Stephen E. Jones

Creation/Evolution Quotes: Unclassified quotes: July 2006

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The following are quotes added to my Unclassified Quotes database in July 2006. The date format is dd/mm/yy. See copyright conditions at end.

[Index: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec]

"Not everyone, however, was so easily misled. In 1872 the eleventh edition of Lyell's Principles of 
Geology, a book which was one of the foundations of the new evolutionary theory, included a statement 
'in justice to Lamarck'; that is to say in correction of Darwin. Similarly Haeckel's History of Creation in 
1868 included the comment: 'The theory of development (i.e. evolution) ... is now generally (though not 
altogether rightly) regarded as exclusively Mr Darwin's theory.' Further: 'We must distinguish clearly 
(though this is not usually done) between ... the theory of descent (Lamarck) and Darwin's theory of natural 
selection.' In other words we must distinguish, as Darwin usually failed to do, between the historical 
question of what has happened and the experimental question of how or why it has happened. It was in the 
light of these criticisms, according to Butler, that Darwin changed his style. 'My theory' appears forty-five 
times in his first edition of the Origin of Species. In successive editions 'my' is gradually deleted. By the 
sixth edition of 1872 it becomes 'the theory' in forty-four of the forty-five cases. This reconstruction of a 
proposition must be unique in the history of literature. It is certain that it is uniquely important. For in the 
same moment it reveals Darwin's character and it obscures for ever his mind and his meaning. There was still 
nothing to show which of the two questions 'the theory' was referring to. This confusion, we may suppose, 
was not only what Darwin wanted. Nobody noticed it, before Butler, and nobody cared. It was (and this is 
the strangest circumstance in the story) a confusion which his friends and his enemies were obviously 
agreed in wanting. How could this be so? Darwin's scientific friends wished to imagine that only Mr 
Darwin's new illumination had convinced them of the absurdity of the creation theory which, like their 
opponents, they had so long and so fondly held. And Darwin's enemies were glad enough to believe that 
Mr Darwin was unique and original in his own absurd and dangerous opinions. And neither side (including 
Darwin himself) knew what to do about the technical problem of heredity and variation which had to be dealt 
with in asking how evolution had occurred. Thus in public the problem of whether evolution had occurred 
(which should not have been Darwin's problem) gradually pushed into the background the problem of how 
it had occurred (which should have been Darwin's problem). And Darwinism came to mean evolution not 
natural selection." (Darlington, C.D., "Darwin's Place in History," Basil Blackwell: Oxford, 1959, pp.35-36) 

"At the beginning of the century, Galton's eugenics was well received. Most geneticists looked favorably 
on the theory, among them some of the biggest names:n, Fischer, Haldane, Muller, and others. 
Several even sketched out scenarios that aimed to improve the common gene pool. Eugenics societies were 
created in England and the United States. In the United States, programs were begun to sterilize several 
thousand people described as "mental defectives" over a period of about twenty years. All these scientists 
who had promoted eugenics, who had developed it into a theory and proposed ways to use it were no 
doubt sincere. They believed in the soundness of their science. They wanted to use it in the service of 
humankind. They didn't count on Hitler. It is hard to believe that the racist ideology of the Nazis wasn't fed 
by ideas about eugenics that dated from the beginning of the century, as Daniel Kevles's book argues 
convincingly. [Kevles, D.J., "In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity," 
University of California Press: Berkeley, 1986] Among the theory's influential proponents was the American 
geneticist Charles B. Davenport, who founded Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to study human evolution. 
Irresistibly drawn by eugenics, Davenport wanted to protect the white population in the United States from 
what he considered genetic pollution by blacks, Poles, and Italians. He was president of the International 
Federation of Eugenic Organizations. In that capacity, he asked his friend Eugen Fischer, professor of 
anthropology at the University of Berlin and the best human geneticist in Germany, to preside over the 
Research Committee on Racial Cross-breeding. Fischer was also one of the authors of the manual on 
Human Heredity and Racial Hygiene from which Hitler, in prison, had nourished his racism. Elected rector 
of the University of Berlin, Fischer expressed satisfaction at the intervention of political power in the life of 
the country exemplified in a biological population policy aimed at eliminating inferior beings. During the 
same period, Konrad Lorenz compared the elimination of individuals who are asocial by reason of their 
deficient constitutions with the elimination of a malignant tumor, an operation that seemed to him easier and 
less risky in the first case than in the second. From Fischer we get to his student and successor, the 
professor Count Otmar von Verschuer, specialist in internal medicine. And from him to his assistant, the 
notorious Dr. Joseph Mengele, SS captain and physician of Auschwitz under the authority of Verschuer. 
The German geneticist Benno Muller-Hill [Muller-Hill, B., "Murderous Science: Elimination by Scientific 
Selection of Jews, Gypsies, and Others, Germany 1933-1945," Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1988] has 
described how Verschuer and Mengele worked with the best scientists of Germany. Their so-called research 
was conducted within the official scientific institutions. It benefited from program grants awarded by 
specialized organizations. The research was described in regular progress reports. Everything was done 
according to the usual scientific procedures. From Galton to Mengele, there was no discontinuity, no break. 
There is an imperceptible progression from a well-intentioned scientist, theorizing in his laboratory, to the 
criminal injecting formalin into the hearts of Jewish twins or gypsies so he could remove their multicolored 
eyes, or inoculating children with typhoid so he could compare reactions in mono- or dizygotic twins." 
(Jacob, F., "Of Flies, Mice, and Men," [1997], Weiss, G., transl., Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 
1998, pp.118-119)

"On the other hand, Glen [Glen, W., "The Road to Jaramillo: Critical Years of the Revolution in Earth 
Science," Stanford University Press: Stanford CA, 1982] continued, the impact theory-even if we never 
succeed in establishing this mechanism as a general theory, and even if such catastrophes remain confined 
to explanations of particular events-directly fractured Lyellian uniformity, therefore penetrating far deeper in 
its iconoclasm than the admittedly more comprehensive theory of plate tectonics could ever bore. In any 
case, and in the terms and concerns of this book, the validation of a truly catastrophic triggering mechanism 
for at least some events of mass extinction dramatically fractured the support that Darwin needed from the 
kind of geological stage necessarily set for playing out his preferred game of life. The vital extrapolationist 
premise of the third leg on the tripod of essential Darwinian logic must fail if global paroxysm can undo, 
redirect, or even substantially impact a pattern of life's history that, in a fully Darwinian scheme of 
explanation, must scale up in full continuity from the microevolutionary realities of competition in 
observable ecological time. ... mass extinctions are more frequent, more rapid, more intense, and more 
different in their effects than paleontologists had suspected, and that Lyellian geology and Darwinian 
biology could permit." (Gould, S.J., "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory," Belknap: Cambridge MA, 2002, 
Fifth Printing, pp.1312-1313. Emphasis original) 

"Gould went on to summarize the massive book's [Gould, S.J., "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory," 
Belknap: Cambridge MA, 2002] thesis in a couple of short sentences. `Is the pure form of Darwinian 
logic adequate to account for everything? My argument is that it is not,' he said. One of the ways 
Gould departs from strict Darwinism is through his theory of `punctuated equilibrium,' the notion that 
organisms evolve in sudden jumps followed by long periods when little or no change takes place. This 
idea contradicts orthodox Darwinism, which posits slow, uniform change over long periods of time, 
brought about exclusively through the mechanism of natural selection. Gould also diverges from 
Darwin in his notion that natural selection can work on the level of species, not just individuals. 
Darwin, he explained, insisted that natural selection only affected individual organisms because he was 
trying to overthrow the theological argument of intelligent design, the idea that the intricate adaptation 
of life forms to their environment implied the existence of a Creator. Darwin's model of how natural 
selection worked, Gould said, was influenced by the theories of Adam Smith, the 18th century 
economist who introduced the metaphor of the `Invisible Hand,' the mechanism that brings about 
equilibrium in the economy through the unregulated struggles of individuals to maximize their gains. In 
a similar fashion, individual organisms, engaging in the struggle for existence, live longer and 
reproduce more successfully when they possess characteristics that help them to better exploit the 
environment. Thus, organisms with these successful characteristics tend to predominate in the 
population. According to Gould, however, species can be regarded as individuals under certain 
circumstances, because, like individuals, they are born, persist over time, give birth to progeny 
(subspecies), and die (become extinct)." (Gewertz, K., "Gould reads from latest opus: New book
evolved steadily over two decades," Harvard University Gazette, April 04, 2002)

"In another article written in 1866 to criticize a brave new world that often forgot, and more frequently 
disparaged, the discoveries of previous generations, von Baer made a rueful comment that deserves 
enshrinement as one of the great aphorisms in the history of science. Invoking Agassiz, his younger friend 
and boon companion in rejecting the new theory of mechanistic evolution, von Baer wrote: Agassiz says 
that when a new doctrine is presented, it must go through three stages. First, people say that it isn't true, 
then that it is against religion, and in the third stage, that it has long been known. (Author's translation)" 
(Gould, S.J., "Abscheulich! (Atrocious!)," Natural History, Vol. 109, No. 2, March 2000, pp.42-49) 

"In 1868 Agassiz, age 61 and physically broken by an arduous expedition to Brazil, felt old, feeble, and 
bypassed, especially in the light of his continued opposition to evolution (his own graduate students had 
all `rebelled' and embraced the new Darwinian model). He particularly disliked Haeckel for his crass 
materialism, his scientifically irrelevant and vicious swipes at religion, and his haughty dismissal of earlier 
work (which he often shamelessly `borrowed' without attribution). And yet, in reading through Agassiz's 
extensive marginalia, I sensed something noble about the quality of his opposition, however ill-founded in 
the light of later knowledge." (Gould, S.J., Abscheulich! (Atrocious!)," Natural History, Vol. 109, No. 2, 
March 2000, pp.42-49) 

"To be sure, Agassiz waxes bitter at Haeckel's excesses, as in his final note appended to the closing flourish 
of Haeckel's book, including the author's gratuitous attack on conventional religion as `the dark beliefs and 
secrets of a priestly class.' Agassiz writes sardonically: `Gegeben im Jahre I der neuen Weltordnung (given 
in year one of the new world order). E. Haeckel.' But Agassiz generally sticks to the high road, despite ample 
provocation, by marshaling the facts of his greatest disciplinary expertise (in geology, paleontology, and 
zoology) to refute Haeckel's frequent exaggerations and rhetorical inconsistencies. Agassiz may have been 
exhausted and discouraged, but he could still put up one whale of a fight, even if only in private. Agassiz 
proceeded in generally measured prose until he came to page 240, where he encountered Haeckel's falsified 
drawings of vertebrate embryology--a subject of extensive personal research and writing on Agassiz's part 
(see page 45). He immediately recognized what Haeckel had done, and he exploded in fully justified rage. 
Above the nearly identical pictures of dog and human embryos, Agassiz wrote: `Woher copiert? 
Gekunstelte Ahnlichkeit mit Ungenauigkeit verbunden, z.b. Coloboma, Nabel, etc.' (Where were these copied 
from? [They include] artistically crafted similarities mixed with inaccuracies, for example, the eye slit, 
umbilicus, etc.) At least these two drawings displayed some minor differences. But when Agassiz came to 
page 248, he noticed that Haeckel had simply copied the same exact figure three times (see page 46) in 
supposedly illustrating a still earlier embryonic stage of a dog (left), a chicken (middle) and a tortoise (right). 
He wrote above this figure: `Woher sind diese Figuren entnommen? Es gibt sowas in der ganzen Litteratur 
nicht. Diese Identitat ist nicht wahr.' (Where were these figures taken from? Nothing like this exists in the 
entire literature. This identity is not true.) Finally, on the next page, (see page 49) he writes his angriest note 
next to Haeckel's textual affirmation of this threefold identity. Haeckel stated: `If you take the young 
embryos of a dog, a chicken, and a tortoise, you cannot discover a single difference among them.' And 
Agassiz sarcastically replied, `Naturlich--da diese Figuren nicht nach der Natur gezeichnet, sondern eine 
von der andern copiert ist! Abscheulich.' (Naturally--because these figures were not drawn from nature, but 
rather copied one from the other! Atrocious.)" (Gould, S.J., "Abscheulich! (Atrocious!)," Natural History, 
Vol. 109, No. 2, March 2000, pp.42-49)

"The viewpoint I will take is that consciousness, both perceptive and self-awareness, has arisen in the 
course of the ascent of life from the primaeval brine because it confers spectacular survival advantage. The 
ability to make the present congruent with the past, and to imagine future scenarios, carries vast dividends 
in the struggle for survival. Notions can be tested in the mind, not in nature, and the animal reduces the 
chances of being killed. Consciousness has been honed on the anvil of natural selection-an essentially 
Darwinian viewpoint, and one not involving any external intervention or other-worldly influences." (Denton, 
D.A., "The Pinnacle of Life: Consciousness and Self-Awareness in Humans and Animals," Allen & Unwin: 
St. Leonards NSW, Australia, 1993, pp.xi-xii)

"During the voyage of the Beagle I had been deeply impressed by discovering in the Pampean formation 
great fossil animals covered with armour like that on the existing armadillos ; secondly, by the manner in 
which closely allied animals replace one another in proceeding southwards over the Continent; and thirdly, 
by the South American character of most of the productions of the Galapagos archipelago, and more 
especially by the manner in which they differ slightly on each island of the group; none of these islands 
appearing to be very ancient in a geological sense." (Darwin, C.R., in Barlow, N., ed., "The Autobiography 
of Charles Darwin, 1809-1882: With Original Omissions Restored," [1958], W.W. Norton & Co: New York NY, 
1969, reprint, p.118) 

"In discussing the truth of evolution, we should make a distinction, as Darwin explicitly did, between the 
simple fact of evolution - defined as the genealogical connection among all earthly organisms, based on 
their descent from a common ancestor, and the history of any lineage as a process of descent with 
modification - and theories (like Darwinian natural selection) that have been proposed to explain the 
causes of evolutionary change." (Gould S.J., "Introduction," in Zimmer C., "Evolution: The Triumph of an 
Idea," HarperCollins: New York NY, 2001, p.x. Emphasis in original) 

"Today, with fresh denunciations issuing almost weekly from scientific societies and newspaper editorial 
boardrooms alike, it might seem a trifle premature to declare victory. Yet, although the cultural dynamic is 
still playing itself out, a decade after the publication of Darwin's Black Box the scientific argument for 
design is stronger than ever. Despite the enormous progress of biochemistry in the intervening years, 
despite hundreds of probing commentaries in periodicals as diverse as The New York Times, Nature, 
Christianity Today, Philosophy of Science, and Chronicle of Higher Education, despite implacable 
opposition from some scientists at the highest levels, the book's argument for design stands. Other than 
updating the list of my children in the Acknowledgements (append Dominic, Helen, and Gerard), there is 
very little of the original text I would change if I wrote it today." (Behe, M.J., "Darwin's Black Box: The 
Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," [1996], Free Press: New York NY, 10th Anniversary Edition, 2006, 

"For modern science, ten years is an eon. As an analogy, think of how the Internet has developed. In the 
mid 1990s e-mail was clumsy and the Web was a shadow of what it has become. In the same time interval, by 
some measures biochemistry has advanced as much as the Internet. A little over a decade ago the very first 
genome sequence of a free living organism-a tiny bacterium named Haemophilus influenzae-had just been 
published. ... Now hundreds of genomes have been sequenced ... Progress in elucidating genomes has been 
matched by progress in understanding how the machinery of life works. ... The mechanisms cells use to 
construct the cilia and flagella described in Chapter 4 were almost totally obscure when this book was first 
written. Today they're known to be stunningly sophisticated molecular systems themselves, like automated 
factories that make outboard motors. In short, as science advances relentlessly, the molecular foundation of 
life is not getting any less complex than it seemed a decade ago; it is getting exponentially more complex. As 
it does, the case for the intelligent design of life becomes exponentially stronger." (Behe, M.J., "Darwin's 
Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," [1996], Free Press: New York NY, 10th Anniversary 
Edition, 2006, pp.256) 

"The future prospects for design are excellent, because they rest not on any person's or group's 
preferences, but on the data. The rise of the intelligent design hypothesis is not due to anything I or any 
other individual has written or said, but to the great advance of science in understanding life. In Darwin's 
day, the cell was thought to be so simple that first-rate scientists such as Thomas Huxley and Ernst Haeckel 
could seriously think that it might arise spontaneously from sea mud, which would be quite congenial to 
Darwinism. Even just fifty years ago it was a lot easier to believe that Darwinian evolution might explain the 
foundation of life, because so much less was known. But as science quickly advanced and the astonishing 
complexity of the cell became clear, the idea of intelligent design has become more and more compelling. The 
conclusion of intelligent design is strengthened by each new example of elegant, complex molecular 
machinery or system that science discovers at the foundation of life. In 1996 that elegance already could be 
clearly seen, and in the past ten years it has greatly increased. There is no reason to expect it to level off any 
time soon." (Behe, M.J., "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," [1996], Free Press: 
New York NY, 10th Anniversary Edition, 2006, p.270)

