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General Evolution Quotes
Mutations and Natural Selection
Homologies, Molecular, and Genetic Evolution
- "Mr. Bird is concerned with origins and the evidence relevant thereto. He is basically correct that evidence, or proof, of origins-of the universe, of life, of all of the major groups of life, of all of the minor groups of life, indeed of all of the species-is weak or nonexistent when measured on an absolute scale, as it always was and will always be." (Gareth Nelson [Chairman and Curator of the Department of Herpetology and Ichthyology, American Museum of Natural History, New York], "Preface," in W. R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited, page xii (Vol. 1, Nashville, TN: Regency, 1991).)
- "Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose." (Richard Dawkins [Atheist, Zoologist, and Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, Oxford University], The Blind Watchmaker, page 1 (1991, London: Penguin Books, 1986).)
- "Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved." (F.H.C. Crick [Co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, Nobel laureate 1962, Professor at the Salk Institute, USA], What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery, page 138 (1990, London: Penguin Books, 1988).)
- "Natural selection is not the only process that changes organisms over time. But it is the only process that seemingly designs organisms over time." (Stephen Pinker, How The Mind Works, (W.W. Norton & Company, 1997).)
- “To invent from nothing an animal that can exist (I mean to say that can physiologically grow, nourish itself, resist the environment and predators, and reproduce itself) is an almost impossible feat. It is a project that by far exceeds our rational abilities and also that of our best computers: we still know too little about existing vital mechanisms to create others, even only on paper. In other words, evolution has proven itself to be enormously more intelligent than the best evolutionists. Every year that passes confirms the fact that the mechanisms of life are not exceptions to the laws of chemistry and physics, but at the same time the furrow which separates us from the ultimate comprehension of vital phenomena grows ever wider. It is not that problems are not solved and questions not answered, but every solved problem generates dozens of new ones and the process gives no sign of ending.” (Primo Levi, "Inventing an Animal", Other People’s Trades (1989, Summit Books, 1985).)
- "It is now possible, however, to redescribe the evolutionary process in the language of modern genetics. Evolution can be broadly defined as a change in the heredity of a population. Population genetics permits an even more precise definition: evolution is any change in gene frequency in a population." (Edward O. Wilson [Honorary Curator in Entomology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University], Life on Earth, page 772 (1975, Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, 1973).)
- "The theory of the transmutation of species is a scientific mistake, untrue in its facts, unscientific in its method, and mischievous in its tendency." (Louis Agassiz)
- "The immediate cause of this conference is a pretty widespread sense of dissatisfaction about what has come to be thought of as the accepted evolutionary theory in the English-speaking world, the so-called neo-Darwinian theory ... These objections to current neo-Darwinian theory are very widely held among biologists generally; and we must on no account, I think, make light of them. The very fact that we are having this conference is evidence that we are not making light of them." (Sir Peter Medawar [National Institute for Medical Research in London] at the "Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution," conference at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology in Philadelphia (April 25-26, 1962).)
- "The existence of design and nature is a fact which must certainly be taken seriously ... [because] in every main branch of science- physics, geophysics, astronomy, chemistry, biology- we are faced by the same surprising fact.... Nearly everywhere it [nature] shows the signs.... of something that we can only think of in terms of ingenuity and deliberate design." (Robert E.D. Clark [PhD in Organic Chemistry, Cambridge University], The Universe: Plan or Accident?, pages 151, 181 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1972).)
- "I have always been slightly suspicious of the theory of evolution because of its ability to account for any property of living beings (the long neck of the giraffe, for example). I have therefore tried to see whether biological discoveries over the last thirty years or so fit in with Darwin's theory.... I do not think that they do. To my mind, the theory does not stand up at all." (H.S. Lipson, A Physicist Looks at Evolution, Physics Bulletin, Vol. 31: 138 (1980).)
- "Evolution is baseless and quite incredible." (Dr. Ambrose Fleming [President, British Assoc. Advancement of Science], "The Unleashing of Evolutionary Thought".)
- "Organisms either appeared on the earth fully developed or they did not. If they did not, they must have developed from preexisting species by some process of modification. If they did appear in a fully developed state, they must indeed have been created by some omnipotent intelligence." (Douglas J. Futuyma, Science on Trial, page 197 (New York: Pantheon Books, 1983).)
- "The only competing explanation for the order we all see in the biological world is the notion of Special Creation." (Niles Eldridge [PhD., Palaeontologist and evolutionist, American Museum of Natural History].)
- "My attempts to demonstrate evolution by an experiment carried on for more than 40 years have completely failed." (N.H. Nilson, [famous botanist and evolutionist].)
- "[T]he origin of no innovation of large evolutionary significance is known." (R. Wesson, Beyond Natural Selection, page 45 (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1991).)
- "I have often thought how little I should like to prove organic evolution in a court of law." (E. White, in his presidential address to the Linnean Society, 1966.)
- "A chicken is really the chicken genes' way of making more copies of themselves." (E.O. Wilson, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis ( Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1975).)
- "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." (Theodosius Dobzhansky, "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution," American Biology Teacher, Vol. 35: 125-129.)
- "The subject of evolution occupies a special, and paradoxical, place within biology as a whole. While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky's dictum that 'Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution', most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas. 'Evolution' would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superfluous one." (Introduction in a special issue on evolution, BioEssays (December 2000).)
- "It might be thought, therefore, that evolutionary arguments would play a large part in guiding biological research, but this is far from the case. It is difficult enough to study what is happening now. To try to figure out exactly what happened in evolution is even more difficult. Thus evolutionary arguments can usefully be used as hints to suggest possible lines of research, but it is highly dangerous to trust them too much. It is all too easy to make mistaken inferences unless the process involved is already very well understood." (Francis H.C. Crick [Co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, Nobel laureate 1962, Professor, Salk Institute, USA], What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery, pages 138-139 (1990, London: Penguin Books, 1988).)
- "At the moment, I can't find any rational argument to knock down the view which argues for conversion to God. We used to have an open mind; now we realize that the only logical answer to life is creation--and not accidental random shuffling." (C. Wickramasinghe [Professor of Applied Math & Astronomy, University College, Cardiff], Interview in London Daily Express (August 14, 1981).)
- "Curious about why the museum would go so far, and no further, I talked with Roger Miles, an authority on pollen who is also head of the department of public services. Many of the troublesome questions that have emerged about evolution turned out to be beyond the scope of this exhibition:
Does it have anything to say about the gaps in the fossil record?
Does it present any examples of gradual evolution of a series of fossils?
Does it tackle the problem caused by the scarcity of transitional forms?
Does it explain how life emerged from inorganic chemicals?
Does it offer an explanation for the explosion of complex life forms at the beginning of the Cambrian?
Nor the origin of the genetic code?
Does it concern itself with the problems faced by breeders that there is a genetic limit to change?
Breeding is mentioned in the way that Darwin saw it, as an analogy to evolution.
What does it say about the origin of flight?
Does it touch common patterns of form, such as segmentation?
What about Goldschmidt's hopeful monsters-embryonic restructuring?
Anything about punctuated equilibria?
(Roger Niles, "The Neck of the Giraffe", Interview by Francis Hitching.)
- "On reading The Origin of Species, I found that Darwin was much less sure himself than he is often represented to be; the chapter entitled "Difficulties of the Theory" for example, shows considerable self-doubt. As a physicist, I was particularly intrigued by his comments on how the eye would have arisen." (H. S. Lipson, "A Physicist's View of Darwin's Theory", Evolution Trends in Plants, Vol. 2 (1): 6 (1988).)
- "I have quoted some voices of dissent coming from biologists in eminent academic positions. There have been many others, just as critical of the orthodox doctrine, though not always as outspoken--and their number is steadily growing. Although these criticisms have made numerous breaches in the walls, the citadel stills stands--mainly as said before, because nobody has a satisfactory alternative to offer. The history of science shows that a well-established theory can take a lot of battering and get itself into a tangle of contradictions--the fourth phase of 'Crisis and Doubt' in the historic cycle and yet still be upheld by the establishment until a breakthrough occurs, initiating a new departure, and the start of a new cycle."
"But that event is not yet in sight. In the meantime, the educated public continues to believe that Darwin has provided all the relevant answers by the magic formula of mutation plus natural selection--quite unaware of the fact that random mutations turned out to be irrelevant and natural selection a tautology." (Arthur Koestler, Janus: A Summing Up, pages 184-185 (New York: Random House, 1978).)
- "We have repeatedly emphasized the fundamental problems posed for the biologist by the fact of life's complex organization. We have seen that organization requires work for its maintenance and that the universal quest for food is in part to provide the energy needed for this work. But the simple expenditure of energy is not sufficient to develop and maintain order. A bull in a china shop performs work, but he neither creates nor maintains organization. The work needed is particular work; it must follow specifications; it requires information on how to proceed." (George Gaylord Simpson [Professor of Vertebrate Paleontology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University] and William S. Beck [Harvard University], Life: An Introduction To Biology, page 466 (2nd ed., London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1957).)
- "Neo-Darwinism is an attempt to reconcile Mendelian genetics, which says that organisms do not change with time, with Darwinism, which claims they do." (Lynn Margulis, in John Brockman, The Third Culture, page 133 (Simon and Schuster, 1995).)
- "The neo-Darwinist is now reaching the point of dignity in the history of science that the Ptolemaic system in astronomy, the epicycle system, reached long ago. We know that it does not work. And that is interesting. Because from the actual structure of the chromosome we can demonstrate that the human species did not come from a progressive humanisation of a pre-human." (Quoted from Conference Paper dated October 1975, Professor Jerome Lejeune [Chair of Fundamental Genetics, University of Paris, France], The Beginning of Life.)
- "Any living being possesses an enormous amount of "intelligence," very much more than is necessary to build the most magnificent of cathedrals. Today, this "intelligence" is called "information," but it is still the same thing. It is not programmed as in a computer, but rather it is condensed on a molecular scale in the chromosomal DNA or in that of any other organelle in each cell. This "intelligence" is the sine qua non of life. If absent, no living being is imaginable. Where does it come from? This is a problem which concerns both biologists and philosophers and, at present, science seems incapable of solving it."
"When we consider a human work, we believe we know where the `intelligence' which fashioned it comes from; but when a living being is concerned, no one knows or ever knew, neither Darwin nor Epicurus, neither Leibniz nor Aristotle, neither Einstein nor Parmenides. An act of faith is necessary to make us adopt one hypothesis rather than another. Science, which does not accept any credo, or in any case should not, acknowledges its ignorance, its inability to solve this problem which, we are certain, exists and has reality. If to determine the origin of information in a computer is not a false problem, why should the search for the information contained in cellular nuclei be one?"
"Biochemists and biologists who adhere blindly to the Darwinism theory search for results that will be in agreement with their theories and consequently orient their research in a given direction, whether it be in the field of ecology, ethology, sociology, demography (dynamics of populations), genetics (so-called evolutionary genetics), or paleontology. This intrusion of theories has unfortunate results: it deprives observations and experiments of their objectivity, makes them biased, and, moreover, creates false problems."
"Today, our duty is to destroy the myth of evolution, considered as a simple, understood, and explained phenomenon which keeps rapidly unfolding before us. Biologists must be encouraged to think about the weaknesses of the interpretations and extrapolations that theoreticians put forward or lay down as established truths. The deceit is sometimes unconscious, but not always, since some people, owing to their sectarianism, purposely overlook reality and refuse to acknowledge the inadequacies and the falsity of their beliefs." (Pierre-Paul Grasse [Editor of the 28-volume "Traite de Zoologie," former Chair of Evolution, Sorbonne University, ex-president of the French Academie des Sciences], Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation, pages 2, 7, 8 (1977, New York, NY: Academic Press, 1973).)
- "There is a considerable gap in the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution, and we believe this gap to be of such a nature that it cannot be bridged with the current conception of biology." (M. Schutzenberger [Mathematician], "Algorithms and the Neo-Darwinian Theory of Evolution," at P.S. Moorehead and M. M. Kaplan, eds., "Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution" symposium, page 75 (Philadelphia: Wistar Institute Press, 1967).)
- "The concept of organic evolution is very highly prized by biologists, for many of whom it is an object of genuinely religious devotion, because they regard it as a supreme integrative principle. This is probably the reason why severe methodological criticism employed in other departments of biology has not yet been brought to bear on evolutionary speculation." (Edwin G. Conklin,[Professor of Biology, Princeton University, USA], Man Real and Ideal, , page 147 (Scribner, 1943), in N. Macbeth, Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason, pages 126-127 (Boston, MA: Gambit, 1971).)
- "'IT IS TOTALLY WRONG. It's wrong like infectious medicine was wrong before Pasteur. It's wrong like phrenology is wrong. Every major tenet of it is wrong,' said the outspoken biologist Lynn Margulis about her latest target: the dogma of Darwinian evolution.... Margulis was now denouncing the modern framework of the century-old theory of Darwinism, which holds that new species build up from an unbroken line of gradual, independent, random variations. Margulis is not alone in challenging the stronghold of Darwinian theory, but few have been so blunt. Disagreeing with Darwin resembles creationism to the uninformed; therefore the stigma that any taint of creationism can bring to a scientific reputation, coupled with the intimidating genius of Darwin, have kept all but the boldest iconoclasts from doubting Darwinian theory in public. What excites Margulis is the remarkable incompleteness of general Darwinian theory. Darwinism is wrong by what it omits and by what it incorrectly emphasizes. A number of microbiologists, geneticists, theoretical biologists, mathematicians, and computer scientists are saying there is more to life than Darwinism. They do not reject Darwin's contribution; they simply want to move beyond it. I call them the `postdarwinians.'" (Kevin Kelly [Executive Editor of Wired], "Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines," pages 470-471 (1995, London: Fourth Estate, 1994).)
- "In considering the Origin of Species, it is quite conceivable that a naturalist, reflecting on the mutual affinities of organic beings, on their embryological relations, their geographical distribution, geological succession, and other such facts, might come to the conclusion that species had not been independently created, but had descended, like varieties, from other species. Nevertheless, such a conclusion, even if well founded, would be unsatisfactory, until it could be shown how the innumerable species inhabiting this world have been modified, so as to acquire that perfection of structure and coadaptation which justly excites our admiration." (Charles R. Darwin [English naturalist and founder of the modern theory of evolution], The Origin of Species, page 18 (6th ed., London: Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons, 1872).)
- "During the period of nearly universal rejection, direct evidence for continental drift-that is, the data gathered from rocks exposed on our continents-was every bit as good as it is today..... In the absence of a plausible mechanism, the idea of continental drift was rejected as absurd. The data that seemed to support it could always be explained away.... The old data from continental rocks, once soundly rejected, have been exhumed and exalted as conclusive proof of drift. In short, we now accept continental drift because it is the expectation of a new orthodoxy. I regard this tale as typical of scientific progress. New facts, collected in old ways under the guidance of old theories, rarely lead to any substantial revision of thought. Facts do not 'speak for themselves', they are read in the light of theory." (Stephen Jay Gould [Professor of Zoology and Geology, Harvard University], "The Validation of Continental Drift," in Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History, page 161 (1991, London: Penguin Books, 1978).)
- "Darwin's book-On the Origin of Species-I find quite unsatisfactory: it says nothing about the origin of species; it is written very tentatively; with a special chapter on "Difficulties on theory"; and it includes a great deal of discussion on why evidence for natural selection does not exist in the fossil record. Darwin, I think, has been ill-served by the strength of his supporters." (H.S. Lipson [Professor of Physics, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, UK], "Origin of species," in "Letters," New Scientist, page 452 (May 14, 1981).)
