Creation and Evolution : Scientific Quotations
A selection of quotations, mostly from secular sources, questioning the basis of Evolution

"The influence of evolutionary theory on fields far removed from biology is one of the most spectacular examples in history of how a highly speculative idea for which there is no really hard scientific evidence can come to fashion the thinking of a whole society and dominate the outlook of an age.... Ultimately the Darwinian theory of evolution is no more nor less than the great cosmogenic myth of the twenthieth century."
Michael Denton (MD & PhD, microbiology),Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, (London: Burnett Books, 1985), p. 358.

"We cannot demonstrate anything really comparable to the sudden mass extinctions of the past happening at the present day, and in the fleeting second we have available that is hardly surprising. What is more, we cannot even see the processes going on today that might lead to such extinctions. I feel that we rely too much on the present state of affairs, too much on uniformitarianism, when interpreting the fossil record."
Derek Ager (PhD, Geology), The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record, (London: Macmillan, 1981), p. 27.

"My excuse for this lengthy and amateur digression into history is that I have been trying to show how I think geology got into the hands of the theoreticians who were conditioned by the social and political history of their day more than by observations in the field.... In other words, we have allowed ourselves to be brain)washed into avoiding any interpretation of the past that involves extreme and what might be termed 'catastrophic' processes. However, it seems to me that the stratigraphical record is full of examples of processes that are far from 'normal' in the ususal sense of the word. In particular we must conclude that SEDIMENTATION IN THE PAST HAS OFTEN BEEN VERY RAPID INDEED AND VERY SPASMODIC. This may be called the 'Phenomenon of the Catastrophic Nature of much of the Stratigraphical Record."
Derek Ager (PhD, Geology) The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record, (London: Macmillan, 1981), p. 46-47.

"Just as in a real book misprints are more likely to produce nonsense than better sense, so mutations will almost always be deleterious, almost always, in fact, they will kill the organism or the cell, often at so early a stage in its existence that we do not even realize it ever come into being at all."
John C. Kendrew, (Cambridge University, Nobel laureate for his discovery of the structure of the protein myoglobin), The Thread of Life. (Cambridge, MA:Harvard Univ. Press, 1966), pp. 106-107.

"When a gene mutates it produces an alternative form of the structure or condition it produced before. When a gene for a wing form mutates it produces another wing form, and not an eye color."
Bolton Davidheiser (PhD, genetics), Evolution and Christian Faith, (Nutley, NJ:Presbyterian and Reformed, 1969), p. 212.

"Our domesticated animals and plants are perhaps the best demonstration of the effects of this principle. The improvements that have been made by selection in these animals and plants have clearly been accoumpanied by a reduction of fitness for life under natural conditions, and only the fact that domesticated animals and plants do not live under natural conditions has allowed these improvements to be made."
D. S. Falconer, Introduction to Quantitative Genetics, Ronald Press, 1960, p. 186.

"The only chronometric scale applicable in geologic history for the stratigraphic classification of rocks and for dating geologic events exactly is furnished by the fossils. Owing to the irreversibility of evolution, they offer and unambiguous time scale for relative age determinations and for worldwide correlations of rocks.
O. H. Schindewolf, "Comments on Some Stratigraphic Terms", American Journal of Science, Vol. 255, June 1957, p. 394.

"In each sedimentary stratum certain fossils seem to be characteristically abundant: these fossils are known as index fossils. If in a strange formation an index fossil is found, it is easy to date that particular layer of rock and to correlate it with other exposures in distant regions containing the same species."
J. E. Ransom, Fossils in America, (New York: Harper and Row, 1964), p. 43.

"We then move right off the register of objective truth into those fields of presumed biological science, like extrasensory perception or the interpretation of man's fossil history, where to the faithful anything is possible))and where the ardent believer is sometimes able to believe several contradictory things at the same time."
Lord Solly Zuckerman (MD & DSc, anatomy), Beyond the Ivory Tower, (New York: Taplinger, 1970), p. 19.

On p. 64 he continues,
"For example, no scientist could logically dispute the proposition that man, without having been involved in any act of divine creation, evolved from some ape-like creature in a very short space of time - speaking in geological terms - without leaving any fossil traces of the steps of the transformation. As I have already implied, students of fossil primates have not been distinguished for caution when working within the logical constraints of their subject. The record is so astonishing that it is legitimate to ask whether much science is yet to be found in this field at all."

"The intelligent layman has long suspected circular reasoning in the use of rocks to date fossils and fossils to date rocks. The geologist has never bothered to think of a good reply, feeling that explanations are not worth the trouble as long as the work brings results. This is supposed to be hard-headed pragmatism."
J.E. O'Rourke, "Pragmatism versus materialism in stratigraphy," American Journal of Science, Vol. 276, Jan. 1976, p. 47.