"FOR THE CELEBRITY scientists who relied on their science to promote their often astonishing views of 
life, there was an elephant in the living room. It was right there in front of them for all to see. It was 
menacing, allpowerful, able to pounce at any moment and trample on the carefully constructed nihilism of 
the scientificphilosophers. `If I were a creationist,' wrote John Horgan of Scientific American, `I would cease 
attacking the theory of evolution ... and focus instead on the origin of life.' [Horgan, J., "The End of 
Science," [1996], Little, Brown & Co: London, 1997, reprint, p.138] Life's origins, how it all came into being, 
was central to both religion and science. Religion took it on faith that God created life, while science took it 
on faith that life came into being through a purely materialistic process in which inorganic molecules 
somehow evolved into life. Often scientists would ignore or trivialize the enigma of life's origins, claiming 
that answer would be `simple' once it was found. Many, however, tried to hide the fact that science couldn't 
figure out life's beginnings; they couldn't just wave the white flag and admit like fumbling fools on the 
witness stand that the answer was beyond the grasp of science. ... Scientists had a reason to be defensive. 
Anyone who looked at them closely could see that when it came to the metaphysics of existence, they were 
sinking fast in the quicksand. In laboratories all over the country, they had tried again and again to solve the 
mystery of life, to discover a process that turns non-life into life. The distance between the two is not a 
simple step like water to ice; it is a distance beyond human comprehension. `Between a living cell and the 
most highly ordered non-biological system, there is a chasm as vast and absolute as it is possible to 
conceive,' [Denton, M.J., "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," Burnett Books: London, 1985, pp.249-250] 
Australian biochemist Michael Denton wrote in Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, a seminal work, highly 
criticized, that in the 1990s would inspire a group of other scientists to reexamine the premises of Darwinism. 
Even bacteria, among the most simple forms of life, wrote Denton, `are exceedingly complex objects.' 
[Denton, 1985, p.250] `The simplest bacterium is so damn complicated from the point of view of a chemist 
that it is almost impossible to imagine how it happened,' said Harold P Klein, chairman of a committee formed 
by the National Academy of Sciences to investigate origin-of-life research [Horgan J., "In The Beginning...," 
Scientific American, Vol. 264, No. 2, February 1991, pp.100-109, p.104]. ... To British astronomer Fred 
Hoyle, the origin of life was about as probable as a tornado creating a 747 as it whirled through a junkyard-in 
other words, so unlikely as to be impossible. [Hoyle, F., "The Intelligent Universe," Michael Joseph: 
London, 1983, pp.18-19] But the ultra-reductionists had an answer in the ready, the same answer they gave 
to every other troublesome issue raised by evolution: given enough time, they argued, `anything is 
possible:' But that was it. The sum and substance of their science was itself based on religious faith.And so 
the answer proved so elusive, the scientific guesses so unsatisfactory, that the great pillars of atheism 
began to collapse. One wonders exactly what Richard Dawkins must have thought when a compatriot and 
one-time Oxford colleague made his public turnabout, cracking the very foundations of atheism. In 2004, 
philosopher Antony Flew-one of the world's most committed atheists-captured the international limelight 
with an astonishing announcement: that because not in spite of science, he was no longer an atheist. In his 
video `Has Science Discovered God?' Flew said that the investigation of DNA `has shown, by the almost 
unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce life, that intelligence must have 
been involved' [Ostling, R.N., "Atheist Philosopher, 81, Now Believes in God," LiveScience, 10 December 
2004] Quite a betrayal from a man who for more than fifty years had taught at universities around the world 
and in lectures, books, and articles that atheism was the only explanation for life." (Winnick, P.R., "A Jealous 
God: Science's Crusade Against Religion," Nelson Current: Nashville TN, 2005, pp.168-170, 172. Emphasis 

"Molecular biology has shown that even the simplest of all living systems on earth today, bacterial cells, are 
exceedingly complex objects. Although the tiniest bacterial cells are incredibly small, weighing less than 10-12gms, 
each is in effect a veritable microminiaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed 
pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand million atoms, far more 
complicated than any machine built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world." 
(Denton, M.J., "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," Burnett Books: London, 1985, p.250)

"Molecular biology has also shown that the basic design of the cell system is essentially the same in all 
living systems on earth from bacteria to mammals. In all organisms the roles of DNA, mRNA and protein are 
identical. The meaning of the genetic code is also virtually identical in all cells . The size, structure and 
component design of the protein synthetic machinery is practically the same in all cells. In terms of their 
basic biochemical design, therefore no living system can be thought of as being primitive or ancestral with 
respect to any other system, nor is there the slightest empirical hint of an evolutionary sequence among all 
the incredibly diverse cells on earth. For those who hoped that molecular biology might bridge the gulf 
between chemistry and biochemistry, the revelation was profoundly disappointing." (Denton, M.J., 
"Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," Burnett Books: London, 1985, p.250) 

"Recent studies of extremely old sedimentary rocks in Australia make it very probable that single-celled 
organisms, perhaps similar to blue green algae were already present on the Earth about 3-6 billion 
(thousand million) years ago. We know that the Earth accreted from lifeless dust and gases about 6 
billion years ago. It seems, therefore, that life must have appeared on the Earth at some time during the 
first billion or so years of its history. Theories that living organisms originated elsewhere in the 
Universe and were transported to the Earth in one way or another have been put forward from time to 
time. These theories cannot at present be tested, so they have had little influence on most thin king 
about the origins of life. In this discussion I will follow a conservative course and suppose that life 
evolved de novo on the primitive Earth. It seems unlikely that we will find fossils or other geological 
relics of pre-life or the very earliest forms of life. Our ideas about the origins of life, therefore, are largely 
based on inference from our knowledge of contemporary biochemistry, on one hand, and on laboratory 
reconstructions of the supposed chemistry of the primitive Earth, prebiotic chemistry, on the other. " 
(Orgel, L.E., "Darwinism at the very beginning of life," New Scientist, Vol. 94, 15 April 1982, pp.149-
151, p.149)

"Recent work on the origins of life begins with the speculations of a Russian scientist, Aleksandr 
Oparin, who believed that the early atmosphere of the Earth unlike its present atmosphere, was 
strongly-reducing. He thought that the main components of the atmosphere were methane ammonia 
and water, and that a pool of organic materials a prebiotic soup, was formed from them by the action of 
ultraviolet light from the Sun, electrical storms, volcanoes, and so on. Oparin believed that life evolved 
in the prebiotic soup through a series of chemical reactions of increasing complexity. The 
demonstration that a prebiotic soup could have formed in much the way that Oparin suggested is the 
major achievement of origins of life studies. How life could have evolved from such a soup is the main 
question that remains to be answered. " (Orgel, L.E., "Darwinism at the very beginning of life," New 
Scientist, Vol. 94, 15 April 1982, pp.149-151, p.149)

"We do not yet understand in detail how the prebiotic soup on the primitive Earth was formed-there are 
many possibilities. Some compounds may have been present in the dust from which the Earth accreted, 
while others could have reached the Earth in meteorites and yet others formed in the Earth's primitive 
atmosphere by the action of lightning. While the details remain a matter of speculation, the general 
principle that important biochemicals are readily formed abiotically is well established. Amino acids and 
nucleotide bases are the major components of our genetic system in part because they were abundant 
components of the prebiotic soup. Prebiotic soup is easy to obtain. We must next explain how a 
prebiotic soup of organic molecules, including amino acids and the organic, constituents of nucleotides 
evolved into a self-replicating organism. While some suggestive evidence has been obtained, I must 
admit that attempts to reconstruct the evolutionary process are extremely tentative." (Orgel, L.E., 
"Darwinism at the very beginning of life," New Scientist, Vol. 94, 15 April 1982, pp.149-151, p.150)

"Amino acids have been polymerased to give short, almost random, polypeptides in a number of ways. 
Sugars, nucleoside bases and phosphate can be combined to form the biologically important 
nucleotides under prebiotic conditions. In addition, random polymerisation of nucleotides to give short 
oligomers has been achieved experimentally. Thus relatively crude prebiotic syntheses of short random 
polymers resembling proteins and nucleic acids are already known. The major difficulties, intellectual 
and experimental, concern the biological organisation How did molecular replication begin? How did 
the genetic code evolve? Were the first replicating systems surrounded by a membrane? If so, what 
was it made of?" (Orgel, L.E., "Darwinism at the very beginning of life," New Scientist, Vol. 94, 15 
April 1982, pp.149-151, p.150)

"The ultimate objective of experiments of this kind is to develop a simple system, not dependent on 
biological enzymes, in which a polynucleotide of arbitrary sequence will facilitate the efficient synthesis 
of its complementary sequence. This would represent a major step towards understanding how nucleic-
acid replication could have evolved, and we have made substantial progress in this direction. 
Theoretical studies show that no great increase in biological complexity could occur until the nucleic-
acid replication system became coupled to the synthesis of polypeptides. The original coupling may, of 
course, have been far less precise than that which underlies the modern genetic code, but some 
primitive form of coding seems to be needed for the evolution of early life." (Orgel, L.E., "Darwinism at 
the very beginning of life," New Scientist, Vol. 94, 15 April 1982, pp.149-151, pp.150-151)

"Complex biological systems could not survive unless they had a method of holding together their 
constituent macromolecules. Nowadays, the cell membrane performs, this function, so it is not 
surprising that a close analogue of the cell membrane has often been considered to be a necessary 
early feature in the development of cellular life. This view is not without its-difficulties. Modern cell 
membranes include channels and pumps which specifically control the influx and efflux of nutrients, 
waste products, metal ions and so on. These specialised channels involve highly specific proteins, 
molecules that could not have been present at the very beginning of the evolution of life. An 
impermeable membrane, without specific channels, would have been a disadvantage rather than an 
advantage early in the history of life, because it would have kept the useful components of the pre-
biotic medium outside and beyond the reach of the `cell's' machinery. It seems likely, therefore, that the 
macromolecular constituents of the earliest forms of biological organisation stayed together by some 
sort of self-aggregation, perhaps stuck to mineral surfaces, in a form that permitted ready access to 
nutrients in the `external environment.' The development of a continuous membrane probably occurred 
relatively late, after complex-metabolic pathways had evolved. Once a self-sufficient system of nucleic 
acids and proteins enclosed in an impermeable membrane had evolved, we enter the realm of 
evolutionary theory and all that that entails." (Orgel, L.E., "Darwinism at the very beginning of life," 
New Scientist, Vol. 94, 15 April 1982, pp.149-151, p.151)

"There is a deep personal drive behind the search for human origins. True, paleoanthropology can be as 
technical in its approach as many another scientific discipline: from statistical analysis to the arcane data of 
molecular biology, the pursuit of human origins is intellectually demanding and rigorous. But it is more than 
that. Because the target of the search is ourselves, the enterprise takes on a dimension absent from other 
sciences. It is in a sense extrascientific, more philosophical and metaphysical, and it addresses questions 
that arise from our need to understand the nature of humanity and our place in the world. Each time I give a 
public lecture, I am reminded of this need to know about ourselves. The audiences that come to hear me are, 
I often feel, seeking a kind of reassurance. I talk about fossils and anthropological theories, and the people 
ask me whether monkeys can know the meaning of sin and what will happen next. Once, about ten years 
ago, an elderly lady, clearly concerned, wanted me to tell her whether it was true, as she had heard, that 
`humans are only a historical accident.' I could tell her about Earth history and the fossil record. I could 
discuss chance and evolution. And I could describe alternative worlds, without humans, perfectly plausible 
worlds. But it was clear that she really wanted to be told that no, humans are not a biological accident; 
Homo sapiens was bound to happen. Her humanness, her urge to make sense of her world, seemed to 
demand that it be so. Paleoanthropology, therefore, has a mixture of scientific and extrascientific elements. 
Most of the time, of course, we professionals are concerned with the bones themselves: how anatomical 
constellations in one cranium may relate to similar constellations in another, the two perhaps being 
separated by a million years of evolutionary history. It is an absorbing occupation, one that tests our 
abilities to recognize genetic links in the most meager of physical evidence. The philosophical element is 
always present, but usually as an unspoken rhythm to our work." (Leakey, R.E. & Lewin, R., "Origins 
Reconsidered: In Search of What Makes Us Human," [1992], Abacus: London, 1993, reprint, p.xvi) 

"Personification Man projects himself into nature: animism is found everywhere in the world. Primitive 
peoples almost universally attribute human characteristics to natural phenomena. Storms are conceived of 
as angry gods, perhaps gods that can be propitiated. This leads to ceremonies which give the feeling of 
dealing with a recalcitrant nature. At the same time, since nature is made over in man's image, man is able to 
feel the security of kinship. Nature becomes humanized, she can be dealt with, understood. Events on Earth 
cease to be pitiless and inexorable; they respond to the will of gods, who also exhibit all the passions from 
anger to love. So one may make his way through life's dangers by staying on the right side of the gods, 
propitiating them when they seem displeased, playing one god against another, seeking their help against 
enemies (who need no personifying) or against illness which is usually conceived as possession by spirits 
or devils. By animism man escapes his aloneness in an indifferent world. Allegedly civilized people differ 
from primitive men in projecting themselves into nature chiefly in the degree to which they believe in their 
personifications. Children people the dark with terrors, and they build castles in the clouds. Still, the child 
who sees a dreadful thing in the ink-blot is not much different from the adult who sees a menace in the 
forces of nature (the "pathetic fallacy") or endless conspiracy in the hearts of men ("paranoia"). There are 
less dramatic forms of projection. If we interpret the activities of ants, say, in terms of concepts derived from 
human society, we are misapplying the concepts in a fanciful way. The nature-lover who praises the 
"industry" of the ants, or complains of the "cruelty" of weasels, the "matriarchy" in a beehive or the 
"neglect of maternal obligations" of the cuckoo, is either playful or foolish. Strictly, "animism" refers to the 
primitive belief that rocks, trees, etc., have independent life and soul, but the term currently applies to a more 
general projection of soul into nature: like man, the world and its parts live, feel, strive. Striving, motivation, 
purpose, desire are human traits. It is risky to attribute them to other creatures, however much they may at 
times seem to behave like people." (Fearnside, W.W. & Holther, W.B., "Fallacy: The Counterfeit of 
Argument," Prentice-Hall: Englewood Cliffs NJ, 1959, Eleventh Printing, pp.115-116. Emphasis original) 

"The process at work in hypostatization is similar to personification. To personify is to ascribe to things 
or animals properties that only human beings possess. It is to speak of things or creatures that are not 
persons as if they were persons. For example, we personify if we complain of the `cruelty of weasels' 
because weasels being innocent creatures, cannot be considered either kind or cruel. To be cruel is to intend 
and plan some harm, knowing that it will cause pain, whereas weasels are not capable, as far as we I know, of 
entertaining such designs. They simply are as they are and do as they do. The same applies to expressions 
such as `the cruel sea.' Understood literally, this personification is simply false. To hypostatize is to speak of 
abstract entities in terms that are similarly appropriate only for persons. It is thus that we may say, `The 
state can do no wrong,' or `Science makes progress,' or `Nature decrees what is right.' Since no one of the 
three-the state, science, or nature-is capable of thought or intention, it is absurd to suppose that such 
abstractions are capable of the activities attributed to them in the statements above. Only persons, not the 
state, can be said to do right or wrong, only scientists can make progress, and nature has no voice with 
which to utter decrees. To be sure, we do not usually lose sight of reality in most instances when we resort 
to hypostatization. ... As an indication of the dangers inherent in hypostatization, consider this argument: ... 
Nature produces improvements in a race by eliminating the unfit and preventing them from polluting the 
gene pool of the fit. Therefore it is only right for us to eliminate these unfit people. Nature is especially 
favored as a subject for hypostatization, perhaps because it is such a complicated abstraction that we have 
difficulty speaking of it at all without concretizing it. In argument a above, nature is endowed with an ability 
to know what is an `improvement' and what is not, what is `fit' and what is `unfit,' although it is unrealistic to 
impute to nature any humanlike intelligence or intention." (Engel, S.M., "With Good Reason: An 
Introduction to Informal Fallacies," St. Martin's Press: New York NY, Fourth Edition, 1990, pp.89-90. 
Emphasis original) 

"In another article written in 1866 to criticize a brave new world that often forgot, and more frequently 
disparaged, the discoveries of previous generations, von Baer made a rueful comment that deserves 
enshrinement as one of the great aphorisms in the history of science. Invoking Agassiz, his younger friend 
and boon companion in rejecting the new theory of mechanistic evolution, von Baer wrote:`Agassiz says 
that when a new doctrine is presented, it must go through three stages. First, people say that it isn't true, 
then that it is against religion, and in the third stage, that it has long been known.' (Author's translation)" 
(Gould, S.J., "Abscheulich! - Atrocious! - the precursor to the theory of natural selection," Natural 
History, Vol. 109, No. 2, March 2000, pp.42-49)

"In October 1838, that is, fifteen months after I had begun my systematic enquiry, I happened to read for 
amusement Malthus on Population, and being well prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence 
which everywhere goes on from long-continued observation of the habits of animals and plants, it at once 
struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved, and 
unfavourable ones to be destroyed. The result of this would be the formation of new species. Here, then, I 
had at last got a theory by which to work; but I was so anxious to avoid prejudice, that I determined not for 
some time to write even the briefest sketch of it. In June 1842 I first allowed myself the satisfaction of writing 
a very brief abstract of my theory in pencil in 35 pages; and this was enlarged during the summer of 1844 
into one of 230 pages, which I had fairly copied out and still possess." (Darwin, C.R., in Barlow N., ed., "The 
Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809-1882: With Original Omissions Restored," [1958], W.W. Norton & 
Co: New York, 1969, reprint, p.120)@

"But at that time I overlooked one problem of great importance ; and it is astonishing to me, except on the 
principle of Columbus and his egg, how I could have overlooked it and its solution. This problem is the 
tendency in organic beings descended from the same stock to diverge in character as they become modified. 
That they have diverged greatly is obvious from the manner in which species of all kinds can be classed 
under genera, genera under families, families under suborders, and so forth; and I can remember the very 
spot in the road, whilst in my carriage, when to my joy the solution occurred to me; and this was long after I 
had come to Down. The solution, as I believe, is that the modified offspring of all dominant and increasing 
forms tend to become adapted to many and highly diversified places in the economy of nature." (Darwin 
C.R., in Barlow N., ed., "The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809-1882: With Original Omissions 
Restored," [1958], W.W. Norton & Co: New York, 1969, reprint, pp.120-121)

"Early in 1856 Lyell advised me to write out my views pretty fully, and I began at once to do so on a scale 
three or four times as extensive as that which was afterwards followed in my Origin of Species; yet it was 
only an abstract of the materials which I had collected, and I got through about half the work on this scale. 
But my plans were overthrown, for early in the summer of 1858 Mr Wallace,' who was then in the Malay 
archipelago, sent me an essay On the Tendency of Varieties to depart indefinitely from the Original Type; 
and this essay contained exactly the same theory as mine. Mr Wallace expressed the wish that if I thought 
well of his essay, I should send it to Lyell for perusal." (Darwin, C.R., in Barlow N., ed., "The Autobiography 
of Charles Darwin, 1809-1882: With Original Omissions Restored," [1958], W.W. Norton & Co: New York, 
1969, reprint, p.121)

"The circumstances under which I consented at the request of Lyell and Hooker to allow of an extract from 
my MS., together with a letter to Asa Gray, dated September 5, 1857, to be published at the same time with 
Wallace's Essay, are given in the Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society, 1858, p.45. I was at 
first very unwilling to consent, as I thought Mr Wallace might consider my doing so unjustifiable, for I did 
not then know how generous and noble was his disposition. The extract from my MS. and the letter to Asa 
Gray had neither been intended for publication, and were badly written. Mr Wallace's essay, on the other 
hand, was admirably expressed and quite clear." (Darwin, C.R., in Barlow N., ed., "The Autobiography of 
Charles Darwin, 1809-1882: With Original Omissions Restored," [1958], W.W. Norton & Co: New York, 1969, 
reprint, pp.121-122) 