- "Most observers see the current situation in evolutionary theory--where the object is to explain how, not if, life evolves--as bordering on total chaos." (Niles Eldredge, "An Ode to Adaptive Transformation", Nature, Vol. 296: 508 (1982).)
- "There is absolutely no disagreement among professional biologists on the fact that evolution has occurred .... But the theory of how evolution occurs is quite another matter, and is the subject of intense dispute." (Douglas Futuyma, "Evolution as Fact and Theory", Bios, Vol. 56: 3, 8 (1985).)
- "Since we hardly know anything about the major types of organization, suggestions, and suggestions only, can be made. How can one confidently assert that one mechanism rather than another was at the origin of the creation of the plans of organization, if one relies entirely upon imagination to find a solution? Our ignorance is so great that we dare not even assign with any accuracy an ancestral stock to the phyla Protozoa, Arthropoda, Mollusca, and Vertebrata. The lack of concrete evidence relative to the "heyday" of evolution seriously impairs any transformist theory. In any case, a shadow is cast over the genesis of the fundamental structural plans and we are unable to eliminate it."
"The united efforts of paleontology and molecular biology, the latter stripped of its dogmas, should lead to the discovery of the exact mechanism of evolution, possibly without revealing to us the causes of the orientations of lineages, of the finalities of structures, of living functions, and of cycles. Perhaps in this area biology can go no farther: the rest is metaphysics." (Pierre-Paul Grasse [Editor of the 28-volume "Traite de Zoologie," former Chair of Evolution, Sorbonne University and ex-president of the French Academie des Sciences], Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation, page 17, 246 (New York, NY: Academic Press, 1977).)
- "I mean the stories, the narratives about change over time. How the dinosaures became extinct, how the mammals evolved, where man came from. These seem to me to be little more than story-telling. And this is the result about cladistics because as it turns out, as it seems to me, all one can learn about the history of life is learned from systematics, from groupings one finds in nature. The rest of it is story-telling of one sort or another. We have access to the tips of a tree, the tree itself is a theory and people who pretend to know about the tree and to describe what went on with it, how the branches came off and the twigs came off are, I think, telling stories." (Dr. Colin Patterson [Senior Palaeontologist, British Museum of Natural History, London], in an interview on the BBC television (March 4, 1982).)
- "Those searching for specific information useful in constructing phylogenies of mammalian taxa will be disappointed." (R. Eric Lombard, "Review of Evolutionary Principles of the Mammalian Middle Ear, Gerald Fleischer," Evolution, Vol. 33: 1230 (December 1979).)
Mutations and Natural Selection
- “It remains a mystery how the undirected process of mutation, combined with natural selection, has resulted in the creation of thousands of new proteins with extraordinarily diverse and well optimized functions. This problem is particularly acute for tightly integrated molecular systems that consist of many interacting parts…” (Joseph W. Thornton and Rob DeSalle, "Gene Family Evolution and Homology: Genomics Meets Phylogenetics," Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics, Vol. 1: 41–73 (2000).)
- “It is indeed true that natural selection cannot build any feature in which intermediate steps do not confer a net benefit on the organism. As Darwin wrote in On the Origin of Species, ‘If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case.’ A century and a half later, there is still no such case. Behe certainly fails to make one.” (Jerry Coyne, "The Great Mutator,"
- The New Republic (June 14, 2007).)
- “Just explaining the advantage of a structure does not, however, tell us how it might have evolved.” (Jon Greenberg [Revision Editor], BSCS Biology: A Molecular Approach, page 452 (Glencoe-McGraw Hill, 2001).)
- "Micromutations do occur, but the theory that these alone can account for evolutionary change is either falsified, or else it is an unfalsifiable, hence metaphysical theory. I suppose that nobody will deny that it is a great misfortune if an entire branch of science becomes addicted to a false theory. But this is what has happened in biology ... I believe that one day the Darwinian myth will be ranked the greatest deceit in the history of science. When this happens many people will pose the question: How did this ever happen?" (S. Lovtrup, Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth, page 422 (London: Croom Helm).)
- "It is difficult to imagine how competition between organisms that have been disabled by one, or several, mutations(s), such as exemplified by genetic diseases [references deleted] could possibly be the mechanism of evolution. Disabling mutations can lead to only degernation of organisms less well-equipped to survive than the nonmutated parents. The whole concept that variation per se, together with competitive selection, is sufficient to generate evolution is a hypothesis that is simply not based on facts." (H.R. Lerner, "Introduction to the Response of Plants to Environmental Stresses," in Plant Responses to Environmental Stresses: From Phytohormones to Genome Reorganization, page 17 (New York: Marcel Dekker, 1999).)
- "It is true that it is not the opinion of the majority of authors, but science is not a matter of majority, but rather, what is a better approximation of reality." (H.R. Lerner, "Introduction to the Response of Plants to Environmental Stresses," in Plant Responses to Environmental Stresses: From Phytohormones to Genome Reorganization, page 18 (New York: Marcel Dekker, 1999).)
- "...It is true that nobody thus far has produced a new species or genus, etc., by macromutations. It is equally true that nobody has produced even a species by the selection of micromutations.... Neither has anyone witnessed the production of a new specimen of a higher taxonomic category by selection of micromutants." (Richard B. Goldschmidt, American Scientist, Vol. 40: 97 (1952).)
- "Generation after generation, through countless cell divisions, the genetic heritage of living things is scrupulously preserved in DNA ... All of life depends on the accurate transmission of information. As genetic messages are passed through generations of dividing cells, even small mistakes can be life-threatening... if mistakes were as rare as one in a million, 3000 mistakes would be made during each duplication of the human genome. Since the genome replicates about a million billion times in the course of building a human being from a single fertilised egg, it is unlikely that the human organism could tolerate such a high rate of error. In fact, the actual rate of mistakes is more like one in 10 billion." (Miroslav Radman and Robert Wagner, "The High Fidelity of DNA Duplication", Scientific American, Vol. 299 (2): 24, 40-44 (August 1988).)
- "It is good to keep in mind ... that nobody has ever succeeded in producing even one new species by the accumulation of micromutations. Darwin's theory of natural selection has never had any proof, yet it has been universally accepted." (R. Goldschmidt [PhD, DSc Professor of Zoology, University of California], Material Basis of Evolution (Yale Univ. Press).)
- "It is fashionable in modern evolutionary genetics to state: "The raw materials of evolution arise by mutation and recombination" and then to proceed to discuss how alleles may change frequencies under directional or nondirectional forces." (Max Levitan, "Proof of an Adaptive Linkage Association", Science, Vol. 134 (3490): 1617-1619 (November 17, 1961).)
- "[w]hether the slightly deleterious hypothesis can explain the patterns of molecular polymorphism and evolution is subject of debate." (Wen Hsuing Li, Molecular Evolution (Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, Inc., 1997).)
- "Viable mutations with major morphological or physiological effects are exceedingly rare and usually infertile; the chance of two identical rare mutant individuals arising in sufficient propinquity to produce offspring seems too small to consider as a significant evolutionary event. These problems of viable "hopeful monsters" are exacerbated when considering evolution near the Precambrian - Cambrian boundary, when new higher taxa appeared at such a rate that we have estimated that 1 in 40 or so species represented a new class. This figure is arguable, but it is clear that the process causing evolutionary novelty could not have depended on exceedingly rare events. Explanations of the Cambrian radiation of invertebrate marine phyla and classes have focused on species selection or traditional microevolutonary processes. The rapidity of and low species numbers during the radiation render these explanations untenable." (D.H. Erwin and J.W. Valentine, "Hopeful monsters, Transposons, and the Metazoan Radiation", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 81: 5482-5483 (September 1984).)
- "When speaking here of Darwinism, I shall speak always of today's theory that is Darwin's own theory of natural selection supported by the Mendelian theory of heredity, by the theory of the mutation and recombination of genes in a gene pool, and by the decoded genetic code. This is an immensely impressive and powerful theory. The claim that it completely explains evolution is of course a bold claim, and very far from being established." (Karl R. Popper [Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of London], "Natural Selection and the Emergence of Mind," Dialectica, Vol. 32 (3-4): 339-355 (1978).)
- "The primary problem with the [modern evolutionary] synthesis is that its makers established natural selection as the director of adaptive evolution by eliminating competing explanations, not by providing evidence that natural selection among 'random' mutations could, or did, account for observed adaptation (Box 2). Mayr remarked, 'As these non-Darwinian explanations were refuted during the synthesis ... natural selection automatically became the universal explanation of evolutionary change (together with chance factors).' Depriving the synthesis of plausible alternatives, which seemed such a triumph, in fact sowed the seeds of its faults."
"The 'modern evolutionary synthesis' convinced most biologists that natural selection was the only directive influence on adaptive evolution. Today, however, dissatisfaction with the synthesis is widespread, and creationists and antidarwinians are multiplying. The central problem with the synthesis is its failure to show (or to provide distinct signs) that natural selection of random mutations could account for observed levels of adaptation." (Egbert G. Leigh Jr. [Biologist, Smithsonian Institution, USA], "The Modern Synthesis, Ronald Fisher and Creationism," Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 14 (12): 495-498 (December 1999).)
- "If I were convinced that I required such additions to the theory of natural selection, I would reject it as rubbish.... I would give nothing for the theory of natural selection, if it requires miraculous additions at any one stage of descent." (F. Darwin, ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin", page 210 (London: John Murray, 1888).)
- "The [peppered-moth] experiments show the effects of predation on the survival of the dark and of the normal forms of the Peppered Moth in a clean environment and in one polluted by smoke. The experiments beautifully demonstrate natural selection--or survival of the fittest--in action, but they do not show evolution in progress, for however the population may alter in their content of light, intermediate or dark forms, all the moths remain from beginning to end Biston Betularia." (L. Harrison Matthews [FRS], in the introduction to Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species, page xi (1971 ed., London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd, 1859).)
- "Gene duplication has generally been viewed as a necessary source of material for the origin of evolutionary novelties, but it is unclear how often gene duplications arise and how frequently they evolve new functions."
"The vast majority of gene duplicates are silenced within a few million years, with the survivors subsequently experiencing a strong purifying selection."
"It is unclear how duplicate genes successfully navigate an evolutionary trajectory from an initial state of complete redundancy, wherein one copy is likely to be expendable, to a stable situation in which both copies are maintained by natural selection. Nor is it clear how often these events occur."
"Because the vast majority of mutations affecting fitness are deleterious and because gene duplicates are generally assumed to be functionally redundant at the time of origin, virtually all models predict that the usual fate of a duplicate-gene pair is the nonfunctionalization of one copy."
"[there is a] rather narrow window of opportunity for evolutionary exploration by gene duplicates."
(M. Lynch and J. S. Conery, "The Evolutionary Fate and Consequence of Duplicate Genes," Science, Vol. 290: 1151-1155 (Nov 10, 2000).)
- "We can here consider an oxymoron commonly used by evolutionists -- "selection for this or that trait". Aside from the fact that selection pressure is modeled negatively in mathematical models (see (7), above), we can now see, in this quite reasonable soft selection model, that no phenotypic trait could be isolated as showing a character state that is favored by natural selection (any more than any other one evolving simultaneously). Selection for something can only be modeled in cases like artificial selection, where human agency repeatedly applies truncation selection on a given trait. Using the monkey at keyboards analogy again (see (7), above), we could model selection for something by having the inspection of the random letters be informed by a pre-given text. There is one other possibility where selection for could be used, but neoDarwinians are not likely to embrace it. It would be possible to have a single-gene Darwinism in which traits are viewed as evolving one at a time, sequentially, with the information from each new allele being assimilated into a developmental system which oversees the construction of the phenotype. The problem with this for Darwinians is that this privileges the ontogenetic system as the site of all the action, with selection just providing tokens or memory bench marks cuing that system into modulating some developmental processes. This view would also go against the current enthusiasm for genetic reductionism shown in phrases like "this trait is coded for by gene X", and would make nonsense of the popular Dawkins / Dennett genic reductionism." (Stanley N. Salthe [Ph.D. Zoology, Columbia University, also former Professor Emeritus, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, and visiting scientist in Biological Sciences, Binghamton University], in the essay "Analysis and Critique of the Concept of Natural Selection (and of the Darwinian Theory of Evolution) in Respect to its Suitability as part of Modernism's Origination Myth, as Well as of its Ability to Explain Organic Evolution".)
- "In other words, natural selection over the long run does not seem to improve a species' chance of survival but simply enables it to "track," or keep up with, the constantly changing environment." (Richard C. Lewontin [Professor of Zoology, University of Chicago, and co-editor of the American Naturalist], "Adaptation," Scientific American, Vol. 239 (3): 159 (September 1978).)
- "The conventional explanation, that random changes accumulate one locus at a time, is unconvincing on both functional and probabilistic grounds..." (James Shapiro [The University of Chicago], Molecular Strategies in Biological Evolution: Papers Presented at a Conference Held on June 27-29, 1998 in New York (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences) (Rockefeller University, New York, NY: New York Academy of Sciences, 1999).)
- "To get the actual mosaic you need a designer. The designer corresponds to natural selection."
"Language learning is not programming: parents provide their children with sentences of English, not rules of English. We suggest that natural selection was the programmer." (S. Pinker and P. Bloom, "Natural Language and Natural Selection", Behavior and Brain Sciences, Vol. 13 (4) (December 1990).)
- "A peculiarity of Darwinism, both in biology and in other fields, is that it explains too much. It is very hard to imagine a condition of things which could not be explained in terms of natural selections. If the state of various elements at a given moment is such and such then these elements have displayed their survival value under the existing circumstances, and that is that. Natural selection explains why things are as they are: It does not enable us, in general, to say how they will change and vary. It is in a sense rather a historical than a predictive principle and, as is well known, it is rather a necessary than a sufficient principle for modern biology." (D.G. MacRae, "Darwinism and the Social Sciences," in S.A. Barnett, ed., A Century of Darwin, page 304 (1962, London: Mercury Books, 1958).)
- "Finally, there is the question of natural selection. In one sense, the influence of the theory of natural selection on sociology was enormous. It created for a while, in fact, a branch of sociology. It seems now to be felt that the influence on sociology of the doctrine of 'survival of the fittest' was theoretically speaking, unfortunate, chiefly because it seemed to offer an explanatory short cut, and encouraged social theorists to aspire to be Darwin's when probably they should have been trying to be Linnaeuses or Cuviers. As Professor MacRae points out, in sociology the principle explains too much. Any state of affairs known to exist or to have existed can be explained by the operation of natural selection. Like Hegel's dialectic and Dr. Chasuble's sermon on The Meaning of Manna in the Wilderness, it can be made to suit any situation." (J.W. Burrow, Evolution and Society: A Study in Victorian Social Theory, page 115 (1968, London: Cambridge University Press, 1966).)
- "The point of my letter (Science's Compass, 30 July, p. 663), which perhaps was not well articulated, is that there is one hypothesis, central to evolution, that remains barely tested-that evolution proceeds through the process of survival and reproduction of the fittest." (David W. Hogg [Cosmologist, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University, USA], Science, Vol. 286 (26): 167 (November 1999).)
- "Although the importance of speciation is clear and convincing, the processes involved are, for the most part, unknown." (Guy L. Bush, "What Do We Really Know About Speciation?" in R. Milkman, Ed., Perspectives on Evolution, page 119 (Sunderland, Mass.: Sinauer, 1976).)
- "In all the thousands of fly-breeding experiments carried out all over the world for more than fifty years, a distinct new species has never been seen to emerge ... or even a new enzyme." (Gordon Taylor, The Great Evolution Mystery, pages 34, 38 (New York: Harper and Row, 1983).)
