[Quotes] [Darwinism, #1, #2, #3]
"Bypassing the recent wave of Creationism in the US and its criticism of Darwin's theory, a number of objections can be made against the notion of natural selection, some of which I will mention here. Such intricate changes have arisen in nature, involving such immensely complex series of mutations that mathematicians find it almost impossible to attribute these to blind chance. Rattray Taylor mentions several instances of features which evolved long before they were of any advantage so that they hardly can have been caused by natural selection. Even Darwin himself was occasionally seized by doubt while contemplating organs of extreme perfection. 'The eye gives me a cold shudder,' he wrote." (Noske, Barbara [anthropologist], "Humans and Other Animals: Beyond the Boundaries of Anthropology," Pluto Press: London, 1989, p.65).[top]
"To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree. When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei, as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science. Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certainly the case; if further, the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case; and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, should not be considered as subversive of the theory." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection," 1872, Sixth Edition, Senate: London, 1994, pp.143-144).
"What shall we say of the eye? Is it conceivable that this transcendant organ with its power of adjusting its focus to different distances & of letting in more or less light, - with its nearly perfect correction for chromatic & spherical aberration, could have been formed by the accumulation, through natural selection, of infinitesimally slight variations, each useful to its possessor. I confess that no language at first seems too strong to condemn the absurdity of such a notion." (Darwin, C.R., in Stauffer, R.C., ed., "Charles Darwin's Natural Selection: Being the Second Part of His Big Species Book Written From 1856 to 1858," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1987, reprint, p.359) [top]
"A favorite example of those trying to find evidence of self-organization is the human eye. So exquisitely designed, with its adjustable lens and iris, with its retina capable of rendering images better than any camera- the eye surely could not have developed from the blind meanderings of evolution. Or so it seems to Darwin's critics. The eighteenth-century theologian William Paley considered the eye and other precisely engineered organs as proof of an intelligent creator. But, again, one doesn't have to be a creationist to have difficulty accepting that eyes arose purely from random variation and selection." (Johnson, George [science writer], "Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order," , Penguin Books: London, 1997, p267). [top]
"From different kinds of eyes in contemporary animals, one may guess how the organ evolved. Many primitive animals even a few protists, have light-sensitive spots. In some flatworms (planaria) the pigmented spot becomes a cavity; if the opening is narrowed, it can form a crude image. Covering it with transparent skin could lead to the making of a lens, and so forth. Darwin, troubled by the perfection of the eye, pointed out such gradations (C. Darwin 1964,186-190), yet the existence of viable stages on the way does not explain how it was possible that many very unlikely genes came along in the right order to direct all the details, while at the same time an immensely larger number of continually occurring deleterious mutations were continually being eliminated." (Wesson, Robert G. [Professor of Political Science, USA], "Beyond Natural Selection," , MIT Press: Cambridge MA, 1994, reprint, p.62). [top]
"Essentially, the same amino acid chain being found also in other animals and even in plants, we have a case in histone-4 where more than 200 base pairs are conserved across the whole of biology. The problem for the neo-Darwinian theory is to explain how the one particular arrangement of base pairs came to be discovered in the first place. Evidently not by random processes, for with a chance 1/4 of choosing each of the correct base pairs at random, the probability of discovering a segment of 200 specific base pairs is 4-200, which is equal to 10-120. Even if one were given a random choice for every atom in every galaxy in the whole visible universe the probability of discovering histone-4 would still only be a minuscule ~10-40." (Hoyle, Fred [late mathematician, physicist and Professor of Astronomy, Cambridge University], "Mathematics of Evolution," , Acorn Enterprises: Memphis TN, 1999, pp.102- 103). [top]
"Two points of principle are worth emphasis. The first is that the usually supposed logical inevitability of the theory of evolution by natural selection is quite incorrect. There is no inevitability, just the reverse. It is only when the present asexual model is changed to the sophisticated model of sexual reproduction accompanied by crossover that the theory can be made to work, even in the limited degree to be discussed .... This presents an insuperable problem for the notion that life arose out of an abiological organic soup through the development of a primitive replicating system. A primitive replicating system could not have copied itself with anything like the fidelity of present- day systems .... With only poor copying fidelity, a primitive system could carry little genetic information without L [the mutation rate] becoming unbearably large, and how a primitive system could then improve its fidelity and also evolve into a sexual system with crossover beggars the imagination." (Hoyle, Fred [late mathematician, physicist and Professor of Astronomy, Cambridge University], "Mathematics of Evolution," , Acorn Enterprises: Memphis TN, 1999, p.20). [top]
* Authors with an asterisk against their name are believed not to be evolutionists.
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Created: 28 August, 1999. Updated: 4 December, 2009.