Richard Leakey, Director of Kenya National Museums, in 1981 said:

"We can now say that the australopithecines definitely walked upright." The Making of Mankind, (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1981), p. 71.

But in 1982 he said:

"Paleontologists do not know whether Australopithecus walked upright. 'Noboby has yet found an associated skeleton with a skull.'" New Scientist, March, 1982, vol. 93, p. 695.

"There is no need to apologize an longer for the poverty of the fossil record. In some ways it has become almost unmanageably rich, and discovery is outpacing integration... The fossil record nevertheless continues to be composed mostly of gaps."
George T. Neville, "Fossils in Evolutionary Perspective", Science Progress, Vol. 48, Jan 1960, pp 1, 3.

Professor N. Heriburt-Nilsson, Lund University, Sweden, has studied the subject of evolution for over 40 years.

"It is not even possible to make a caricature of evolution out of paleobiological facts. The fossil material is now so complete that the lack of transitional series cannot be explained by the scarcity of the material. The deficiences are real, they will never be filled."
"Was Darwin Wrong?", Life Magazine, Vol. 5, No. 4, April 1982, pp 48-52.

"The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils."
Stephen J. Gould (professor of geology, biology, and history of science at Harvard), Natural History, Vol. 86(5), May 1977, p. 14.


"Dating the divisions of the Phanerozoic (post-Precambrian) stratigraphic column is another important application of isotopic dating. The only sediments that can be dated directly are those in which a radioactive mineral is formed during diagenesis [laying down] of the sediment, such as the rather uncommon illite shales and glauconitic sandstones; other sediments give only the age of the parent rock from which the mineral grains that make them up are derived. Where lavas or volcanic ashes are interbedded with a sediment of known stratigraphic age, then a date may be given to that stratigraphic division. Where an igneous rock intrudes one sedimentary unit and is blanketed by another, then the sediments may be dated from the igneous rock by inference. The rarity of such cases, together with the analytical error inherent in age determination, mean that isotopic ages are unlikely to rival or replace fossils as the most important means of Phanerozoic correlation."
John Thackray, The Age of the Earth, (London: Institute of Geological Sciences, 1980), p. 17.

"Despite the fact that no convincing explanation of how random evolutionary processes could have resulted in such ordered pattern of diversity, the idea of uniform rates of evolution is presented in the literature as if it were an empirical discovery. The hold of the evolutionary paradigm is so powerful that an idea which is more like a principle of mediaeval astrology than a serious twentieth-century scientific theory has become a reality for evolutionary biologists. . . . What has been revealed as a result of the sequential comparisons of homologous proteins is an order as emphatic as that of the periodic table. Yet in the face of this extraordinary discovery the biological community seems content to offer explanations which are no more that apologetic tautologies."
Michael Denton (MD & PhD, microbiology), Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, (London: Burnett Books, 1985), p. 306.

"In any case, no real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favour of the theory of evolution as opposed to special creation."
Mark Ridley (zoologist, Oxford University), "Who doubts evolution?", New Scientist, Vol. 90, 25 June 1981, p. 831.

(Carl Sagan's argument)

1) There are about 1022 stars in the universe.
2) About one in a million of these is a "yellow dwarf" like our sun.
3) One in a million of these yellow dwarfs most likely has a planetary system like our sun.
4) Therefore, there should be about 1010 planetary systems in the universe.
5) One in a million of these systems must have an earth- like planet.
6) So there are at least 10,000 life-supporting planets in the universe.

1 and 2 above are reasonable estimates to-date.
3-6 are unprovable speculation.

"There can hardly be any other subject so contentious as human evolution. Every fossil discovery, every new scientific technique that is applied, every speculation--all unleash a cascade of disagreements with unresolved and fiercely debated conclusions. . . Perhaps the most intriguing discussion is their attempt to define just when, where, how and why we are human. The conclusion is that humanity is a combination of factors, mainly behavioural. Some of these are manifest in the fossil and archaeological record, others only vaguely so or beyond any possibility of determination."
John Wymer (archaeologist specialising in the Palaeolithic period), "Refreshing the evolutionary past," New Scientist, Vol. 136, 7 Nov. 1992, p. 40.