- "The best clincher is extinction. For every species now in existence, roughly ninety-nine have become extinct. The question of why they have become extinct is of enormous importance to evolutionists. It has been studied by many men, but a convincing answer has not been found. It remains unclear why any given species has disappeared. The discussion of survival of the fittest showed that the phrase led to circular reasoning; you survive because you are fit, and you are fit because you survive. Discussion of extinction is beset by a similar danger. It is all too easy to say that a species becomes extinct because it fails to adapt, while establishing its failure to adapt only by its becoming extinct: in other words, you die because you are unfit and you are unfit because you die." (David Raup, "Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology," Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, Vol. 50 (1): 22-29 (January 1979).)
- "At the present time the way in which mutation and selection (survival of the fittest) has worked over evolutionary time no longer seems to apply to Homo sapiens." (Daniel E. Koshland Jr. [Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley], "The Seven Pillars of Life," Science, Vol. 295 (5563): 2215-2216 (March 22, 2002).)
- "...[natural selection] states that the fittest individuals survive in a population (defined as those which leave the most offspring) will leave the most offspring."
(C.H. Waddington, "Evolutionary Adaptation" (1960).)
- "After this step-wise elimination, only one possibility remains: the Darwinian theory of natural selection, whether or not coupled with Mendelism, is false. I have already shown that the arguments advanced by the early champions were not very compelling, and that there are now considerable numbers of empirical facts which do not fit with the theory. Hence, to all intents and purposes, the theory has been falsified, so why has it not been abandoned? ...I think the answer to this question is that current evolutionists follow Darwin's example - they refuse to accept falsifying evidence." (Soren Lovtrup [Professor of Zoo-Physiology, University of Umea in Sweden], Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth (University of California: Croom Helm, 1987).)
- "Consider the well-known example of industrial melanism in the British peppered moth, Biston Betularia. Few high school biology texts fail to mention this study yet few students (and almost no Creationists) seem to understand what it is that this example demonstrates.... Clearly, environmental pressures, through natural selection, can effect rapid shifts in the genotype of a population. In this case the spontaneously produced variation that proved to be advantageous to the species' survival was a genetic mutation. This is evolution in action, under observation. What it is not (nor was it ever claimed to be despite what one may find in Creationist literature) is an example of the evolution of a new species." (M. Archer, "The Reality of Organic Evolution," in D.R. Selkirk and F.J. Burrows, eds., Confronting Creationism: Defending Darwin, pages 30-31 (Kensington, NSW, Australia: New South Wales University Press, 1988).)
- "[the probability of the coincidental formation of Cytochrome-C, an essential protein for survival] is as unlikely as the possibility of a monkey writing the history of humanity on a typewriter without making any mistakes."
"In essence, the probability of the formation of a Cytochrome-C sequence is as likely as zero. That is, if life requires a certain sequence, it can be said that this has a probability likely to be realised once in the whole universe. Otherwise some metaphysical powers beyond our definition must have acted in its formation. To accept the latter is not appropriate for the scientific goal. We thus have to look into the first hypothesis." (Ali Demirsoy, Kalitim ve Evrim (Inheritance and Evolution), page 61 (Ankara: Meteksan Publishing Co., 1984).)
- "In light of what we know about evolution, it seems most likely that our extraordinary cognitive capacity was somehow acquired as a unit, rather than in a gradual process of modular accretion, for it is plainly wrong to regard natural selection as a long-term fine-tuning of specific characteristics, however much we like the resulting stories. And it's important to remember that even today we are still testing the limits of this generalized capacity that makes so much possible..." (Ian Tattersall, in the Letters, Scientific American, page 12 (April 2002), Reply to letter by Dudley Miles, concerning Tattersall's article "How We Came to Be Human," Scientific American, pages 56-63 (December 2001).)
- "There is no doubt that natural selection is a mechanism, that it works. It has been repeatedly demonstrated by experiment. There is no doubt at all that it works. But the question of whether it produces new species is quite another matter. No one has ever produced a species by mechanisms of natural selection. No one has ever gotten near it and most of the current argument in neo-Darwinism is about this question: how a species originates and it is there that natural selection seems to be fading out and chance mechanisms of one sort or another are being invoked." (Colin Patterson, on the subject of 'Cladistics' in an interview with Peter Franz on the British Broadcasting Corporation (March 4, 1982).)
- "Mutations have a very limited 'constructive capacity'; this is why the formation of hair by mutation of reptilian scales seems to be a phenomenon of infinitesimal probability; the formation of mammae by mutation of reptilian integumentary glands is hardly more likely."
"Mutations, in time, occur incoherently. They are not complementary to one another, nor are they cumulative in successive generations toward a given direction. They modify what preexists, but they do so in disorder, no matter how. ... As soon as some disorder, even slight, appears in an organized being, sickness, then death follow. There is no possible compromise between the phenomenon of life and anarchy."
"Directed by all-powerful selection, chance becomes a sort of providence, which, under the cover of atheism, is not named but which is secretly worshiped." (Pierre-Paul Grasse [former President of the French Academie des Sciences and editor of the 35 volume "Traite de Zoologie"], Evolution of Living Organisms (New York, NY: Academic Press, 1977).)
- "One of the most important questions in evolution is: How can new adaptations originate? This is a difficult question, because most evolutionary novelties, such as the eye or the wing, involve the orchestrated expression of many different loci, a number of which act in the expression of multiple phenotypes. Conventional explanations that randomly generated advantageous changes in complex characters accumulate one locus at a time are unconvincing on both functional and probabilistic grounds, because there is too much interconnectivity and too many degrees of mutational freedom. (James A. Shapiro, "Genome System Architecture and Natural Genetic Engineering in Evolution," Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 870: 23-25 (May 18, 1999).)
- "...the reasons for rejecting Darwin's proposal were many, but first of all that many innovations cannot possibly come into existence through accumulation of many small steps, and even if they can, natural selection cannot accomplish it, because incipient and intermediate stages are not advantageous." (S. Lovtrup, Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth, page 275 (Beckenham, Kent, U.K.: Croom Helm Ltd., 1987).)
- "One escape hatch yet exists for spontaneous generation. Why need the event have been probable? We can just stare at the odds, shrug, and note with thanks how lucky we were... After all, improbable events occur all the time." (Robert Shapiro, Origins: A Skeptic's Guide to Creation of Life on Earth.)
- "Michael Behe has done a top notch job of explaining and illuminating one of the most vexing problems in biology: the origin of the complexity that permeates all of life on this planet. Professor Behe selects an answer that falls outside of science: the original creation of life by an intelligent designer. Many scientists, myself included, will prefer to continue the search for an answer within science. Nonetheless, this book should be on the essential reading list of all those who are interested in the question of where we came from, as it presents the most thorough and clever presentation of the design argument that I have seen." (Robert Shapiro, Origins: A Skeptics Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth.)
- "There are six major gaps in our knowledge and understanding of natural selection: (1) Why does natural selection occur? What are the biological reasons for the process, and what conditions favor natural selection? (2) How does it occur? What are the mechanisms of natural selection? What is the form of the separation line or selection function? (3) What kinds of traits are most likely to be affected by natural selection? (4) What is the effect of simultaneous natural selection on many traits, some of them intercorrelated with each other? What is the effect of genetic interactions among traits? What is the effect of phenotypic (selective) interactions among traits? Is there any limit to the number of traits that affect fitness, and does this vary with habitat? (5) Given that there is known fitness variation, what are the evolutionary dynamics and equilibrium configurations (if any) of the traits? (6) Is there a relationship between the presence of demonstrable natural selection and genera that are currently radiating rapidly?" (J.A. Endler, Natural Selection in the Wild, page 247 ( Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986).)
- "Professor Eiseley presents a detailed argument designed to show that Darwin probably derived the idea of natural selection from two articles written by his acquaintance Edward Blyth and published in The Magazine of Natural History in 1835 and 1837. If these articles were in fact the source of Darwin's theory, Darwin was guilty of grave intellectual dishonesty. In the present writer's opinion, Professor Eiseley fails to establish his case beyond reasonable doubt, although the evidence he presents is sufficiently disturbing to merit further investigation aimed at establishing or disproving his thesis." (J.C. Greene, The Death of Adam: Evolution and its Impact on Western Thought, page 366 (1961, New York, NY: Mentor, 1959).)
- "To suppose that the evolution of the wonderfully adapted biological mechanisms has depended only on a selection out of a haphazard set of variations, each produced by blind chance, is like suggesting that if we went on throwing bricks together into heaps, we should eventually be able to choose ourselves the most desirable house." (Conrad H. Waddington [Professor of Animal Genetics, University of Edinburgh], "The Listener," (London, November 13, 1952), in A. Koestler, The Ghost in the Machine, page 127 (1989, London: Arkana, 1967).)
- "But what kind of mutations could bring about the major changes I have described? Could cause a tube to roll up into a helix? Could cause other tubes to form semi-circular canals accurately set at right angles to each other? Could grade sensory hairs according to length? Could cause the convenient deposit of a crystal in the one place it will register gravity?...It just doesn't make sense." (Gordon Rattray Taylor [former Chief Science Adviser, BBC Television], The Great Evolution Mystery, page 106 (London: Abacus, 1983).)
- "I am convinced it is this almost trivial simplicity that explains why the Darwinian theory is so widely accepted, why it has penetrated through the educational system so completely. As one student text puts it, `The theory is a two-step process. First variation must exist in a population. Second, the fittest members of the population have a selective advantage and are more likely to transmit their genes to the next generation.' What of the situation that bad mutations must enormously exceed good ones in number? ... The essential problem for the Darwinian theory in its twentieth century form is how to cope with this continuing flood of adverse mutations ... Supposing a favourable mutation to occur among the avalanche of unfavourable ones, how is the favourable mutation to advance against the downward pressure of the others?" (Fred Hoyle [former Professor of Astronomy, Cambridge University], Mathematics of Evolution, pages 8-9, (1999, Memphis, TN: Acorn Enterprises, 1987).)
- "Some contemporary biologists, as soon as they observe a mutation, talk about evolution. They are implicitly supporting the following syllogism: mutations are the only evolutionary variations, all living beings undergo mutations, therefore all living beings evolve. This logical scheme is, however, unacceptable: first, because its major premise is neither obvious nor general; second, because its conclusion does not agree with the facts. No matter how numerous they may be, mutations do not produce any kind of evolution."
"Panchronic species, which like other species are subject to the assaults of mutations remain unchanged. Their variants are eliminated except possibly for neutral mutants. In any event, their stability is an observed fact and not a theoretical concept.... What is the use of their unceasing mutations, if they do not change? In sum, the mutations of bacteria and viruses are merely hereditary fluctuations around a median position; a swing to the right, a swing to the left, but no final evolutionary effect.... It is important to note that relict species mutate as much as others do, but do not evolve, not even when they live in conditions favorable to change (diversity of environments, cosmopolitanism, large populations)."
"Bacteria, the study of which has formed a great part of the foundation of genetics and molecular biology, are the organisms which, because of their huge numbers, produce the most mutants. This is why they gave rise to an infinite variety of species, called strains, which can be revealed by breeding or tests. Like Erophila verna, bacteria, despite their great production of intraspecific varieties, exhibit a great fidelity to their species. The bacillus Escherichia coli, whose mutants have been studied very carefully, is the best example. The reader will agree that it is surprising, to say the least, to want to prove evolution and to discover its mechanisms and then to choose as a material for this study a being which practically stabilized a billion years ago!" (Pierre-Paul Grasse [Editor of the 28-volume "Traite de Zoologie," former Chair of Evolution, Sorbonne University, and ex-President of the French Academie des Sciences], Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation, pages 87-88 (New York, NY: Academic Press, 1977).)
- "Some of the underlying emotional reasons for rejecting natural selection were later vividly expressed by the playwright George Bernard Shaw: `[T]he Darwinian process may be described as a chapter of accidents. As such, it seems simple, because you do not at first realize all that it involves.... if this sort of selection could turn an antelope into a giraffe, it could conceivably turn a pond full of amoebas into the French academy.' [George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methusaleh: A Metabiological Pentateuch," page xlvi (New York: Brentano's, 1921)] The last sentence is in fact the modern evolutionary point of view." (C. Sagan and A. Druyan, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: A Search for Who We Are, pages 63-64, 428 (1993, London: Arrow, 1992).)
- "What gambler would be crazy enough to play roulette with random evolution? The probability of dust carried by the wind reproducing Durer's 'Melancholia' is less infinitesimal than the probability of copy errors in the DNA molecule leading to the formation of the eye; besides, these errors had no relationship whatsoever with the function that the eye would have to perform or was starting to perform. There is no law against daydreaming, but science must not indulge in it." (Pierre-Paul Grasse [French Zoologist], Evolution of Living Organisms, page 104 (New York: Academic Press, 1977).)
- "The problem was, as so often, that adaptive explanations were just too powerful. They could explain anything. If they are, in Daniel Dennett's phrase, 'a universal acid', capable of eating through everything, they will eventually consume even the subjects we want them to illuminate. It's not much use having a magic substance that will unblock your intellectual drains if it eats out the bottom of the sink as well." (A. Brown, The Darwin Wars: How Stupid Genes Became Selfish Gods, page 119 (London: Simon & Schuster, 1999).)
- "It is thus hardly surprising that the vast majority of biologists have accepted it [the theory of natural selection] as the theory of evolution. Yet there have always been those who are dissatisfied with the theory. The issue is not whether natural selection does occur; the question is whether the basic framework of neo-Darwinism-the natural selection of random mutations-is sufficient to account for most, if not all evolutionary change; for such is the claim of the modern "synthetic" theory.." (M.W. Ho and P.T. Saunders, "Beyond neo-Darwinism - An Epigenetic Approach to Evolution", Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 78: 573-591 (1979).)
- "It is our contention that if 'random' [chance] is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws, physical, chemical and biological." (Murray Eden [then Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT] in his paper, "Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory,"Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, page 109).)
- "Morgan, Goldschmidt, Muller, and other geneticists have subjected generations of fruit flies to extreme conditions of heat, cold, light, dark, and treatment by chemicals and radiation. All sorts of mutations, practically all trivial or positively deleterious, have been produced. Man-made evolution? Not really: Few of the geneticists' monsters could have survived outside the bottles they were bred in. In practice mutants die, are sterile, or tend to revert to the wild type." (Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution, page 70 (London: River Publishing, 1984).)
- "We add that it would be all too easy to object that mutations have no evolutionary effect because they are eliminated by natural selection. Lethal mutations (the worst kind) are effectively eliminated, but others persist as alleles. ...Mutants are present within every population, from bacteria to man. There can be no doubt about it. But for the evolutionist, the essential lies elsewhere: in the fact that mutations do not coincide with evolution." (Pierre-Paul Grassé [University of Paris, past-President, French Academie des Sciences], Evolution of Living Organisms, page 88 (New York: Academic Press, 1977).)
- "In the midst of his outpouring of anger at and dismissal of Goldschmidt, Dobzhansky neglected to consider the fact that while Goldschmidt's systemic mutations may not have been observed, neither had the mechanisms of speciation that he, or anyone else, for the matter, had proposed. Rather, Dobzhansky, as others did and would do, took for granted that, with enough time, the kinds of small mutations and changes that were observed in laboratory experiments on fruit-fly population genetics were also capable of producing the degrees of differences that seem to characterize species in the wild. To be sure, there was a certain logic in the belief that it was unnecessary to postulate another mechanism for evolutionary change when one already appeared to exist. This logic also seemed to benefit from the assertion that not only had no other mechanism been observed but that no other mechanism had yet produced species. Nevertheless, it was and still is the case that, with the exception of Dobzhansky's claim about a new species of fruit fly, the formation of a new species, by any mechanism, has never been observed." (J.H. Schwartz, Sudden Origins: Fossils, Genes, and the Emergence of Species, pages 299-300 (New York, NY: John, Wiley & Sons, 1999).)
