Natural Selection

“Much evidence can be adduced in favor of the theory of evolution—from biology, biogeography and paleontology, but I still think that to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favor of special creation.”  Dr. E.J.H. Corner, Cambridge University School of Botany

“I have come to the conclusion that Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research programme—a possible framework for testable scientific theories.”  Karl Popper, philosopher of science

“Evolutionary concepts were handed down through the Greek philosophers, such as Plato and his pupil, Aristotle, all the way to Darwin’s grandfather, Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802).  Darwinism was a term first applied to the evolutionary ideas of Erasmus Darwin, a well-known physician in England.  His grandson, Charles, was quite familiar with the concepts of evolution that Erasmus Darwin [who wrote philosophy and poetry] and numerous others were discussing in the early 1800s.”  Luther D. Sunderland, Darwin’s Enigma, p. 13, 14

“Dr. Colin Patterson, a senior paleontologist and editor of a prestigious journal at the British Museum of Natural History, wrote in a letter to the author [Luther D. Sunderland] that he didn’t know of any real evidence of evolutionary transitions either among living or fossilized organisms.”  Sunderland, p. 10

“If I knew of any [photographs of a transitional fossil], I would certainly have included them [in my book Evolution]….Yet Gould and the American Museum people are hard to contradict when they say there are no transitional fossils.” Colin Patterson in Sunderland’s Darwin Enigma, p. 89

“Darwin’s theory of natural selection has always been closely linked to evidence from fossils, and probably most people assume that fossils provide a very important part of the general argument that is made in favor of Darwinian interpretations of the history of life.  Unfortunately, this is not strictly true…The evidence we find in the geologic record is not nearly as compatible with Darwinian natural selection as we would like it to be.  Darwin was completely aware of this.  He was embarrassed by the fossil record because it didn’t look the way he predicted it would and, as a result, he devoted a long section of his Origin of Species to an attempt to explain and rationalize the differences.  There were several problems, but the principal one was that the geologic record did not then and still does not yield a finely graduated chain of slow and progressive evolution.”  David Raup,”Conflicts between Darwin and Paleontology Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin,” January 1979, p 22

“Well, we are now about 120 [now 153] years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded.  We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn’t changed much…So Darwin’s problem has not been alleviated in the last 120 years and we still have a record which does show change but one that can hardly be looked upon as the most reasonable consequence of natural selection.  Also the major extinctions such as those of the dinosaurs and trilobites are still very puzzling.”  David Raup, Ibid. p. 25

“In the Cambrian rocks is found a multitude of highly complex creatures with no ancestors.  These rocks contain fossils of trilobites, brachiopods, corals, worms, pelecypods (clams), and soft-bodied creatures like jellyfish.  As stated in a 1961 book, Prehistoric Life on Earth, ‘The invertebrate animal phyla are all represented in Cambrian deposits…The discovery [of a heterostracan vertebrate fish fossil], reported in Science magazine, May 5, 1978, placed every major animal phylum (group) in the Cambrian rocks.”  Sunderland, Darwin’s Enigma, p. 44

“There are a great many fossils of the trilobite right there at the beginning with no build-up to it.  And, if you examine them closely, you will find that they are not simple animals.  They are small, but they have an eye that has been discussed a great deal in recent years—an eye that is simply incredible.  It is made up of dozens of little tubes which are all at a slightly different angles so that it covers the entire field of vision, with a different tube pointing at each spot on the horizon.  But these tubes are all more complicated than that, by far.  They have lens on them that is optically arranged in a very complicated way, and it is bound into another layer that has to be just exactly right for them to see anything…But the more complicated it is, the less likely it is simply to have grown up out of nothing.  And this situation has troubled everybody from the beginning—t o have everything at the very opening of the drama.  The curtain goes up and you have the players on the stage already, entirely in modern costumes.” Sunderland, p. 144

As far as I can discover no theistic evolutionist (the BioLogos crowd, etc.) has offered a reasonable explanation for the incredible eye of the trilobite as found in the Cambrian rocks.  And no theistic evolutionist has ever refuted Bertrand Russell’s following observation:  “It appears that during those [evolutionary] ages when animals were torturing each other with ferocious horns and agonizing stings, Omnipotence was quietly waiting for the ultimate emergence of man, with his still more widely diffused cruelty.  Why the Creator should have preferred to reach his goal by [an evolutionary] process, instead of going straight to it, these modern theologians [philosophers of science, too] do not tell us.”  Bertrand Russell, Religion and Science (1961), p. 73

In fact, what Voltaire wrote to Rousseau in 1755 regarding his book Discourse and Inequality closely reflects my attitude toward the Christian theistic evolutionists. Said Voltaire, “I have received, monsieur, your new book against the human race.  I thank you for it…no one has ever employed so much intellect in the attempt to prove us beasts.  A desire seizes us to walk on four paws when we read your work.  Nevertheless, as it is more than sixty years since I lost the habit, I feel, unfortunately, that it is impossible for me to resume it.”

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