"AFTER the Origin of Species was published in 1859, Darwin wrote to the Reverend Baden Powell, `If I 
have taken anything from you, I assure you it has been unconsciously.' [Darwin, C.R., in de Beer, G.R., ed., 
"Some Unpublished Letters of Charles Darwin," Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, Vol. 
14, No.1, June 1959, p.53] This was in response to a letter in which Powell had reproved Darwin for not 
referring to one of his works. ... Darwin's own excuse of the `unconscious' has been increasingly used in 
recent years by defenders of the great biologist in considering the problem of Darwin's meager attention to 
his predecessors. If Darwin `unconsciously' borrowed material without acknowledgment, some scholars 
imply that no blame can be attributed to him. Rather, they frown upon those historians of science who 
persist in probing beneath the insights of genius in order to seek the sources of their inspiration. Yet we 
must still ask, was the one man who should know where he got the idea of his famous theory unconscious 
of where he got it? Or did he consciously draw a veil over one predecessor in particular, rationalizing, 
perhaps, as he is known to have done on one occasion, when he implied that the man who successfully 
convinces the public of a new idea deserves all the credit which may accrue to him. [Darwin, C.R., in Barlow, 
N., ed., "The Autobiography of Charles Darwin," Norton: New York, 1958, p.125]." (Eiseley, L.C., "Darwin, 
Coleridge, and the Theory of Unconscious Creation," in "Darwin and the Mysterious Mr. X," E.P. Dutton: 
New York NY, 1979, pp.81-82. Emphasis original) 

"The theory of the `unconscious' has been emphasized by Darwinian defenders particularly following the 
publication in 1959, in the Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, of my article exploring the 
possible role played by Edward Blyth in the formulation of the theory of natural selection. [Eiseley, L.C., 
"Charles Darwin, Edward Blyth, and the Theory of Natural Selection,", Proceedings of the American 
Philosophical Society Vol. 103, No. 1, February 1959, pp.94-114] The publication of Darwin's Notebooks on 
Transmutation of Species [de Beer, G., ed., "Darwin's Notebooks on Transmutation of Species," Bulletin of 
the British Museum (Natural History), Historical Series, Vol. 2, Nos. 2-5, 1960], in 1960, showed clearly that 
Darwin was aware of Blyth's writings on natural selection. In the second notebook [Ibid., Second Notebook, 
Part II, Vol. 2, No. 3, p. 106] never intended for publication, reference is made to the article of 1837 in which 
Blyth writes, after having earlier described the conservative effects of natural selection: `May not, then, a 
large proportion of what are considered species have descended from a common parentage?' [Blyth, E., "On 
the Psychological Distinctions Between Man and All Other Animals," The Magazine of Natural History, 
Vol. 10, 1837, pp.131-141] Several who are unwilling to credit Blyth with influencing Darwin refuse to quote 
this line of 1837-the very year that Darwin conceived of the role of natural selection in evolution. Sir Gavin 
de Beer, who edited the notebooks, footnotes Blyth's article as mentioned by Darwin in the second 
notebook, but fails to point out its obvious import. In a brief discussion of Blyth in the introduction to the 
first notebook he at first remarks that Darwin probably owed nothing to Blyth so far as the construction of 
his theory is concerned. [de Beer, Introduction to First Notebook, Part I, Vol. 2, No. 2, p.36] He confesses, 
however, in the same paragraph; that `there is nothing improbable in his [Darwin's] having copied some from 
Blyth.' He then cautiously concedes that `Darwin (and others) may have been wrong in thinking that he 
owed him [Blyth] or them nothing on this score.' Four years later, in 1964, in his biography of Darwin, de 
Beer again retreated from a direct confrontation of the full nature of Blyth's speculations when he says that 
although Blyth `had been playing with the very tools that Darwin so successfully used, it is difficult to see 
that Darwin was indebted to him, for his conclusions were the exact negation of what Darwin was trying to 
prove.' [de Beer, G., "Charles Darwin: Evolution by Natural Selection," New York, 1964, p.102] Concerning 
this statement it is of interest to note that George Wald, writing on `Innovation in Biology,' in the Scientific 
American, remarks that 'all great ideas come in pairs, the one the negation of the other, and both containing 
elements of truth.' [Wald, G., "Innovation in Biology," Scientific American, Vol. 199, No. 3, September 
1958, p.100] Edward Blyth, as we have seen, in a moment of insight glimpsed momentarily both faces of 
natural selection. It was enough to give an astute mind like Darwin's the clue that he was seeking." (Eiseley, 
L.C., "Darwin, Coleridge, and the Theory of Unconscious Creation," in "Darwin and the Mysterious Mr. X," 
E.P. Dutton: New York NY, 1979, pp.82-84) 

"In the case of Charles Darwin, although he at no time mentioned Edward Blyth's ideas on natural selection, 
[He was able, however, to refer to everything else about Blyth's work in detail] interior evidence such as I 
produced in 1959, and which also appears in Darwin's Second Notebook on Transmutation of Species, 
shows that he was fully aware of the papers which contained these ideas. Dr. Gerald Henderson of Brooklyn 
College has kindly allowed me to utilize additional evidence from his own recent unpublished investigations 
at the Cambridge University Library. Darwin's personal volume of The Magazine of Natural History of 
1837 reveals annotations on Blyth's paper in Darwin's own hand. Moreover, a set of Darwin's page 
reminders which include Blyth's paper has been pinned to the inside of the back page. I will not encroach 
further upon Dr. Henderson's researches except to reiterate that Darwin knew and studied the 1837 paper he 
was never to mention in print." (Eiseley, L.C., "Charles Darwin, Edward Blyth, and the Theory of Natural 
Selection," in "Darwin and the Mysterious Mr. X," E.P. Dutton: New York NY, 1979, pp.88, 248 n.26) 

"The widespread popularity of the `unconscious' theory concerning Charles Darwin can readily be explained 
by the fact that a cult of hero worship has developed about the great biologist, such as frequently happens 
to a prominent innovator in any field . Darlington, the British geneticist, has commented ironically: `Among 
scientists there is a natural feeling that one of the greatest of our figures should not be dissected, at least by 
one of us.' [Darlington, C.D., "Darwin's Place in History" Oxford, 1959, p.57] In the face of evidence that 
Darwin made unacknowledged use of material from Blyth, the theory of the unconscious is the easiest, most 
polite way of evading the exploration of a delicate subject. Numerous naturalists who would never treat 
contemporaries so gently under similar circumstances are eager to make a `sleep-walker' of a scientist whose 
letters and notes are models of persistent conscious inquiry upon a great range of subject matter." (Eiseley, 
L.C., "Charles Darwin, Edward Blyth, and the Theory of Natural Selection," in "Darwin and the Mysterious 
Mr. X," E.P. Dutton: New York NY, 1979, pp.89-90) 

"The paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson, referring to Darwin's statement in his autobiography that 
he `never happened to come across a single one [naturalist] who seemed to doubt about the 
permanence of species,' and Darwin's belief that he owed no debt to his predecessors, said: `These are 
extraordinary statements. They cannot be literally true, yet Darwin cannot be consciously lying, and he 
may therefore be judged unconsciously misleading, naive, forgetful, or all three.' [Simpson, G.G., 
"Charles Darwin in search of himself." Review of "The Autobiography of Charles Darwin," by Nora 
Barlow, ed., Collins: London, 1958. Scientific American, Vol. 199, No. 2, August 1958, pp.117-122, 
p.122] Nora Barlow has also used the `unconscious' theory to explain her grandfather's denial that the 
subject of evolution was in the air. Doubtless Darwin's isolation at Down kept him from being aware of 
opinions from workers in other fields than his own, said Lady Barlow, `so that he unconsciously 
overlooked indications that belief in the permanence of species was waning.' [Barlow, N., "On Charles 
Darwin and his Grandfather Dr. Erasmus Darwin," in Barlow, N., ed., "The Autobiography of Charles 
Darwin," Norton: New York, 1958, p.153] Nevertheless some of the very journals he consulted 
contained references to the evolutionary hypothesis." (Eiseley, L.C., "Darwin, Coleridge, and the 
Theory of Unconscious Creation," in "Darwin and the Mysterious Mr. X," E.P. Dutton: New York NY, 
1979, pp.90-91)

"As opposed to the theory of the unconscious, it strikes one that Darwin was, in general, a keenly alert, 
conscious thinker, and he was so characterized by his associate, Thomas Huxley. [Huxley, T.H., in 
Huxley, L., ed., "Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley," New York, 1902, Vol. 2, p.42] It is strange 
that in Darwin's The Descent of Man and Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication  
all factual material drawn from Blyth was carefully listed but the two papers of Blyth concerning natural 
selection should be quietly ignored. It is difficult to accept this as mere coincidence. In Variation a 
footnote refers to the same volume of The Magazine of Natural History of 1835 in which Blyth's first 
paper on natural selection appeared. [Variation, Vol. 1, pp.335-336 n.8] Also a footnote in Variation 
contains the somewhat cryptic and unenlightening statement, `Mr. Blyth has freely communicated to 
me his stores of knowledge on this and all other related subjects.' [Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 164 n.1] There is no 
possibility of doubt that Darwin used and studied The Magazine of Natural History in which Blyth's 
papers appeared." (Eiseley, L.C., "Darwin, Coleridge, and the Theory of Unconscious Creation," in 
"Darwin and the Mysterious Mr. X," E.P. Dutton: New York NY, 1979, pp.90-91)

"Another odd circumstance has recently been brought to light by Gavin de Beer, even though he has 
refrained from any comment as to its potential significance. I refer to the recent disclosure that a 
number of pages are missing from Darwin's First Notebook on Transmutation of Species. The great 
importance of the first notebook in tracing Darwin's early thought has been stressed by de Beer. [de 
Beer, ed., introduction to First Notebook, Part I, "Darwin's Notebooks on Transmutation of Species," 
Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History), Historical Series, Vol. 2, No. 2, 1960, p.26] Yet fifty 
pages are missing from this notebook, in which Darwin wrote on the first page: `All useful pages cut 
out. Dec. 7/1856/. (and again looked through April 21, 1873).' [Ibid, p.41] Nothing was said about 
destroying the notes. As his son, Francis Darwin, pointed out in reminiscences of his father, Charles 
Darwin `felt the value of his notes, and had a horror of their destruction by fire. I remember, when some 
alarm of fire had happened, his begging me to be especially careful, adding very earnestly, that the rest 
of his life would be miserable if his notes and books were to be destroyed.' [Darwin, F., ed., "Life and 
Letters of Charles Darwin," London, 1888, Vol. 1, p.129] De Beer, who reported in 1960 on these missing 
pages, said they had been searched for unsuccessfully in the Cambridge University Library, at Down 
House and the Royal College of Surgeons, and in the British Museum of Natural History. `The nature 
of their contents can only be surmised after a close study of the two hundred and thirty pages that 
remain,' de Beer remarked, `and an estimate can be made of what is missing from the information and the 
argument.' [Ibid., p.26] Although there are some pages missing from the other notebooks, it is those 
from the first notebook that would seem to have the most bearing upon the origin of Darwin's theory, 
since it was begun in July 1837, before the date when he said he received his inspiration from Malthus. 
To reiterate my own words, I believe it significant that "Darwin opened his first notebook on the 
`species question' in 1837. In January of that year Edward Blyth ventured the beginning of a second 
paper in which there is comment upon the principle of natural selection.' ["Charles Darwin, Edward 
Blyth, and the Theory of Natural Selection," this volume, p.53] This comment, as we have seen, goes 
considerably beyond Blyth's first statement of 1835. It introduces, if briefly, the possibility of organic 
change. The name and work of Edward Blyth are not noted in the existing portion of the first notebook, 
although they do appear in the second." (Eiseley, L.C., "Darwin, Coleridge, and the Theory of 
Unconscious Creation," in "Darwin and the Mysterious Mr. X," E.P. Dutton: New York NY, 1979, pp.90-

"`The idea of natural selection, so far as can be seen from the extant portions of the notebooks, seems to 
have occurred to Darwin as a combination of the effects on him of the facts of variation, adaptation, and 
extinction,' observed de Beer. [de Beer, Introduction to Third Notebook, Part III, `Darwin's Notebooks on 
Transmutation of Species,' Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History), Historical Series, Vol. 1, No. 
4, 1960, p.126] Actually the missing fifty pages could have contained a great deal of information extending to 
Blyth's own views on these subjects. De Beer has avoided the suggestion that this fragmentary document 
may have contained more detailed references to Blyth's works. Since these pages compose the first part of 
the diary, their disappearance, taken with other evidence, cannot fail to hint of a genuinely `missing link' in 
the story of natural selection." (Eiseley, L.C., "Darwin, Coleridge, and the Theory of Unconscious Creation," 
in "Darwin and the Mysterious Mr. X," E.P. Dutton: New York NY, 1979, pp.91-92) 

"One statement of Darwin's, to which I have previously referred, is curiously revelatory to the student of 
character. In regard to an incidental matter of priority upon another biological matter, he wrote in his 
autobiography: `It is clear that I failed to impress my readers; and he who succeeds in doing so deserves, in 
my opinion, all the credit.' [Darwin, C.R., in Barlow N., ed., `The Autobiography of Charles Darwin,' Norton: 
New York, 1958, p.125] There is a strange indifference to historical priority here. Was Charles Darwin 
engaged in psychologically justifying a philosophy which permitted him to dismiss forerunners from whom 
he had drawn inspiration - men like his friend, `poor Blyth,' who `failed to impress' and therefore deserved no 
recognition from the world? [Darwin, C.R., in Darwin, F., ed., "Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," London, 
1888, Vol. 2, p.109] One is forced to reflect upon this possibility, which has even been seized upon and 
brought forward by later writers as a justification of Darwin's attitude toward his predecessors. There will 
always be an ineluctable mystery concerning the origin of the theory of natural selection, just as there will 
always be a shadowy web surrounding the real Charles Darwin, a web unseen but as real as the black cape 
in which we see him enveloped in a photograph taken of him on the verandah at Down at the age of 
seventy-two. One of Darwin's most ardent supporters, George Gaylord Simpson, states with perceptive 
acuteness: `The mystery persists. The man is not really explained, his inner adventures are not fully revealed 
in his own autobiography, in the family biography by Francis Darwin, or in the many other biographical 
sketches and books. There will always be something hidden, as there is in every life....' [Simpson, G.G., 
"Charles Darwin in search of himself." Review of "The Autobiography of Charles Darwin," by Nora Barlow, 
ed., Collins: London, 1958. Scientific American, Vol. 199, No. 2, August 1958, pp.117-122, p.119]" (Eiseley, 
L.C., "Darwin, Coleridge, and the Theory of Unconscious Creation," in "Darwin and the Mysterious Mr. X," 
E.P. Dutton: New York NY, 1979, pp.92-93)

"I said that cladistic taxonomy has the advantage over librarians' types of taxonomy that there is one 
unique, true hierarchical nesting pattern in nature, waiting to be discovered. All that we have to do is 
develop methods of discovering it. Unfortunately there are practical difficulties. The most interesting 
bugbear of the taxonomist is evolutionary convergence. ... we saw how, over and over again, animals have 
been found to resemble unrelated animals in other parts of the world, because they have similar ways of life. 
New World army ants resemble Old World driver ants. Uncanny resemblances have evolved between the 
quite unrelated electric fish of Africa and South America; and between true wolves and the marsupial `wolf' 
Thylacinus of Tasmania. In all these cases I simply asserted without justification that these resemblances 
were convergent: that they had evolved independently in unrelated animals. But how do we know that they 
are unrelated? If taxonomists use resemblances to measure closeness of cousinship, why weren't 
taxonomists fooled by the uncannily close resemblances that seem to unite these pairs of animals? Or, to 
twist the question round into a more worrying form, when taxonomists tell us that two animals really are 
closely related- say rabbits and hares - how do we know that the taxonomists haven't been fooled by 
massive convergence? This question really is worrying, because the history of taxonomy is replete with 
cases where later taxonomists have declared their predecessors wrong for precisely this reason. ... Who is to 
say that future generations of taxonomists won't change their minds yet again? What confidence can we 
vest in taxonomy, if convergent evolution is such a powerful faker of deceptive resemblances?" (Dawkins, 
R., "The Blind Watchmaker," [1986], Penguin: London, 1991 reprint, p.269) 

"MY DEAR LYELL,-Some year or so ago you recommended me to read a paper by Wallace in the `Annals,' 
[Annals and Magazine of Natural History, 1855]. which had interested you, and, as I was writing to him, I 
knew this would please him much, so I told him. He has to-day sent me the enclosed, and asked me to 
forward it to you. It seems to me well worth reading. Your words have come true with a vengeance-that I 
should be forestalled. You said this, when I explained to you here very briefly my views of ` Natural 
Selection' depending on the struggle for existence. I never saw a more striking coincidence ; if Wallace had 
my MS. sketch written out in 1842, he could not have made a better short abstract! Even his terms now 
stand as heads of my chapters. Please return me the MS., which he does not say he wishes me to publish, 
but I shall of course, at once write and offer to send to any journal. So all my originality, whatever it may 
amount to, will be smashed, though my book, if it will ever have any value, will not be deteriorated; as all the 
labour consists in the application of the theory. I hope you will approve of Wallace's sketch, that I may tell 
him what you say." (Darwin, C.R., Letter to C. Lyell, 18th June 1858, in Darwin, F., ed., "The Life and 
Letters of Charles Darwin," [1898], Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. I., 1959, reprint, pp.472-473) 

"MY DEAR LYELL,-I am very sorry to trouble you, busy as you are, in so merely a personal an affair; but if 
you will give me your deliberate opinion, you will do me as great a service as ever man did, for I have entire 
confidence in your judgment and honour. ... There is nothing in Wallace's sketch which is not written out 
much fuller in my sketch, copied out in 1844, and read by Hooker some dozen years ago. About a year ago I 
sent a short sketch, of which I have a copy, of my views (owing to correspondence on several points) to 
Asa Gray, so that I could most truly say and prove that I take nothing from Wallace. I should be extremely 
glad now to publish a sketch of my general views in about a dozen pages or so; but I cannot persuade 
myself that I can do so honourably. Wallace says nothing about publication, and I enclose his letter. But as 
I had not intended to publish any sketch, can I do so honourably, because Wallace has sent me an outline 
of his doctrine? I would far rather burn my whole book, than that he or any other man should think that I had 
behaved in a paltry spirit. Do you not think his having sent me this sketch ties my hands? ... If I could 
honourably publish, I would state that I was induced now to publish a sketch (and I should be very glad to 
be permitted to say, to follow your advice long ago given) from Wallace having sent me an outline of my 
general conclusions. We differ only, [in] that I was led to my views from what artificial selection has done 
for domestic animals. I would send Wallace a copy of my letter to Asa Gray, to show him that I had not 
stolen his doctrine. But I cannot tell whether to publish now would not be base and paltry. This was my first 
impression, and I should have certainly acted on it had it not been for your letter. This is a trumpery affair to 
trouble you with, but you cannot tell how much obliged I should be for your advice. By the way, would you 
object to send this and your answer to Hooker to be forwarded to me, for then I shall have the opinion of my 
two best and kindest friends. This letter is miserably written, and I write it now, that I may for a time banish 
the whole subject; and I am worn out with musing ... My good dear friend forgive me. This is a trumpery 
letter, influenced by trumpery feelings ...  I will never trouble you or Hooker on the subject again." (Darwin, 
C.R., Letter to C. Lyell, 25th June 1858, in Darwin, F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," [1898], 
Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. I., 1959, reprint, pp.474-475) 