- "Mutation does not introduce new levels of complexity, and it cannot be shown that it is a step in the right direction. Most observed mutations are harmful, and there is no experimental evidence to show that a new animal organism or even a novel structural features has ever been produced from the raw material produced by mutation." (P. Davis and D. Kenyon, Of Pandas and People (Dallas, TX: Haughton Publishing Company,1993).)
- "... it is a considerable strain on one's credulity to assume that finely balanced systems such as certain sense organs (the eye of vertebrates, or the bird's feather) could be improved by random mutations. This is even more true of some ecological chain relationships (the famous Yucca moth case, and so forth). However, the objectors to random mutations have so far been unable to advance any alternative explanation that was supported by substantial evidence." (Ernst Mayr, Systematics and the Origin of Species, p. 296 (1942).)
- "It is entirely in line with the accidental nature of natural mutations that extensive tests have agreed in showing the vast majority of them to be detrimental to the organism in its job of surviving and reproducing, just as changes accidentally introduced into any artificial mechanism are predominantly harmful to its useful operation." (H. J. Muller [Nobel Laureate and radiation and mutation expert], "How Radiation Changes the Genetic Constitution," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 11 (9): 331 (November 1955). Important note on this quote: Some have in the past stated that this article by Muller also contains the phrase, "good ones [mutations] are so rare that we can consider them all bad." THAT STATEMENT DOES NOT EXIST IN THIS ARTICLE. IDEA Staff have checked the original article and found that is not there. The quoted section above this tagline is the correct reference for this quote.)
- "What's in a word? Several nucleotides, some researchers might say. By applying statistical methods developed by linguists, investigators have found that 'junk' parts of the genomes of many organisms may be expressing a language. These regions have traditionally been regarded as useless accumulations of material from millions of years of evolution. 'The feeling is,' says Boston University physicist H. Eugene Stanley, 'that there's something going on in the noncoding region.' Junk DNA got its name because the nucleotides there (the fundamental pieces of DNA, combined into so-called base pairs) do not encode instructions for making proteins, the basis for life. In fact, the vast majority of genetic material in organisms from bacteria to mammals consists of noncoding DNA segments, which are interspersed with the coding parts. In humans, about 97 percent of the genome is junk. Over the past 10 years, biologists began to suspect that this feature is not entirely trivial." (Philip Yam, "Talking Trash," Scientific American, Vol. 272 (March 1995).)
- "`Mount Improbable' is a metaphor for adaptation occurring gradually, in increments. The metaphor is that of a mountain which has an absolutely sheer cliff face. If we relate this cliff to adaptation, to the most complicated piece of biological machinery you can think of, which for many people is an eye, then you say to yourself that it's impossible to leap from the bottom of this mountain to the top, which indeed it is. Leaping from the bottom of the cliff to the top would correspond to having the sheer luck to get that eye coming into place in one fell swoop. Many people wrongly think that Darwinism is a theory of chance, that it means that eyes and other complex organs come about by sheer luck. So no wonder these people don't believe natural selection. Of course an eye couldn't possibly come about like that. But on the other side of the mountain, you've got a slow, gradual slope and it is very easy to get to the top of the mountain if you go around the other side and just walk up the slope. Relating this to adaptation, you have gradual, incremental improvement. You begin with hardly any eye at all and then each step of the way up the mountain gradual improvement. It may not be much but it's enough to be better than your predecessors, who didn't have even that improvement. Climbing Mount Improbable emphasizes that evolution of complex adaptations has got to be gradual." (R. Dawkins, "Interview," in N.A. Campbell, J.B. Reece, and L.G. Mitchell, Biology, page 412 (5th ed., Menlo Park, CA: Benjamin/ Cummings, 1987).)
- "On one point all biologists are agreed: the basic concept of organic evolution has, for a century, stood unrivalled as a contribution to biological thought. As a working hypothesis it opened up and exploited vast new fields of paleontological, anatomical, and embryological inquiry. The status of natural selection is not quite so high. True, it is the only theory we have; but when judged as a working hypothesis it is disappointing to find so little advance in a hundred years." (Sir James Gray [late Professor of Zoology, Cambridge University], "The Case for Natural Selection," Nature, Vol. 173 (4397): 227 (February 6, 1954), in which he reviewed Julian Huxley, Evolution in Action (London: Chatto & Windus, 1953).)
- "The essence of Darwinism lies in a single phrase: natural selection is the creative force of evolutionary change. No one denies that natural selection will play a negative role in eliminating the unfit. Darwinian theories require that it create the fit as well." (Stephen Jay Gould [Professor of Geology and Paleontology, Harvard University], "The Return of Hopeful Monsters," Natural History, Vol. 86 (6): 28 (June/July 1977).)
- "No matter how numerous they may be, mutations do not produce any kind of evolution." (Pierre-Paul Grasse, Evolutionist)
- "The Darwinian theory is wrong because random variations tend to worsen performance, as indeed common sense suggests they must do." (Sir Fred Hoyle [British Mathematician, Astronomer and Cosmologist], The Intelligent Universe.)
- "There is no chance (< 10^-1000) to see this mechanism [mutation-selection] appear spontaneously and, if it did, even less for it to remain...Thus, to conclude, we believe there is a considerable gap in the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution, and we believe this gap to be of such a nature that it cannot be bridged within the current conception of biology." (Marcel P. Schutzenberger [formerly with University of Paris], "Algorithms and the Neo-Darwinian Theory of Evolution," in Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation, pg. 75.)
- "The facts of microevolution do not suffice for an understanding of macroevolution." (Richard B. Goldschmidt, The Material Basis of Evolution, page 8 (New Haven Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1940).)
- "The basic framework of the theory is that evolution is a two-stage phenomenon the production of variation and the sorting of the variants by natural selection. Yet agreement on this basic thesis does not mean that the work of the evolutionist is completed. The basic theory is in many instances hardly more than a postulate and its application raises numerous questions in almost every concrete case." (Ernst Mayr [Emeritus Professor of Zoology, Harvard University], Populations, Species and Evolution, page 6 (1974, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1963).)
- "Because there are no alternatives, we would almost *have* to accept natural selection as the explanation of life on this planet even if there were no evidence for it. Thankfully, the evidence is overwhelming. I don't just mean evidence that life evolved (which is way beyond reasonable doubt, creationists notwithstanding), but that it evolved by natural selection. Darwin himself pointed to the power of selective breeding, a direct analogue of natural selection, in shaping organisms.... Natural selection is also readily observable in the wild. In a classic example, the white peppered moth gave way in nineteenth-century Manchester to a dark mutant form after industrial soot covered the lichen on which the moth rested, making the white form conspicuous to birds. When air pollution laws lightened the lichen in the 1950s, the then-rare white form reasserted itself. There are many other examples, perhaps the most pleasing coming from the work of Peter and Rosemary Grant.... The Grants painstakingly measured the size and toughness of the seeds in different parts of the Galapagos at different times of the year, the length of the finches' beaks, the time they took to crack the seeds, the numbers and ages of the finches in different parts of the islands, and so on-every variable relevant to natural selection.... Selection in action is even more dramatic among faster breeding organisms, as the world is discovering to its peril in the case of pesticide-resistant insects, drug-resistant bacteria, and the AIDS virus in a single patient." (S. Pinker, How the Mind Works, pages 162-163 (1997, London: Penguin, 1998).)
- "Two shafts of criticism struck Darwin more directly than the outside world was allowed to know. They touched his particular theory that evolution took place by natural selection, a process analogous to the artificial selection which plant and animal breeders were practicing with such great success at that time. The first criticism asserted that Darwin's thesis was not true; the second, that it was not new. Such criticisms are raised against all revolutionary hypotheses, but both of these were serious and well informed." (Cyril D. Darlington [late Professor of Botany, Oxford University], "The Origin of Darwinism," Scientific American, Vol. 201: 60 (May 1959).)
- "We conclude-unexpectedly-that there is little evidence for the neo- Darwinian view: its theoretical foundations and the experimental evidence supporting it are weak, and there is no doubt that mutations of large effect are sometimes important in adaptation." (H. Allen Orr [Center for Population Biology, University of California, Davis] and Jerry A. Coyne [Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago], "The Genetics of Adaptation: A Reassessment," The American Naturalist, Vol. 140 (5): 726 (November 1992).)
- "The role assigned to natural selection in establishing adaptation, while speciously probable, is based on not one single sure datum. Paleontology (cf. the case of the transformation of the mandibular skeleton of theriodont reptiles) does not support it; direct observations here and now of the genesis of a hereditary adaptation is nonexistent, except, as we have stated, in the case of bacteria and insects preadapted to resist viruses or drugs. The formation of the eye, the inner ear, of cestodes and the whale, etc., does not seem possible by way of preadaptation."
"We are in the dark concerning the origin of insects." (Pierre-Paul Grasse [University of Paris, and past-President, French Acadamie des Sciences], Evolution of Living Organisms, pages 30, 170 (New York: Academic Press, 1977).)
- "Panchronic species [i.e. `living fossils'], which like other species are subject to the assaults of mutations remain unchanged. Their variants are eliminated except possibly for neutral mutants. In any event, their stability is an observed fact and not a theoretical concept.... What is the use of their unceasing mutations, if they do not change? In sum, the mutations of bacteria and viruses are merely hereditary fluctuations around a median position; a swing to the right, a swing to the left, but no final evolutionary effect. ... It is important to note that relict species mutate as much as others do, but do not evolve, not even when they live in conditions favorable to change (diversity of environments, cosmopolitanism, large populations)." (Pierre-Paul Grasse, Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation, page 87 (1977, New York, NY: Academic Press, 1973).)
- "'Survival of the fittest' and 'natural selection.' No matter what phraseology one generates, the basic fact remains the same: any physical change of any size, shape or form is strictly the result of purposeful alignment of billions of nucleotides (in the DNA). Nature or species do not have the capacity for rearranging them, nor adding to them. Consequently no leap (saltation) can occur from one species to another. The only way we know for a DNA to be altered is through a meaningful intervention from an outside source of intelligence: one who knows what it is doing, such as our genetic engineers are now performing in their laboratories." (I.L. Cohen, Darwin Was Wrong: A Study in Probabilities, page 209 (New York: NW Research Publications, Inc., 1984).)
- "The occurrence of genetic monstrosities by mutation... is well substantiated, but they are such evident freaks that these monsters can be designated only as 'hopeless.' They are so utterly unbalanced that they would not have the slightest chance of escaping elimination through stabilizing selection.... the more drastically a mutation affects the phenotype, the more likely it is to reduce fitness. To believe that such a drastic mutation would produce a viable new type, capable of occupying a new adaptive zone, is equivalent to believing in miracles .... The finding of a suitable mate for the 'hopeless monster' and the establishment of reproductive isolation from the normal members of the parental population seem to me insurmountable difficulties." (Ernst Mayr, Populations, Species, and Evolution, page 235 (Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press, 1970).)
- "The opportune appearance of mutations permitting animals and plants to meet their needs seems hard to believe. Yet the Darwinian theory is even more demanding: a single plant, a single animal would require thousands and thousands of lucky, appropriate events. Thus, miracles would become the rule: events with an infinitesimal probability could not fail to occur .... There is no law against day dreaming, but science must not indulge in it." (Pierre-Paul Grasse, Evolution of Living Organism, page 103 (New York, NY: Academic Press, 1977).)
- "To have any hope of success the neo-Darwinian theory must therefore appeal to a reproductive model quite different from the model mostly adopted by single-celled organisms. This is already an immense climb down from what is usually claimed for the theory. Gone is its "obvious" status. Only if a model can be found that contrives to uncouple the selective properties of one gene from another, permitting the occasional good mutation to survive and prosper in a sea of bad mutations, can evolution be made to work at all. How exquisitely complex the model needs to be to achieve such a remarkable result will be discussed in the next chapter." (Fred Hoyle [former Professor of Astronomy, Cambridge University], Mathematics of Evolution, page 10 (1999, Memphis, TN: Acorn Enterprises, 1987).)
- "And as Darwinists and neo-Darwinists have become ever more adept at finding possible selective advantages for any trait one cares to mention, explanation in terms of the all-powerful force of natural selection has come more and more to resemble explanation in terms of the conscious design of the omnipotent Creator." (Mae-Wan Ho [Biologist, The Open University, UK] and Peter T. Saunders [Mathematician, University of London], eds., Beyond Neo- Darwinism: An Introduction to the New Evolutionary Paradigm, pages ix-x (London: Academic Press, 1984).)
- "To propose and argue that mutations even in tandem with 'natural selection' are the root-causes for 6,000,000 viable, enormously complex species, is to mock logic, deny the weight of evidence, and reject the fundamentals of mathematical probability." (I.L. Cohen, Darwin Was Wrong: A Study in Probabilities, page 81 (New York: New Research Publications, Inc., 1984).)
Homologies, Molecular, and Genetic Evolution
- “The older textbooks on evolution make much of the idea of homology, pointing out the obvious resemblances between the skeletons of the limbs of different animals. Thus the ‘pentadactyl’ limb pattern is found in the arm of a man, the wing of a bird, and flipper of a whale – and this is held to indicate their common origin. Now if these various structures were transmitted by the same gene couples, varied from time to time by mutations and acted upon by environmental selection, the theory would make good sense. Unfortunately this is not the case. Homologous organs are now known to be produced by totally different gene complexes in the different species. The concept of homology in terms of similar genes handed on from a common ancestor has broken down...” (J.L. Randall, Parapsychology and the Nature of Life – A Scientific Appraisal, page 210 (London: Sphere Books: Abacus, 1975).)
- "The average vertebrate cell expresses ~10,000-20,000 genes. The existence of significant overlaps between the messenger populations in different cell types would suggest that the total expressed gene number for the organism should be within a few fold of this, in the range (say) of 50,000-100,000." (B. Lewin, Genes VII, page 76 (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2000).)
- "If we can be convinced that 30,000 genes might be compatible with our perception of human complexity, this number has still to be reconciled with the much higher number of mRNA species--at least 85,000--as inferred from various assemblies of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) (12-14). Alternative polyadenylation is an obvious explanation for this discrepancy. However, the latest estimate (15) only predicts about 39,000 different "endings" from 30,000 genes (16). Alternative splicing is the next mechanism that can be invoked and could account for up to 48,000 different cDNAs (16) according to published statistics (17). Combining the detailed probabilities of both mechanisms in a simultaneous and independent manner could account for a maximum of 66,000 total different transcripts (albeit unlikely to generate as many nonoverlapping EST clusters)..." (Jean-Michel Claverie, Science (February 16 2001).)
- "The fragmentary nature of the fossil record prevents the paleontologist from using the taxonomic approach or any other method for calculating evolutionary rates in specific phyletic lines." (Barbara Stahl, Vertebrate History, page 129 (Dover, 1985).)
- "Absolute rates of molecular evolution have been estimated using fossils or biogeographic events together with pairwise distance measure, to provide a minimum ages for the divergence of pairs of taxa. Such estimates must presume 1) that the rate is constant over time and across taxa for species involved in the pairwise distance comparison and 2) that the fossils or biogrographic dates accurately reflect lineage divergence times. Unfortunately these are not safe presumptions." (Mindell and Thacker, "Rates of Molecular Evolution," Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, Vol. 27: 280-281.)
- "Even with the appropriate genes, the molecular tree of life is difficult to interpret." (Erwin, Valentine, and Jablonski, American Scientist, Vol. 85: 127 (1997).)
