Stephen E. Jones

Creation/Evolution Quotes: Unclassified quotes: October 2007

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The following are quotes added to my Unclassified Quotes database in October 2007. The date format is dd/mm/yy.
See copyright conditions at end.

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

"ONE of the principal requirements of the radiocarbon dating technique is that the material measured 
contain the original carbon atoms present in the sample at the time it died or was deposited from the 
exchange reservoir. This means, of course, that the chemical form in which the carbon is bonded may have 
real bearing on the validity of the result obtained. Chemical experience clearly indicates that the covalently 
bonded molecules which constitute the organic world are less susceptible of replacement of the carbon 
atoms by direct exchange than are the inorganic molecules such as the carbonates. One therefore does not 
fear particularly the possibility that the carbon in carbonate, bicarbonate, or carbon dioxide will exchange 
with the carbon atoms in organic structures such as wood or flesh or cloth or charcoal. One does worry 
considerably, however, about the possibility that underground waters washing over shell would cause an 
exchange. On the other hand, putrefaction and chemical alteration are possible with organic systems, and 
one has to worry about whether a given sample has been so altered." (Libby, W.F, "Radiocarbon Dating," 
[1952], University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Second edition, 1955, p.43. Emphasis original)

"In 1984, when the original Quote Book was released, the impact was tremendous. People could see that 
every brick of which the temple of evolutionary belief is constructed could be seen to be demolished by an 
authoritative statement from some eminent evolutionist-condemned out of their own mouths, so to speak. 
Stung, several of the evolutionary establishment in this country went through the book with a fine-tooth 
comb. To their delight and our surprised dismay, they found that a minority (a distinct minority) of the 
quotes were somewhat different from the original! How had this happened? With CSF, as usual, sorely 
under-funded, overworked at the time, the original Quote Book had been hastily put together from quotes 
sent in by a number of people. Some of these turned out to have been simply written down on a card after 
listening to a creation speaker at a lecture-which of course is often quite legitimately done as a paraphrase, 
not a direct quote. We are not offering excuses here-the work was withdrawn from sale when its handful of 
errors came to embarrassed attention." (Snelling, A.A.*, "The Revised Quote Book," [1984], Creation Science 
Foundation: Brisbane Qld, Australia, 1990, inside cover)

"Many theories of science, once declared anti-Christian, are now held by millions of Christians with no evil 
effecthristianity. It would be a very enlightening experience for many a hyper-fundamentalist to read 
White's history of the conflict of theology with science, and note how many heretical beliefs of the past he 
now holds! Copernican astronomy was assailed with all the venom the Church theologians had. It was 
declared that if this astronomy is true, all the Bible is false and all its glorious doctrines! Today, the author 
has yet to meet an evangelical believer who crosses Copernicus. All the dire predictions about what would 
happen if Christianity admitted the truthfulness of Copernican astronomy failed to materialize!" (Ramm, 
B.L.*, "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," [1954] Paternoster: Exeter UK, Reprinted, 1960, p.203. 
Emphasis original)

"BY MR. ROTHSCHILD: Q It says there, `The scientific consensus around evolution is overwhelming.' 
And then it says, `Those opposed to the teaching of evolution sometimes use quotations from 
prominent scientists out of context to claim that scientists do not support evolution.' Do you agree that 
that's a problem, Professor Behe? A Well, I have a couple things to say about that, those sentences 
that you just read. First of all, this is another wonderful illustration of the confusion of the different 
senses of the word `evolution.' `The scientific consensus around evolution is overwhelming.' What is 
evolution? Is it Darwin's mechanism of random mutation and natural selection? Do they cite any 
writings by, say, Stuart Kauffman or the complexity theorists who object to that? I don't see anything 
there." (Behe, M.J., "Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al.," Transcript, Day 11, 
October 17, 2005, Afternoon session, part 1. Emphasis original.