"MY DEAR LYELL,-Forgive me for adding a P.S. to make the case as strong as possible against myself. 
Wallace might say, ` You did not intend publishing an abstract of your views till you received my 
communication. Is it fair to take advantage of my having freely, though unasked, communicated to you my 
ideas, and thus prevent me forestalling you?' The advantage which I should take being that I am induced 
to publish from privately knowing that Wallace is in the field. It seems hard on me that I should be thus 
compelled to lose my priority of many years' standing, but I cannot feel at all sure that this alters the justice 
of the case. First impressions are generally right, and I at first thought it would be dishonourable in me now 
to publish. ... P. S.-I have always thought you would make a first-rate Lord Chancellor; and I now appeal to 
you as a Lord Chancellor." (Darwin, C.R., Letter to C. Lyell, 26th June 1858, in Darwin, F., ed., "The Life and 
Letters of Charles Darwin," [1898], Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. I., 1959, reprint, p.475) 

"In our view, the evidence in this book is strong. However, there is still much resistance to this type of 
argumentation. There are many reasons for the resistance. But it can be explained, at least in part, by the 
dominance of naturalism both within science and outside science in academic culture generally, as well as 
by the religious function that evolutionary naturalism plays for many people. Darwin, it has been said, made 
the world safe for atheists. In our view that world is not as safe as atheists may think. In fact, many 
scientists have said, in various contexts, that evolutionary theory is in a period of crisis. To show this, we 
have included an appendix by John Ankerberg and John Weldon. They have compiled a list of statements, 
taken in context, to show that a number of scientists, sometimes in unguarded moments and usually without 
the intent of abandoning evolutionary theory, have frankly expressed their own intellectual doubts about 
various aspects of evolutionary naturalism." (Moreland, J.P.*, "Introduction," in Moreland, J.P., ed., "The 
Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Designer," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 
1994, p.36) 

"I think it could be argued that much of the acceptance of Darwinism (which was the major contributor to 
the abandonment of theistic science) was sociological, philosophical and spiritual (it made the world safe for 
atheists, as Richard Dawkins has said), much like what Searle has shown to be the case in the current 
acceptance of materialist research programs in the mind-body problem." (Moreland, J.P., "Theistic Science & 
Methodological Naturalism," in Moreland, J.P.*, ed., "The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an 
Intelligent Designer," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1994, p.62) 

"In many cultures, the origin of the universe is traditionally explained through tales of the creation or 
separation of the solid Earth, the waters and the sky. The stories commonly feature a belief that there is 
some device or being that acts as an intermediary between Heaven and Earth. For example, they depict real 
or mythical people and animals in celestial constellations. In the modern era, most people regard these tales 
only as colourful traditions, part of cultural history rather than of science. Some, however, have survived - 
such as the Christian creationist belief that the universe was created in a few days about 6,000 years ago. 
The flaw with all early accounts of the origin of the universe is that they devote the bulk of their attention to 
the formation of the Earth and its living creatures while, in the last few hundred years, it has become 
apparent that the Earth is a minute object in a massive universe, of interest only because we live there. It 
does not make even a footnote to a footnote in modern cosmology." (Ince, M., "How did the universe 
begin?", in Swain, H., ed., "Big Questions in Science?," Jonathan Cape: London, p.12)

"The term `ad hoc' is also used to characterize a hypothesis that accounts only for the particular fact or facts 
it was invented to explain and has no other explanatory power, that is, no other testable consequences. No 
scientific hypothesis is ad hoc in this second sense of the term, although every hypothesis is ad 
hoc in the first sense explained. A hypothesis that is ad hoc in the second sense is unscientific; since it 
is not testable, it has no place in the structure of science. The second sense of `ad hoc' fits in perfectly with 
the derogatory emotive meaning of the term. " (Copi, I.M., Introduction to Logic," [1953], Macmillan: New 
York NY, Seventh edition, 1986, p.509) 

"A hypothesis threatened by recalcitrant data can often be saved by postulating entities or properties that 
account for the data. Such a move is legitimate if there's an independent means of verifying their existence. If 
there is no such means, the hypothesis is ad hoc. Ad hoc literally means `for this case only.' But it's 
not simply that a hypothesis is designed to account for a particular phenomenon that makes it ad hoc (if 
that were the case, all hypotheses would be ad hoc). What makes a hypothesis ad hoc is that it can't 
be verified independently of the phenomenon it's supposed to explain. ... When a scientific theory starts 
relying on ad hoc hypotheses to be saved from adverse data, it becomes unreasonable to maintain belief 
in that theory." (Schick, T. & Vaughn, L., "How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New 
Age," Mayfield: Mountain View CA, California, Second edition, 1995, pp.157,159)

"The moral of this story is that for a hypothesis to increase our knowledge, there must be some way to test 
it, for if there isn't, we have no way of telling whether or not the hypothesis is true. ... Since science is a 
search for knowledge, it's interested only in those hypotheses that can be tested-if a hypothesis can't be 
tested, there is no way to determine whether it's true or false. Hypotheses, however, can't be tested in 
isolation, for, as we've seen, hypotheses have observable consequences only in the context of a 
background theory. So to be testable, a hypothesis, in conjunction with a background theory, must predict 
something more than the background theory alone. If a hypothesis doesn't go beyond the background 
theory, it doesn't expand our knowledge, and hence is scientifically uninteresting. ... Scientific hypotheses 
can be distinguished from nonscientific ones, then, by the following principle: A hypothesis is scientific 
only if it is testable, that is, only if it predicts something other than what it was introduced to explain." 
(Schick, T. & Vaughn, L., "How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age," Mayfield: 
Mountain View CA, California, Second edition, 1995, pp.160-161)

"Over the centuries Galileo's condemnation by-the Catholic church has loomed large in controversies 
between science and religion. His trial has been held up as the prime example of Christianity's hostility to 
free inquiry and to scientific progress. For example, one biography of Galileo concludes with this 
assessment: `Galileo does stand as a classic example of the evils of a totalitarian regime. He was persecuted 
and prosecuted by men who ... were afraid of the power of independent thought. Galileo queried the 
Scriptures, he made his own interpretation, and so cut right across the religious authority of the Church.... 
All they could see was a man who could disrupt their system, and they took the one course they could: they 
stifled the dissension at its source.' [Ronan, C.A., "Galileo," G.P. Putnam's Sons: New York, 1974, p.253] But 
was the conflict so clear-cut? Whose system did Galileo set out to disrupt, the religious authority of Rome 
or the scientific authority of Aristotle? How did an academic conflict originating within the university 
become a theological issue for the church? And what forces of power politics-ambition, envy, prejudice, 
rancor, special interests - propelled the conflict to its disturbing conclusion? ... Galileo's trial of 1633 was not 
the simple conflict between science and religion so commonly pictured. It was a complex power struggle of 
personal and professional pride, envy and ambition, affected by pressures of bureaucratic politics. The 
deliberations seemed to take on a life of their own, moving toward an inevitable conclusion with elements of 
a Greek tragedy. ... one should be wary of accepting the traditional interpretation of the trial, exemplified by 
Colin Ronan's conclusion: "Galileo does stand as a classic example of the evils of a totalitarian regime.... [He] 
cut right across the religious authority of the Church.... It was essentially Galileo's danger to an authoritarian 
outlook that caused his downfall ." [Ronan, C.A., "Galileo," G. P. Putnam's Sons: New York, 1974, p.253] ... 
Ronan's conclusion is a curious mixture of truth and error. He is close to the truth when he calls Galileo the 
victim of an authoritarian outlook. The problem is that he points the guilty finger in the wrong direction. To 
call the Catholic Church in the Italy of that time (a collection of independent states) a totalitarian regime is an 
anachronism. The Pope hardly had the power of a modern dictator. For example, if Galileo had stayed in the 
Republic of Venice, which had recently expelled the Jesuits for political intrigue, he would have been safe. 
The real authoritarianism that engineered Galileo's downfall was that of the Aristotelian scientific outlook in 
the universities. Only after Galileo had attacked that establishment for decades did his enemies turn their 
controversy into a theological issue. Even then it was the natural philosophers who worked behind the 
scenes with pliable church authorities to foment Galileo's trial, and finally to rob him of the reasonable 
solution worked out by the Inquisition. ... A more accurate assessment is given by Santillana: `In reality it 
was a confused free-for-all in which prejudice, inveterate rancor, and all sorts of special and corporate 
interests were prime movers.... It has been known for a long time that a major part of the church intellectuals 
were on the side of Galileo, while the clearest opposition to him came from secular ideas.... The tragedy was 
the result of a plot of which the hierarchies themselves turned out to be the victims no less than Galileo-an 
intrigue engineered by a group of obscure and disparate characters in strange collusion. [de Santillana, G., 
"The Crime of Galileo," University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, 1955, pp.xii-xiii]" (Hummel, C.E., "The 
Galileo Connection: Resolving Conflicts between Science & the Bible," Intervarsity Press: Downers Grove 
IL, 1986, pp.13, 116, 122-123)

"The greatest current controversy in phylogeny will perhaps be settled by invoking parallelophyly; it 
concerns the origin of birds. There is no argument over the conclusion that birds derived from the 
archosaurian lineage of the diapsid reptiles. But when this happened is the argument. As far back as the 
1860s, T H. Huxley called attention to the remarkable similarity of the avian skeleton to that of certain reptiles 
and concluded that the birds had descended from dinosaurs. Later, other authors postulated a much earlier 
origin, but recently the dinosaur origin has been proclaimed by the cladists with such vigor that at present it 
seems to be the most widely accepted explanation of the origin of birds. Indeed, the similarity of the pelvis 
and legs between birds and certain bipedal dinosaurs is astonishingly close ... However, the arguments of 
their opponents are also very persuasive. The fossil chronology seems to be in conflict with the dinosaur 
theory The particular bipedal dinosaurs that are most birdlike occurred in the later Cretaceous, some 70-100 
million years ago, while Archaeopteryx, the oldest known fossil bird, lived 145 million years ago. 
Archaeopteryx has so many advanced avian characters that the origin of birds must be placed 
considerably earlier than the late Jurassic, perhaps in the Triassic, but no birdlike dinosaurs are known from 
that period. Furthermore, the digits in the dinosaurian hand are 2, 3, 4 while in the avian hand they are l, 2, 3. 
Also, the anterior extremities of the birdlike dinosaurs are very much reduced and in no way preadapted to 
become wings. It is quite inconceivable how they could have possibly shifted to flight. These are only a few 
of the numerous facts in conflict with a Cretaceous origin of birds from a dinosaurian ancestry. The 
argument will probably not be fully settled until more Triassic fossils are found." (Mayr, E.W., "What 
Evolution Is," Basic Books: New York NY, 2001, pp.227-227. Emphasis original) 

"ARE THERE LAWS OF EVOLUTION? This is a question that physicists and philosophers like to ask. To 
answer it, one first needs to decide what one means by the word `law.' The kind of laws characteristic of the 
physical sciences, which can be stated in mathematical terms and have no exceptions, are sometimes also 
encountered in functional biology. Mathematical generalizations can often be applied to biological 
phenomena, like the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium relating to the distribution of alleles in populations. By 
contrast, all so-called evolutionary laws are contingent generalizations, and thus not equivalent to the laws 
of physics. Evolutionary `laws,' such as Dollo's Law of the irreversibility of evolution or Cope's Law of an 
evolutionary increase in body size, are empirical generalizations, with numerous exceptions, and are quite 
fundamentally different from the universal laws of physics. Empirical generalizations are useful for ordering 
observations and in the search for causal factors. Rensch (1947) made a particularly helpful contribution to 
this subject in pointing out that evolutionary `laws' are greatly restricted in time and place and therefore do 
not satisfy the traditional definitions of scientific laws." (Mayr, E.W., "What Evolution Is," Basic Books: 
New York NY, 2001, pp.227-228. Emphasis original) 

"For years there has been a rather heated controversy over whether chance (contingency) or necessity 
(adaptation) is the dominant factor in evolution. Enthusiastic Darwinians tended to ascribe every aspect of a 
living organism to adaptation. They argued that in every generation there is a drastic culling of each 
population, sparing on the average only two of the hundreds, thousands, or in some cases even millions of 
offspring of each set of parents. Only the most perfectly adapted individuals, they would claim, could pass 
through this ruthless process of elimination. Those who uphold adaptation as the dominant force in 
evolution have indeed a strong argument. Unfortunately, some of the strict adaptationists forgot that 
natural selection is a two-step process. To be sure, selection for adaptedness is paramount at the second 
step, but this is preceded by a first step-the production of the variation that provides the material for the 
selection process, and here stochastic processes (chance, contingency) are dominant. And it is this 
randomness of variation that is responsible for the enormous, often quite bizarre diversity of the living 
world." (Mayr E.W., "What Evolution Is," Basic Books: New York NY, 2001, p.228. Emphasis original) 

"The illustration of the swimbladder in fishes is a good one, because it shows us clearly the highly 
important fact that an organ originally constructed for one purpose, namely flotation, may be converted into 
one for a wholly different purpose, namely respiration. ... All physiologists admit that the swimbladder is 
homologous, or `ideally similar,' in position and structure with the lungs of the higher vertebrate animals: 
hence there seems to me to be no great difficulty in believing that natural selection has actually converted a 
swimbladder into a lung, or organ used exclusively for respiration. I can, indeed, hardly doubt that all 
vertebrate animals having true lungs have descended by ordinary generation from an ancient prototype, of 
which we know nothing, furnished with a floating apparatus or swimbladder." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of 
Species by Means of Natural Selection: Or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life," 
1859, First Edition, Penguin: London, 1985, reprint, pp.220-221) 

"The illustration of the swimbladder in fishes is a good one, because it shows us clearly the highly 
important fact that an organ originally constructed for one purpose, namely, flotation, may be converted into 
one for a widely different purpose, namely, respiration. ... All physiologists admit that the swim bladder is 
homologous, or `ideally similar' in position and structure with the lungs of the higher vertebrate animals: 
hence there is no reason to doubt that the swim bladder has actually been converted into lungs, or an organ 
used exclusively for respiration. According to this view it may be inferred that all vertebrate animals with 
true lungs are descended by ordinary generation from an ancient and unknown prototype, which was 
furnished with a floating apparatus or swimbladder." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species By Means of 
Natural Selection," 1872, Sixth Edition, 1994, Senate: London, pp.147-148)

"To show that any two species of organism are related in an evolutionary sense, to show for example that 
one species A, is ancestral to B, ie A -> B or that both species have descended from a common ancestral 
source, ie A <- ->B, it is necessary to satisfy one of the following conditions. Either one, to find a 'perfect' 
sequence of fully functional intermediate forms I1, I2, I3 leading unambiguously from one species to 
another, ie A-> I1 -> I2> I3 -> B, or two, to reconstruct hypothetically in great detail the exact sequence of 
events which led from A to B or from a common ancestor to A and B, including thoroughly convincing 
reconstructions of intermediate forms and a rigorous and detailed explanation of how and why each stage in 
the transformation came about." (Denton M.J., "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," Burnett Books: London, 
1985, pp.55-56) 

"BIOLOGISTS adduce as strong evidence in support of the evolution doctrine the existence in organisms of 
structures which they usually describe as rudimentary. If these were in reality rudimentary, that is to say, in 
a nascent condition, in the course of being developed, their presence would indeed afford strong support to 
the theory. Unfortunately for the doctrine, not one of these structures is rudimentary. Some of them are 
vestigial, that is to say, organs in a state of degeneration. If the evolution doctrine was merely that many 
types have degenerated since they were created or originated, then the presence of vestigial organs would 
afford strong support to it. What the doctrine demands is not vestigial, but nascent organs, and the latter 
appear to be non-existent. Such a state of affairs seems to strike at the root of the evolution doctrine. Better 
evidence of the assertion that for the last fifty years biological textbooks bring to light only that which is 
favourable to evolution and pass over unnoticed all that is unfavourable could scarcely be adduced than 
the fact that these volumes contain many references to vestigial organs, but none to nascent organs. 
Darwin, however, was not guilty of this omission. He invariably endeavoured to forestall criticism. He tried 
hard to find some examples of nascent organs. He suggested that the wing of the penguin might be a 
nascent organ of flight; to-day no zoologist accepts this suggestion. Darwin was of opinion that the 
mammary glands of the duck-billed platypus (Ornithorhynchus) may be considered `in comparison with 
the udders of a cow, as in a nascent condition.' [Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species By Means of Natural 
Selection," 1872, Sixth edition, Senate: London, 1994, pp.398-399)] As we shall notice ... later research has 
proved this view to be incorrect. Darwin's third attempt to cite a nascent organ reads as follows (Origin of 
Species, 6th ed., p. 399): 'The ovigerous frena of certain cirripedes which have ceased to give attachment to 
the ova and are feebly developed are nascent branchiae.' Even if Darwin's surmise be correct, this would be 
the case of a change in the function of an existing organ rather than the origin of an entirely new structure." 
(Dewar, D., "Difficulties of the Evolution Theory," Edward Arnold & Co: London, 1931, p.25) 

"I cannot call to mind any other structure that has been cited as a nascent organ. It may here be mentioned 
that the mammae of male mammals cannot be nascent mammary glands, as they occur in so many orders; 
moreover, there is no evidence that they are better developed to-day in any species than they were three or 
four thousand years ago. Thus, although the anatomy of thousands of species of animals has been carefully 
studied, it is impossible to adduce a single structure in any species which is indubitably or even probably in 
a nascent condition. Darwin saw that the absence of nascent organs was fatal to the theory of evolution as 
held by him, and, having failed in the attempt to discover any, he made the best of a bad business by 
disposing of it in the following summary manner (loc. cit., p. 398): `It is often difficult to distinguish 
between rudimentary and nascent organs; for we can judge only by analogy whether a part is capable of 
further development, in which case alone it deserves to be called nascent. Organs in this condition will 
always be somewhat rare; for the beings thus provided will commonly have been supplanted by their 
successors with the same organ in a more perfect state, and consequently will have become long ago 
extinct.' [Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection," 1872, Sixth edition, Senate: 
London, 1994, p.398] The flaw in this argument is obvious: if evolution be now taking place, the animals that 
are about to supplant their rivals owing to the acquisition of new and useful organs should to-day exhibit 
these latter in a nascent condition. ... The absence of nascent organs, then, indicates that evolution, as 
distinguished from degeneration or mere differentiation, is not taking place in any living animal of which the 
anatomy is known. This is quite in accordance with the fact that the breeders have not succeeded in 
producing a new family. Although nascent organs do not seem to occur in organisms, vestigial structures 
are numerous. Vestigial structures are those in a state of atrophy, apparently useless and often poorly 
developed although well developed in other animals to which they are useful. These facts, difficult to 
reconcile with the theory of evolution, are fully in accord with that of creation; because, if each type be an 
independent creation, we should expect it to be endowed with all necessary organs at the time of its 
creation. Even as the individual grows old, so does the type. In each case various organs tend to degenerate 
with the advent of old age. Moreover, in the case of the type, changed conditions may render superfluous 
certain structures that were necessary during the youth of the type." (Dewar D., "Difficulties of the 
Evolution Theory," Edward Arnold & Co: London, 1931, pp.25-27. Emphasis original) 

