The "father of evolution" (Charles Darwin)
said, "To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting to focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree."
"Most modern biologists, having reviewed with satisfaction the downfall of the spontaneous generation hypothesis, yet unwilling to accept the alternative belief in special creation, are left with nothing."
Charles Darwin wrote:To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree. When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei, as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science. Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certainly the case; if further, the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case; and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, should not be considered as subversive of the theory. How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself originated; but I may remark that, as some of the lowest organisms in which nerves cannot be detected, are capable of perceiving light, it does not seem impossible that certain sensitive elements in their sarcode should become aggregated and developed into nerves, endowed with this special sensibility.
(Dr. George Wald,
evolutionist, Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University at Harvard, Nobel Prize winner in Biology.)
Note that this is actually a complete misquote when it is referenced by creationist sites - the above is the full article which they claim it comes from"Evolution [is] a theory universally accepted not because it can be proven by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible."
George Wald wrote: The great idea emerges originally in the consciousness of the race as a vague intuition; and this is the form it keeps, rude and imposing, in myth, tradition and poetry. This is its core, its enduring aspect. In this form science finds it, clothes it with fact, analyses its content, develops its detail, rejects it, and finds it ever again. In achieving the scientific view, we do not ever wholly lose the intuitive, the mythological. Both have meaning for us, and neither is complete without the other. The Book of Genesis contains still our poem of the Creation; and when God questions Job out of the whirlwind, He questions us.
Let me cite an example. Throughout our history we have entertained two kinds of views of the origin of life: one that life was created supernaturally, the other that it arose "spontaneously" from nonliving material. In the 17th to 19th centuries those opinions provided the ground of a great and bitter controversy. There came a curious point, toward the end of the 18th century, when each side of the controversy was represented by a Roman Catholic priest. The principle opponent of the theory of the spontaneous generation was then the Abbe Lazzaro Spallanzani, an Italian priest; and its principal champion was John Turberville Needham, an English Jesuit.
Since the only alternative to some form of spontaneous generation is a belief in supernatural creation, and since the latter view seems firmly implanted in the Judeo-Christian theology, I wondered for a time how a priest could support the theory of spontaneous generation. Needham tells one plainly. The opening paragraphs of the Book of Genesis can in fact be reconciled with either view. In its first account of Creation, it says not quite that God made living things, but He commanded the earth and waters to produce them. The language used is: "let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life.... Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind." In the second version of creation the language is different and suggests a direct creative act: "And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air...." In both accounts man himself--and woman--are made by God's direct intervention. The myth itself therefore offers justification for either view. Needham took the position that the earth and waters, having once been ordered to bring forth life, remained ever after free to do so; and this is what we mean by spontaneous generation.
This great controversy ended in the mid-19th century with the experiments of Louis Pasteur, which seemed to dispose finally of the possibility of spontaneous generation. For almost a century afterward biologists proudly taught their students this history and the firm conclusion that spontaneous generation had been scientifically refuted and could not possibly occur. Does this mean that they accepted the alternative view, a supernatural creation of life? Not at all. They had no theory of the origin of life, and if pressed were likely to explain that questions involving such unique events as origins and endings have no place in science.
A few years ago, however, this question re-emerged in a new form. Conceding that spontaneous generation doe not occur on earth under present circumstances, it asks how, under circumstances that prevailed earlier upon this planet, spontaneous generation did occur and was the source of the earliest living organisms. Within the past 10 years this has gone from a remote and patchwork argument spun by a few venturesome persons--A. I. Oparin in Russia, J. B. S. Haldane in England--to a favored position, proclaimed with enthusiasm by many biologists.
Have I cited here a good instance of my thesis? I had said that in these great questions one finds two opposed views, each of which is periodically espoused by science. In my example I seem to have presented a supernatural and a naturalistic view, which were indeed opposed to each other, but only one of which was ever defended scientifically. In this case it would seem that science has vacillated, not between two theories, but between one theory and no theory.
