Evolution Handbook

Chapter 1d:

History of Evolutionary Theory

How modern science got into this problem

Panspermia (1981). Amid the cries of desperation and despair arising from evolutionist scientists, one of the most famous scientists of the 20th century, a Nobel Prize winner, came up with a new theory. In 1981, *Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the structure of the DNA molecule, published a book, declaring that "directed panspermia" was responsible for life on earth. According to this theory, people from another planet sent a rocket down here, with living creatures on it, in order to populate our planet! Crick admits that this does not explain how nearly all our plant and animal species came into existence. Nor does it explain the transportation problem. Centuries of travel through the cold of outer space would be required. This theory is a desperate, gasping effort to provide a solution to the question of how living creatures originated, a puzzle which thousands of scientists in 150 years of diligent work have not been able to solve. Very few intellectuals have accepted panspermia.

Cambridge Evolution Conference (1984). Desperate for a solution, at a 1984 seminar held at Cambridge University, *Stephen Gould’s "hopeful monster" theory was discussed (the wild idea that a lizard laid an egg, one day, and a bird hatched). *Karl Popper’s theory of science was also discussed. Popper is the leading expert on the philosophy of science. His position is that a theory must be testable. Evolution, of course, does not meet the test. (See chapter 37, Philosophy of History, on our website.)

Second Causal Changeover (1980s). The utterly unscientific "hopeless monster" theory, which *Richard Goldschmidt proposed in the 1930s, totally astounded the evolutionary world. Yet, as the years passed and a great mountain of evidence surfaced against both natural selection and mutations as mechanisms of cross-species change, the experts felt desperate. —There was nothing left but the theory of sudden, miraculous "million mutation," beneficial changes once every 50,000 years, which *Gould, *Stanley, and their associates were increasingly urging. Just as astronomers had, in desperation, accepted the ridiculous Big Bang explosion theory 20 years before as the cause of a universe of orderly galactic systems, so the biological evolutionists now went further out on their own evolutionary limb. Geneticists, biologists, and paleontologists recognized that the evolution of one species out of another was impossible otherwise. Evolutionists, in hopeless desperation, fled to an imagined "hopeful monster."

Answers in Genesis (1980s). Ken Ham started Answers in Genesis, a Creationist organization now located in Florence, Kentucky. It has rapidly become a powerful voice in unveiling evolutionary errors in meetings on college and university campuses and elsewhere. For every one Creationist organization now in operation, there ought to be a hundred. Why not start one yourself?

*Halton C. Arp Eliminated (1983). A leading astronomer and president of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in the early 1980s, Arp carried on research for over 30 years, including extensive research time at Palomar and Mount Wilson Observatories. He studied over 260 galaxies in more than 80 groups and tabulated 24 main galaxies and 38 discordant redshift companions, plus much more. His studies clearly refuted the speed theory of redshift which, along with background radiation, was the crutch that evolutionists leaned on to defend the Big Bang (*Halton Arp, Quasars, Redshifts and Controversies, 1987, p. 5, plus many scientific articles). Threatened with disbarment from U.S. observatories, if he did not stop tearing down one of the two Big Bang pillars, he refused. A few eminent astronomers, including the renowned astrophysicist, *Geoffrey Burbidge, made impassioned pleas for everyone to keep an open mind, but to no avail. In 1983, Caltech’s telescope allocation committee decided that Arp’s line of research was not worthy of support and he was to receive no more time for his work at the telescopes of the Mount Wilson and Palomar observatories. Refusing to switch over to politically acceptable studies, he left Caltech for a position at the Max Planck Institute in Munich, where he continued to pursue his ideas. Referring to his abrupt and ignoble ouster, Burbidge later wrote, ‘No responsible scientist I know, including many astronomers who were strongly opposed to Arp’s thesis, believes justice was served’ " (*Time-Life, Cosmic Mysteries, 1990, pp. 67-68).

Orce Man Debunked (1984). Thrilling news! At last one of our half-ape ancestors had been found in the Andalusia region of Spain. Certified as the "oldest man in Europe" by a distinguished team of paleontologists, it made the headlines as invitations were mailed to scientists throughout the continent to attend a meeting where they could deliver learned papers about the matter.

