False Assumptions Concerning Evolution-Part 2
|By: Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon; ©1999|
|The discussion of the first false assumption continues in this article: the assumption that “evolution is a proven fact of science.” Drs. Ankerberg and Weldon use quotes from respected scientists to show that it is not.|
Evolution is a Proven Fact of Science (Con’t)
(Originally published in the ATRI News Magazine, November, 1996)
The principal reason evolution “must” be a scientific fact is because of the materialistic bias that pervades the scientific world—a bias which, in the end, is really unnecessary and in ways even harmful to the cause of science.
Regardless, evolution continues to be set forth as an established fact by the scientific community. Pierre-Paul Grasse, the renowned French Zoologist and past president of the French Academy of Sciences, states in his Evolution of Living Organisms: “Zoologists and botanists are nearly unanimous in considering evolution as a fact and not a hypothesis. I agree with this position and base it primarily on documents provided by paleontology, i.e., the [fossil] history of the living world.” Theodosius Dobzhansky, who, according to another leading evolutionist, Steven J. Gould of Harvard, is “the greatest evolutionist of our century,” asserts in his award-winning text, Mankind Evolving, “the proofs of evolution are now a matter of elementary biology…. In Lamark’s and Darwin’s times evolution was a hypothesis; in our day it is proven.” World famous scientist George Gaylord Simpson, distinguished professor of vertebrate paleontology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard emphasizes in The Meaning of Evolution, “Ample proof has been repeatedly presented and is available to anyone who really wants to know the truth…. In the present study the factual truth of organic evolution is taken as established…”
Carl Sagan is a distinguished Cornell University astronomer and Pulitzer Prize winning author. He is perhaps best known as the host and co-writer of the Cosmos television series seen in 60 countries by approximately 3 percent of all people on earth; the hard cover edition of Cosmos was on the New York Times best-seller list for 70 weeks and may be the best-selling science book in the English language in the 20th century. In this book, Sagan simply states, “Evolution is a fact, not a theory.”
The eminent anthropologist Konrad Lorenz observed in Intellectual Digest, “It is not a theory, but an irrefutable historical fact, that the living world—since its origin—has evolved from ‘below’ to ‘above.’” Rene Dubos, one of the country’s leading ecologists, stated in American Scientist, “Most enlightened persons now accept as a fact that everything in the cosmos—from heavenly bodies to human beings—has developed and continues to develop through evolutionary processes.” Noted geneticist Richard Goldschmidt of the University of California once stated in American Scientist, “Evolution of the animal and plant world is considered by all those entitled to judgment to be a fact for which no further proof is needed.”
Another prominent evolutionist, Sir Julian Huxley, claimed in his famous keynote address at the Darwin Centennial held in 1959 at the University of Chicago, “The first point to make about Darwin’s theory is that it is no longer a theory, but a fact. No serious scientists would deny the fact that evolution has occurred, just as he would not deny the fact that the earth goes around the sun.”
On the other hand, creationists and other non-evolutionary scientists argue that evolution cannot logically be considered factual apart from any real evidence: “All the hard data in the life sciences show that evolution is not occurring today, all the real data in the earth sciences show it did not occur in the past, and all the genuine data in the physical sciences show it is not possible at all. Nevertheless, evolution is almost universally accepted as a fact in all the natural sciences.”
Consider the comments of the late Canadian scholar, Arthur C. Custance (Ph.D. Anthropology), author of the seminal ten-volume The Doorway Papers. He was a member of the Canadian Physiological Society, a fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute and a member of the New York Academy of Sciences. In “Evolution: An Irrational Faith” he observes,
- …Virtually all the fundamentals of the orthodox evolutionary faith have shown themselves to be either of extremely doubtful validity or simply contrary to fact…. So basic are these erroneous [evolutionary] assumptions that the whole theory is now largely maintained in spite of rather than because of the evidence…. As a consequence, for the great majority of students and for that large ill-defined group, ‘the public,’ it has ceased to be a subject of debate. Because it is both incapable of proof and yet may not be questioned, it is virtually untouched by data which challenge it in any way. It has become in the strictest sense irrational…. Information or concepts which challenge the theory are almost never given a fair hearing….
In fact, in the opinion of this erudite scholar, “Evolutionary philosophy has indeed become a state of mind, one might almost say a kind of mental prison rather than a scientific attitude…. To equate one particular interpretation of the data with the data itself is evidence of mental confusion…. The theory of evolution…is detrimental to ordinary intelligence and warps judgment.”
He concludes, “In short, the premises of evolutionary theory are about as invalid as they could possibly be…. If evolutionary theory was strictly scientific, it should have been abandoned long ago. But because it is more philosophy than science, it is not susceptible to the self-correcting mechanisms that govern all other branches of scientific enquiry.”
(The discussion of False Assumption One will continue in the next article.)
- Robert T. Clark , James D. Bales, Why Scientists Accept Evolution (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1976), pp. 29-95; Ankerberg and Weldon, pp. 25-42.
- Pierre-P. Grasse, Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation (New York: Academic Press, 1977), p. 3, emphasis added.
- Cited in Bird, Vol. 1, p. 141, emphasis added.
- Dobzhansky, Mankind Evolving, pp. 5-6, emphasis added.
- George Gaylord Simpson, The Meaning of Evolution (New York: Bantam, 1971), pp. 4-5, emphasis added.
- Carl Sagan, Cosmos (New York: Random House, 1980), p. 27, emphasis added.
- Konrad Lorenz, Intellectual Digest, February 1974, p. 62, emphasis added.
- Morris, The Long War, p. 20, emphasis added; citing Rene Dubos, American Scientist, March 1965, p. 6.
- Morris, The Long War, p. 24, emphasis added; citing Goldschmidt, American Scientist, January 1952, p. 84.
- Julian Huxley in Sol Tax, ed., Issues in Evolution (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1960), p. 41 from Morris, The Long War, p. 322, emphasis added.
- Morris, The Long War, p. 32.
- Arthur Custance, “Evolution: An Irrational Faith” in Evolution or Creation?, Vol. 4 – The Doorway Papers (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1976), pp. 173-174.
- Ibid., pp. 174-175.
- Ibid., p. 179.