- "Most important of all, the discoveries of molecular biologists, far from strengthening Darwin's claims, are throwing more and more doubt on traditional Darwinism. At a fundamental level of molecular structure, each member of a class seems equally representative of that class, and no species appear to be in any real sense "intermediate" between 2 classes." (Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis.)
- "Even with DNA sequence data, we have no direct access to the processes of evolution, so objective reconstruction of the vanished past can be achieved only by creative imagination." (N. Takahata, "A Genetic Perspective on the Origin and History of Humans," Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics (1995).)
- "Molecular phylogenists will have failed to find the 'true tree,' not because their methods are inadequate or because they have chosen the wrong genes, but because the history of life cannot properly be represented as a tree." (W. F. Doolittle, "Phylogenetic Classification and the Universal Tree," Science, Vol. 284: 2124-2128 (June 25, 1999).)
- "The wealth of competing morphological, as well as molecular proposals [of] the prevailing phylogenies of the mammalian orders would reduce [the mammalian tree] to an unresolved bush, the only consistent clade probably being the grouping of elephants and sea cows." (W. W. De Jong, "Molecules Remodel the Mammalian Tree," Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 13 (7): 270-274 (July 7, 1998).)
- "The hypothesis of the molecular evolutionary clock asserts that informational macromolecules (i.e., proteins and nucleic acids) evolve at rates that are constant through time and for different lineages. The clock hypothesis has been extremely powerful for determining evolutionary events of the remote past for which the fossil and other evidence is lacking or insufficient. I review the evolution of two genes, Gpdh and Sod. In fruit flies, the encoded glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GPDH) protein evolves at a rate of 1.1 x 1010 amino acid replacements per site per year when Drosophila species are compared that diverged within the last 55 million years (My), but a much faster rate of 4.5 x 1010 replacements per site per year when comparisons are made between mammals (70 My) or Dipteran families (100 My), animal phyla (650 My), or multicellular kingdoms (1100 My). The rate of superoxide dismutase (SOD) evolution is very fast between Drosophila species (16.2 x 1010 replacements per site per year) and remains the same between mammals (17.2) or Dipteran families (15.9), but it becomes much slower between animal phyla (5.3) and still slower between the three kingdoms (3.3). If we assume a molecular clock and use the Drosophila rate for estimating the divergence of remote organisms, GPDH yields estimates of 2,500 My for the divergence between the animal phyla (occurred 650 My) and 3,990 My for the divergence of the kingdoms (occurred 1,100 My). At the other extreme, SOD yields divergence times of 211 My and 224 My for the animal phyla and the kingdoms, respectively. It remains unsettled how often proteins evolve in such erratic fashion as GPDH and SOD." (Francisco J. Ayala, "Vagaries of the Molecular Clock," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 94: 7776-7783 (July 1997).)
- "Molecular phylogenetics has provided new insights into human evolution by many of its findings and interpretations have been vigorously challenged. The controversy surrounding molecular phylogenetics is now so heated that the field cannot be discussed without also considering the controversy surrounding it. In their efforts to resolve a paleontological debate regarding modern human origins, molecular biologists have generated much of the controversy." (J. C. Long, "Human Molecular Phylogenetics", Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 22: 251-272 (1993).)
- "...biochemistry is handicapped, even more than is the comparative anatomy of living species in being unable to fill out the story of human evolution with the names, or the appearances, or the environments and adaptations of our various ancestors: only the fossil record can do that. Moreover, there's no prospect that useful molecular data will be extractable from higher primate fossils of any ancientness in the near future." (Ian Tattersall, The Fossil Trail: How We Know What We Think We Know About Human Evolution, pages 125-126 (Oxford University Press, 1995).)
- "Partly because of morphology's long history, congruence between morphological phylogenies is the exception rather than the rule. With molecular phylogenies, all generated within the last couple of decades, the situation is little better. Many cases of incongruence between molecular phylogenies are documented above; and when a consensus of all trees within 1% of the shortest in a parsimony analysis is published, structure or resolution tends to evaporate." (C. Patterson, D. Williams, and C. Humphries, "Congruence Between Molecular and Morphological Phylogenies," Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, Vol. 24: 153-188 (1993).)
- "Molecular and morphological data have suggested strikingly different phylogenetic relationships among corbiculate bee tribes."
"Disagreement exists because analyses of [DNA] sequences and morphology suggest different hypotheses, and not because researchers have used different criteria for building and testing evolutionary trees." (P. Lockhart and S. Cameron, "Trees for Bees," Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 16 (2): 84-88 (February 2, 2001).)
- "...here [molecular data] was no magic silver bullet for systematists. Indeed, to this very day there is among the primates a whole variety of molecular phylogenies on offer. Most of these different principally in detail, though in some cases there is profound disagreement; and molecular systematists argue among themselves at least as much as morphologists do." (Ian Tattersall, The Fossil Trail: How We Know What We Think We Know About Human Evolution, page 125 (Oxford University Press, 1995).)
- "The usefulness of 12S rRNA to aid in solving Archonta relationships and others of similar time depth is found to be suspect." (B. E. McNiff and M. W. Allard, "A Test of Archonta Monophyly and the Phylogenetic utility of the Mitochondrial Gene 12S rRNA", American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Vol. 107: 225-241.)
- "Given the difficulties associated with alignment and with the establishing the conditions of consistency and convergence, it is clear that molecular phylogenies should not be accepted uncritically as accurate representations of the degree of relatedness between organisms." (Raff, Marshall, and Turbeville, "Using DNA Sequences to Unravel the Cambrian Radiation of the Animal Phyla," Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, Vol. 25: 351-375.)
- "The molecular support for a turtle-crocodilian clade is surprising considering that it seems to have virtually no support from morphology. These results highlight a significant discordance between morphological and molecular estimates of phylogeny for a major group of organisms. (S. Blair Hedges and Laura L. Poling, "A Molecular Phylogeny of Reptiles, Science, Vol. 283: 998-1001.)
- "These molecular data thus are partially congruent with the morphological characters that also support the diapsid, rather than anapsid, turtle relationships. However, the molecular data conflict with paleontological data as to where exactly turtles fit with diapsis. The DNA data also support a highly controversial relationship of the Tuatara, and it will be a challenge not only to paleontologists, as suggested by Hegdes and Poling, but also to molecular systematists to resolve these conflicts." (O. Rieppel, "Turtle Origins," Science, Vol. 283: 945-946 (February 12, 1999).)
- "As discussed earlier, the matter ultimately comes down to choosing between sparse protein data and uncertainties about the molecular clock on the one hand and an incomplete fossil record with the considerable difficulties of attempting to estimate divergence times from comparative morphology of extant plants on the other hand." (D. J. Crawford, "Cytochrome C: Angiosperm Origins and Phylogeny," Plant Molecular Systematics, pages 178-179 (1999).)
- "The interrelationships of the three Domains are still subject to discussion, as is their monophyly. Further data, drawn from various protein sequences, suggest conflicting schemes, and resolution may not be straightforward." (D. M. Williams and T.M. Embley, "Microbial Diversity: Domains and Kingdoms," Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, Vol. 27: 569-595 (November 1996).)
- "As morphologists with high hopes of molecular systematics, we end this survey with our hopes dampened. Congruence between molecular phylogenies is as elusive as it is in morphology and as it is between molecules and morphology." (C. Patterson, D.M. Williams, and C.J. Humphries, "Congruence between Molecular and Morphological Phylogenies," Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, Vol. 24: 153-188 (November 1993).)
- "With respect to molecular evolution, more work on sequences and with more organisms is needed, as the number and branching patterns of the main branches of organisms are still in dispute." (B. D. Dyer and R. A. Obar, Tracing the History of Eukaryotic Cells (Columbia University Press, 1994).)
- "New genome sequences are mystifying evolutionary biologists...on one front the study of evolution-the information pouring out in the genome sequences has so far proved more confusing than enlightening. Indeed, it threatens to overturn what researchers though they already knew about how microbes evolved and gave rise to higher organisms." (Science, Vol. 280: 672 (May 1, 1998).)
- "Molecular systematics has not yet produced phylogenetic trees of broad phylum relationships more robust than those based on morphology." (J. M. Turbeville, J. R. Schulz, and R.A. Raff, "Deuterostome Phylogeny and the Sister Group of the Chordates: Evidence from Molecules and Morphology," Molecular Biolology and Evolution, Vol. 11: 648-655 (1994).)
- "The origin of angiosperms, an abominable mystery to Darwin...is little better today." (Patterson et al., "Congruence between Molecular and Morphological Phylogenies," Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, Vol. 24 (1993).)
- "[T]he principle conclusions are that individual gene sequences are not sufficient samples from which to infer the phylogeny of these taxa [10 essentially random vertebrate species through mtDNA analysis]." (Michael P. Cummings, Sarah P. Otto, and John Wakely, "Genes and Other Samples of DNA Sequence Data for Phylogenetic Inference," The Biological Bulletin, Vol. 196 (3): 345-346 (June 1999).)
- "Our simultaneous analysis of multiple orthologous proteins shows that different proteins can generate different apparent phylogenetic tree topologies, strongly suggesting that historical phylogenies should not be inferred based on a single protein-coding tree." (A. Mushegian, J Garey, J Martin, and L. Liu, "Large-Scale Taxonomic Profiling of Eukaryotic Model Organisms: A Comparison of Orthologous Proteins Encoded by the Human, Fly, Nematode, and Yeast Genomes," Genome Research, Vol. 8:590-598 (1998).)
- "The interpretation of evolution is in a state of upheaval: the rapid advancement of Molecular Biology has led into question many of the tenets of Darwinism and neo-Darwinism which, although valuable approaches at the time they were formulated, never fulfilled the criteria demanded by real scientific theories... In the author's opinion, no real theory of evolution can be formulated at present."
(A. Lima-de Faria, Evolution Without Selection, page 372 (New York, NY: Elsevier Science Publishing Co. Inc., 1988).)
- "In spite of these conceptual problems connected with natural selection as an evaluative principle, the most serious deficiencies in neo-Darwinism relate to its generative aspect. As a generative principle, providing the raw material for natural selection, random mutation is inadequate both in scope and theoretical grounding. It provides little insight into the creative, anamorphic character of evolution or into the problem of "origins" alluded to previously." (Jeffrey S. Wicken [Biochemistry Department, Behrend College, Pennsylvania State University], "The Generation of Complexity in Evolution: A Thermodynamic and Information-Theoretical Discussion," Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 77: 351-352 (April 1979).)
- "It is true that both genuine homologous resemblance, that is, where phenomenon has a clear genetic and embryological basis (which as we have seen above is far less common than is often presumed), and the hierarchic patterns of class relationships are suggestive of some kind of theory of descent. But neither tell us anything about how the descent or evolution might have occurred, as to whether the process was gradual or sudden, or as to whether the causal mechanism was Darwinian, Lamarckian, vitalistic or even creationist. Such a theory of descent is therefore devoid of any significant meaning and equally compatible with almost any philosophy of nature." (M.J. Denton [Senior Research Fellow in Human Molecular Genetics, University of Otago, New Zealand], Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, pages 154-155 (London: Burnett Books, 1985).)
- "Phylogenetic trees are common in today's scientific journals, but there it is seldom realized how speculative they are because they look so real. This rhetorical power was significant in the popularization and triumph of evolutionary theory. Yet phylogenies are only sketches of historical hypotheses, constructed from imperfect historical evidence: fossils; morphological and anatomical similarity; biogeographic patterns; and, recently, comparison of different molecular sequences. Some phylogenetic trees are certainly more probable than others, but the inherently imperfect nature of the evidence seems to guarantee that we will never be able to reconstruct, except perhaps by accident, the true phylogeny of life on Earth." (Geir Hestmark [Department of Biology, University of Oslo], "Temptations of The Tree," Nature, Vol. 408: 911 (December 21-28, 2000).)
- "Their report...is a case study in how evolution can dupe casual observers- building similarities into unrelated species and surprising differences into close cousins." (Constance Holden [staff writer], "When Is a Mandrill Not a Baboon?," Science, Vol. 283: 931 (February 12, 1999).)
- "Quirks, by definition, are exceptions to the rule; facts that do not fit into an otherwise perfect hypothesis. The word quirk has been employed by the protagonists of any prevailing hypothesis, so as to render contradictions innocuous. A short excursion into history tells us that the quirk may really be a gift of nature. Thus, black body radiation was a quirk in an otherwise perfect theory of electromagnetic radiation until the quirk became the rule in form of the quantum theory. The relativity theory -an aberration as far as the Nobel Committee was concerned, at least until Einstein's death* -is presently our key to the universe. Boltzmann's constant, mobile genes and evolution itself, all took time to evolve from that dreaded minority status to legitimacy."
"Not every quirk, when attended to, pays off that handsomely but more often than not they help uncover the deeper realms of natural laws, and in that sense, the original hypothesis that created these exceptions at its fringes has also fulfilled an important function. The quirks I want to elaborate upon are being excoriated at every opportunity by their unwitting creators, the protagonists of the New Synthesis or neo-Darwinian hypothesis of evolution."
"The hypothesis states that the primary structures (sequences of homologous proteins) can be used to construct phylogenetic trees, and indeed the branching sequence of taxa deduced from some proteins appears to coincide within reasonable limits with the tree structure proposed by paleontologists. Why would one expect this to be so? Consider species A suddenly divided into A1, A2 and A3 by insurmountable obstacles. Population A1 accumulates mutations different from those spreading through the population A2 and A3 and if millions of years later, for example, their insulin molecules are compared, they should differ from one another proportionately to the time of speciation, which is a single event in this case. If instead of the expected equal distribution of differences one were to observe that the insulins of A1 and A2 differ by four residues whereas the insulin of A3 differs by 25 residues from both A1 and A2 then one would have discovered an exception to the neo-Darwinian hypothesis. There are virtually no degrees of freedom in this scenario so that contradiction can be smoothed over only by ad hoc arguments such as faster rates of evolution, lateral gene migra-tion or gross errors committed by paleontologists in determining the time of branching of A1, A2 and A3. Without such corrections, the insulins in this example will appear to give rise to different geneologies whereas the paradigm, by its very nature, can only accommodate one branching sequence. Thus cats and dogs branched from each other either at time X or at time Y but not at both times." (Christian Schwabe, "On the Validity of Molecular Evolution," Trends in Biochemical Sciences, Vol. 11: 280-283 (July 1986).)
- "Molecular evolution is not based on scientific authority. There is no publication in the scientific literature in prestigious journals, specialty journals, or books that describes how molecular evolution of any real, complex, biochemical system either did occur or even might have occurred. There are assertions that such evolution occurred, but absolutely none are supported by pertinent experiments or calculations." (Michael J. Behe, Darwin's Black Box, page 185 (The Free Press).)
- "Exceptions to the topology of the rRNA tree [the standard tree based on ribosomal genes] such as these are sufficiently frequent and statistically solid that they can be neither overlooked nor trivially dismissed on methodological grounds." (C. Woese, "The Universal Ancestor," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 95 (12): 6854-6859 (June 1998).)
- "That molecular evidence typically squares with morphological patterns is a view held by many biologists, but interestingly, by relatively few systematists. Most of the latter know that the two lines of evidence may often be incongruent." (Masami Hasegawa, Jun Adachi, and Michel C. Milinkovitch, "Novel Phylogeny of Whales Supported by Total Molecular Evidence," Journal of Molecular Evolution, Vol. 44: S117-S120 (1997).)