"Useful organs, however little they may be developed, unless we have reason to suppose that they were 
formerly more highly developed, ought not to be considered as rudimentary. They may be in a nascent 
condition, and in progress towards further development. Rudimentary organs, on the other hand, are either 
quite useless, such as teeth which never cut through the gums, or almost useless, such as the wings of an 
ostrich, which serve merely as sails. As organs in this condition would formerly, when still less developed, 
have been of even less use than at present, they cannot formerly have been produced through variation and 
natural selection, which acts solely by the preservation of useful modifications. They have been partially 
retained by the power of inheritance, and relate to a former state of things. It is, however, often difficult to 
distinguish between rudimentary and nascent organs; for we can judge only by analogy whether a part is 
capable of further development, in which case alone it deserves to be called nascent. Organs in this 
condition will always be somewhat rare; for beings thus provided will commonly have been supplanted by 
their successors with the same organ in a more perfect state, and consequently will have become long ago 
extinct. The wing of the penguin is of high service, acting as a fin; it may, therefore, represent the nascent 
state of the wing; not that I believe this to be the case; it is more probably a reduced organ, modified for a 
new function; the wing of the Apteryx [Kiwi], on the other hand, is quite useless, and is truly rudimentary. 
Owen considers the simple filamentary limbs of the Lepidosiren [lungfish]as the `beginnings of organs 
which attain full functional development in higher vertebrates'; but, according to the view lately advocated 
by Dr. GŘnther, they are probably remnants, consisting of the persistent axis of a fin, with the lateral rays or 
branches aborted. The mammary glans of the Ornithorhynchus [pltypus] may be considered, in 
comparison with the udders of a cow, as in a nascent condition. The ovigerous frena of certain cirripedes, 
which have ceased to give attachment to the ova and are feebly developed, are nascent branchiŠ." (Darwin, 
C.R., "The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection," 1872, Sixth edition, Senate: London, 1994, 

"In short, Walcott viewed the Burgess arthropods as members of five major lineages, already stable and well 
established at this early Cambrian date. But if life had already become so well differentiated along essentially 
modern lines, the five lineages must have existed at the inception of the Cambrian explosion as recorded by 
fossil evidence-for evolution is stately and gradual, not a domain of sudden jumps and mad eruptions of 
diversity. And if the five lineages existed as well-differentiated groups right at the beginning of the 
Cambrian, then their common ancestor must be sought far back in the Precambrian. The Cambrian explosion 
must therefore be an artifact of an imperfect fossil record; the late Precambrian seas, in Darwin's words, must 
have `swarmed with living creatures' (1859, p. 307). Walcott thought that he had discovered why we have no 
evidence for this necessary Precambrian richness. In other words, he thought that he had solved the riddle 
of the Cambrian explosion in orthodox Darwinian terms. ... We must remember that the Cambrian explosion 
was no ordinary riddle, and its potential solution therefore no minor plum, but something more akin to the 
Holy Grail. Darwin, as already noted, had publicly fretted that `the case at present must remain inexplicable; 
and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained' (1859, p. 308). Two different 
kinds of explanations for the absence of Precambrian ancestors have been debated for more than a century: 
the artifact theory (they did exist, but the fossil record hasn't preserved them), and the fast-transition theory 
(they really didn't exist, at least as complex invertebrates easily linked to their descendants, and the 
evolution of modern anatomical plans occurred with a rapidity that threatens our usual ideas about the 
stately pace of evolutionary change). ... We can now understand why Walcott was virtually compelled to 
propose the Burgess shoehorn. He interpreted his new fauna in the light of thirty previous years spent 
(largely in frustration) trying to prove the artifact theory, as an ultimate tribute to Darwin from a Cambrian 
geologist. He could not grant Burgess organisms the uniqueness that seems so evident to us today because 
a raft of new phyla would have threatened his most cherished belief. If evolution could produce ten new 
Cambrian phyla and then wipe them out just as quickly, then what about the surviving Cambrian groups? 
Why should they have had a long and honorable Precambrian pedigree? Why should they not have 
originated just before the Cambrian, as the fossil record, read literally, seems to indicate, and as the fast-
transition theory proposes? This argument, of course, is a death knell for the artifact theory." (Gould, S.J., 
"Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History," [1989], Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, 

"Huxley, Tyndall, and Spencer were founding members of the `X Club', a group of nine `scientific naturalists' 
who spearheaded the drive to replace the cultural dominance of conventional religion with their scientific 
(materialistic) world-view. The use of science as an ideological weapon is even more evident in the attempts 
of this group to `secularize' society than it was in the work of the Radicals, the Paleyites, and the Idealists. 
From a propagandist's point of view, this made confrontation with men like Owen inevitable, for Owen's 
idealism was a mainstay of the natural theology used during the 1860's to support the Establishment 
(Desmond, 1982). Huxley wished to read a different message from the book of Nature. In support of this 
goal, the `Young Guard' used the trappings of religion to sacralize their `science'. Three centuries of 
cooperation between science and religion was forgotten and their history was rewritten as a `warfare'. 
Hymns to nature were sung at popular lectures before the giving of `lay sermons' by a member of Galton's 
`Scientific Priesthood'. Museums were built to resemble cathedrals, and following frantic string-pulling by 
Lubbock (another X club member), Charles Darwin was buried in Westminster Abbey. The new church was 
established. The success of this `scientific naturalism' as a religious movement can be judged by are general 
acceptance of the pronouncements of the `true believers' of the `church scientific' who still exist and 
evangelize among us." (Wilcox D.L., "Created in Eternity, Unfolded in Time", Eastern College: St. Davids 
PA, 1990, Unpublished Manuscript, Chapter 2, p12)

"In London, Thomas Huxley's 'X' Club, [Bibby, C., "Scientist Extraordinary", Pergamon, 1972, pp. 58, 135] an 
influential group of nine men who were notified of meetings by the delivery of an algebraic formula and who 
always dined immediately before meetings of the Royal Society, may have suppressed Mendel's work. The 
Club mustered a Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Treasurer and three successive Presidents of the Royal 
Society, six Presidents of the British Association and several officers of the Geological, Linnaean and 
Ethnological Societies. It is certain that the 'gay and conspiratorial' 'X' Club, which was strongly evolutionist 
in character, not only influenced the appointments made for senior positions in the newly formed 
universities of the Victorian era but also, until its demise in the 1890s, practically controlled the business of 
the Royal Society. It never elected a tenth member: Busk, Frankland, Hirst, Hooker, Huxley, Lubbock, 
Herbert Spencer, Spottiswoode and Tyndall were its men. Is it possible they saw the implications of 
Mendel's paper and refused to confront them?" (Pitman M., "Adam and Evolution," Rider & Co: London, 
1984, p.64) 

"Gould was a modern master of the scientific essay, the inheritor of a tradition shaped by the likes of T. H. 
Huxley, J. B. S. Haldane, and Martin Gardner. True to form, the essays in "I Have Landed" delight in the 
unlikely intersection of science with you-name-it - the Alamo, the Red Sox, Nabokov, the mourners at Marx's 
funeral. In one piece, Gould brings together Darwin's reluctance to utter the word `evolution' and the 
reopening of the Hayden Planetarium, in 2000, to launch a marvellously lucid explanation of the difference 
between biological and stellar evolution. "When astronomers talk about the evolution of a star, they clearly 
do not invoke a ... theory like Darwin's," he writes. `Stars do not change through time because mama and 
papa stars generate broods of varying daughter stars.'" (Orr, H.A., " The Descent of Gould: How a 
paleontologist sought to revolutionize evolution," The New Yorker, September 30, 2002) 

"The biggest of Gould's theories - and the one on which his scientific legacy will surely ride - is known as 
`punctuated equilibrium.' Gould introduced punctuated equilibrium with Niles Eldredge, of the American 
Museum of Natural History, in 1972. Their starting point was simple: trust the fossils. The fossil record, they 
said, shows something surprising. Species look unchanged for vast stretches of time and then - suddenly - 
they morph. Certain species of African snail, for instance, look the same for millions of years and then 
abruptly change shell shape. The question was why. The traditional answer among evolutionary biologists 
was that species change gradually, by natural selection, and if the fossil record says different, so much the 
worse for the fossil record. This attitude isn't quite as cavalier as it sounds. Evolutionary biologists have 
always believed that the fossil record is abysmally bad. (Imagine trying to reconstruct Western history from 
two snapshots, one of Pontius Pilate and the other of Evel Knievel.) Moreover, biologists can see gradual 
adaptive change happening around them. (Think of antibiotic resistance.) So, the argument went, we're 
better off extrapolating from what we can see clearly now than trusting a fragmentary record of what 
allegedly happened then." (Orr, H.A., " The Descent of Gould: How a paleontologist sought to 
revolutionize evolution," The New Yorker, September 30, 2002)

"Gould and Eldredge believed otherwise. They said that the pattern of long stasis punctuated by sudden 
change is real. It doesn't reflect gaps in the data; it is the data. They also said - and here we move from the 
pattern to the theory side of punctuated equilibrium - that this pattern can be explained by two ideas. The 
first idea is that creatures are robust beings that resist the pressures of changing environments. This 
conservatism, they argued, reflects the complexities of development, the intricate process by which an 
organism goes from a single cell to a strapping adult: development is so tightly co÷rdinated that it can't be 
easily tinkered with without breaking down entirely. The result is no evolutionary change. This idea of 
`developmental constraints' was the most heterodox aspect of punctuated equilibrium. Darwin, after all, held 
that animals and plants are nearly infinitely pliant, adapting to the subtlest shift in the environment; Gould 
and Eldredge held that organisms are stiff and unyielding." (Orr, H.A., " The Descent of Gould: How a 
paleontologist sought to revolutionize evolution," The New Yorker, September 30, 2002)

"The second idea is that sudden change in the fossil record happens at the very moment that a species 
splits into two species. According to conventional theory, `ordinary' evolutionary change and species-
splitting have little to do with each other. If we consider two lizard populations - one on one side of a river 
and one on the other - traditional theory says that either population could start to change, say, tail length at 
any time. If we could leap forward and look at these populations a million years hence, we might find that 
although they began with identical tail lengths they now have tails of markedly different lengths. This 
wouldn't mean, however, that these lizards now belong to separate species. They would belong to separate 
species only if the two populations could no longer mate with each other and produce fertile offspring; only, 
that is, if they could no longer share genes. The genetic changes underlying this process of `speciation' are 
thought to accumulate slowly and gradually between geographically separated populations. But the 
essential point is that, under this traditional view, speciation and change in ordinary features like tail length 
are not necessarily simultaneous. This is the view that Gould and Eldredge rejected. Echoing arguments 
made by the naturalist Ernst Mayr, they claimed that speciation involves `genetic revolutions,' episodes of 
extensive genetic change that shake up much of an organism's genome. Going even further, Gould and 
Eldredge argued that only speciation - only passage through a genetic revolution - is sufficiently violent to 
break the binds of developmental constraints. The result is that all evolutionary change is restricted to rare 
moments of species-splitting. Lizards can't just go changing tail length; they can do so only when splitting 
into different species. So much for Darwinism." (Orr, H.A., " The Descent of Gould: How a 
paleontologist sought to revolutionize evolution," The New Yorker, September 30, 2002)

"Punctuated equilibrium ignited enormous controversy. The scientific literature erupted into attack and 
counterattack; conferences melted down. Even by the indelicate standards of science, the debate got ugly. 
Punctuated equilibrium was branded "evolution by jerks," and Gould was, as he says, "reviled in many 
quarters." The ferocity of the proceedings had several causes. One was that a great deal was at stake. 
Punctuated equilibrium struck at the foundations of evolution, and scientists do not, as a rule, like being 
told that their theoretical edifice teeters on a wobbly base. Then there was the matter of Gould's style. Gould 
was, by his own admission, the "most arrogant of literati," and his outsized confidence seemed to provoke 
an escalation in his (and everyone else's) rhetoric. In 1980, he brashly pronounced the modern theory of 
Darwinism "effectively dead," and predicted the emergence of "a new and general theory of evolution." 
Last, the theory of punctuated equilibrium was at odds with the evidence, unsalvageably so. There was 
simply no reason to think that speciation is a tumultuous event during which evolutionary change is 
especially likely to take place. Worse, mountains of data contradicted the claim that organisms are bound by 
developmental constraints, unable to change unless they speciate. The best of this evidence is no farther 
away than the corn on your plate or the Chihuahua on your sofa. If man can shape these things from their 
wild ancestors by artificial selection - and without speciation - talk of strong constraints is in a bad way." 
(Orr, H.A., " The Descent of Gould: How a paleontologist sought to revolutionize evolution," The New 
Yorker, September 30, 2002)

"Gould ultimately conceded all this, though at an agonizing pace that spanned decades. (In this respect, if in 
no other, he was a gradualist.) In `The Structure of Evolutionary Theory,' he admits that `we made mistakes,' 
and that prominent among these were the claims about both constraint (idea one) and speciation (idea two). 
The theory part of punctuated equilibrium was thereby gutted. But what of the pattern part? If a punctuated 
pattern characterizes the fossil record - and Gould insists that it does, and spends a good deal of `The 
Structure' trying to show that new species often appear abruptly in the fossil record alongside ancestral 
ones - what explains it? Gould concludes that the best guess was one made by the evolutionist Douglas 
Futuyma in the eighties. Futuyma's idea starts with the fact that different populations of a species often 
adapt to local features of their environments. Mice in the north, for instance, might evolve to be bigger than 
those in the south because big bodies lose proportionally less heat. But such local differences are usually 
too short-lived to show up in the fossil record. That's because populations are apt to come back into contact 
with each other, and when they do they begin to mate and so swap genes. As a result, any differences 
among the populations tend to get blended away: close encounters between northern and southern mice 
yield mid-sized mice. There's only one way to prevent this washing-out: populations must not only adapt 
but speciate. For separate species, by definition, can't swap genes and so won't lose their distinctive 
looks by genetic blending when they come into contact. This, then, might explain why, in the fossil record, 
change and speciation seem to go hand in hand. It's not that change is rare and happens only when species 
split; it's that change is common, but only if species split do the resulting differences last long enough to 
have a shot at showing up as fossils. Futuyma's idea, though, had one embarrassing blemish: it's pure 
Darwinism. Gould and his allies thus found themselves in a peculiar position: the red-hot revolutionaries 
suddenly seemed staid traditionalists. This was not, of course, lost on evolutionists, many of whom were 
still steaming over the Darwinism-is-dead business. By the nineties, most evolutionary biologists had simply 
stopped paying attention to punctuated equilibrium. At best, the theory looked like a moving target, veering 
now at breakneck speed toward Darwinism. At worst, its chief advocate seemed muddled, a mixture of 
radical rhetoric and malleable ideas. Punctuated equilibrium was down, if not out." (Orr, H.A., " The Descent 
of Gould: How a paleontologist sought to revolutionize evolution," The New Yorker, September 30, 2002)

"The worry is that all this misses what Gould was really up to. Over the years, I've come to an admittedly 
speculative view of Gould's modus operandi as a scientist. It starts from the idea that there were two figures 
looking over his shoulders as he wrote. One was Charles Darwin, but the other was Thomas Kuhn. Gould 
was steeped in Kuhn's 1962 book `The Structure of Scientific Revolutions' and his vision of alternating 
bouts of workaday `normal' science and revolutionary paradigm shifts. In `The Structure of Evolutionary 
Theory,' Gould fondly reminisces about his first reading of Kuhn as an impressionable first-year graduate 
student. Kuhn deeply affected Gould's science. One might even argue that punctuated equilibrium is little 
more than Kuhn's view of the history of ideas transferred wholesale to the history of life, an idea that is 
reinforced by the fact that Gould and Eldredge began their 1972 paper with talk of paradigms and Kuhn. 
Even the title of Gould's magnum opus seems a riff on `The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.' In fact, 
Kuhn seems to have transformed not only Gould's image of science but his image of the scientist. The 
revolutionary scientist, Gould seemed to conclude, is one who knows that big progress follows big jolts. 
Just as old and hopelessly constrained species can do nothing interesting unless they get periodically 
shaken, so old and hopelessly conservative paradigms can't give way to new science unless they receive a 
good swift kick now and then. These assaults are characterized by a great deal of noise, confusion, and hurt 
feelings. But, more than anything, they're characterized by a protagonist who's willing to stick his neck out 
farther than others dare - one who's willing to be wrong. Major progress, Gould seemed to believe, demands 
major risk. And, even if you get things wrong, science may ultimately gain. People ask questions and make 
discoveries that would otherwise have gone unasked and undiscovered. (Gould quotes the economist 
Vilfredo Pareto with approval here: "Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own 
corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself.") Gould might well then represent something new 
in the historical strata of science: the first self-consciously revolutionary scientist - the first scientist who 
set out to create a revolution at least in part because he felt that the field just needed one. If something 
like this characterizes Gould's approach, it complicates any attempt to assess his legacy. Gould's attacks on 
adaptationism may have been extreme, but fanciful Just So stories are now, thankfully, rarer. Key parts of 
punctuated equilibrium were wrong, but paleontological data are, largely due to Gould, richer than ever. 
Species selection may not make sudden sense of the fossil record, but a reinvigorated paleontology sits at 
evolutionary biology's high table. In the end, Gould's career may force us to separate two questions that are 
usually conflated: was he right, and was he good for science? It may not, after all, be a law of nature that the 
two have the same answer." (Orr, H.A., " The Descent of Gould: How a paleontologist sought to revolutionize 
evolution," The New Yorker, September 30, 2002)

