Home \ Resources \ Science Kit \ Section 3p | --Next>>

Section 3: Quotations from Scientists

Other Problems With the Theory

Do Evolutionists Have Faith?

Robert Jastrow, Until the Sun Dies (W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., New York, 1977), p. 60.

According to this story, every tree, every blade of grass, and every creature...evolved out of one parent strand of molecular matter drifting lazily in a warm pool.

What concrete evidence supports that remarkable theory of the origin of life? There is none.

Ibid., pp. 62-63.

Perhaps the appearance of life on the earth is a miracle. Scientists are reluctant to accept that view, but their choices are limited; either life was created on the earth by the will of a being outside the grasp of scientific understanding, or it evolved on our planet spontaneously, through chemical reaction occurring in nonliving matter lying on the surface of the planet.

The first theory places the question of the origin of life beyond the reach of scientific inquiry. It is a statement of faith in the power of a Supreme Being not subject to the laws of science.

The second theory is also an act of faith. The act of faith consists in assuming that the scientific view of the origin of life is correct, without having concrete evidence to support that belief.

Note: In this last paragraph Jastrow wrongly equates the materialists' view of the origin of life with "the scientific view."

Bentley Glass, "The Centrality of Evolution in Biology Teaching," The American Biology Teacher, Dec. 1967, pp. 713-714.

...mankind the world over is moving very rapidly toward conscious control of the reproductive process...improved methods of contraception...reproductive process itself will be transferred increasingly to the laboratory...culture of ovarian and testicular tissue in the laboratory, a continuous production of mature eggs and sperms, the formation of embryos by fertilization "in vitro"...foster-mother...artificial womb...total severance of the human sexual life from the reproductive process...controlled mutation...selection...may well threaten certain basic human institutions, especially the existence of the family...

Such is the speed of scientific progress that many of these possibilities will probably be realized before the close of the twentieth century...The ethics of a static human society...must be replaced by an ethics that takes into account the evolving biological as well as cultural nature of man. Our growing wisdom must be based soundly on an evolutionary view of man's past, present, and future, and a knowledge of the ways in which the evolutionary process can be controlled. ...

This [referring to a statement of evolutionary philosophy by Theodosius Dobzhansky in The Biology of Ultimate Concern] is a biological philosophy of grandeur and exalted faith...Man's evolutionary nature gropes for assurance regarding the why of existence, and evolutionary theory sends a shaft of light to illumine his past and present, and to penetrate somewhat the mists of his future...Without a central place for evolution in our teaching and our learning, we cannot even begin to remold our world and our own natures in the direction of our goals. We will instead play madly and blindly with forces that will surely destroy us all.

George Wald, Frontiers of Modern Biology (Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1962), p. 187.

...There are only the two possibilities: either life arose by spontaneous generation...or it arose by supernatural creation. ...There is no third position.

P. Davis and E. Solomon, The World of Biology (McGraw Hill, New York, 1974), p. 395.

...Such explanations tend to fall into one or the other of two broad categories: special creation or evolution. Various admixtures and modifications of these two concepts exist, but it seems impossible to imagine an explanation of origins that lies completely outside the two ideas.

Julian Huxley, Evolution, the Modern Synthesis (Allen & Unwin, London, 1942), p. 413.

...The physiologist...is not likely to dismiss organic function as non-adaptive; the naturalist...must believe either in purposive creation or in adaptive evolution.

T.H. Huxley, Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley, Vol. II, Leonard Huxley, editor (Macmillan, London, 1903), p. 429.

...`creation' in the ordinary sense of the word, is perfectly conceivable. I find no difficulty in conceiving that, at some former period, this universe was not in existence; and that it made its appearance in six days...in consequence of the volition of some pre-existing Being.

L. Harrison Matthews in Introduction to The Origin of Species (J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., London, Everyman's University Library, 1972), p. xi.

...The fact of evolution is the backbone of biology, and biology is thus in the peculiar position of being a science founded on an unproved theory--is it then a science or a faith? Belief in the theory of evolution is thus exactly parallel to belief in special creation--both are concepts with believers know to be true but neither, up to the present, has been capable of proof.

Ibid., p. xii.