"What is Evolution? The word 'evolution' means a process of development or unfolding of potential. We 
can speak of the evolution of a star, implying its genesis, development and destruction - the story of a 
spectacular bonfire far away across the universe. We speak also of the geological evolution of rocks and 
rock formations - the forces that form rocks and tear them apart, regenerate them in new forms and break 
them down again in a seemingly endless cycle. In chemistry we refer to the evolution of a gas. In common 
speech we use it of technological, social, political or other plans that are developed and put into practice, we 
may even speak of the spiritual evolution of a person - the process by which he strives to free his soul from 
its fetters of mind and body, turning consciously from evil and growing toward what is good. In biology 
evolution expresses the development, over a long time-span, of complex organisms (including man) from 
simpler ones. However, 'evolution' in biology also expresses the phenomenon by which, in a given 
environment, organisms that are well adapted to the conditions of that environment develop from forebears 
that are less well adapted, and much of the confusion in evolutionary thinking arises from the use of one 
word in these two distinct senses. The first process - the development of complex organisms from simpler 
ones - we have already called macro-evolution. The second, its smaller scale counterpart, is micro-evolution. 
As we have seen, Darwinian theory of natural selection applies clearly to the latter, though not everyone is 
satisfied that the case even for micro-evolution by natural selection has been established beyond doubt. 
More doubtful still is application of Darwinian theory to macro evolution; there is simply no direct evidence, 
from palaeontology, biochemistry, embryology or elsewhere, that fish have been transformed into birds, 
bacteria into jellyfish or reptiles into whales. There is, however much circumstantial evidence of common 
ancestry, and on that the evolutionist's faith in macro-evolution is maintained, despite the criticisms of 
contemporary creationists to whom macro-evolution is 'the transformist illusion'." (Pitman M., "Adam and 
Evolution," Rider & Co: London, 1984, p.20. Emphasis original)

"WHAT IS EVOLUTION? The term 'evolution', as Mayr (1982) points out, has had many meanings. In its 
loosest sense, it is used to describe any change in any thing. In a much stricter biological sense, to modern 
geneticists it is 'any change in genetic makeup in populations of organisms'. This definition of biological 
evolution, while strictly correct, does not include any of the particular processes or products now accepted 
as being implicit in the concept. Accordingly, evolution can be defined more fully as: 'The origin of life from 
prebiotic substances and the subsequent differentiation through time of all species from preexisting species, 
this ongoing process being the result of changes produced by natural selection and/or mutation in the 
genetic makeup of populations'. Although Charles Darwin's basic concept of evolution, as set out in On 
the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle 
for Life (Darwin, 1859), still survives among contemporary evolutionists, it has undergone considerable 
modification. Many additional concepts have resulted from modern evolutionary studies (e.g. Curtis, 1983; 
Luria et al., 1981; Mayr, 1982; Nei and Koehn, 1983; Stebbins and Ayala, 1985). For example, we now 
understand the basic genetic mechanisms of evolution that were unknown to Darwin and as a consequence 
we realise that there are many more ways in which populations change and species arise and survive than 
he visualised in 1859 (Gould, 1977; Stebbins and Ayala, 1985; White, 1978). Biologists who use this wider 
'synthetic' array of concepts to solve evolutionary problems have been referred to as 'neo-Darwinists'." 
(Selkirk, D.R. & Burrows, F.J., eds., "Confronting Creationism: Defending Darwin," New South Wales 
University Press: Kensington NSW, Australia, 1988, p.19. Emphasis original)

"What Is Evolution? Before reviewing creationists' arguments against evolution, a brief summary of the 
theory itself might be useful. Darwin's theory, outlined in his 1859 On the Origin of Species by Means of 
Natural Selection, can be summarized as follows (Gould 1987a; Mayr 1982, 1988): Evolution: Organisms 
change through time. Both the fossil record and nature today make this obvious. .... The debate rages, while 
creationists sit on the sidelines hoping for a double knockout. They will not get it. These scientists are not 
arguing about whether evolution happened; they are debating the rate and mechanism of evolutionary 
change. When it all shakes down, the theory of evolution will be stronger than ever." (Shermer, M.B., "Why 
People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time," W.H. 
Freeman & Co: New York NY, 1997, pp.140-141. Emphasis original) 