"We read on the front page that the dollar has reached a new low against the Japanese yen; turning to the 
business section, we see that the stock market has gone down. The explanation we are offered might go like 
this: a more expensive yen will make Japanese imports costlier, fueling domestic inflation and tempting the 
Federal Reserve Board to raise interest rates, stifling the American economy. But one can search the back 
issues of the paper and find cases in which a dollar falling to a historic low against the yen has been 
accompanied by a rise in the market. The rationale? More expensive Japanese imports give American 
companies a competitive edge, and a cheaper dollar draws tourists from the Orient. With the slightest effort 
we can construct a logical story. In 1993 when, after reaching twenty-year lows, home mortgage rates first 
began creeping up, the change was blamed on a number of factors, including rising world gold prices (a 
signal of inflation fears) and, again, the dollar falling precipitously against the yen. Several weeks later, 
interest rates temporarily turned around again and went even lower than before, but the dollar kept on falling 
and gold kept on rising When IBM announces layoffs and its stock goes down, the rationale is obvious. 
But just as often, such events will cause a stock to rise. Why? Because, we are told, the market had already 
`discounted' the bad news and investors were encouraged that the company had become serious about cost 
cutting. There are so many variables to tweak, so much slack in the network of concepts, that you can easily 
find a neat explanation for anything that happens. There have always been those who argue that Darwinists 
are also guilty of arguing in circles, that the theory of evolution is based on a tautology: survival of the 
fittest, with the fittest defined as those which survive. Gould suggests that when scientists find themselves 
spinning Darwinian tales, they should pause and look for solid evidence that the variants they are calling 
survivors are truly fitter than those that perished. Often they may find that which creatures perished and 
which survived had less to do with fitness than with the random swing of the grim reaper. The structuralists 
go much further than Gould, arguing that the circular nature of so much Darwinian reasoning is a symptom 
of the weakness of the theory's explanatory power. " (Johnson, G., "Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the 
Search for Order," [1995], Penguin: London, 1997, reprint, pp.266-267) 

"The last element in the sociobiological argument is to reconstruct a plausible story for the origin of human 
social traits by natural selection. The general outline is to suppose that in the evolutionary past of the 
species there existed some genetic variation for a particular trait, but that the genotypes determining a 
particular form of behavior somehow left more offspring. As a consequence, these genotypes increased in 
the species and eventually came to characterize it. As an example, it is supposed that at some time in the 
evolutionary past some males were more genetically individualistic and less prone to accept indoctrination 
into group values than other males. Such nonindoctrinable males would be excluded by the group, would 
lose their protection in bad times, not get to share in group resources, and perhaps even be killed by their 
fellows. As a result; the nonindoctrinable genotypes would survive less well and leave fewer offspring, so 
that genetically controlled indoctrinability would become characteristic of the species. Similarly imaginative 
stories have been told for ethics, religion, male domination, aggression, artistic ability, etc. All one need do 
is predicate a genetically determined contrast in the past and then use some imagination, in a Darwinian 
version of Kipling's Just So Stories. The only trouble with Kipling was that he believed in the inheritance 
of acquired characteristics." (Lewontin, R.C., Rose, S. & Kamin, L.J., "Not in Our Genes: Biology, Ideology, 
and Human Nature," Penguin: Harmondsworth, Middlesex UK, 1984, p.258)

"In one sense it could be said that Malthus's images were turning full circle, for Darwin applied political 
economy to biology, and now these biological ideas were being reintegrated back into political economy, 
seemingly providing a `natural' account of the way human populations and social economies were thought 
to work. Malthus's principles were biologised and then reabsorbed into economic thought. In another sense, 
the social and the biological were scarcely separable. Malthus's remarks did not so much travel back and 
forth as exist already embedded in the same cultural context. Either way, Malthus's doctrines looked like 
incontrovertible laws of nature to a nation steeped in ' competitive economic activity, buoyed up with 
Samuel Smiles's anthems of self-help, adaptation, struggle, and survival, and as a political body fully 
engaged in territorial and commercial expansion. `It is remarkable how Darwin rediscovers among beasts and 
plants the society of England, with its division of labour, competition, opening up of new markets, 
inventions, and the Malthusian struggle for existence,' remarked Karl Marx in a letter to Engels in 1862. 
[Marx to Engels, 18 June 1862, in Marx, K., "Letters 1860-64," Vol. 41, in "Collected Works," 46 Vols., 
Lawrence & Wishart: London, 1985, p.381] Marx read the Origin of Species soon after publication, noting 
`the clumsy English style.' He understood the Origin's threat to traditional Victorian standards more 
clearly than most. `Although developed in the crude English fashion, this is the book which in the field of 
natural history, provides the basis for our views,' he continued to Engels. He repeated much the same 
comment to Ferdinand Lassalle. `Darwin's work is most important and suits my purpose in that it provides a 
basis in natural science for the historical class struggle.' [Marx 1985, pp.234, 246] Marx laughed at the British 
fear of apes. `Since Darwin demonstrated that we are all descended from the apes there is scarcely any 
shock whatever that could shake our ancestral pride.' [Marx 1985, p.543]" (Browne, E.J., "Charles Darwin: 
The Power of Place: Volume II of a Biography," [2002], Pimlico: London, 2003, reprint, pp.187-188) 

"First, there is the familiar, and I have to say rather irritating, confusion of natural selection with 
'randomness'. Mutation is random; natural selection is the very opposite of random. Second, it just isn't 
true that 'each by itself is useless'. It isn't true that the whole perfect work must have been achieved 
simultaneously. It isn't true that each part is essential for the success of the whole. A simple, rudimentary, 
half-cocked eye/ear/ echolocation system/cuckoo parasitism system, etc., is better than none at all. Without 
an eye you are totally blind. With half an eye you may at least be able to detect the general direction of a 
predator's movement, even if you can't focus a clear image. And this may make all the difference between life 
and death." (Dawkins R., "The Blind Watchmaker," [1986], Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, p.41. Emphasis 

"But I was starting to tell the story of how lenses might have evolved in the first place, from a vitreous mass 
that filled the whole eye. The principle of how it might have happened, and the speed with which it might 
have been accomplished, has been beautifully demonstrated in a computer model by a pair of Swedish 
biologists called Dan Nilsson and Susanne Pelger. I shall lead up to explaining their elegant computer model 
in a slightly oblique way. Instead of going straight to what they actually did, I shall return to our 
progression from Biomorph to NetSpinner computer models and ask how one could ideally set about making 
a similar computer model of the evolution of an eye. I shall then explain that this is essentially equivalent to 
what NiIsson and Pelger did, although they didn't put it in quite the same way." (Dawkins, R., "Climbing 
Mount Improbable," Penguin: London, 1996, pp.148-149)

"In the case of eyes, Nilsson and Pelger began by acknowledging that there are three main types of tissue in 
a typical `camera' eye. There is an outer casing to the camera, usually opaque to light. There is a layer of 
light-sensitive `photocells'. And there is some kind of transparent material, which may serve as a protective 
window or which may fill the cavity inside the cup - if, indeed, there is a cup, for we are not taking anything 
for granted in our simulation. Nilsson and Pelger's starting point - the foot of the mountain - is a flat layer of 
photocells ... sitting on a flat backing screen ... and topped by a flat layer of transparent tissue ... They 
assumed that mutation works by causing a small percentage change in the size of something, for example a 
small percentage decrease in the thickness of the transparent layer, or a small percentage increase in the 
refractive index of a local region of the transparent layer. Their question really is, where can you get to on 
the mountain if you start from a given base camp and go steadily upwards? Going upwards means mutating, 
one small step at a time, and only accepting mutations that improve optical performance. So, where do we 
get to? Pleasingly, through a smooth upward pathway, starting from no proper eye at all, we reach a familiar 
fish eye, complete with lens. The lens is not uniform like an ordinary man-made lens. It is a graded index lens 
... Its continuously varying refractive index is represented in the diagram by varying shades of grey. The 
lens has `condensed' out of the vitreous mass by gradual, point by point changes in the refractive index. 
There is no sleight of hand here. Nilsson and Pelger didn't pre-program their simulated vitreous mass with a 
primordial lens just waiting to burst forth. They simply allowed the refractive index of each small bit of 
transparent material to vary under genetic control. Every smidgen of transparent material was free to vary its 
refractive index in any direction at random. An infinite number of patterns of varying refractive index could 
have emerged within the vitreous mass. What made the lens come out 'lens-shaped' was unbroken upward 
mobility, the equivalent of selectively breeding from the best seeing eye in each generation. Nilsson and 
Pelger's purpose was not only to show that there is a smooth trajectory of improvement from a flat non-eye 
to a good fish eye. They were also able to use their model to estimate the time it would take to evolve an eye 
from nothing. The total number of steps that their model took was 1,829 if each step achieved a i per cent 
change in the magnitude of something. But there is nothing magic about t per cent. The same total quantity 
of change would have taken 363,992 steps of 0.005 per cent." (Dawkins, R., "Climbing Mount Improbable," 
Penguin: London, 1996, pp.150-151)

"MY DEAR GRAY ... I hope you have received long ago the third edition of the ` Origin.' ... I sent a copy to 
Sir J. Herschel, and in his new edition of his `Physical Geography' he has a note on the `Origin of Species,' 
and agrees, to a certain limited extent, but puts in a caution on design-much like yours. ... I have been led to 
think more on this subject of late, and grieve to say that I come to differ more from you. It is not that 
designed variation makes, as it seems to me, my deity `Natural Selection' superfluous, but rather from 
studying, lately, domestic variation, and seeing what an enormous field of undesigned variability there is 
ready for natural selection to appropriate for any purpose useful to each creature." (Darwin, C.R., Letter to 
Asa Gray, June 5, 1861, in Darwin, F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," [1898], Basic Books: 
New York NY, Vol. II., 1959, reprint, pp.165-166. Emphasis original) @

 "What a book a devil's chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering, low, and horribly cruel 
works of nature! ... You say most truly about multiple creations and my notions. If any one case could be 
proved, I should be smashed; but as I am writing my book, I try to take as much pains as possible to give 
the strongest cases opposed to me, and often such conjectures as occur to me. ... A correct reference would 
be enough for me, though it is wrong even to quote without looking oneself. ... But it is quite likely that you 
may object on the ground that you might be publishing before me (I hope to publish in a year at furthest) ... 
From Lyell's letters, he is coming round at a railway pace on the mutability of species, and authorises me to 
put some sentences on this head in my preface." (Darwin, C.R., Letter to J.D. Hooker, July 13th, 1856, in 
Darwin, F. & Seward, A.C. eds, More letters of Charles Darwin," John Murray: London, 1903, Vol. 1, 

"There is an incident in the history of biology that is well worth recounting here. It illustrates the sort of 
controversy that may attend the acceptance of a new and far-reaching theory. It also shows how biologists 
learned to use and understand the importance of controlled experiments. This incident was a controversy 
which lasted for about two hundred years. During that extended time, biology as we know it today was 
being born, and was fighting for its very existence. ... All sorts of the lower animals were considered to be 
created continuously, on the spot, from nonliving stuff-a spontaneous generation of life. Belief in 
spontaneous generation of living things was widely held, and became imbedded in the written records of 
ancient cultures. ... Francesco Redi was a biologist who lived and worked in Florence during the 
seventeenth century. He ... undertook to test the hypothesis that the blowflies produced in decaying flesh 
were the offspring of blowflies which laid eggs on the flesh. ... Redi's conclusions and the clarity of his 
experimental results shook the faith of many naturalists in the concept of spontaneous generation. ... By 
mid-eighteenth century it was fairly well established that living organisms come only from pre-existing 
organisms, at least in the case of worms, insects, and other visible forms of life. The principle that life comes 
only from pre-existing life is now known as the principle of biogenesis. ... But the advocates of 
spontaneous generation were not yet defeated. They retreated from instance to instance as the concept of 
biogenesis was advanced by adequate experimental methods. ... The history of science has shown, again 
and again, that as adherents of a general concept have to retreat to a position of pleading special cases, 
defeat is imminent. Thus it was with spontaneous generation. ... Louis Pasteur administered the coup de 
grace in 1862 when he was able to show that poor experimental technique was responsible for all of the 
evidence supporting the doctrine of spontaneous generation. The great controversy was over after two 
hundred years (1668 to 1862). The age-old idea that living things can be created spontaneously from 
nonliving substances lay dying in the dust. Biogenesis had carried the day." (Beck, S.D, "The Simplicity of 
Science," [1959], The Scientific Book Club: London, 1960, pp.41, 43-47. Emphasis original)

"But the concept of spontaneous generation lingers on. Many people of today believe that a horse hair will 
turn into a snake if it is put into water. Such people are a century behind in their education and thinking. 
Fortunately, none of them are biologists. Biogenesis-the principle that all life comes only from pre-existing 
life-is a cornerstone in modern biology. On it rests our principal concepts in genetics, comparative anatomy, 
evolution, and taxonomy. So far has scientific opinion swung toward biogenesis, that to speak seriously of 
spontaneous generation is to commit biological heresy. Heresy notwithstanding, we must postulate that 
somewhere and at some time an organism appeared where there was no organism previously. However we 
may define the word organism, the ghost of spontaneous generation still walks. At the level of our present 
knowledge, we know that spontaneous generation, as the term was conceived and used, is without factual 
foundation." (Beck, S.D, "The Simplicity of Science," [1959], The Scientific Book Club: London, 1960, p.47)

"Another point of interest is that scientific advances are products of the times. A new theory can become 
established only when general advances in knowledge and technical know-how make it possible to test it 
adequately. The world of science has to be ready for a new concept before a revolutionary theory can 
appear and survive. The germ theory of disease could not have had any meaning before the invention of the 
microscope and the acceptance of biogenesis. Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection would have 
had little significance had not the idea of evolution been already firmly established in biology. Indeed, the 
theory probably would not have come into existence at all." (Beck, S.D, "The Simplicity of Science," [1959], 
The Scientific Book Club: London, 1960, pp.47-48)

"The principle of biogenesis has been found to hold good for every organism tested, and we have no 
reason for suspecting that it might not be equally valid for every species and individual which exists on 
earth. As a matter of fact, biogenesis is so universally accepted that biologists no longer find it a worth-
while subject for research. And that brings us to another assumption that is characteristic of science-the 
assumption that nature is unified. Without this simple faith in the existence of only one set of natural 
laws, a single plan for the universe, science as we know it could not exist. The fundamental belief in a unified 
nature is a very useful assumption. Although I know nothing directly of the nutritional requirements of a 
gaudy parrot living deep in the jungles of the upper Amazon valley, I would be willing to wager my last 
dollar that it requires the same vitamins as does the chicken that laid my breakfast egg. To be sure, we know 
that different kinds of plants and animals differ in their anatomy, behaviour, and physiology. But as we learn 
more and more about them, we find more and more evidence of a thread of unity that is fundamental and 
runs through all the forms of life. ... The influence of the scientist's belief that all of nature is unified goes far 
beyond these few examples, however. This assumption gives us the extremely important freedom to apply 
the knowledge of one branch of science to the problems encountered in another. We assume that what we 
know of physics and chemistry has applications in biology. ... When we speak of the processes by which 
plants use sunlight to manufacture sugar, starch, cellulose, and a myriad of other substances, we are relying 
on the knowledge of biochemistry. If a chemist takes a plant apart and makes it manufacture sugar in a test 
tube, we assume that the same chemical reactions were going on in the plant before he ground it up. We 
assume that not only were those same chemical reactions going on in that particular plant, but also that the 
same chemical processes are going on in several million other plants, as well. We look on the universe as 
one big entity, organized and maintained by one set of rules. With this faith, it is considered that what is 
known in any one branch of natural science is important and influential in all of natural science. The ultimate 
goal in science is to fit everything, every phenomenon into one over-all concept. The arrogance of the goal 
notwithstanding, it is the basis for believing that separate events may be closely related in principle. It is on 
this basis that scientific knowledge can be systematized and organized. The assumption is that if we knew 
all there is to be known about either an atom or a living cell, we would know all there is to know of the 
universe." (Beck, S.D, "The Simplicity of Science," [1959], The Scientific Book Club: London, 1960, pp.49-50. 
Emphasis original) 

"Some theories are accepted much more readily and with much less supporting evidence. Theories for which 
science is ready are quickly accepted. A good example is Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural 
selection. The idea of evolution was not new in Darwin's time. Since the time of Aristotle, numerous 
naturalists had thought it likely that living things had undergone some kind of gradual and systematic 
change. ... By the early part of the nineteenth century, biology had developed to the point where it was 
ready to accept and use a theory of evolution. What was needed, however, was an acceptable idea on how 
such an evolution could have occurred. ... Earlier we saw that biogenesis was accepted only after a very 
impressive mass of experimental evidence was brought out to support it. Darwin's natural selection theory of 
evolution was accepted much more quickly and with practically no experimental evidence. In fact, as first 
presented, it was more of a hypothesis than a real theory. Though no experiments had been run, the 
hypothesis was consistent with an amazing array of simple observations. Biology was fully ready for the 
concept of natural selection by the time it actually appeared. ... It is now thought that natural selection is by 
no means the only important mechanism involved in evolution, however. The picture is far more complex 
than anything envisioned by Charles Darwin. Setting forth theories without experimental evidence is a 
dangerous practice." (Beck, S.D, "The Simplicity of Science," [1959], The Scientific Book Club: London, 
pp.51-52, 56-57)

"A person-scientist or non-scientist-may become so impressed with the magnificence of science and so 
imbued with the power of the scientific method, that lie may attempt to make science a way of life. This tends 
to make a religion of science, a philosophy which has been called scientism or scientific humanism. 
Scientism asserts that Christianity and other formal religions have failed, and that the only true knowledge is 
scientific knowledge. The only pathway to understanding is through the laboratory. Any conviction not 
backed by verification via the scientific method is untenable. All other forms of knowledge are held to be 
mere by-products of the human brain, patterns of thinking and superstition, as it were. Purpose, beauty, 
aspiration, immortality, have no reality; they are not to be found except through wishful thinking. It is a great 
and fundamental mistake to assert that any one body of knowledge constitutes the only true knowledge. To 
so limit the validity of human thought and experience is a narrow-minded approach to understanding. It can 
lead only to a cramped and desperate view. Science does not provide a philosophy, a religion, or a way of 
life. The attitude that science is the only avenue to truth cannot be consistently maintained, for it is to try to 
live in a universe of measurements. It is to ascribe reality to only the measurement, while denying that that 
which was measured can, in any other sense, be known. This sort of reasoning has led some to describe a 
ray of light as a ray of knowledge. We are confident that science is a measure of what goes on in the world, 
but we have no reason to believe that this measurable reality is the only knowable reality. As was pointed 
out in the discussion of vitalism and mechanism and of the problem of purpose, science is not a "nothing 
but" approach to nature. It does not show that knowledge is necessarily nothing but measurements. It does 
not prove that religion is nothing but wishful thinking. Science does not lead inevitably to scientism. 
Scientism is a philosophical system which does lip service to science in an effort to camouflage its dogma." 
(Beck, S.D, "The Simplicity of Science," [1959], The Scientific Book Club: London, 1960, p.194. Emphasis 