- "Critique of Current Theories of Evolution. We believe that it is possible to draw up a list of basic rules that underlie existing molecular evolutionary models: 1. All theories are monophyletic, meaning that they all start with the Urgene and the Urzelle which have given rise to all proteins and all species, respectively. 2. Complexity evolves mainly through duplications and mutations in structural and control genes. 3. Genes can mutate or remain stable, migrate laterally from species to species, spread through a population by mechanisms whose operation is not fully understood, evolve coordinately, splice, stay silent, and exist as pseudogenes. 4. Ad hoc arguments can be invented (such as insect vectors or viruses) that can transport a gene into places where no monophyletic logic could otherwise explain its presence. This liberal spread of rules, each of which can be observed in use by scientists, does not just sound facetious but also, in our opinion, robs monophyletic molecular evolution of its vulnerability to disproof, and thereby of its entitlement to the status of a scientific theory." (Christian Schwabe [Department of Biochemistry, Medical University of South Carolina] and Gregory Warr, "A Polyphyletic View of Evolution: The Genetic Potential Hypothesis," Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Vol. 27 (3): 465-485, (Spring 1984).)
- "The definition widely adopted in recent decades-"Evolution is the change of gene frequencies in populations"-refers only to the transformational component. It tells us nothing about the multiplication of species nor, more broadly, about the origin of organic diversity. A broader definition is needed which would include both transformation and diversification." (Ernst Mayr [Emeritus Professor of Zoology, Harvard University], The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance, page 400 (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1982).)
- "Micro-evolution involves mainly changes within potentially continuous populations, and there is little doubt that its materials are those revealed by genetic experimentation. Macro-evolution involves the rise and divergence of discontinuous groups, and it is still debatable whether it differs in kind or only in degree from microevolution. If the two proved to be basically different, the innumerable studies of micro-evolution would become relatively unimportant and would have minor value in the study of evolution as a whole." (G.G. Simpson, Tempo and Mode in Evolution, page 97 (1949).)
- "There is a theory which states that many living animals can be observed over the course of time to undergo changes so that new species are formed. This can be called the "Special Theory of Evolution " and can be demonstrated in certain cases by experiments. On the other hand there is the theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form. This theory can be called the "General Theory of Evolution" and the evidence that supports it is not sufficiently strong to allow us to consider it as anything more than a working hypothesis. It is not clear whether the changes that bring about speciation are of the same nature as those that brought about the development of new phyla. The answer will be found by future experimental work and not by dogmatic assertions that the General Theory of Evolution must be correct because there is nothing else that will satisfactorily take its place." (G.A. Kerkut [Department of Physiology and Biochemistry, University of Southampton, UK], "Implications of Evolution," in G.A. Kerkut, ed. International Series of Monographs on Pure and Applied Biology, Division: Zoology, Vol. 4: 157 (New York, NY: Pergamon Press, 1960).)
- "The known fossil record fails to document a single example of phyletic evolution..." (Steven Stanley, Macroevolution: Pattern and Process, page 39 (1979).)
- "According to the modern theory (called neo-Darwinism), changes occur in organisms by mutations of genes. This leads to the existence of variation amongst individuals. Some of these individuals may survive more successfully than others (called natural selection), thus producing more offspring with their new features. Gradually these new features will extend throughout the population. If, however, the population is isolated from others differences cannot spread, and over a period of time two varieties come to exist. Only small changes to organisms have been actually observed to occur by this mechanism. e.g. Industrial melanism, resistance to antibiotics and insecticides. Evidence for larger changes must be deduced from the fossil record. (D.A. Heffernan, "Evolution," in The Australian Biology Dictionary, page 87 (1996, Melbourne, Australia: Addison Wesley Longman Australia, 1987).)
- "When we view Darwinian gradualism on a geological timescale, we may expect to find in the fossil record a long series of intermediate forms connecting phenotypes of ancestral and descendant populations. This predicted pattern is called phyletic gradualism. Darwin recognized that phyletic gradualism is not often revealed by the fossil record. Studies conducted since Darwin’s time likewise have failed to produce the continuous series of fossils predicted by phyletic gradualism. Is the theory of gradualism therefore refuted? Darwin and others claim that it is not, because the fossil record is too imperfect to preserve transitional series... Others have argued, however, that the abrupt origins and extinctions of species in the fossil record force us to conclude that phyletic gradualism is rare."
"A number of contemporary biologists, however, favor various hypotheses of the punctuated equilibrium theory...They base their hypotheses on fossil records which have large “chains” of missing organisms. Although missing-link fossils are occasionally discovered, the record does little to support Darwin’s concept of gradual, long-term change...Others opposed to hypotheses of evolution through sudden change argue that because such a tiny percentage of organisms becomes fossilized...drawing definite conclusions from fossil evidence about evolution through either gradual or sudden change is not warranted." (C.P. Hickman [Professor Emeritus of Biology, Washington and Lee University, Lexington], L.S. Roberts [Professor Emeritus of Biology, Texas Tech University], and A. Larson, Animal Diversity, pages 23, 429 (New York: McGraw Hill, 2000).)
- "The theories of gradualism and natural selection are controversial among evolutionists, although both are strongly advocated by a large portion of the evolutionary community and are important components of the Darwinian evolutionary paradigm. Gradualism and natural selection are clearly part of the evolutionary process, but their explanatory power might not be as widespread as Darwin intended." (C.P. Hickman [Professor Emeritus of Biology, Washington and Lee University in Lexington], L.S. Roberts [Professor Emeritus of Biology, Texas Tech University], and A. Larson, Integrated Principles of Zoology, pages 14, 899 (New York: McGraw Hill, 2001).)
- "Palaeobiologists flocked to these scientific visions of a world in a constant state of flux and admixture. But instead of finding the slow, smooth and progressive changes Lyell and Darwin had expected, they saw in the fossil records rapid bursts of change, new species appearing seemingly out of nowhere and then remaining unchanged for millions of years-patterns hauntingly reminiscent of creation." (M. Pagel [Research fellow, Department of Zoology, Hertford College, Oxford University], "Happy accidents?," Nature, Vol. 397: 665 (February 25, 1999).)
- "Despite a close watch, we have witnessed no new species emerge in the wild in recorded history. Also, most remarkably, we have seen no new animal species emerge in domestic breeding. That includes no new species of fruitflies in hundreds of millions of generations in fruitfly studies, where both soft and harsh pressures have been deliberately applied to the fly populations to induce speciation. And in computer life, where the term "species" does not yet have meaning, we see no cascading emergence of entirely new kinds of variety beyond an initial burst. In the wild, in breeding, and in artificial life, we see the emergence of variation. But by the absence of greater change, we also clearly see that the limits of variation appear to be narrowly bounded, and often bounded within species." (Kevin Kelly [Executive Editor of Wired Magazine], "Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines," page 475 (1995, London, UK: Fourth Estate, 1994).)
- "The neo-Darwinian synthesis is effectively dead, despite its continue presence as textbook orthodoxy." (Stephen Jay Gould, "Is a New and General Theory of Evolution Emerging," Paleobiology, Vol. 6 (1): 119-120 (1980).)
- "We all know that many apparent evolutionary bursts are nothing more than brainstorms on the part of palaeontologists. One splitter in a library can do far more than millions of years of genetic mutation." (Derek V. Ager [Department of Geology, Oceanography, University College, Swansea, UK), "The Nature of the Fossil Record," Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, Vol. 87(2): 132 (1976).)
- "Then the mathematical properties of the complex model will be investigated .... Thereafter ... we shall be in a position to discuss the extent to which the neo-Darwinian theory can be considered to work and the extent to which it cannot. To anticipate the eventual outcome it will be found that, subject to the choice of a highly sophisticated reproductive model, the theory works at the level of varieties and species, just as it was found empirically to do by biologists from the mid-nineteenth century onward. But the theory does not work at broader taxonomic levels; it cannot explain the major steps in evolution. For them, something not considered in the Darwinian theory is essential." (Fred Hoyle [former Professor of Astronomy, Cambridge University], Mathematics of Evolution, page 10 (1999, Memphis, TN: Acorn Enterprises, 1987).)
- "Although the comparative study of living animals and plants may give very convincing circumstantial evidence, fossils provide the only historical, documentary evidence that life evolved from simpler to more and more complex forms." (Carl O. Dunbar [PhD in geology, Professor Emeritus of Paleontology and Stratigraphy, Yale University, and formerly Asst. Editor, American Journal of Science], Historical Geology, page 47 (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1960).)
- "Evolution at the level of populations and species might, in some cases, appear as nearly continuous change accompanied by divergence to occupy much of the available morphospace. However, this is certainly not true for long-term, large-scale evolution, such as that of the metazoan phyla, which include most of the taxa that formed the basis for the evolutionary synthesis. The most striking features of large-scale evolution are the extremely rapid divergence of lineages near the time of their origin, followed by long periods in which basic body plans and ways of life are retained. What is missing are the many intermediate forms hypothesized by Darwin, and the continual divergence of major lineages into the morphospace between distinct adaptive types." (Robert L. Carroll, "Towards a New Evolutionary Synthesis," Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol: 15: 27-32 (2000).)
- "The Eldredge-Gould concept of punctuated equilibria has gained wide acceptance among paleontologists. It attempts to account for the following paradox: Within continuously sampled lineages, one rarely finds the gradual morphological trends predicted by Darwinian evolution; rather, change occurs with the sudden appearance of new, well-differentiated species. Eldredge and Gould equate such appearances with speciation, although the details of these events are not preserved. They suggest that change occurs rapidly, by geologic standards, in small, peripheral populations. They believe that evolution is accelerated in such populations because they contain a small, random sample of the gene pool of the parent population (founder effect) and therefore can diverge rapidly just by chance and because they can respond to local selection pressures that may differ from those encountered by the parent population. Eventually some of these divergent, peripheral populations are favored by changed environmental conditions (species selection) and so they increase and spread rapidly into fossil assemblages.
The punctuated eqilibrium model has been widely accepted, not because it has a compelling theoretical basis but because it appears to resolve a dilemma.... apart from its intrinsic circularity (one could argue that speciation can occur only when phyletic change is rapid, not vice versa), the model is more ad hoc explanation than theory, and it rests on shaky ground." (Robert E. Ricklefs [Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania], "Paleontologists Confronting Macroevolution," Science, Vol. 199: 59 (January 6, 1978).)
- "Paleontologists (and evolutionary biologists in general) are famous for their facility in devising plausible stories; but they often forget that plausible stories need not be true." (Stephen Jay Gould [Professor of Geology and Paleontology, Harvard University], Dr. David M. Raup [Curator of Geology, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago], J. John Sepkoski Jr. [Department of Geological Sciences, University of Rochester, New York], Thomas J.M. Schoph [Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago], and Daniel S. Simberloff [Department of Biology, Florida State University], "The Shape of Evolution: A Comparison of Real and Random Clades," Paleobiology, Vol. 3 (1): 34-35 (1977).)
- "It is sometimes suggested that Darwin's theory is systematically irrefutable (and hence scientifically vacuous), but Darwin was forthright about what sort of finding it would take to refute his theory. "Though nature grants vast periods of time for the work of natural selection, she does not grant an indefinite period" (Origin, p. 102), so, if the geological evidence mounted to show that not enough time had elapsed, his whole theory would be refuted. This still left a temporary loophole, for the theory wasn't formulatable in sufficiently rigorous detail to say just how many millions of years was the minimal amount required, but it was a temporary loophole that made sense, since at least some proposals about its size could be evaluated independently." (D.C. Dennett, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, page 46 (1996).)
- "These evolutionary happenings are unique, unrepeatable, and irreversible. It is as impossible to turn a land vertebrate into a fish as it is to effect the reverse transformation. The applicability of the experimental method to the study of such unique historical processes is severely restricted before all else by the time intervals involved, which far exceed the lifetime of any human experimenter." (Theodosius Dobzhansky [late Professor of Genetics, University of California, Davis], "On Methods of Evolutionary Biology and Anthropology," Part I, "Biology," American Scientist, Vol. 45 (5): 388 (December 1957).)
- "In a generous admission Francisco Ayala, a major figure in propounding the Modern Synthesis in the United States, said, "We would not have predicted stasis from population genetics, but I am now convinced from what the paleontologists say that small changes do not accumulate.""
"The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. At the risk of doing violence to the positions of some of the people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear, No." (R. Lewin, "Evolutionary Theory Under Fire," Science, Vol. 210: 883 (1980). Please note: There has been some controversy surrounding the legitimacy of this quote, as is described at "Another Creationist Misquote." Francisco Ayala is a distinguished scientist, and apparently he is skeptical that he ever said this. We at the IDEA Club don't know exactly what to make of this situation: it is in print as stated above but yet currently Dr. Ayala denies having said it. We respect the fact that Dr. Ayala today denies having said this, but on the other hand it was said during a conversation over 20 years ago at a single conference which would tend to stretch one's memory, so who really knows what actually happened. However, because of this controversy, and out of respect for Dr. Ayala, we recommend not using this quote in any kind of a debate, or at least doing your own investigation if you're going to do anything with it. This is not a "misquote" because it is in print as stated above. However, we post it here to urge caution and recommend not using it because of the controversy surrounding it. We are not in the business of putting up illegitimate quotes, as is described on our Quote Disclaimer and Explanation page. And we encourage individuals who have been asked to refrain from the usage of this quote NOT to do so. For more information, click here.)
- "The modern understanding of the principle of biological continuity can be traced to Darwin (at the morphological level; see Eigen, 1992); with the advent of molecular biology, it has become an integral part of biology at the molecular level. Orgel (1968) suggested that the process may be guided by a "principle of continuity which requires that each stage in evolution develops continuously from the previous one." (Noam Lahav, Biogenesis - Theories of Life's Origins, page 102 (Oxford University Press, 1999).)
- "[L]arge evolutionary innovations are not well understood. None has ever been observed, and we have no idea whether any may be in progress. There is no good fossil record of any." (R. Wesson, Beyond Natural Selection, page 206 (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1991).)
- "We are faced more with a great leap of faith that gradual, progressive adaptive change underlies the general pattern of evolutionary change we see in the rocks than any hard evidence." (N. Eldredge and I. Tattersall, The Myths of Human Evolution, page 570 (Columbia University Press, 1982).)
- "The Darwinian struggle does not extrapolate to the tree of life." (Stephen J. Gould, in The New York Review of Books.)
- "For any postulated stage in biogenesis there must be a continuous path backward to the prebiotic state of the earth and forward to modern organisms. To introduce molecular structures or processes that are not subject to continuity is once again to violate Ockham's razor." (Morowitz, page 27 (1992).)
- "...we have proffered a collective tacit acceptance of the story of gradual adaptive change, a story that strengthened and became even more entrenched as the synthesis took hold. We paleontologists have said that the history of life supports that interpretation, all the while really knowing that it does not." (Niles Eldredge [Chairman and Curator of Invertebrates, American Museum of Natural History], Time Frames: The Rethinking of Darwinian Evolution and the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria, page 144 (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1985).)
- "The final result of all my investigations and study, namely that the idea of evolution, tested by experiments in speciation and allied sciences, always leads to incredible contradictions and confusing consequences, on account of which the evolution theory ought to be entirely abandoned, will no doubt enrage many; and even more so my conclusion that the evolution theory can by no means be regarded as an inocuous natural philosophy, but that it is a serious obstruction to biological research. It obstructs- as has been repeatedly shown- the attainment of consistent results, even from iniform experimental material. For everything must ultimately be forced to fit this speculative theory. An exact biology cannot, therefore, be built up." (Nils Heribert-Nilsson, Synthetische Artbildung (Lund, Sweden: Verlag C.W.K. Gleerup, 1953).)
- "The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution." (Gould, page 140 (1982).)