"Authors of the highest eminence seem to be fully satisfied with the view that each species has been 
independently created. To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by 
the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have 
been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of the individual. When I view all 
beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before 
the first bed of the Cambrian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled. Judging from the 
past, we may safely infer that not one living species will transmit its unaltered likeness to a distant futurity. 
And of the species now living very few will transmit progeny of any kind to a far distant futurity; for the 
manner in which all organic beings are grouped, shows that the greater number of species in each genus, 
and all the species in many genera, have left no descendants, but have become utterly extinct. We can so far 
take a prophetic glance into futurity as to foretell that it will be the common and widely spread species, 
belonging to the larger and dominant groups within each class, which will ultimately prevail and procreate 
new and dominant species. As all the living forms of life are the lineal descendants of those which lived long 
before the Cambrian epoch, we may feel certain that the ordinary succession by generation has never once 
been broken, and that no cataclysm has desolated the whole world. Hence we may look with some 
confidence to a securee of great length. And as natural selection works solely by and for the good of 
each being, all corporeal and mental endowments will tend to progress towards perfection." (Darwin, C.R., 
"The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection," [1859], John Murray: London, Sixth Edition, 1872, 
Reprinted, 1882, p.428)

"What is evolution? Biological evolution is the theory that all living things are modified descendants of a 
common ancestor that lived in the distant past. It claims that you and I are descendants of ape-like 
ancestors, and that they in turn came from still more primitive animals. This is the primary meaning of 
`evolution' among biologists. `Biological evolution,' according to the National Academy's booklet, `explains 
that living things share common ancestors. Over time, evolutionary change gives rise to new species. 
Darwin called this process `descent with modification,' and it remains a good definition of biological 
evolution today.' ["Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences," National 
Academy Press: Washington DC, Second edition, 1999, p.27] For Charles Darwin, descent with modification 
was the origin of all living things after the first organisms. He wrote in The Origin of Species: `I view all 
beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings' [Darwin, C.R., "The Origin 
of Species," John Murray: London, Sixth Edition, 1872, p.428] that lived in the distant past. The reason living 
things are now so different from each other, Darwin believed, is that they have been modified by natural 
selection, or survival of the fittest: `I am convinced that Natural Selection has been the most important, but 
not the exclusive, means of modification.' [Ibid, p.421] When proponents of Darwin's theory are responding 
to critics, they sometimes claim that `evolution' means simply change over time. But this is clearly an 
evasion. No rational person denies the reality of change, and we did not need Charles Darwin to convince 
us of it. If `evolution' meant only this, it would be utterly uncontroversial. Nobody believes that biological 
evolution is simply change over time." (Wells, J.*, "Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth?: Why Much of 
What We Teach About Evolution is Wrong," Regnery: Washington DC, 2000, pp.4-5. Emphasis original)

"Evolution is a fact which is so well confirmed that there is no more doubt about its reality than there is 
about the earth being round. It is probably the most firmly established phenomenon in all of science with the 
exception of the fundamental principles of physics and chemistry. The possibility that the overwhelming 
body of evidence for the reality of evolution has been grossly misinterpreted, at this time in history, is 
negligible. All the misguided `scientific' arguments and irrelevant moralistic rhetoric of the Creationists, both 
past and presumably future, cannot change this reality, whether they like it or not. They cannot make 
evolution go away any more than they can make tornadoes, earthquakes, and cancer go away. It is very 
important to distinguish, however, between the fact of evolution and the theory (or theories) of 
evolution. Theories attempt to explain the facts, but the facts themselves stand on their own, irrespective of 
the success or lack of success of any particular theoretical explanations. What, then, are some of the facts? 
... It is a fact, shown by the fossil record, that life has changed progressively from simpler organisms to more 
and more complex ones over long periods of time, irrespective of precisely how this happened. It is a fact 
that many species which once lived on the earth are no longer to be found, and that, according to the 
evidence, for every species alive today there was a time in the past prior to which it did not exist. These 
appearances and disappearances of species are spread out over hundreds of millions of years. It is a fact 
that fossils of primitive microorganisms can be found in rocks of precambrian age, which indicates that life 
actually arose well before the first appearance of complex life forms in the Cambrian Era about 600 million 
years ago. The sequence of rocks containing primitive single-celled organisms is now known to extend back 
at least two billion years. It is a fact that a tremendous variety of different creatures have also appeared (and 
disappeared) within particular groups in which all species have essentially the same level of complexity. In 
other words, `complexity' may or may not increase as new forms emerge. It is a fact that populations of any 
species which do not continually interbreed do not remain the same indefinitely. For example, species which 
extend over large geographic areas and interbreed only locally, show progressive changes in characteristics 
from region to region. Sometimes the individuals at one boundary of the geographic range have become 
different enough from those at the other boundary far away that they could not breed with them, even if the 
opportunity arose, and are hence different species. It is a fact that organisms such as bacteria or fruit flies, 
when subjected to unusual environmental conditions, often manifest an improved adaptation to the new 
conditions within a few generations. It is also a fact that many new species, mainly of plants, have been 
produced by man in the last few decades. The scientific literature describes thousands of examples of plants 
and animals which have clearly changed with time under a variety of conditions and situations. It is simply a 
fact, observed in a multitude of ways, that change is an inherent characteristic of life, of life, for whatever reason. 
This process of change from generation to generation (or `change with descent`) is seen as evolution, and is 
an observed fact. It is not a `speculation' or `just a theory' as the Creationists claim." (Young, W.A., 
"Fallacies of Creationism," Detselig Enterprises: Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 1985, pp.145-146. Emphasis 

