972)  Entomologist and Director of the Commonwealth Institute of Biological Control, Ottawa, Canada  Web  Amazon  GBS

The concept of organic Evolution is very highly prized by biologists, for many of whom it is an object of genuinely religious devotion, because they regard it as a supreme integrative principle. This is probably the reason why the severe methodological criticism employed in other departments of biology has not yet been brought to bear against evolutionary speculation.    Science and Common Sense  (1937)  p.229

Darwin considered that the doctrine of origin of living forms by descent with modification, even if well founded, would be unsatisfactory unless the causes at work were correctly identified, so his theory of modification by natural selection was, for him, of absolutely major importance. Since he had at the time the Origin was published no body of experimental evidence to support his theory, he fell back on speculative arguments. The argumentation used by evolutionists. Said de Quatrefages, makes the discussion of their ideas extremely difficult. Personal convictions, simple possibilities, are presented as if they were proofs, or at least valid arguments in favour of the theory. As an example de Quatrefages cited Darwins explanation of the manner in which the titmouse might become transformed into the nutcracker, by the accumulation of small changes in structure and instinct owing to the effect of natural selection; and then proceeded to show that it is just as easy to transform the nutcracker in to the titmouse. The demonstration can be modified without difficulty to fit any conceivable case. It is without scientific value, since it cannot be verified; but since the imagination has free rein, it is easy to convey the impression that a concrete example of real transmutation has been given. This is the more appealing because of the extreme fundamental simplicity of the Darwinian explanation. The reader may be completely ignorant of the biological processes yet he feels that he really understands and in a sense dominates the machinery by which the marvelous variety of living forms has been produced.    Introduction to The Origin of Species 6th Edition (1956) p. xi

Every characteristic of organisms is maintained in existence because it has survival value. But this value relates to the struggle for existence. Therefore we are not obliged to commit ourselves in regard to the meaning of difference between individuals or species since the possessor of a particular modification may be, in the race for life, moving up or falling behind. On the other hand, we can commit ourselves if we like since it is impossible to disprove our statement. The plausibility of the argument eliminates the need for proof and its very nature gives it a kind of immunity to disproof. Darwin did not show in the Origin that species had originated by natural selection; he merely showed, on the basis of certain facts and assumptions, how this might have happened and as he had convinced himself he was able to convince others.    Introduction to The Origin of Species 6th Edition (1956) p. xii

Darwin himself considered that the idea of evolution is unsatisfactory unless its mechanism can be explained. I agree, but since no one has explained to my satisfaction how evolution could happen I do not fell compelled to say that it has happened. I prefer to say that on this matter our investigation is inadequate.    Introduction to The Origin of Species 6th Edition (1956) p. xv

Evolution, if it has occurred, can in a rather loose sense be called a historical process; and therefore to show that it has occurred historical evidence is required. History in the strict sense is dependent on human testimony. Since this is not available with respect to the development of the world of life we must be satisfied with something less satisfactory. The only evidence available is that provided by the fossils. It has been pointed out by both supporters and opponents of the evolutionary doctrine, that even if we can demonstrate the chronological succession of certain organisms, this is not proof of descent. This may seem like a quibble. If we put a pair of house-flies in a cage and let them breed, we do not doubt that the live flies we find there in a months time are the descendants of the original pair. Similarly, if in an apparently undisturbed geological formation we find snail shells at an upper level very similar to those at a lower level, we may reasonably conclude that there is some genealogical connection between the two groups, though we cannot trace the descent from individual to individual as is required in a true family tree. Therefore we found in the geological strata a series of fossils showing gradual transition from simple to complex forms, and could be sure that they correspond to a true time-sequence, then we should be inclined to feel that Darwinian evolution has occurred, even though its mechanism remained unknown. This is certainly what Darwin would have like to report but of course he was unable to do so. What the available data indicated was a remarkable absence of the many intermediate types that should have existed in the strata regarded as the most ancient; the absence of the principle taxonomic groups. Against these difficulties he could only suggest that the geological record is imperfect, but that if it had been perfect it would have provided evidence for his views. It is clear therefore that the paleontological evidence at his disposal, since it had not led competent naturalists acquainted with it to a belief in evolution, could only justify a suspense of judgment. The condition of fossil material is, of course unsatisfactory since soft tissues usually disappear, leaving only skeletal structures, frequently much distorted . The fossil insects of the group which I am best acquainted cannot be accurately determined, even to genera. It is evident that any organisms now extinct existed in the past but we can never know them as we know living forms. The chronological succession of the fossils is also open to doubt, for it appears generally speaking, that the age of the rocks is not determined by their intrinsic characteristics but by the fossils they contain while the succession of the fossils is determined by the succession of the strata. It was thought also that the fossils should appear in a certain order, corresponding roughly to the stage in embryological development. In fact the strata, and therefore the fossils they contain, do not always occur in the accepted order. In some areas of the world, for example, the Cambrian strata, which are regarded as the oldest fossiliferous formations, rest on the Crestaceous which are regarded as relatively recent; in other, Crestaceous or Tertiary beds appear instead of the Cambrian, on the granite. Sometimes the character of the deposits would lead to the belief that they were chronologically continuous since they can be separated only by the fossils they contain. Various hypotheses have been proposed to explain these departures from accepted theory, and thought they are often the subject of controversy among geologists I do not suggest that the problems to which they relate are insoluble.