- "The Modern Synthesis is a remarkable achievement. However, starting in the 1970s, many biologists began questioning its adequacy in explaining evolution. Genetics might be adequate for explaining microevolution, but microevolutionary changes in gene frequency were not seen as able to turn a reptile into a mammal or to convert a fish into an amphibian. Microevolution looks at adaptations that concern only the survival of the fittest, not the arrival of the fittest. As Goodwin (1995) points out, "the origin of species -- Darwin's problem -- remains unsolved." (Scott Gilbert, John Opitz, and Rudolf Raff, "Resynthesizing Evolutionary and Developmental Biology," Developmental Biology, Vol. 173 (0032): 361 (1996).)
- "New concepts and information from molecular developmental biology, systematics, geology and the fossil record of all groups of organisms, need to be integrated into an expanded evolutionary synthesis. These fields of study show that large-scale evolutionary phenomena cannot be understood solely on the basis of extrapolation from processes observed at the level of modern populations and species." (R.L. Carroll, "Towards a New Evolutionary Synthesis," Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 15: 27-32 (2000).)
- "A large number of well-trained scientists outside of evolutionary biology and paleontology have unfortunately gotten the idea that the fossil record is far more Darwinian than it is. This probably comes from the oversimplification inevitable in secondary sources: low-level textbooks, semipopular articles, and so on. Also, there is probably some wishful thinking involved. In the years after Darwin, his advocates hoped to find predictable progressions. In general these have not been found yet the optimism has died hard, and some pure fantasy has crept into textbooks." (David M. Raup [Professor of Geology, University of Chicago], "Evolution and the Fossil Record," Science, Vol. 213 (4505): 289 (July 17, 1981).)
- "Neo-Darwinism has failed as an evolutionary theory that can explain the origin of species, understood as organisms of distinctive form and behaviour. In other words, it is not an adequate theory of evolution. What it does provide is a partial theory of adaptation, or microevolution (small-scale adaptive changes in organisms)." (Brian Goodwin [Professor of Biology, Open University, UK], "Neo-Darwinism has Failed as an Evolutionary Theory," The Times Higher Education Supplement (May 19, 1995).)
- "The heart of the problem is whether living things do indeed vary to an unlimited extent... The species look stable. We have all heard of disappointed breeders who carried their work to a certain point only to see the animals or plants revert to where they had started. Despite strenuous efforts for two or three centuries, it has never been possible to produce a blue rose or a black tulip." (Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason, page 33 (New York: Harvard Common Press, 1971).)
- "There are limits to the development possible [via selective breeding], and these limits follow a law." (Luther Burbank [famous breeder], in Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason, page 36 (New York: Harvard Common Press, 1971).)
- "Instead of finding the gradual unfolding of life, what geologists of Darwin's time, and geologists of the present day actually find is a highly uneven or jerky record; that is, species appear in the sequence very suddently, show little or no change during their existence in the record, then abruptly go out of the record. And it is not always clear, in fact it's rarely clear, that the descendants were actually better adapted than their predecessors. In other words, biological improvement is hard to find." (David M. Raup [Curator of Geology, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago], "Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology," Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, Vol. 50 (1): 23 (January 1979).)
- "I well remember how the synthetic theory beguiled me with its unifying power when I was a graduate student in the mid-1960's. Since then I have been watching it slowly unravel as a universal description of evolution. The molecular assault came first, followed quickly by renewed attention to unorthodox theories of speciation and by challenges at the level of macroevolution itself. I have been reluctant to admit it-since beguiling is often forever-but if Mayr's characterization of the synthetic theory is accurate, then that theory, as a general proposition, is effectively dead, despite its persistence as textbook orthodoxy." (Stephen Jay Gould [Professor of Zoology and Geology, Harvard University], "Is a New and General Theory of Evolution Emerging?," Paleobiology, Vol. 6 (1): 120 (January 1980).)
- "The principal problem is morphological stasis. A theory is only as good as its predictions, and conventional neo-Darwinism, which claims to be a comprehensive explanation of evolutionary process, has failed to predict the widespread long-term morphological stasis now recognized as one of the most striking aspects of the fossil record." (Peter G. Williamson [Assistant Professor of Geology, Harvard University], "Morphological Stasis and Developmental Constraint: Real Problems for Neo-Darwinism," Nature, Vol. 294 (19): 214 (November 1981).)
- "When discussing organic evolution the only point of agreement seems to be: "It happened." Thereafter, there is little consensus, which at first sight must seem rather odd." (Simon Conway Morris [Palaeontologist, Department of Earth Sciences, Cambridge University, UK], "Evolution: Bringing Molecules into the Fold," Cell, Vol. 100: 1-11 (January 7, 2000).)
- "So, we have stasis. What are we to make of it? How do we explain it? Some of us would say that the lineage leading to Latimeria [Coelacanth] stood still because natural selection did not move it. In a sense it had no 'need' to evolve because these animals had found a successful way of life deep in the sea where conditions did not change much. Perhaps they never participated in any arms races. Their cousins that emerged onto the land did evolve because natural selection, under a variety of hostile conditions including arms races, forced them to. Other biologists, including some of those that call themselves punctuationists, might say that the lineage leading to modern Latimeria actively resisted change, in spite of what natural selection pressures there might have been. Who is right? In the particular case of Latimeria it is hard to know.... Let us, to be fair, stop thinking in terms of Latimeria in particular. It is a striking example but a very extreme one... It is conceivable that coelacanths stopped evolving because they stopped mutating perhaps because they were protected from cosmic rays at the bottom of the sea! - but nobody, as far as I know, has seriously suggested this ... " (R. Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, pages 246-247 (1991, London: Penguin, 1986).)
- "If we wish to keep to the substance of the matter, the new scientific Weltanschauung not only brings to mind the ideas of many distinguished men such as Goethe, Cuvier, Linnaeus, Vico, Leibniz, Paracelsus, Cusano and Aristotle, but . . . the traditional view of a cosmos or systema naturae perceived as a static whole. . . . The result we believe must be striven for can therefore only be the following: biology will receive no advantage from following the teachings of Lamarck, Darwin and the modern hyper-Darwinists; indeed, it must as quickly as possible leave the narrow straits and blind alleys of the evolutionistic myth and resume its certain journey along the open and illuminated paths of tradition." (G. Sermonti and R. Fondi, Dopo Darwin, and "Critica all Evoluzionismo," Darwinism Today, Scientia, Vol. 77: 21, 29 (1980, 1983).)
- "At the higher level of evolutionary transition between basic morphological designs, gradualism has always been in trouble, though it remains the "official" position of most Western evolutionists. Smooth intermediates between Bauplane are almost impossible to construct, even in thought experiments; there is certainly no evidence for them in the fossil record (curious mosaics like Archaeopteryx do not count). Even so convinced a gradualist as G. G. Simpson (1944) invoked quantum evolution and inadaptive phases to explain these transitions." (Stephen Jay Gould [Professor of Zoology and Geology, Harvard University] & Niles Eldredge [Chairman and Curator of Invertebrates, American Museum of Natural History], "Punctuated Equilibria: The Tempo and Mode of Evolution Reconsidered," Paleobiology, Vol. 3: 115-147 (1977).)
- "Such a threshold model is in accord with Mayr's notion of the 'genetic revolution' occurring in small, isolated, and inbreeding populations; merely the terms are different. But all such schemes suffer from the fundamental weakness of evolutionary biology: they are extremely difficult to test and therefore remain metaphors. We do not yet know enough about the developmental biology of organisms to know whether such ideas are consistent with the way in which development actually works." (Keith Stewart Thompson[Professor of Biology and Dean of the Graduate School, Yale University], "The Meanings of Evolution," American Scientist, Vol. 70: 529-531 (September-October 1982).)
- "Yet the Coelacanth Latimeria, and the three genera of lungfish, have scarcely changed in hundreds of millions of years. Surviving Lingula ('lamp shells') are classified in the same genus as their ancestors of 400 million years ago, and could conceivably interbreed with them if introduced through a time machine. The question that still faces us is this. How can evolution be both so fast and so leadenly slow? How can there be so much variance in rates of evolution? Is stasis just due to stabilizing selection and lack of directional selection? Or is there something remarkably special going on in the (non) evolution of living fossils? As William Blake might have written to a coelacanth: Did he who made the haplochromids make thee?" (Richard Dawkins, in his response to, "What Questions have disappeared?" entitled, "As William Blake might have written to a coelacanth: Did he who made the haplochromids make thee?")
- "More recent scientific insights indicate that neo-Darwinism is at best a partial explanation of how biological evolution occurs. The demise of Darwinian theory as a *full* explanation in no way alters the firm consensus of science that the universe has evolved. There is at the moment not one competing theory which can account for the observed facts."
"To say that there is a complete consensus among scientists that evolution has occurred does not mean there is complete understanding of the underlying mechanisms, or ways, in which evolution has occurred. Far from it. While evolution is a fact, how it occurs will always be the subject of debate. This is the fascination of science. To put it another way, there is no dispute about the fact that evolution has occurred but there is dispute among scientists about how it has occurred." (Barry Price [former Director, School Physics Project, Australian Academy of Science], The Creation Science Controversy, page 8 (Sydney: Millennium Books, 1990).)
- "The simple observation that life has evolved-that forms that existed in the past no longer exist, whereas those that live today were absent millions of years ago-is not the same as a theory of evolution. Fossils are a chronicle of past life; they are not a history of past events. Such a history demands a causal theory of how and why one form became another." (Richard C. Lewontin [Professor of Zoology and Biology, Harvard University], Human Diversity, page 146 (New York NY: Scientific American Library, 1995).)
- "We've got to have some ancestors. We'll pick those. Why? Because we know they have to be there, and these are the best candidates. That's by and large the way it has worked. I am not exaggerating." (Gareth Nelson [Chairman and Curator of the Department of Herpetology and Ichthyology, American Museum of Natural History, New York], in an interview, T. Bethell, "The Wall Street Journal," (December 9, 1986), in P.E. Johnson, Darwin on Trial, page 76 (2nd ed., Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1993).)
- "Evolutionary biologists can no longer ignore the fossil record on the ground that it is imperfect." (David S. Woodruff [Professor of Biology, UCSD], in Science, page 717 (May 16, 1980).)
- "Paleontologists had long been aware of a seeming contradiction between Darwin's postulate of gradualism ... and the actual findings of paleontology. Following phyletic lines through time seemed to reveal only minimal gradual changes but no clear evidence for any change of a species into a different genus or for the gradual origin of an evolutionary novelty. Anything truly novel always seemed to appear quite abruptly in the fossil record." (E. Mayr, One Long Argument: Charles Darwin and the Genesis of Modern Evolutionary Thought, page 138 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991).)
- "Gradual evolutionary change by natural selection operates so slowly within established species that it cannot account for the major features of evolution." (Steven M. Stanley [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD), "A Theory of Evolution Above the Species Level," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 72 (2): 646 (February 1975).)
- "The known fossil record is not, and has never has been, in accord with gradualism. What is remarkable is that, through a variety of historical circumstances, even the history of opposition has been obscured.... 'The majority of paleontologists felt their evidence simply contradicted Darwin's stress on minute, slow, and cumulative changes leading to species transformation.'... their story has been suppressed."
"[F]or more than a century biologists have portrayed the evolution of life as a gradual unfolding... Today the fossil record... is forcing us to revise this conventional view." (S. M. Stanley, The New Evolutionary Timetable: Fossils, Genes, and the Origin of Species, page 71, 73 (New York: Basic Books Inc. Publishers, 1981).)
- "...Of course these things are marvels, and of course, the fossil record being what it is, no one can say with confidence exactly how any one of them came about." (Edward Deevey Jr., Yale Review, Vol. 61: 634-635 (Summer 1967).)
- "For example, the assertion that populations of organisms can change in their genetic composition from one generation to another (i.e., evolve) is undisputed, even by the creationists. To say without qualification that "all present life has evolved from more primitive forms" is unscientific because such a statement is an absolute. A scientifically acceptable restatement is that `scientists have found a great deal of evidence from many sources which they have interpreted to be consistent with the theory that all present life has evolved from more primitive forms.'" (William D. Stansfield [Professor of Biological Sciences, California Polytechnic State University], The Science of Evolution, page 9 (8th ed., New York, NY: Macmillan, 1977).)
- "If it is true that an influx of doubt and uncertainty actually marks periods of healthy growth in a science, then evolutionary biology is flourishing today as it seldom has flourished in the past. For biologists collectively are less agreed upon the details of evolutionary mechanics than they were a scant decade ago. Superficially, it seems as if we know less about evolution than we did in 1959, the centennial year of Darwin's on the Origin of Species." (Niles Eldredge [Chairman and Curator of Invertebrates, American Museum of Natural History], Time Frames: The Rethinking of Darwinian Evolution and the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria, page 14 (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1985).)
- "In this book I have adopted the radical approach. By presenting a systematic critique of the current Darwinian model, ranging from paleontology to molecular biology, I have tried to show why I believe that the problems are too severe and too intractable to offer any hope of resolution in terms of the orthodox Darwinian framework, and that consequently the conservative view is no longer tenable."
"The anti-evolutionary thesis argued in this book, the idea that life might be fundamentally a discontinuous phenomenon, runs counter to the whole thrust of modern biological thought..." (M. Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, pages 16, 353 (1985).)
- "Each class at molecular level is unique, isolated and unlinked by intermediates. Thus, molecules, like fossils, have failed to provide the elusive intemediates so long sought by evolutionary biology... At a molecular level, no organism is "ancestral" or "primitive" or "advanced" compared with its relatives... There is little doubt that if this molecular evidence had been available a century ago... the idea of organic evolution might never have been accepted." (Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, pages 290-291 (London: Burnett Books, 1985).)
- "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." (Charles Darwin, Origin of the Species.)
- "In The Origin of Species Darwin stated: 'If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.'"
"A system which meets Darwin's criterion is one which exhibits irreducible complexity. By irreducible complexity I mean a single system which is composed of several interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, and where the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning. An irreducibly complex system cannot be produced gradually by slight, successive modifications of a precursor system, since any precursor to an irreducibly complex system is by definition nonfunctional. Since natural selection requires a function to select, an irreducibly complex biological system, if there is such a thing, would have to arise as an integrated unit for natural selection to have anything to act on. It is almost universally conceded that such a sudden event would be irreconcilable with the gradualism Darwin envisioned." (Michael Behe, "Molecular Machines: Experimental Support for the Design Inference" available at http://www.arn.org/docs/behe/mb_mm92496.htm)
- "The response I have received from repeating Behe's claim about the evolutionary literature which simply brings out the point being made implicitly by many others, such as Crick, Denton, Shapiro, Stanley, Taylor, Wesson is that I obviously have not read the right books. There are, I am assured, evolutionists who have described how the transitions in question could have occurred. When I ask in which books I can find these discussions, however, I either get no answer or else some titles that, upon examination, do not in fact contain the promised accounts. That such accounts exist seem to be something that is widely known, but I have yet to encounter someone who knows where they exist." (David Griffith, Religion and Scientific Naturalism, page 287, footnote 23 (SUNY Press, 2000).)
- "The following phenomena are of particular concern to biologists:
1. The origin of major new structures: Biologists have long struggled with the conceptual gap between the small-scale modifications that can be seen over the short time scale of human study and major changes in structure and ways of life over millions and tens of millions of years. Paleontologists in particular have found it difficult to accept that the slow, continuous, and progressive changes postulated by Darwin can adequately explain the major reorganizations that have occurred between dominant groups of plants and animals. Can changes in individual characters, such as the relative frequency of genes for light and dark wing color in moths adapting to industrial pollution, simply be multiplied over time to account for the origin of moths and butterflies within insects, the origin of insects from primitive arthropods, or the origin of arthropods from among primitive multicellular organisms? How can we explain the gradual evolution of entirely new structures, like the wings of bats, birds, and butterflies, when the function of a partially evolved wing is almost impossible to conceive?