"The theory of evolution, on the other hand, is based on the observed facts, and attempts to explain 
those facts in rational terms. The Creationists' claim that evolution is `just a theory' is highly misleading and 
is made in apparent ignorance of what is meant by a scientific theory in the first place. The theory of 
evolution attempts to explain how the observed fact of evolution occurs in terms of principles whose 
validity can be tested by further observation. Nevertheless, to call evolution a `fact' still does not mean that 
it, or any theory about it, is `proven' in an absolute sense. It is not possible, strictly speaking, to `prove' any 
scientific theory, or to `prove' that observations of the natural world are in any sense `true.' If it were really 
necessary to establish absolute proof, then there would be no science at all. Therefore it is unreasonable 
and misleading to criticize evolution, as the Creationists do, on the grounds that it cannot be `proven' to be 
true. No one can prove that the sun will rise tomorrow, either. Evolution may well be the greatest and most 
profound intellectual discovery of Western civilization, with the possible exception of the lawfulness of 
nature itself. Its influence has been enormous on almost every field of science, as well as on philosophy and 
religion. In the modern view, moreover, it is not only life which evolves, but planets, stars, galaxies, and 
even the entire universe. It is clear today that we live in a universe which has evolved to its present state 
from a much more primitive state in which matter was so highly compressed that even atoms could not exist. 
Atomic matter became possible only after the universe had expanded to a much lower density. Most of the 
chemical elements, of which we are composed, were ultimately manufactured in the nuclear furnaces of stars 
and were then dispersed into space to be recycled. Stars themselves are born from clouds of dust and gas, 
evolve through a series of stages, and finally die either quietly or explosively." (Young, W.A., "Fallacies of 
Creationism," Detselig Enterprises: Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 1985, p.146. Emphasis original

"Wherever we look, from the earth itself to the vast universe beyond, we see evolutionary processes in 
action, or the results of such processes. In general terms, therefore, there is an abundance of evidence for 
the existence of evolutionary processes (processes of change) throughout nature, not just in biology. 
Although evidence of non-biological evolutionary processes does not confirm biological evolution, it does 
lend further credibility to it by showing that such processes are a normal part of the natural order. The 
Creationists denounce cosmic evolution as well as biological evolution, of course, and deny that stars 
evolve, or planets, or galaxies, or anything else. However, they concentrate their attention on biological 
evolution, so I will do the same. It is simply not possible to present the evidence for evolution in one short 
chapter, or even in a single book. To fully grasp the scope and significance of the facts which support 
evolution, and to appreciate the degree of coherence and order which the theory of evolution brings to 
biology, it is necessary to read and study at least a reasonable portion of the vast literature on the subject. I 
can therefore lay no claim to demonstrating the validity of evolution, but can only offer the briefest outline 
of modern opinion on the status of the theory. As I have already stated, the existence of evolution itself is 
not in question among knowledgeable scientists, despite the Creationists' attempts to make it appear as if it 
is. In the next section I will attempt to illustrate what kinds of mechanisms have been proposed to explain 
evolution. To conclude the chapter I will briefly discuss adaptation in terms of evolution vs. design, and will 
list a variety of miscellaneous `acts of life,' which, although they do not demonstrate the validity of 
evolution, are entirely compatible with it, and would be difficult to understand without it." (Young, W.A., 
"Fallacies of Creationism," Detselig Enterprises: Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 1985, p.147)

* Authors with an asterisk against their name are believed not to be evolutionists. However, lack of an
asterisk does not necessarily mean that an author is an evolutionist.


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Created: 23 December, 2006. Updated: 4 April, 2010.