But then scientists in Paris discovered that it was a skull fragment of a four-month-old donkey. Spanish officials had to quickly mail 500 letters canceling the meeting ("Ass Taken for Man," *London Daily Telegraph, May 14, 1984).

Archaeopteryx Debunked (1985). Although no cross-species "missing links" (half of one species and half of another) had ever been found, something close to it had been discovered. As mentioned earlier, in 1861 a fossilized feather was found in the limestone deposits in Solnhofen, Germany (near Eichstatt). It was considered valuable since it reportedly came from the late Jurassic strata—and there were not supposed to be any birds back then. Soon another fossil was offered for sale (always from the owners of the same quarry). It was a bird with feathers, with the head and neck missing. The British Museum paid a lot for it. So, in 1877, another bird with feathers was offered for sale—and this one looked like it might have the head of a small dinosaur!

In 1985, six leading scientists, including *Fred Hoyle, examined the fossil—and found it to be a hoax. For details, see chapter 17, Evolutionary Showcase.

Arkansas Creation Trial (1981). In December 1981 at the Federal District Court in Little Rock, Arkansas, Judge William Overton presided over a trial to decide whether the State of Arkansas could place concepts about Creation in public school textbooks. The courtroom of 200 was packed with reporters. The ACLU had over 50 lawyers and paralegals working on the case. In contrast, the Arkansas Attorney General’s office could only commit three of its attorneys to the case. One ACLU witness, *Francisco J. Ayala, testified that the origin of living creatures from dirt and water, though it occurred, was not part of evolution! That nicely took that evolutionary puzzle out of the court trial. At any rate, on the basis of a variety of dodges and misstatements by the plaintiffs, the judge ruled against Arkansas State. It is a known fact that the ACLU has advised every state legislature, considering enactment of a law permitting equal time for both views, that the ACLU will give them another full-blown "monkey trial," as they did at Dayton, Tennessee in 1925. The evolutionists never defend their position with scientific facts, for they do not have any. Instead, they use ridicule and lawsuits (Norman Geisler, The Creator and the Courtroom, 1982; Robert Gentry, Creation’s Tiny Mystery, 1986).

Radioactive Halos Disprove Molten Earth Theory (1986). Robert V. Gentry carried on research into radiohalos in granite for years, but was discharged from Oak Ridge Research Laboratory in 1982 because he testified in defense of Arkansas State at the above-mentioned trial. He then put his years of research findings and professional articles into a book (Creation’s Tiny Mystery, 1986). In brief, billions upon billions of polonium- 218 radiohalos are in granite; yet each halo was formed in less than 3 minutes. There is no way the halos could get in there after the granite was formed; yet the granite had to be solid when the halos formed. This means the granite was created solid in less than three minutes! Since granite is the basement rock under every continent, it would be impossible for the earth to once have been a molten mass as conjectured by the evolutionists. Interestingly enough, granite can be melted; but it will reform into rhyolite, never into granite. See chapter 3, Origin of the Earth, for a brief summary of data on this. Go to our website for a complete study on the subject.

Poll of Biology Teachers (1988). A survey, conducted by the University of Texas, found that 30% of 400 high-school biology teachers believe in Biblical Creation and only 19% believe in evolution (Waco Tribune-Herald, September 11, 1988).

Chernobyl (1986) is another evolutionist’s paradise. Since mutations are today thought to be the leading mechanism for achieving evolutionary change for the better, the intense radiation which the people received on April 26, 1986, should have brought them great benefit because of all the mutations it induced. They should be stronger, healthier, have improved organs, and produce children which are higher forms of life. But this has not happened. Scientists know that even Marie Curie and her daughter died as a result of working with radiation. Mutations result in harm and death, never in evolutionary change (*Isaac Asimov, Asimov’s New Guide to Science, 1984, pp. 691-692).

A timeline of more recent events, up to 2006, will be found in a later chapter in this book.