...Long after his [Darwin's, editor] death it[modern knowledge of genetics and cell biology, editor] provided the argument needed to support his ideas of evolution, and took the place of much of the Origin devoted to special pleading that resulted in nothing definite. It is surprising how much of the book is given to argument based on entirely suppositious premises; the conclusions are doubtless sound enough provided the wholly theoretical data are true. ...The theory is so plausible that most biologists accept it as though it were a proven fact, although their conviction rests upon circumstantial evidence; it forms a satisfactory faith on which to base our interpretation of nature.

W. Thorpe, "Reductionism v. Organicism," New Scientist, vol. 43, 25 Sept. 1969, pp. 637-638.

Also--if reductionism [the effort to explain all of biology in terms solely of the laws and facts of physics and chemistry, editor] were right in the sense that the mental, spiritual, artistic, and ethical values which we experience really are in the electrons and other primary components of which the world is made--then all one can say is they don't appear to be there. It follows that a great and unjustified leap of faith is required, a leap without any scientific evidence, to believe it. Thus reductionism requires at least as great a faith, if not much greater faith, than the organismic and hierarchic approach combined with Weizsacher's open-mindedness.

By the first we are required to believe what we can in no way detect. By the second we are required to believe in a source of value added to or injected into, the natural process as complexity develops, which we are totally unable to understand.

Arthur Koestler, quoted by W. Thorpe, ibid., p. 638.

...Everybody has of course his own formulation--the rejection of what I called "the four pillars of unwisdom." In a simplified form, the four pillars to me are the doctrines:

1. that biological evolution is the result of nothing but random mutations preserved by natural selection;

2. that mental evolution is the result of nothing but random tries preserved by reinforcements;

3. that all organisms, including Man, are nothing but passive automata controlled by the environment, whose sole purpose in life is the reduction of tensions by adaptive responses.

4. that the only scientific method worth that name is quantitative measurement; and, consequently, that complex phenomena must be reduced to simple elements accessible to such treatment, without undue worry whether the specific characteristics of a complex phenomenon, for instance Man, may be lost in the process.

These are my four pillars of unwisdom, and the symposium has shown we all seem to agree that the pillars are hollow and cracking.

George Wald, Scientific American, vol. 191, August 1954, p. 46.

...One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task [i.e., of explaining how life began by chance, editor] to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are--as as result, I believe, of spontaneous generation.

Louis T. More, The Dogma of Evolution (Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J., 1925), pp. 160-161.

...The more one studies paleontology, the more certain one becomes that evolution is based on faith alone; exactly the same sort of faith which it is necessary to have when one enters the great mysteries of religion. The changes that are noted as time progresses show no orderly and no consecutive evolutionary chain and, above all, they give us no clue whatever as to the cause of variations. Evolutionists would have us believe that they have photographed the successions of fauna and flora, and have arranged them on a vast moving picture film. Its slow unrolling takes millions of years. A few pictures, mostly vague, defaced, and tattered, occasionally attract our attention. Between these memorials of the past are enormous lengths of films containing no pictures at all. And we cannot tell whether these parts are blanks or whether the impression has faded from sight. Is the scenario a continuous changing show or is it a succession of static events? The evidence from paleontology is for discontinuity; only by faith and imagination is there continuity of variation.

Arnold Lunn, The Flight from Reason (Eyre and Spottiswoode, London, 1931).

...Faith is the substance of fossils hoped for, the evidence of links unseen.

G.G. Simpson, The Meaning of Evolution (Bantam Books, New York, 1967), p. 252.

...We seem at last to have a unified theory--although a complex one inevitably, as evolution itself is a complex interaction of different processes--which is capable of facing all the classic problems of the history of life and of providing a causalistic solution of each.

This is not to say that the whole mystery has been plumbed to its core or even that it ever will be. The ultimate mystery is beyond the reach of scientific investigation, and probably of the human mind. There is neither need nor excuse for postulation of nonmaterial intervention in the origin of life, the rise of man, or any other part of that cosmos, and the causal principles of its history remain unexplained and inaccessible to science. Here is hidden the First Cause sought by theology and philosophy. The First Cause is not known and I suspect that it never will be known to living man. We may, if we are so inclined, worship it in our own ways, but we certainly do not comprehend it.

Previous PageTable of ContentsNext Page