On the other hand, it does appear to me, in the first place, that Darwin in the Origin was not able to produce paleontological evidence sufficient to prove his views but that the evidence he did produce was adverse to them; and I may note that the position is not notably different to-day. The modern Darwinian paleontologists are obliged, just like their predecessors and like Darwin, to water down the facts with subsidiary hypotheses which, however plausible, are in the nature of things unverifiable.     Introduction to The Origin of Species 6th Edition (1956) pp. xvii-xix

I do not contest the fact that the advent of the evolutionary idea, due mainly to the Origin, very greatly stimulated biological research. But it appears to me that owing precisely to the nature of the stimulus, a great deal of this work was directed into unprofitable channels or devoted to the pursuit of will-o- the-wisps. I am not the only biologist of this opinion. Darwins conviction that evolution is the result of natural selection, acting on small fortuitous variations, says Guyenot, was to delay the progress of investigations on evolution by half a century. Really fruitful researches on heredity did not begin until the rediscovery in 1900 of the fundamental work of Mendel, published in 1865 and owing nothing to the work of Darwin.    Introduction to The Origin of Species 6th Edition (1956) p. xx

A long-enduring and regrettable effect of the success of the Origin was the addiction of biologists to unverifiable speculations. 'Explanations' of the origin of structures, instincts, and mental aptitudes of all kinds, in terms of Darwinian principles, marked with Darwinian possibility but hopelessly unverifiable poured out from every research centre.    Introduction to The Origin of Species 6th Edition (1956) p.xxi

The success of Darwinism was accompanied by a decline in scientific integrity. This is already evident in the reckless statements of Haeckel and in the shifting, devious and histrionic argumentation of T. H. Huxley.    Introduction to The Origin of Species 6th Edition (1956) p. xxi

As we know, there is a great divergence of opinion among biologists, not only about the causes of evolution but even about the actual process. This divergence exists because the evidence is unsatisfactory and does not permit any certain conclusion. It is therefore right and proper to draw the attention of the non-scientific public to the disagreements about evolution. But some recent remarks of evolutionists show that they think this unreasonable. This situation, where scientific men rally to the defence of a doctrine they are unable to define scientifically, much less demonstrate with scientific rigour, attempting to maintain its credit with the public by the suppression of criticism and the elimination of difficulties, is abnormal and undesirable in science.    Introduction to The Origin of Species 6th Edition (1956) p.xxii