"I have often thought how little I should like to have to prove organic evolution in a court of law."—*Errol White, Proceedings of the Linnean Society, London (1966) [an ichthyologist (expert on fish) in a 1988 address before a meeting of the Linnean Society in London].

"I doubt if there is any single individual within the scientific community who could cope with the full range of [Creationist] arguments without the help of an army of consultants in special fields."—*David M. Raup, "Geology and Creation," Bulletin of the Field Museum of Natural History, Vol. 54, March 1983, p. 18.


The mallee bird lives in the Australian desert. In May or June, with his claws the male makes a pit in the sand that is just the right size: about 3 feet [9 dm] deep and 6 feet [18 dm] long. Then he fills it with vegetation. As it rots, it heats up. The bird waits patiently until the rains, which increase the heat to over 100o F [38o C] at the bottom of the pile. The bird waits until it is down to 92o F [33o C]. When the right temperature is reached, he calls for his wife; they mate; she lays one egg a day for 30 days and then leaves. The male then covers the eggs with sand and continually checks the temperature with his amazing thermometer bill for 7 weeks. He cannot let the temperature go up or down even one degree. If it cools at night, he piles on more sand. If it overheats in the day, he pulls off sand. At hatching time, the chicks break their shells—and crawl up through as much as 2 feet of sand! Arriving at the top, each one is fully able to fly and is on its own. Neither father or mother mallee bird gives it any further attention or training. When it grows up, it does just as its parents did.

You do not know what a "riblet" is? It is not an animal. Airlines in the United States are saving $300,000 a year because of riblets. Here is the story behind them:

Scientists at NASA tried to figure out how certain water creatures could swim so rapidly. They studied some fast-moving fish for months. They discovered that the friction of the fish’s body, as it moves through the water, ought to be great enough to slow it quite a bit. Yet the amount of drag that should be present—simply was not there! Given the drag of the water and the amount of fin motion, something was enabling the fish to swim much faster through the water than it ought to be able to swim.

Then the experts figured it out: riblets. These are small triangular-shaped grooves on the outer surface of the skin. Riblets are only found on fast-moving fish; never on fish which have no need to swim rapidly.

These grooves run from front to back. As the water touches the body, it is carried along in these riblets, and this reduces the amount of frictional drag as the creature swims rapidly through the water.

NASA’s Langley Research Center developed the riblets and tested them in wind tunnels. They then asked 3M Company to manufacture riblets in large, flat vinyl sheets. When these sheets were placed on the outside of large airplanes, the resulting savings were immense. It now costs airline companies a lot less in fuel to fly their jets.



1 - From the list of 34 pioneers of modern science, select 5 that in your view made especially important discoveries.

2 - Gregor Mendel was a true scientist. Using an encyclopedia, write a one-page paper on the life and work of Mendel.

3 - The following men were highly influential in their time: Linnaeus, Paley, *Buffon, *Lamarck, *Cuvier, *Erasmus Darwin, *Hutton, *Lyell, and *Wallace. On a sheet of paper, list their names in the left column; in the center column, write whether each was a Creationist or evolutionist; in the right column, note whether each was a genuine scientist or just someone who liked to come up with original, new ideas. What relationships exist on this chart? On the bottom of the sheet, write a general conclusion based on the information given on the sheet.

4 - It is of interest that the neo-Darwinian theory (of mutations as the means of cross-species change) began with a mistake by *Hugo deVries. In a paragraph, explain what the mistake was.

5 - The 1860 debate, at Oxford, and the 1925 Scopes trial, in Dayton, were turning points in favor of evolution in England and America. Yet neither victories were won because of scientific evidence. Explain why.

6 - Why is it that evolutionary theory has not produced its outstanding accomplishments in scientific discoveries, but it is in hoaxes, imaginative claims and artwork, lawsuits, and government and employment coercion?

7 - *Stephen Jay Gould was a very influential evolutionist of the 1980s. What is his theory? Why is it so weak?

8 - Write a full-page report on one or several of the special evolutionist meetings, convened to try to resolve the terrible problems confronting evolutionists (1966, 1969, 1980, 1981, 1984). Which one special scientific discovery, and which new scientific technology, especially damaged evolutionary theory?