"If, as scientism proposes, religious knowledge should be discarded in favour of scientific interpretation, a 
number of serious problems arise. One of these problems has to do with ethical standards. On what basis 
could we build a standard of desirable human behaviour? A number of suggestions have been made. None 
of them are in any sense scientific, however, because science has nothing to say on the subject of ethics. 
Science deals with things and events as they actually occur; that is, science is concerned with `what is,' and 
not with `what ought to be.' Efforts to find an ethical standard in scientific knowledge, biology in particular, 
have been quite unsuccessful. The difficulty is that it is necessary to decide beforehand what kind of an 
ethical standard is to be considered appropriate for effective human conduct. Only then can biological 
parallels be found. Comparing a society to a living organism, with the action of each part being directed 
toward the maintenance and welfare of the whole body, is an appealing biological analogy. A standard of 
behaviour which treats each individual as a single cell in the body of a super-organism, and demands that he 
act always in the interest of the social organism, would probably lead only to the blind slavery of the 
beehive. No room for individual freedom would be found, and the system would lead to homogeneous, 
standardized populations. It has also been suggested, quite seriously, that human behaviour and the shape 
of human society should be determined by man's responsibility to biological evolution. This idea is based 
on a particular interpretation of biology, according to which only genes have any real importance. The 
organism is merely a gene carrier synthesized by the genes themselves. Evolution is the result of natural 
selection for more efficient gene carriers. The human race is responsible for seeing that this process is 
continued, so that better and higher types of human beings may be evolved. This philosophy is in no way 
scientific; it is not a necessary-or even very plausible-consequence of biological knowledge. Under such a 
plan, there would undoubtedly be considerable difficulty in deciding just what constitutes the most 
desirable direction for human evolution to take. It could, at best, lead only to the type of meaningless 
society described by Aldous Huxley in his satirical science fiction story Brave New World." (Beck, S.D, 
"The Simplicity of Science," [1959], The Scientific Book Club: London, 1960, pp.195-196)

"n contrast to these `scientifically based' suggestions, the code of ethics which is part of the Judaeo-
Christian tradition provides opportunity for a maximum of freedom, personal responsibility, and spiritual 
growth. It has frequently been suggested that the Christian ethics be retained, while the rest of the religion 
should be discarded as myth. Clearly, this is not possible, for the ethics depend on the religion for their 
meaning and authority. Without the religion as the basis, the ethics would tend to shift with the 
expediencies of the times. There is a need for ideals in the life of an individual and in the life and growth of a 
society. In science, too, ideal concepts are needed as the basis of natural laws. These ideals are quite 
unattainable, and yet they are powerful guiding principles. They provide the standards by which scientific 
progress is measured. ... Because our science is not perfect, and because we cannot work in isolation from 
the universe, these ideals cannot be fully realized. No scientist would suggest, however, that we abandon 
them. Without such guiding ideals, science would become willy-nilly and progress would shortly cease. In 
the realm of spiritual growth and awareness, religion provides a guiding universal ideal. Because humans are 
not perfect beings, these ideals are essentially unattainable. Christianity teaches that only a perfect person, 
Christ, could live a perfect life, but as long as this ideal is held before us and our lives are directed toward it 
in faith and sincerity, the ideal can be approached. To many people, this is sheer myth and mysticism. In this 
world of practicalities-satellites and wars and depressions-there seems little room or reason for such ideals. 
They may be quite willing to accept on faith the idea of scientific ideals which cannot be realized, and yet 
unwilling to subscribe to comparable spiritual ideals. To discard the spiritual ideal, but retain the ethics 
which arise from it, seems no more practical than to discard idealized scientific laws but retain the knowledge 
which is consequent from them." (Beck, S.D, "The Simplicity of Science," [1959], The Scientific Book Club: 
London, 1960, pp.196-197. Emphasis original) 

"Evolution. Keeping close track of the meanings of the word `evolution' is one of the most difficult tasks 
facing the believer who wants to practice discernment in today's world. Many popularizers of naturalism-as- 
science build their arguments on equivocation on this word, and thus many believers come to suspect that 
every use of the word is loaded with naturalistic implications. The basic meaning of the word is change over 
time. This basic meaning is simply a descriptive claim, and makes no comment on how that change may have 
taken place, nor on how extensive those changes might be. For example, in linguistics it is possible to speak 
of the `evolution of the Germanic dialects,' and in so doing to imply nothing about mechanism. When 
cosmologists speak of the `evolution of the cosmos' they need not be saying anything other than that the 
cosmos is changing over time: if they are making a metaphysical claim, they are cloaking their meaning with 
the term. This basic meaning may be employed in biology, to the effect that the creatures we see today are 
related to those whose remains we dig up in the fossils; and that the differences have to do with genetic 
changes that the descendants have inherited. For example, we can find authors who write of dingoes as 
having evolved from domestic dogs brought to Australia by the aborigines. We also find authors 
(sometimes the same ones!) who write of domestic dogs as having evolved from wolves. These two 
examples show that when we use the word in this way we make no claim as to the mechanics of the 
processes involved: in the case of the dingo, the process is a `natural' one, while in the case of our existing 
domestic dogs the process is one of selective breeding (i.e. `interference' with `nature'). If this were the only 
meaning of `evolution' in biology there would not be the kind of controversy that we find today. Christians 
who are supernaturalistic creationists would, to be sure, disagree among themselves over just how much 
genetic relatedness the various species have with each other: e.g. do dogs and coyotes share a common 
ancestor? What of dogs and foxes? Dogs and cats? However, they would all reject the claim that natural 
processes alone are adequate for explaining what we see. The reigning beliefs about evolution in our culture 
generally make a strong metaphysical claim of a naturalistic sort, and this introduces another meaning of the 
word. For example, the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT), in its official 1997 statement on 
teaching evolution, gives us this definition: `The diversity of life on earth is the outcome of evolution: an 
unpredictable and natural process of temporal descent with genetic modification that is affected by natural 
selection, chance, historical contingencies and changing environments.' Any special or supernatural activity 
of God is excluded by this definition, and indeed, by their definition of `science' (which, ironically, 
contradicts their claim that `evolutionary theory, indeed all of science, is necessarily silent on religion and 
neither refutes nor supports the existence of a deity or deities'). The non-theistic adherent of this view will 
probably prefer the earlier version of this NABT statement, which called evolution an `unsupervised, 
impersonal, unpredictable and natural process.'" ("Report of the Creation Study Committee," Presbyterian 
Church in America: Atlanta GA, 2000. Emphasis original)

"Facts are the world's data; theories are explanations proposed to interpret and coordinate facts. The fact of 
evolution is as well established as anything in science (as secure as the revolution of the earth about the 
sun), though absolute certainty has no place in our lexicon. Theories, or statements about the causes of 
documented evolutionary change, are now in a period of intense debate-a good mark of science in its 
healthiest state. Facts don't disappear while scientists debate theories. As I wrote in an early issue of this 
magazine (May 1981), "Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend 
themselves in mid-air pending the outcome." (Gould, S.J., "Darwinism Defined: The Difference Between Fact 
and Theory," Discover, January 1987, pp.64-70, p.64)

"Since facts and theories are so different, it isn't surprising that these two components of science have had 
separate histories ever since Darwin. Between 1859 (the year of publication for the Origin of Species) and 
1882 (the year of Darwin's death), nearly all thinking people came to accept the fact of evolution. ... His 
theory of natural selection has experienced a much different, and checkered, history. It attracted some 
notable followers during his lifetime (Wallace in England, Weismann in Germany), but never enjoyed 
majority support. It became an orthodoxy among English-speaking evolutionists (but never, to this day, in 
France or Germany) during the 1930s, and received little cogent criticism until the 1970s. The past fifteen 
years have witnessed a revival of intense and, this time, highly fruitful debate as scientists discover and 
consider the implications of phenomena that expand the potential causes of evolution well beyond the 
unitary focus of strict Darwinism (the struggle for reproductive success among organisms within 
populations). Darwinian selection will not be overthrown; it will remain a central focus of more inclusive 
evolutionary theories. But new findings and interpretations at all levels, from molecular change in genes to 
patterns of overall diversity in geological time, have greatly expanded the scope of important causes-from 
random, selectively neutral change at the genetic level, to punctuated equilibria and catastrophic mass 
extinction in geological time." (Gould, S.J., "Darwinism Defined: The Difference Between Fact and Theory," 
Discover, January 1987, pp.64-70, p.64)

"Nevertheless, in June, 1861, Mr. Darwin writes again to Dr. Gray: `I have been led to think more on this 
subject of late, and grieve to say that I come to differ more from you. It is not that designed variation makes, 
as it seems to me, my deity of 'Natural Selection' superfluous, but rather from studying, lately, domestic 
variation, and seeing what an enormous field of undesigned variability there is ready for natural selection to 
appropriate for any purpose useful to each creature.' [Darwin, C.R., in Darwin, F., ed., "The Life and Letters 
of Charles Darwin," John Murray: London, 1888, Vol. II. p.373]. And a month later he writes to Miss Julia 
Wedgwood: `Owing to several correspondents I have been led lately to think, or rather to try to think over 
some of the chief points discussed by you. But the result has been with me a maze something like thinking 
on the origin of evil, to which you allude. The mind refuses to look at this universe, being what it is, without 
having been designed; yet, where one would most expect design, viz. in the structure of a sentient being, 
the more I think on the subject, the less I can see proof of design. Asa Gray and some others look at each 
variation, or at least at each beneficial variation (which A. Gray would compare with the rain-drops which do 
not fall on the sea, but on to the land to fertilize it) as having been providentially designed. Yet when I ask 
him whether he looks at each variation of the rock-pigeon, by which man has made by accumulation a pouter 
or fantail pigeon, as providentially designed for man's amusement, he does not know what to answer; and if 
he, or anyone, admits [that] these variations are accidental, as far as purpose is concerned (of course not 
accidental as to their cause or origin), then I can see no reason why he should rank the accumulated 
variations by which the beautifully adapted woodpecker has been formed, as providentially designed. For it 
would be easy to imagine the large crop of the pouter, or tail of the fantail, as of some use to birds, in a state 
of nature, having peculiar habits of life. These are the considerations which perplex me about design; but 
whether you will care to hear them, I know not.' [Ibid., pp.313-314] The most careless reader of this letter 
cannot fail renewedly to feel that while what was on trial before Mr. Darwin's thought was not the argument 
`from design' so much as general providence, yet he falls here again into the confusion of confining his view 
of God's possible purpose in directing any course of events to the most proximate result, as if it were the 
indications of design in a given organism which he was investigating. If, however, it is the existence of a 
general and all-comprehending plan in God's mind, for the working out of which He directs and governs all 
things, that we are inquiring into, the ever recurring argument from the pouter and fantail pigeons is 
irrelevant, proceeding as it does on the unexpressed premise that God's direction of their variations can be 
vindicated only if these variations can be shown to be beneficial to the pigeons themselves and that in a 
state of nature. It is apparently an unthought thought with Mr. Darwin that the abundance of variations 
capable of misdirection on man's part for his pleasure or profit, while of absolutely no use to the bird in a 
state of nature, and liable to abuse for the bird and for man in the artificial state of domestication, may yet be 
a link in a great chain which in all its links is preordained for good ends whether morally, mentally, or even 
physically, whether in this world or in the next. This narrowness of view, which confined his outlook to the 
immediate proximate result, played so into the hands of his confusion of thought about the word `design' as 
from the outset fatally to handicap his progress to a reasoned conclusion." (Warfield, B.B., "Charles 
Darwin's Religious Life: A Sketch in Spiritual Biography," in "Studies in Theology," [1932], Banner of Truth: 
Edinburgh, 1988, reprint, pp.562-563) 

"The history of his yielding up Christianity, because, as he said, `it is not supported by evidence' [National 
Reformer, October 29th, 1882] - that is, because its appropriate evidence, being historical, is of a kind which 
lay outside of his knowledge or powers of estimation - was therefore paralleled by his gradual yielding up of 
his reasoned belief in God, because all the evidences of His activities are not capable of being looked at in 
the process of a dissection under the simple microscope. We have seen him at last reaching a position in 
which no evidence which he could even imagine would suffice to prove the historical truth of Christianity to 
him. He was fast drifting into a similar position about design. He writes to Dr. Gray, apparently in September, 
1861: `Your question what would convince me of Design is a poser. If I saw an angel come down to teach us 
good, and I was convinced from others seeing him that I was not mad, I should believe in design. If I could 
be convinced thoroughly that life and mind was in an unknown way a function of other imponderable force, 
I should be convinced. If man was made of brass or iron and no way connected with any other organism 
which had ever lived, I should perhaps be convinced. But this is childish writing.' [Darwin, C.R., in Darwin, 
F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," John Murray: London, 1888, Vol. II. p.377] And so indeed it 
is, and in a sense in which Mr. Darwin scarcely intended. But such words teach us very clearly where the 
real difficulty lay in his own mind. Life and mind with him were functions of matter; and he could not see that 
any other concause in bringing new births into the world, could be witnessed to by the nature of the results, 
than the natural forces employed in the natural process of reproduction. He believed firmly that 
indiscriminate variation, reacted upon through natural laws by the struggle for existence, was the sufficient 
account of every discrimination in organic nature-was the vera causa of all forms which life took; and 
believing this, he could see no need of God's additional activity to produce the very same effects, and could 
allow no evidence of its working. `I have lately,' he continues in the letter to Dr. Gray just quoted, `been 
corresponding with Lyell, who, I think, adopts your idea of the stream of variation having been led or 
designed. I have asked him (and he says he will hereafter reflect and answer me) whether he believes that 
the shape of my nose was designed. If he does I have nothing more to say. If not, seeing what Fanciers 
have done by selecting individual differences in the nasal bones of pigeons, I must think that it is illogical to 
suppose that the variations, which natural selection preserves for the good of any being, have been 
designed. But I know that I am in the same sort of muddle (as I have said before) as all the world seems to be 
in with respect to free will, yet with everything supposed to have been foreseen or pre-ordained.' [Ibid., 
p.378] And again, a few months later, still laboring under the same confusion, he writes to the same 
correspondent: `If anything is designed, certainly man must be: one's "inner consciousness" (though a false 
guide) tells one so; yet I cannot admit that men's rudimentary mammae ... were designed. If I was to say I 
believed this, I should believe it in the same incredible manner as the orthodox believe the Trinity in Unity. 
You say that you are in a haze; I am in thick mud; ... yet I cannot keep out of the question.' [Ibid, p.382] One 
wonders whether Mr. Darwin, in examining a door-knocker carved in the shape of a face, would say that he 
believed the handle was `designed,' but could not admit that the carved face was `designed.' Nevertheless, 
an incised outline on a bit of old bone, though without obvious use, or a careless chip on the edge of a flint, 
though without possible use, would at once be judged by him to be `designed' - that is, to be evidence, if 
not of obvious contrivance, yet certainly of intentional activity. Why he could not make a similar distinction 
in natural products remains a standing matter of surprise." (Warfield, B.B., "Charles Darwin's Religious Life: 
A Sketch in Spiritual Biography," in "Studies in Theology," [1932], Banner of Truth: Edinburgh, 1988, 
reprint, pp.563-565) 

"Nor was the setting aside of teleology merely the discrediting of one theistic proof in order to clear the way 
for others. The strong acid of Mr. Darwin's theory of the origin of man ate into the very heart of the other 
proofs as surely, though not by the same channel, as it had eaten into the fabric of the argument from 
design. We have already seen him speaking of the demand of the mind for a sufficient cause for the universe 
and its contents as possessing great weight with him; and he realized the argumentative value of the human 
conviction, arising from the feelings of dependence and responsibility, that there is One above us on whom 
we depend and to whom we are responsible. But both these arguments were, in his judgment, directly 
affected by his view of the origin of man's mental and moral nature, as a development, by means of the 
interworking of natural laws alone, from the germ of intelligence found in brutes. We have seen how 
uncompromisingly he denied to Lyell the need or propriety of postulating any additional powers or any 
directing energy for the production of man's mental and moral nature. In the same spirit he writes 
complainingly to Mr. Wallace in 1869: `I can see no necessity for calling in an additional and proximate 
cause in regard to man.' [Darwin, C.R., in Darwin, F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," John 
Murray: London, 1888, Vol. III. p.116] This being so, he felt that he could scarcely trust man's intuitions or 
convictions. And thus he was able at the end of his life (1881) to acknowledge his `inward conviction ... that 
the Universe is not the result of chance,' and at once to add: `But then with me the horrid doubt always 
arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, 
are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would anyone trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are 
any convictions in such a mind?' [Ibid., I, p.316] It is illustrative of Mr. Darwin's strange confusion of 
thought on metaphysical subjects that he does not appear to perceive that this doubt, if valid at all, ought to 
affect not only the religious convictions of men, but all their convictions; and that it, therefore, undermines 
the very theory of man's origin, because of which it arises within him. There is not a whit more reason to 
believe that the processes of physical research and the logical laws by means of which inferences are drawn 
and inductions attained are trustworthy, than that these higher convictions, based on the same mental laws, 
are trustworthy; and the origin of man's mind from a brutish source, if fatal to trust in one mental process, is 
fatal to trust in all the others, throwing us, as the result of such a plea, into sheer intellectual suicide." 
(Warfield, B.B., "Charles Darwin's Religious Life: A Sketch in Spiritual Biography," in "Studies in 
Theology," [1932], Banner of Truth: Edinburgh, 1988, reprint, pp.568-569) 

"Let us now briefly consider the steps by which domestic races have been produced, either from one or from 
several allied species. Some effect may be attributed to the direct and definite action of the external 
conditions of life, and some to habit; but he would be a bold man who would account by such agencies for 
the differences between a dray- and race-horse, a greyhound and bloodhound, a carrier and tumbler pigeon. 
One of the most remarkable features in our domesticated races is that we see in them adaptation, not indeed 
to the animal's or plant's own good, but to man's use or fancy. ... when we compare the dray horse and race 
horse, the dromedary and camel, the various breeds of sheep fitted either for cultivated land or mountain 
pasture, with the wool of one breed good for one purpose, and that of another breed for another purpose; 
when we compare the many breeds of dogs, each good for man in different ways ... we must, I think, look 
further than to mere variability. We cannot suppose that all the breeds were suddenly produced as perfect 
and as useful as we now see them; indeed, in many cases, we know that this has not been their history. The 
key is man's power of accumulative selection: nature gives successive variations; man adds them up in 
certain directions useful to him. In this sense he may be said to have made for himself useful breeds. ...  Can 
the principle of selection, which we have seen is so potent in the hands of man, apply under nature? I think 
we shall see that it can act most efficiently." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species By Means of Natural 
Selection," Sixth Edition, 1872, Senate: London, 1994, pp.22, 62) 

