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Section 3: Quotations from Scientists

Do Evolutionists Cherish Dogma?

Examples of Evolutionary Dogma

Calvin S. Hall, Sigma Xi, vol. 26, 1 March 1938, p. 19.

...You may question, of course, whether rat intelligence is the same as human intelligence, but if you do you are really not an evolutionist, and therefore your views deserve little serious consideration.

Julian Huxley, Evolution After Darwin, Vol. 3, Sol Tax, editor (University of Chicago Press, 1960), p. 42.

But all scientists agree that evolution is a fact. There are two problems here: First, whether evolution has happened--and there is absolutely no disagreement among scientists that it has. The second problem is how evolution takes place, and here there has been argument...

G.G. Simpson, This View of Life (Harcourt, Brace & World, New York, 1964), p. 10.

...The fact--not theory--that evolution has occurred...must color the whole of our attitude toward life and toward ourselves, and hence our whole perceptual world. That is, however, a single step, essentially taken a hundred years ago and now a matter simple rational acceptance or superstitious rejection. How evolution occurs is much more intricate, still incompletely known, debated in detail and the subject of most active investigation at present.

Francisco J. Ayala, "Biology as an Autonomous Science," American Scientist, vol. 5, Autumn 1968, p. 213.

Biological evolution can however be explained without recourse to a Creator or a planning agent external to the organisms themselves. The evidence of the fossil record is against any directing force, external or immanent, leading the evolutionary process toward specified goals. Teleology in the stated sense is, then, appropriately rejected in biology as a category of explanation.

Rene Dubos, "Humanistic Biology," American Scientist, vol. 53, March 1965, p. 6.

...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.

Theodosius Dobzhansky, "Changing Man," Science, vol. 155, 27 Jan. 1967, pp. 409-410.

Evolution comprises all the stages of the development of the universe: the cosmic, biological, and the human or cultural developments. Attempts to restrict the concept of evolution to biology are gratuitous. Life is a product of the evolution of inorganic nature, and man is a product of the evolution of life. ...

The argument in favor of the view that mankind continues to evolve biologically is deductive and inferential, but it seems strong enough nevertheless. ...

G. Ledyard Stebbins, Variation and Evolution in Plants (Columbia University Press, New York, 1950), p. 561.

...The control by man of organic evolution is now an attainable goal.

Richard B. Goldschmidt, American Scientist, vol. 40, 1952, p. 84.

...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.

Ernst Mayr, "Darwin and Evolutionary Thought," Evolution and Anthropology: A Centennial Appraisal (Theo. Gaus' Sons, Brooklyn, N.Y.), p. 10.

...no phenomenon has ever been found in organic nature that cannot be interpreted within the framework of the modern, synthetic theory of evolution.

H.H. Newman, Evolution, Genetics, and Eugenics (University of Chicago Press, 1932, 1939), p. 51.

...There are no rival hypotheses except the outworn and completely refuted idea of special creation, now retained only by the ignorant, the dogmatic, and the prejudiced.

William Howells, Mankind So Far (Doubleday and Co., New York, 1947), p. 5.

...The `theory of evolution' is an overworked term, in the popular usage, and unfortunate besides, since it implies that, after all, there may be something dubious about it. Evolution is a fact, like digestion.

George Wald, Annals of the New York Academy of Science, vol. 66, Aug. 1957, p. 367.

...Evolution advances, not by a priori design, but by the selection of what works best out of whatever choices offer. We are the products of editing, rather than of authorship.

Theodosius Dobzhansky, Evolution of Man, L.B. Young, editor (Oxford University Press, New Jersey, 1970), p. 58.

...Evolution as a historical fact was proved beyond reasonable doubt not later than in the closing decades of the 19th century. No one who takes the trouble to become familiar with the pertinent evidence has at present a valid reason to disbelieve that the living world, including man, is a product of evolutionary development.

Edwin Grant Conklin, Man, Real and Ideal (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1943), p. 28.

...The fact of evolution is no longer questioned by men of science.

Marston Bates, The Nature of Natural History (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1950), p. 222.

...Most books on evolution take up a lot of space with the review of the evidence that some process of evolution has taken place. There is no more question of this among contemporary scientists than there is of the relative movements of the planets within the solar system.

William Patten, Scientific Monthly, vol. 31, Oct. 1930, p. 290.

...Evolution itself has long since passed out of the field of scientific controversy. There is no other subject on which scientific opinion is so completely unanimous. It is the one great truth we most surely know.

Gordon Alexander, General Biology (Thomas Y. Crowell, New York, 1956), p. 808.

...The proofs of evolution are not merely adequate; they are overwhelming. The fact of organic evolution is a part of the thinking of every individual who may properly call himself a biologist.

Gilbert M. Smith, et al., A Textbook of General Botany, 4th edition (Macmillan, New York, 1942), p.630.

...No one who, since the publication of Origin of Species in 1859, has impartially investigated this evidence has questioned the validity or the usefulness of the idea of continuous evolution.

Michael F. Guyer, Speaking of Man (Harper and Bros., New York, 1942), p. 302.

...The fact that every biologist who undertakes an exhaustive study of the evidence comes to the conclusion that living organisms do exhibit such evolutionary relationships surely indicates the reliability of the conclusion. If we cannot take the word of the specialist in his own field, whose word can we accept?

Paul Weatherwax, Plant Biology (W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia, 1942), p. 370.

...The doctrine is no longer questioned by any biologist.

Jacques Monod in Studies in the Philosophy of Biology, F.J. Ayala and T. Dobzhansky, editors (University of California Press, Berkeley, 1974), pp. 357-359.

...As I put it, the Postulate of Objectivity is the systematic or axiomatic denial that scientific knowledge can be obtained on the basis of theories that involve, explicitly or not, a teleological principle; and admittedly it is an axiomatic attitude which I strongly believe to be essential for the development of science. ...

We might say that the existence of living beings (that is to say, of living beings which in their structure and their functions must be recognised as showing every evidence of some sort of project) is a constant challenge and a menace to the postulate of objectivity. I think it is reasonable to wonder whether the postulate does apply to living beings at all--whether we will ever be able to account for living beings in terms that do not violate the principle--and I would say that to be a biologist in the full sense of the word is to be completely conscious all the time of the tremendous challenge. I would also say that it is the consciousness of this challenge which has been the leading force in biology ever since it seriously started to develop at the end of the eighteenth century.

You all know of course, and you have been discussing the solutions that have been proposed to put living beings back into an objective universe: that is to say, the solutions which have purported to give an interpretation of the apparently paradoxical fact that objects which have purpose could have been derived from a universe which we have assumed to begin with to be without purpose. The solution of course is the theory of evolution. ...

Julian Huxley, Evolution After Darwin, Vol. 3, Sol Tax, editor (University of Chicago Press, 1960), p. 42.

...Indeed, I would...hold that it is essential for evolution to become the central core of any educational system, because it is evolution, in the broadest sense, that links inorganic nature with life, and the stars with earth, and matter with mind, and animals with man. Human history is a continuation of biological evolution in a different form.

Garett Hardin, Nature and Man's Fate (Mentor, New York, 1961), p. 216.

...True, Darwin is not the last word in science; but neither is Shakespeare the final insight into human nature. He who fails to honor either genius for his positive accomplishments inevitably attracts the speculative psychiatric eye to himself.

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