That, however, is not the end of the matter. Our present concept of the origin of life leads to the position that, in a universe composed as ours is, life inevitably arises wherever conditions permit. We look upon life as part of the order of nature. It does not emerge immediately with the establishment of that order; long ages must pass before [page 100 | page 101] it appears. Yet given enough time, it is an inevitable consequence of that order. When speaking for myself, I do not tend to make sentences containing the word God; but what do those persons mean who make such sentences? They mean a great many different things; indeed I would be happy to know what they mean much better than I have yet been able to discover. I have asked as opportunity offered, and intend to go on asking. What I have learned is that many educated persons now tend to equate their concept of God with their concept of the order of nature. This is not a new idea; I think it is firmly grounded in the philosophy of Spinoza. When we as scientists say then that life originated inevitably as part of the order of our universe, we are using different words but do not necessary mean a different thing from what some others mean who say that God created life. It is not only in science that great ideas come to encompass their own negation. That is true in religion also; and man's concept of God changes as he changes.
(Professor D.M.S. Watson,
leading biologist and science writer of his day.)
[color=#FF0000][i]Funny how other quotes from the same article as that one comes from aren't also mentioned:
DMS Watson wrote:Whilst the fact of evolution is accepted by every biologist, the mode in which it has occurred and the mechanism by which it has been brought about are still disputable.
"My attempts to demonstrate evolution by an experiment carried on for more than 40 years have completely failed.....It is not even possible to make a caricature of an evolution out of paleobiological facts...The idea of an evolution rests on pure belief."
DMS Watson wrote:We know as surely as we ever shall that evolution has occurred; but we do no know how this evolution has been brought about. The data which we have accumulated are inadequate, not in quantity but in their character, to allow us to determine which, if any, of the proposed explanations is a vera causa.
(Dr. Nils Heribert-Nilsson,
noted Swedish botanist and geneticist, of Lund University)
Nils Herbert-Nilsson was not "noted" except in such a way as to discredit all of his work based on solid scientific evidence. He did not believe that genes ran in lines as we now know they do, he stated that enzymes were genes, which can be demonstrated as so wrong that in scientific terms it's laughable, and his alternative theory was that the earth regularly underwent huge extinction events and that straight after these events life got back up incredibly quickly and reformed itself from gametes. If you're going to try and discredit evolution by quoting a "noted botanist and geneticist" it's normally a good idea to make sure he wasn't just plain wrong and that all of his theories were demonstrably proven false."Scientists who go about teaching that evolution is a fact of life are great con-men, and the story they are telling may be the greatest hoax ever! In explaining evolution we do not have one iota of fact."
(Dr. Newton Tahmisian
, Atomic Energy Commission.) And we should listen to a physicist from over fifty years ago over the entire population of biologists on a biological question why exactly? If I brought in an expert on the writings of William Shakespeare to give you tuition on the Bible would you pay him much heed? It's exactly the same with this guy."Evolution is unproved and improvable, we believe it because the only alternative is special creation, which is unthinkable." (Sir Arthur Keith
, a militant anti-Christian physical anthropologist)
This quote is often utilized in Creationist publications and websites in an attempt to demonstrate that Sir Arthur Keith, and thus by extension promoters of evolution in general, simply dismiss creationist viewpoints outright due to a presumed antitheistic bias. However, in attempting to research this statement, one finds that it usually appears without primary source documentation. In those instances where seemingly original documentation is provided, it is stated to be a Forward for a centennial edition or “100th edition” of Origin of Species. However, several facts show that the attribution of these words to Arthur Keith is erroneous.
Keith passed away in 1955, some four years before the 100th anniversary of Darwin’s work, so that he was clearly not available to write an introduction for the centennial edition (this was actually done by William Robin Thompson). Furthermore, while Keith did write an introduction to earlier printings of Origin of Species, in use from 1928 to 1958, the words given above do not appear in that introduction. Finally, the last “edition” of Origin of Species is the sixth edition published 1879. It is for this reason that all later publications of Origin of Species are actually reprints of this or earlier editions so that there is simply no “100th edition” of Darwin’s work. In light of the fact that the documentation provided by Creationist publications is specious, one is still left with trying to explain the source of this citation. It is enough to say, however, that since this “quote” lacks valid documentation, it should not be regarded as one that originates with Arthur Keith himself until it can be properly documented.[/i][/color]