"Eyes don't fossilize, so we don't know how long our type of eye took to evolve its present complexity and 
perfection from nothing, but the time available is several hundred million years. Think, by way of 
comparison, of the change that man has wrought in a much shorter time by genetic selection of dogs. In a 
few hundreds, or at most thousands, of years we have gone from wolf to Pekinese, Bulldog, Chihuahua and 
Saint Bernard. Ah, but they are still dogs aren't they? They haven't turned into a different 'kind' of animal? 
Yes, if it comforts you to play with words like that, you can call them all dogs. But just think about the time 
involved. Let's represent the total time it took to evolve all these breeds of dog from a wolf, by one ordinary 
walking pace. Then, on the same scale, how far would you have to walk, in order to get back to Lucy and her 
kind, the earliest human fossils that unequivocally walked upright? The answer is about 2 miles. And how 
far would you have to walk, in order to get back to the start of evolution on Earth? The answer is that you 
would have to slog it out all the way from London to Baghdad. Think of the total quantity of change 
involved in going from wolf to Chihuahua, and then multiply it up by the number of walking paces between 
London and Baghdad. This will give some intuitive idea of the amount of change that we can expect in real 
natural evolution." (Dawkins R., "The Blind Watchmaker," W.W Norton & Co: New York NY, 1986, p.40. 
Emphasis original) 

"`How came he, then?' I reiterated. `The door is locked, the window is inaccessible. Was it through the chimney?' 
The grate is much too small,' he answered. `I had already considered that possibility.' `How then?' I persisted. 
`You will not apply my precept,' he said, shaking his head. `How often have I said to you that when you have 
eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? We know that he did not 
come through the door, the window, or the chimney. We also know that he could not have been concealed in the 
room, as there is no concealment possible. Whence, then, did he come?' `He came through the hole in the roof,' I 
cried. `Of course he did. He must have done so. If you will have the kindness to hold the lamp for me, we shall 
now extend our researches to the room above, - the secret room in which the treasure was found.'" (Doyle, A.C., 
"The Si 
"The Sign of Four," Penguin: London, 2001, pp.42-43. Emphasis original) 

"We may even go further, and maintain that there are certain purely physical characteristics of the human 
race which are not explicable on the theory of variation and survival of the fittest. The brain, the organs of 
speech, the hand, and the external form of man, offer some special difficulties in this respect, to which we 
will briefly direct attention." (Wallace, A.R., "Sir Charles Lyell on Geological Climates and the Origin of 
Species," Quarterly Review, Vol. 126, April 1869, pp.359-394, p.391)

"In the brain of the lowest savages, and, as far as we yet know, of the pre-historic races, we have an organ 
so little inferior in size and complexity to that of the highest types (such as the average European), that we 
must believe it capable, under a similar process of gradual development during the space of two or three 
thousand years, of producing equal average results. But the mental requirements of the lowest savages, 
such as the Australians or the Andaman islanders, are very little above those of many animals. The higher 
moral faculties and those of pure intellect and refined emotion are useless to them, are rarely if ever 
manifested, and have no relation to their wants, desires, or well-being. How, then, was an organ developed 
so far beyond the needs of its possessor? Natural selection could only have endowed the savage with a 
brain a little superior to that of an ape, whereas he actually possesses one but very little inferior to that of 
the average members of our learned societies." (Wallace, A.R., "Sir Charles Lyell on Geological Climates 
and the Origin of Species," Quarterly Review, Vol. 126, April 1869, pp.359-394, pp.391-392)

"Again, what a wonderful organ is the hand of man; of what marvels of delicacy is it capable, and how 
greatly it assists in his education and mental development! The whole circle of the arts and sciences are 
ultimately dependent on our possession of this organ, without which we could hardly have become truly 
human. This hand is equally perfect in the lowest savage, but he has no need for so fine an instrument, and 
can no more fully utilise it than he could use without instruction a complete set of joiner's tools." (Wallace, 
A.R., "Sir Charles Lyell on Geological Climates and the Origin of Species," Quarterly Review, Vol. 126, 
April 1869, pp.359-394, p.392)

"We have further to ask - How did man acquire his erect posture, his delicate yet expressive features, the 
marvellous beauty and symmetry of his whole external form;--a form which stands alone, in many respects 
more distinct from that of all the higher animals than they are from each other? Those who have lived much 
among savages know that even the lowest races of mankind, if healthy and well fed, exhibit the human form 
in its complete symmetry and perfection. They all have the soft smooth skin absolutely free from any hairy 
covering on the dorsal line, where all other mammalia from the Marsupials up to the Anthropoid apes have it 
most densely and strongly developed. What use can we conceive to have been derived from this exquisite 
beauty and symmetry and this smooth bare skin, both so very widely removed from his nearest allies? And 
if these modifications were of no physical use to him--or if, as appears almost certain in the case of the 
naked skin, they were at first a positive disadvantage--we know that they could not have been produced by 
natural selection. Yet we can well understand that both these characters were essential to the proper 
development of the perfect human being. The supreme beauty of our form and countenance has probably 
been the source of all our Šsthetic ideas and emotions, which could hardly have arisen had we retained the 
shape and features of an erect gorilla; and our naked skin, necessitating the use of clothing, has at once 
stimulated our intellect, and by developing the feeling of personal modesty may have profoundly affected 
our moral nature." (Wallace, A.R., "Sir Charles Lyell on Geological Climates and the Origin of Species," 
Quarterly Review, Vol. 126, April 1869, pp.359-394, pp.392-393)

"The same line of argument may be used in connexion with the structural and mental organs of human 
speech, since that faculty can hardly have been physically useful to the lowest class of savages; and if not, 
the delicate arrangements of nerves and muscles for its production could not have been developed and co-
ordinated by natural selection. This view is supported by the fact that, among the lowest savages with the 
least copious vocabularies, the capacity of uttering a variety of distinct articulate sounds, and of applying 
to them an almost infinite amount of modulation and inflection, is not in any way inferior to that of the 
higher races. An instrument has been developed in advance of the needs of its possessor." (Wallace, A.R., 
"Sir Charles Lyell on Geological Climates and the Origin of Species," Quarterly Review, Vol. 126, 
April 1869, pp.359-394, p.393)

"This subject is a vast one, and would require volumes for its proper elucidation, but enough, we think, has 
now been said, to indicate the possibility of a new stand-point for those who cannot accept the theory of 
evolution as expressing the whole truth in regard to the origin of man. While admitting to the full extent the 
agency of the same great laws of organic development in the origin of the human race as in the origin of all 
organized beings, there yet seems to be evidence of a Power which has guided the action of those laws in 
definite directions and for special ends. And so far from this view being out of harmony with the teachings 
of science, it has a striking analogy with what is now taking place in the world, and is thus strictly 
uniformitarian in character. Man himself guides and modifies nature for special ends. The laws of evolution 
alone would perhaps never have produced a grain so well adapted to his uses as wheat; such fruits as the 
seedless banana, and the bread-fruit; such animals as the Guernsey milch-cow, or the London dray-horse. 
Yet these so closely resemble the unaided productions of nature, that we may well imagine a being who had 
mastered the laws of development of organic forms through past ages, refusing to believe that any new 
power had been concerned in their production, and scornfully rejecting the theory that in these few cases a 
distinct intelligence had directed the action of the laws of variation, multiplication, and survival, for his own 
purposes. We know, however, that this has been done; and we must therefore admit the possibility, that in 
the development of the human race, a Higher Intelligence has guided the same laws for nobler ends." 
(Wallace, A.R., "Sir Charles Lyell on Geological Climates and the Origin of Species," Quarterly Review, 
Vol. 126, April 1869, pp.359-394, pp.393-394)

"Such, we believe, is the direction in which we shall find the true reconciliation of Science with Theology on 
this most momentous problem. Let us fearlessly admit that the mind of man (itself the living proof of a 
supreme mind) is able to trace, and to a considerable extent has traced, the laws by means of which the 
organic no less than the inorganic world has been developed. But let us not shut our eyes to the evidence 
that an Overruling Intelligence has watched over the action of those laws, so directing variations and so 
determining their accumulation, as finally to produce an organization sufficiently perfect to admit of, and 
even to aid in, the indefinite advancement of our mental and moral nature." (Wallace, A.R., "Sir Charles 
Lyell on Geological Climates and the Origin of Species," Quarterly Review, Vol. 126, April 1869, 
pp.359-394, p.394) 

"In March 1869 Darwin wrote to Mr. Wallace: `I shall be intensely curious to read the Quarterly. I hope you 
have not murdered too completely your own and my child.' The reference is to Mr. Wallace's review, in the April 
number of the Quarterly, of Lyell's Principles of Geology (tenth edition), and of the sixth edition of the 
Elements of Geology. Mr. Wallace points out that here for the first time Sir C. Lyell gave up his opposition to 
evolution; and this leads Mr. Wallace to give a short account of the views set forth in the Origin of Species. In 
this article Mr. Wallace makes a definite statement as to his views on the evolution of man, which were opposed 
to those of Mr. Darwin. He upholds the view that the brain of man, as well as the organs of speech, the hand and 
the external form, could not have been evolved by Natural Selection (the child he is supposed to murder). At 
page 391 he writes: `In the brain of the lowest savages, and, as far as we know, of the prehistoric races, we have 
an organ...little inferior in size and complexity to that of the highest types...But the mental requirements of the 
lowest savages, such as the Australians or the Andaman Islanders, are very little above those of many 
animals...How, then, was an organ developed so far beyond the needs of its possessor? Natural Selection could 
only have endowed the savage with a brain a little superior to that of an ape, whereas he actually possesses one 
but very little inferior to that of the average members of our learned societies.' This passage is marked in Mr. 
Darwin's copy with a triply underlined `No,' and with a shower of notes of exclamation. It was probably the first 
occasion on which he realised the extent of this great and striking divergence in opinion between himself and his 
colleague. He had, however, some indication of it in Wallace's paper on Man, Anthropological Review, 1864. 
(See Letter 406). He wrote to Lyell, May 4th, 1869, `I was dreadfully disappointed about Man; it seems to me 
incredibly strange.' And to Mr. Wallace, April 14th, 1869, `If you had not told me, I should have thought that 
[your remarks on Man] had been added by some one else. As you expected, I differ grievously from you, and I 
am very sorry for it." (Darwin, F. & Seward, A.C., eds, "More Letters of Charles Darwin," John Murray: London, 
1903, Vol. II, pp.39-40. ).

"Phenotypic plasticity ... The ability of an organism with a given genotype to change its phenotype in 
response to changes in the environment is called phenotypic plasticity. Such plasticity in some cases 
expresses as several highly morphologically distinct results; in other cases, a continuous norm of reaction 
describes the functional interrelationship of a range of environments to a range of phenotypes. Organisms 
of fixed genotype may differ in the amount of phenotypic plasticity they display when exposed to the same 
environmental change. Hence phenotypic plasticity can evolve and be adaptive if fitness is increased by 
changing phenotype. Immobile organisms such as plants have well developed phenotypic plasicity giving a 
clue to the adaptive significance of phenotypic plasticity. A highly illustrative example of phenotypic 
plasticity is found in the social insects, colonies of which depend on the division of their members into 
distinct castes, such as workers and guards. Individuals in separate castes differ dramatically from one 
another, both physically and behaviorally. However, the differences are not genetic; they arise during 
development and depend on the manner of treatment of the eggs by the queen and the workers, who 
manipulate such factors as embryonic diet and incubation temperature. The genome of each individual 
contains all the instructions needed to develop into any one of several 'morphs', but only the genes that 
form part of one developmental program are activated. " ("Phenotypic plasticity," Wikipedia, 26 May 2006). 

"I think the universe is a message written in code, a cosmic code, and the scientists job is to decipher that 
code. This idea, that the universe is a message, is very old. It goes back to Greece, but its modern version 
was started by the English empiricist Francis Bacon, who wrote that there are two revelations. The first is 
given to us in scripture and tradition, and it guided our thinking for centuries. The second revelation is 
given by the universe, and that book we are just beginning to read. The sentences within this book are the 
physical laws - those postulated and confirmed invariances of our experience. If there are those who claim a 
conversion experience through reading scripture, I would point out that the book of nature also has its 
converts. They may be less evangelical than religious converts, but they share a deep conviction that an 
order of the universe exists and can be known." (Pagels, H.R., "The Cosmic Code: Quantum Physics as the 
Language of Nature," [1982], Penguin Books: Harmondsworth, Middlesex UK, 1984, p.315)

"Stove's demolition of certain aspects of Darwinian theory, in Darwinian Fairytales and related essays, is 
equally thorough and convincing. Stove is unusual among anti-Darwinians. He is not a creationist; indeed, 
he is careful to point out that he is `of no religion.' Moreover, he admires Darwin greatly as a thinker, placing 
him at the top of his personal pantheon, along with Shakespeare, Purcell, Newton, and Hume. Stove 
furthermore believes that it is `overwhelmingly probable' that our species evolved from some other and that 
`natural selection is probably the cause which is principally responsible for the coming into existence of new 
species from old ones.' Indeed, he believes that `the Darwinian explanation of evolution is a very good one 
as far as it goes, and it has turned out to go an extremely long way. Its explanatory power, even In 1859, was 
visibly very great, but it has turned out to be far greater than anyone then could have realized. And then, in 
the 1930s, the Darwinian theory received further accessions of explanatory strength through its confluence 
or synthesis with the new knowledge of genetics. And this `new synthesis,' or `neo-Darwinism,' has been 
itself growing rapidly in explanatory power ever since.'" (Stove D.C., in Kimball R., ed., "Against the Idols of 
the Age," [1999], Transaction Publishers: New Brunswick NJ, Second Printing, 2000, p.xxviii)
"In the 1950s the evolutionary geneticist, J.B.S. Haldane, calculated the maximum rate of genetic change due 
to differential survival. He reluctantly concluded there is a serious problem here, now known as Haldane's 
Dilemma. [Haldane, J.B.S., "The Cost of Natural Selection," Journal of Genetics, Vol. 55, pp.511- 524] His 
calculations show that many species of higher vertebrate could not plausibly evolve in the available time. ... 
Differential survival is required for selective gene substitution, and this causes genetic death. There is no 
way around it. Some individuals must live, and others must die without heirs. The substitution of a gene 
incurs some number of deaths. We divide this by the number of survivors who reproductively 'pay' for the 
genetic deaths, and the ratio is called the cost of substitution. ... Haldane found the cost of gene 
substitution is reduced if the replacement is slower, over more generations. Thus, the cost is lower if the 
selection coefficients are smaller. He found the cost is minimized and becomes nearly constant for all 
selection coefficients less than ten percent (s < 0.1), which is said to cover most evolution. The selection 
coefficients need not remain constant during gene substitution, but may vary. As long as s is less than 
0.1 then the cost is kept constant and at a minimum. ... Haldane estimated that over a variety of 
circumstances the substitution of a gene incurs an average cost of thirty (Cs = 30). ... Haldane then 
surveyed the capacity of higher vertebrate species to pay the various costs. He estimated that averaged 
over the long term these species have a reproductive excess of one tenth (Ps = 0.1). This means the typical 
higher vertebrate can reproduce an additional one tenth its population size each generation and devote this 
excess specifically (and with perfect efficiency) to paying the cost of substitution. In summary, the cost of 
substitution Cs is 30 and it is paid off in installments (Ps) of 0.1 each generation. At that rate it takes (Cs   
Ps) 300 generations to pay the cost of substituting one gene. Haldane's conclusion was clear: over the long 
term, the average rate of gene substitution is no better than one gene every 300 generations. This does not 
mean these substitutions occur sequentially, one by one. Several genes can undergo substitution 
simultaneously at various speeds. If you average all these speeds, then the total rate can be one per 300 
generations. Over the long term, a faster rate than this is not plausible- the species cannot plausibly pay the 
cost." (ReMine, W.J., "The Biotic Message: Evolution Versus Message Theory," St. Paul Science: Saint 
Paul MN, 1993, pp.208, 215-216) 

"The rate of evolution is easily defined. It is simply the amount of change in a trait divided by the time the 
change took. ...Rates of evolution could also be used to test the theory of evolution by natural selection. 
Natural selection takes time. For a mutant to increase in frequency from its initial rare state to become the 
normal gene in the whole population may take a few thousand generations. The exact amount of time can be 
calculated from equations first derived by J.B.S. Haldane in 1924; it depends on the gene's initial frequency 
and its selective advantage. A mutant that produces on average 1 per cent more offspring than its 
alternative allele, for instance, would take 4,266 generations to increase in frequency from 0.1 per cent to 99.9 
per cent of the population. If the selective advantage of a particular change in a particular trait were known, 
Haldane's equation would predict how fast it should evolve under natural selection. The prediction could in 
principle be tested. In practice, no strong test of this kind has ever been possible. The evidence is not good 
enough. Our knowledge of genetics and selective advantages is too weak, let alone the quality of fossil 
evidence. The selective advantages of most evolutionary changes are probably not much more than a few 
per cent (and probably much less). We can predict that evolution should never go faster than such a 
selective advantage would allow. In fact the rates of evolution observed in the fossil record are well below 
that limit. This provides a test of Darwinism, for evolution could possibly go faster than Darwinism allows, 
and if it did we should need another theory: the fact that the rates are not too fast is evidence for the 
Darwinian theory. But the test is imprecise; the range of facts allowed by the theory is very wide. (Ridley, 
M., "The Problems of Evolution," Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1985, pp.121-122)

"Leaping Lizards? All of this makes one sympathetic with Nicholas Wade of The New York Times, who 
recently wrote an article entitled `Leapin' Evolution Is Found in Lizards.' This was a report on an experiment in 
which lizards of the species Anolis sagrei from an island in the Bahamas were released onto an island lacking 
lizards and with a different vegetation pattern (Losos, Warheit and Schoener 1997) [Losos, J.B., Warheit, K.I. & 
Schoener, T.W.. Adaptive differentiation following experimental island colonization in Anolis lizards. 
Nature, Vol. 387, 1997, pp.70-73]. After 10 years, the limb proportions of the experimental population had 
shifted significantly in the direction predicted on the basis of the new host ecology. Whether the results 
document a case of evolution depends, of course, on definitions. Certainly it is a form of change over time, and 
such demonstrations are a necessary requirement for documenting a case of Darwinian evolution caught in 
flagrante delicto. But it is not sufficient to the case. All evolution is change, but not all change is evolution. 
Rates of change can be measured, as they were in this experiment; to call them `rates of evolution' as do Losos, 
Warheit and Schoener begs the most interesting question. I would argue that in order to constitute evidence of 
true evolution a phenomenon must meet three simple criteria: It must be shown to be genetically based, it must be 
irreversible, and it should result in reproductive isolation of populations. In other words, the smoking gun of 
evolution is speciation, not local adaptation and differentiation of populations. ... This exciting new study, rather 
like the superb observational work of Peter and Rosemary Grant on Galapagos finches and a number of other 
recent studies, at last gives some thorough quantification in a field in which it has been notably lacking. Whether 
or not they provide the long-sought smoking gun of evolution, the experiments of Losos, Warheit and Schoener 
have the potential to explore the mechanism(s) underlying the processes of adaptation. Darwin's use of `natural 
selection' is normally considered to mean the sorting of genetic-based variation within a particular environmental 
context. The authors of the paper do not use the term. Nor do they consider the short-term directional change 
observed in