The doctrine of evolution by natural selection as Darwin formulated, and as his followers still explain it, has a strong anti-religious flavour. This is due to the fact that the intricate adaptations and co-ordinations we see in living things, naturally evoking the idea of finality and design and, therefore, of an intelligent providence, are explained, with what seems to be a rigorous argument, as the result of chance. It may be said, and the most orthodox theologians indeed hold, that God controls and guides even the events due to chance, but this supposition the Darwinians empathically reject, and it is clear that in the Origin evolution is presented as an essentially undirected process. For the majority of its readers, therefore, the Origin effectively dissipated the evidence of providential control. It might be said that this was their own fault. Nevertheless the failure of Darwin and his successors to attempt an equitable assessment of the religious issues at stake indicates a regrettable obtuseness and lack of responsibility.    Introduction to The Origin of Species 6th Edition (1956) p.xxiii

To establish the continuity required by the theory, historical arguments are invoked even though historical evidence is lacking. Thus are engendered those fragile towers of hypotheses based on hypotheses, where fact and fiction intermingle in an inextricable confusion.    Introduction to The Origin of Species 6th Edition (1956) p.xxiv

 

Mao Tse-tung  (1893 1976)  Web

Chinese socialism is founded upon Darwin and the theory of evolution.    Kampf um Mao's Erbe  (1977) 

 

Harold Urey  (1893 1981)  Nobel Prize in Chemistry  Web  Amazon  GBS  QM

All of us who study the origin of life find that the more we look at it, the more we feel that it is too complex to have evolved anywhere. We all believe, as an article of faith, that life evolved from dead matter on this planet. It is just that its complexity is so great, it is hard for us to imagine that it did.    Christian Science Monitor  January 4, 1962  p. 4

 

Craig Venter  (b. 1946)  PhD  Sequenced Human Genome  Web  Amazon  GBS

There won't be a minimal gene set; there will be multiple ones. Because I'm not so sanguine as some of my colleagues here that there's only one life form on this planet. we have a lot of different metabolism, different organisms. I wouldn't call you the same life form as the one we have that lives in pH 12 base that would dissolve your skin if we dropped you in it... I think the tree of life is an artifact of some early scientific studies that aren't really holding up... So there is not a tree of life.    What is Life?  February 12 2011  8.58

We're not going to know the origin of life on this planet. We're generating hypotheses and the only way to test those is to see if we can recreate those conditions and that origin on another planet or witness that it did take place. There are some things we can do in science in terms of proving certain things about life we discover. Guessing what happened 4.2 billion years ago or 3.5 billion years ago -- we can come up with a lot of good guesses -- there's a lot of guesses floating around. It's impossible to prove it.    What is Life?  February 12 2011  31.22

 

Wernher von Braun  (1912 1977)  PhD  Aerospace Engineering  Web  Amazon

For me, the idea of a creation is not conceivable without invoking the necessity of design. One cannot be exposed to the law and order of the universe without concluding that there must be design and purpose behind it all.    letter to the California State board of Education   September 14, 1972

My experiences with science led me to God. They challenge science to prove the existence of God. But must we really light a candle to see the sun?  letter to the California State board of Education   September 14, 1972

It is in scientific honesty that I endorse the presentation of alternative theories for the origin of the universe, life and man in the science classroom. It would be an error to overlook the possibility that the universe was planned rather than happening by chance.    letter to the California State board of Education   September 14, 1972

In recent years, there has been a disturbing trend toward scientific dogmatism in some areas of science. Pronouncements by notable scientists and scientific organizations about "only one scientifically acceptable explanation" for events which are clearly outside the domain of science -- like all origins are -- can only destroy the curiosity of those who must carry on the future work of science. Humility, a seemingly natural product of studying nature, appears to have largely disappeared -- at least its visibility is clouded from the public's viewpoint. 

Extrapolation backward in time until there are no physical artifacts of certainty that can be examined, requires sophisticated guessing which scientists prefer to refer to as "inference." Since hypotheses, a product of scientific inference, are virtually the stuff that comprises the cutting edge of scientific progress, inference must constantly be nurtured. However, the enthusiasm that encourages inference must be matched in degree with caution that clearly differentiates inference from what the public so readily accepts as "scientific fact." Failure to keep these two factors in balance can lead either to a sterile or a seduced science.    Science but not Scientists  (2006)  p.xi

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