The article begins:

"An extraordinary 2.5 million-year-old skull found in Kenya has overturned all previous notions of the course of early hominid evolution. We no longer know who gave rise to whom -- perhaps not even how, or when, we came into being."

and ends:

"The bottom line of all this is that a great deal of work needs to be done. It a new era in paleoanthropology. The things we thought we understood reasonably well, we don't. Bill Kimbel, one of the scientists most knowledgeable about Australopithecus Aferensis and one of the first to see a cast of the new skull, acted for all of us the other day. At the end of a lecture on australopithecine evolution, he erased all the tidy, alternative diagrams and stared at the blackboard for a moment. Then he turned to the class and threw up his hands. We need new fossils more than ever, as well as a re-examination of our old ideas. I don't think the new synthesis will come quickly, for most of these choices will make many of the primary researchers in this field uncomfortable. Changing your ideas is more painful than moving house, but the results are also more exciting. No better argument can be made to support the time, trouble and cost of field work than this new skull. Like an earthquake, the new skull has reduced our nicely organised constructs to a rubble of awkward, sharp-edged new hypotheses. It's a sure sign of scientific progress."
Pat Shipman (paleontologist, John Hopkins School of Medicine), "Baffling limb on the family tree," Discover, Sept. 1986, p. 87-93. Discover is endorsed by the AAAS.

"While controversy persists over Neandertal contributions to modern human origins in eastern Europe, the evolutionary situation in western Europe remains even murkier. From Europe to the Middle East to Asia, there are still enormous gaps in our knowledge about Neandertal fossils. Like a recurrent dream, Neandertals continue to excite the imagination while retaining their mystery."
Bruce Bower, "Neandertals' disappearing act," Science News, Vol 139, 8 June 1991, p. 360-363.

When Big Bang proponents make assertions such as "an expanding universe. . .very well verified observationally," "a whole bunch of observations that hand together" and "the evidence taken together . . . hangs together beautifully," they overlook observational facts that have been piling up for 25 years and that have now become overwhelming. Of course, if one ignores contradictory observations, one can claim to have an "elegant" or "robust" theory. But it isn't science.

One point at which our magicians attempt their sleight-of-hand is when they slide quickly from the Hubble, redshift-distance relation to redshift-velocity of expansion. There are now five or six whole classes of objects that violate this absolutely basic assumption. It really gives away the game to realize how observations of these crucial objects have been banned from telescope and how their discussion has met with desperate attempts at suppression.

The alternative to the Big Bang is not, in my opinion, the steady state; it is instead the more general theory of continuous creation. Continuous creation can occur in bursts and episodes. These mini-bangs can produce all the wonderful element-building that Fred Hoyle discovered and contributed to cosmology. This kind of element and galaxy formation can take place within an unbounded, nonexpanding universe. It will also satisfy precisely the Friedmann solutions of general relativity. It can account very well for all the facts the Big Bang explains -- and also for those devastating, contradictory observations which the Big Bang must, at all costs, pretend are not there.
Halton Arp (astrophysicist, Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Munich), "Letters," Science News, Vol. 140, 27 July 1991, p. 61.

The article begins:

Scientists are having a hard time agreeing on when, where and -- most important -- how life first emerged on earth.

It ends:

What the field needs now, [Stanley] Miller comments, is not more theories or far-flung searches for alien life but more experiments. "I come up with a dozen ideas a day, and I usually discard"--he reflects for a moment--"the whole dozen."

Does he ever entertain the possibility that genesis was a miracle not reproducible by mere humans? Not at all, Miller replies. "I think we just haven't learned the right tricks yet," he says. When we find the answer, it will probably be so damned simple that we'll all say, 'Why didn't I think of that before?'"
John Horgan, "In the beginning..." Scientific American, Feb. 1991, p. 125.

About a decade ago Orgel and Crick managed to provoke the public and their colleagues by speculating that the seeds of life were sent to the earth in a spaceship by intelligent beings living on another planet. Orgel says the proposal, which is known as directed panspermia, was "sort of a joke." But he notes that it had a serious intent: to point out the inadequacy of all explanations of terrestrial genesis. As Crick once wrote: "The origin of life appears to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to be satisfied to get it going."
John Horgan, "In the beginning..." Scientific American, Feb. 1991, p. 125.
"Workers Find Whale in Diatomaceous Earth Quarry," Chemical and Engineering News, 11 Oct. 1976, p. 40.

When I began the search for anticipations of the evolutionary theory . . . I was led back to the Greek natural philosophers and I was astonished to find how many of the pronounced and basic features of the Darwinian theory were anticipated even as far back as the seventh century B.C. . . .
In the ancient teachings of Empedocles we find the germ of the theory of the survival of the fittest, or of natural selection, and the absolute proof that Empedocles' crude hypothesis embodied this world famous thought is found in passages in Aristotle's PHYSICS, in which he refers to Empedocles as having first shown the possibility of the origin of the fittest forms of life through chance rather than through Design.
Henry Fairfield Osborn (anthropologist & longtime director of the American Museum of Natural History), From the Greeks to Darwin, New York: 1929, pp. xi, 52.

For an alternative view read Stephen's sermon on Creation and Genesis 2