Home  |  Search  |  Contact  
Order Book   |  Read Book Online  |  Testimonials  
 You are in / Foolish Faith / Read Book Online / Chapter 3 / The Experts Say What?
"Nobel Prize winner Dr. Francis Crick (co-discoverer of one of the most important discoveries of 20th century biology) arrived at the theory that life could never have evolved by chance on planet earth."
»  Chapter Introduction
»  The Experts Say What?
»  Life from Non-Life
»  Mutations - Evolution's Raw Material
»  Fossils
»  Ape-Man
»  Radio Dating
»  Starlight
»  The Creation Model
»  Dinosaurs
»  Odds & Complexity
»  Chance Design?

Chapter 3:
Two Worldviews in Conflict
What do thousands of scientists believe about creation and evolution?

The Experts Say What?

In 1981, the British Museum of Natural History in London, England, to mark its one hundredth anniversary, opened a new exhibit on evolution. As one entered the exhibition hall, one saw a notice in flickering lights:

Have you ever wondered why there are so many different kinds of living things?
    One idea is that all the living things we see today have EVOLVED from a distant ancestor by a process of gradual change.
    How could evolution have occurred? How could one species change into another?
    The exhibition in this hall looks at one possible explanation — the explanation first thought of by Charles Darwin.

One of the world’s leading scientific journals, Nature, promptly ran an editorial in response to the museum’s suggestion above that evolution by natural selection was only one of a number of possible explanations. The editorial was titled “Darwin’s Death in South Kensington.”[3] The editor quoted a phrase from a brochure of the museum, “If the theory of evolution is true,” as evidence of the Museum’s “rot.” It continued:

The new exhibition policy, the museum’s chief interaction with the outside world, is being developed in some degree of isolation from the museum’s staff of distinguished biologists, most of whom would rather lose their right hands than begin a sentence with the phrase, “If the theory of evolution is true. . . .”

Two weeks later, this editorial solicited the following response from the museum:

Sir — As working biologists at the British Museum of Natural History we were astonished to read your editorial “Darwin’s Death in South Kensing-ton.” How is it that a journal such as yours that is devoted to science and its practice can advocate that theory be presented as fact? This is the stuff of prejudice, not science, and as scientists our basic concern is to keep an open mind on the unknowable. Surely it should not be otherwise?
    You suggest that most of us would rather lose our right hands than begin a sentence with the phrase “If the theory of evolution is true. . . .” Are we to take it that evolution is a fact, proven to the limits of scientific rigor? If that is the inference then we must disagree most strongly. We have no absolute proof of the theory of evolution. What we do have is overwhelming circumstantial evidence in favor of it and as yet no better alternative. But the theory of evolution would be abandoned tomorrow if a better theory appeared.[4]

The letter was signed by 22 of the museum’s staff of “distinguished biologists.”

Other experts have also made some significant comments concerning the theory of evolution:

  • The great evolutionist Theodosius Dobzhansky, whose work had a major influence on 20th century thought and research on genetics and evolutionary theory,[5] published a review of a book entitled Evolution du Vivant (Evolution of Living Organisms). This book was written by one of the most distinguished of French scientists, Pierre P. Grassé.

  • In Dobzhansky’s review of Grassé’s book, he stated, “The book of Pierre P. Grassé is a frontal attack on all kinds of Darwinism. Its purpose is to destroy the myth of evolution as a simple, understood, and explained phenomenon, and to show that evolution is a mystery about which little is, and perhaps can be, known. Now, one can disagree with Grassé but not ignore him. He is the most distinguished of French zoologists, the editor of the 28 volumes of ‘Traite de Zoologie,’ author of numerous original investigations, and ex-president of the Academie des Sciences. His knowledge of the living world is encyclopedic. . . .” And in the closing sentence of the review, Dobzhansky says, “The sentence with which Grassé ends his book is disturbing: ‘It is possible that in this domain biology, impotent, yields the floor to metaphysics.’ ” In other words, Grassé closes his book with the statement that biology is powerless to explain the origin of living things, and that it may have to yield to metaphysics, possibly supernatural creation of some kind.[6]

  • Grassé, with an encyclopedic knowledge in the field, argued that “the explanatory doctrines of biological evolution do not stand up to an objective in-depth criticism. They prove to be either in conflict with reality, or else incapable of solving the major problem involved.”[7]

  • A startling statement by Professor Louis Bounoure declared, “Evolution is a fairy tale for grown-ups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless.”[8] Bounoure was former president of the Biological Society of Strasbourg and director of the Strasbourg Zoological Museum, and later Director of Research at the French National Center of Scientific Research.


 Back  |  Next