2. The extremely irregular occupations of the adaptive space as opposed to the nearly continuous spectrum of evolutionary change postulated by Darwin. Although an almost incomprehensible number of species inhabit earth today, they do not form a continous specrum of barely distinguishable intermediates. Instead, nearly all species can be recognized as belonging to a relatively limited number of clearly distinct major groups, with very few illustrating intermediate structures or ways of life. All of us can immediately recognize animals as being birds, turles, insects, or jellyfish, and plants as conifers, ferns, or orchids. Even with millions of living species, here are only a very few that do not fit into recognizable taxonomic categories. Of all living mammals, only the tree shrews are difficult to classify.... Even among the hundreds of thousands of recognized insect species, nearly all can be placed in one or another of the approximately thirty well-characterized orders."
One might hypothesize a very different pattern among extinct plants and animals: Fossils would be expected to show a continuous progression of slightly different forms linking all species and all major groups with one another in a nearly unbroken spectrum. In fact, most well-preserved fossils are as readily classified in a relatively small number of major groups as are living species....
Compared with the millions of specimens of trilobites that have been collected, there are very few that might be thought to bridge the gap between tribolites and any other group of extinct anthropods. The number of species that bridge the gaps between dinosaurs and more primitive reptiles and between dinosaurs and birds is very small compared with the number that everyone recognizes as dinosaurs. How do we account for the extremely irregular distribution of basic body plans in space and time under a theory of evolution based on gradual and continuous change?" (Robert Carroll, Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution, pages 8-10 (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1997).)
- "There are a number of problems with hypothetical schemes capable of producing rapid, large, coherent changes in phenotypes. Equally large immediate changes in the genotype might be needed, and any large change in genotype or phenotype must surely be sufficiently disruptive to be lethal. And where would a large change in a phenotype or genotype come from? Moreover, suppose an oddity were to be produced, how would a population be established and maintained?" (Keith Stewart [Professor of Biology and Dean of the Graduate School, Yale University], "The Meanings of Evolution," American Scientist, Vol. 70: 529-531 (September-October 1982).)
- "The organism, being a functionally integrated whole each part of which stood in close relation to every other part, could not, under pain of almost immediate extinction, depart significantly from the norms established for the species by the first anatomical rule."
"A major change, for example, a sharp increase in the heart beat or the diminution by half of the kidney and thus a reduction in renal secretion, would by itself have wrought havoc with the general constitution of the animal. In order that an animal might persist after a change of this magnitude it would be necessary that the other organs of the body be also proportionally modified. In other words, an organism must change en bloc or not at all. Only saltatory modification could occur, and this idea was to Cuvier, as it is to most modern zoologists, but for very different reasons, unverified and basically absurd. Transmutation by the accumulation of alterations, great or small, would thus be impossible." (W. Coleman, Georges Cuvier, Zoologist, pages 172-173 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1964).)
- "Gradualists and saltationists alike are completely incapable of giving a convincing explanation of the quasi-simultaneous emergence of a number of biological systems that distinguish human beings from the higher primates: bipedalism, with the concomitant modification of the pelvis, and, without a doubt, the cerebellum, a much more dexterous hand, with fingerprints conferring an especially fine tactile sense; the modifications of the pharynx which permits phonation; the modification of the central nervous system, notably at the level of the temporal lobes, permitting the specific recognition of speech. From the point of view of embryogenesis, these anatomical systems are completely different from one another. Each modification constitutes a gift, a bequest from a primate family to its descendants. It is astonishing that these gifts should have developed simultaneously. Some biologists speak of a predisposition of the genome. Can anyone actually recover the predisposition, supposing that it actually existed? Was it present in the first of the fish? The reality is that we are confronted with total conceptual bankruptcy." (Marcel P. Schutzenberger, "The Miracles of Darwinism: Interview with Marcel-Paul Schutzenberger," Origins & Design, Vol. 17 (2): 10-15 (Spring 1996).)
- "Biologists have an adolescent fascination with sex. Like teenagers, they are embarrassed by the subject because of their ignorance. What sex is, why it evolved and how it works are the biggest unsolved problems in biology. Sex must be important as it is so expensive. If some creatures can manage with just females, so that every individual produces copies of herself, why do so many bother with males? A female who gave them up might be able to produce twice as many daughters as before; and they would carry all her genes. Instead, a sexual female wastes time, first in finding a mate and then in producing sons who carry only half of her inheritance. We are still not certain why males exist; and why, if we must have them at all, nature needs so many. Surely, one or two would be enough to impregnate all the females but, with few exceptions, the ratio of males to females remain stubbornly equal throughout the living world." (Steve Jones, The Language of Genes, page 84 (New York: Doubleday, 1993).)
- "The common trait of the eyes and the wings is that they can only function if they are fully developed. In other words, a halfway-developed eye cannot see; a bird with half-formed wings cannot fly. How these organs came into being has remained one of the mysteries of nature that needs to be enlightened." (Engin Korur, "Gozlerin ve Kanatlarin Sirri" [The Mystery of the Eyes and the Wings], Bilim ve Teknik, No. 203: 25 (October 1984).)
- "I remember well the time when the thought of the eye made me cold all over, but I have got over this stage of complaint..."
"... and now trifling particulars of structure often make me very uncomfortable. The sight of a feather in a peacock's tail, whenever I gaze at it, makes me sick!" (Charles Darwin, in a letter to Asa Gray on April 3, 1860, in Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason, page 101 (Boston: Gambit, 1971).)
- "If Darwin turned cold at the thought of the human eye at the end of the evolutionary cycle, what, one wonders, would he have thought of the trilobite eye near the beginning?" (Ian Taylor, In the Minds of Men: Darwin and the New World Order, page 169 (3rd ed.[4th printing], TFE Publishing, 1992).)
- "The trilobites used an optimal design which would require a welltrained and imaginative optical engineer to develop today." (David Raup, "Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology", Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, Vol. 50: 24 (January 1979).)
- "Even something as complex as the eye has appeared several times; for example, in the squid, the vertebrates, and the arthropods. It's bad enough accounting for the origin of such things once, but the thought of producing them several times according to the modern synthetic theory makes my head swim." (Frank Salisbury, "Doubts About the Modern Synthetic Theory of Evolution," American Biology Teacher, Vol. 33 (6): 335-338 (September 1971).)
- "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." (Charles Darwin, Origin of Species.)
- "The observation that mammals and insects, which have evolved separately for more than 500 million years, share the same master control gene for eye morphogenesis indicates that the genetic control mechanisms for development are much more universal than anticipated." (Georg Halder, Patrick Callaerts, and Walter J. Gehring, "Induction of Ectopic Eyes by Targeted Expression of the Eyeless Gene in Drosophila," Science, Vol. 267 (5205): 1788-1792 (March 24, 1995).)
- "The problem of how eyes have developed has presented a major challenge to the Darwinian theory of evolution by Natural Selection. We can make many entirely useless experimental models when designing a new instrument, but this was impossible for Natural Selection, for each step must confer some advantage upon its owner, to be selected and transmitted through the generations. But what use is a half-made lens? What use is a lens giving an image, if there is no nervous system to interpret the information? How could a visual nervous system come about before there was an eye to give it information? In evolution there can be no master plan, no looking ahead to form structures which, though useless now, will come to have importance when other structures are sufficiently developed. And yet the human eye and brain have come about through slow painful trial and error." (R.L. Gregory, Eye and Brain: The Psychology of Seeing, page 25 (2nd ed., London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1966).)
- "How came the Bodies of Animals to be contrived with so much Art, and for what ends were their several parts? Was the Eye contrived without Skill in Opticks, and the Ear without Knowledge of Sounds? ... And these things being rightly dispatch'd, does it not appear from Phaenomena that there is a Being incorporeal, living, intelligent omnipresent..." (Sir Isaac Newton, Opticks, pages 369-370 (1952 ed., Dover Publications, 1704).)
- "A favorite example of those trying to find evidence of self-organization is the human eye. So exquisitely designed, with its adjustable lens and iris, with its retina capable of rendering images better than any camera- the eye surely could not have developed from the blind meanderings of evolution. Or so it seems to Darwin's critics. The eighteenth-century theologian William Paley considered the eye and other precisely engineered organs as proof of an intelligent creator. But, again, one doesn't have to be a creationist to have difficulty accepting that eyes arose purely from random variation and selection." (George Johnson [science writer], Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order, page 267 (1997, London: Penguin Books, 1995).)
- "All the members of [the class Mammalia] exhibit a number of unique features which are not found in any other group of organisms. They include: a hairy integument, each hair being a complex structure consisting of a keratinized cuticle, a cortex and a central medulla; mammary glands exhibiting alveoli surrounded by a network of myoepithelial cells responsive to the hormone oxytocin producing milk, a nutritious secretion containing fat globules and sugars; specialized sweat glands in the skin; a four-chambered heart with left ventricle delivering acreated blood to the aorta; discrete and reniform kidneys, with nephron form and function specialized to generate a concentrated urine containing a high concentrated of urea; a large cerebral cortex with distinctive six layers of cells; a diaphragm, a special muscle used by mammals for respiration; three highly specialized ear ossicles; the organ of corti, a specialized organ for reception and analysis of sound."
"...Each of these characteristics are exhibited by *all* mammals in essentially invariant form..." (Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, pages 105-106 (Bethesda, MD: Adler & Adler, 1986).)
- ". . . the fine control mechanisms of temperature regulation are necessary so that neither alterations in the rate of metabolic heat output during differing levels of activity, nor variations in ambient temperature are allowed to cause a change in body temperature. Thus hair, sweat glands, and specialized skin blood vessels must evolve. More indirectly, but equally important in the functioning of endothermy, are several other aspects of the biology of mammals. The locomotory apparatus must become capable of carrying the animal about in search of its some tenfold increase in food requirements."
"The feeding apparatus has to ingest at this greater rate and also assist in the breakdown of the food, a process which would be far too slow if left solely to the intestinal processes. The diaphragm is needed for the greater rate of external gas exchange that occurs. The potential increase in water loss that would result from the higher temperature and greater breathing rate must be combated by the kidney, and finally the sense organs and central nervous system must be designed to organize and control these activities."
"The blood pressure in the renal artery supplying the kidneys is high and the number of kidney tubules is large. The first point about the mammalian kidney, therefore, is that there is a very high ultrafiltration rate of the blood. The second point is the very long loop of Henle, which is associated with the production of a concentrated, hypertonic urine, is the main means of water conservation. The third point of importance is that by producing hypertonic urine, sufficient water is conserved that the animal can afford to excrete liquid. There is therefore a flow of aqueous solution passing out of the body which gives the opportunity for very fine regulation of the plasma levels of ions and other soluble substances. By appropriate rates of excretion into or reabsorption from the fluid flowing through the kidney tubules, the level of each ion or molecule can be maintained constant in the blood."
"The heart and circulatory system must be designed to produce the high blood pressure needed by the kidney. There must also be a complex endocrine system in order to detect the level of each of the substances controlled and to initiate appropriate rates of secretion and reabsorption in the kidney tubules." (T. S. Kemp [leading expert on the evolutionary origin of mammals], Mammal-like Reptiles and the Origin of Mammals, pages 306, 309-310 (New York: Academic Press, 1982) in Duane Gish, Evolution: the Fossils Still Say NO!, pages 155-157 (El Cajon, CA: Institute for Creation Research, 1995).)
- "The problem for Darwinians is in trying to find an explanation for the immense number of adaptions [sic] and mutations needed to change a small and primitive earthbound mammal, living alongside and dominated by dinosaurs, into a huge animal with a body uniquely shaped so as to be able to swim deep in the oceans, a vast environment previously unknown to mammals. Notable complexities in whale evolution concern the eye, subtly changed so that light rays through the sea water are brought to focus on the retina; the skin, which has a curious outer surface helping to streamline the flow of water; the replacement of sweat glands by a thick layer of blubber fat to control the body temperature; the superb hearing system; the way in which a female whale suckles her young under water without them drowning; and the plates of baleen which hang like curtains, instead of teeth, from the roof of the mouth of whalebone whales, acting as perfectly designed sieves for the tiny crustaceans which form their food (panel 13). All this has to evolve in at most five to ten million years - about the same time as the relatively trivial evolution of the first upright walking apes into ourselves." (F. Hitching, The Neck of the Giraffe, page 90 (1982).)
- "The fact that birds may be descended from dinosaurs does not in the least make birds dinosaurs. Yet in a recent classification one author has designated all of the birds as dinosaurs. How silly can one be? Here is a case of allowing logic to run away with the logician into a never-never land of unreality. It is the kind of exercise that so delighted W.S. Gilbert of Gilbert and Sullivan fame (take note especially of such works as Iolanthe and The Pirates of Penzance)." (E.H. Colbert, Digging Into the Past: An Autobiography, page 435 (New York, NY: Dembner, 1989).)
- "Is Archaeopteryx the ancestor of all birds? Perhaps yes, perhaps no: There is no way of answering the question. It is easy enough to make up stories of how one form gave rise to another, and to find reasons why the stages should be favored by natural selection. But such stories are not part of science, for there is no way of putting them to the test." (Luther D. Sunderland, Darwin's Enigma, page 89 (San Diego, CA: Master Books, 1984).)
- "Feathers are unique to birds, and no known structure intermediate between scales and feathers has been identified." (J. Alan Feduccia, The Age of Birds, page 52 (Harvard University Press, 1980).)
- "Every feature from gene structure and organization, to development, morphogenesis and tissue organization is different [in feathers and scales]."
"Feathers appear suddenly in the fossil record, as an 'undeniably unique' character distinguishing birds." (A.H. Brush, "On the Origin of Feathers," Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 9: 132 (1996).)
- "Feathers are features unique to birds, and there are no known intermediate structures between reptilian scales and feathers. Notwithstanding speculations on the nature of the elongated scales found on such forms as Longisquama ... as being featherlike structures, there is simply no demonstrable evidence that they in fact are. They are very interesting, highly modified and elongated reptilian scales, and are not incipient feathers." (Alan Feduccia, "On Why Dinosaurs Lacked Feathers," The Beginning of Birds, page 76 (Eichstatt, West Germany: Jura Museum, 1985).)
- "The origin of birds is largely a matter of deduction. There is no fossil evidence of the stages through which the remarkable change from reptile to bird was achieved." (W.E. Swinton, Alan J. Marshall ed., Biology & Comparative Physiology of Birds: Vol. 1, page 1 (New York, 1961).)
- "I cannot really understand how an organ perfectly designed for flight may have emerged for another need at the beginning." (Douglas Palmer, "Learning to Fly," New Scientist, Vol. 153: 44 (March 1, 1997) in his review of Alan Feduccia, The Origin of and Evolution of Birds (Yale University Press, 1996).)
- "Well, I've studied bird skulls for 25 years and I don't see any similarities whatsoever. I just don't see it... The theropod origins of birds, in my opinion, will be the greatest embarrassment of paleontology of the 20th century." (Alan Feduccia in Pat Shipman, "Birds Do It... Did Dinosaurs?," New Scientist, Issue 2067: 28 (February 1, 1997).)
- "To tell you the truth, if I had to support the dinosaur origin of birds with those characters, I'd be embarrassed every time I had to get up and talk about it." (Larry Martin in Pat Shipman, "Birds Do It... Did Dinosaurs?," New Scientist, Issue 2067: 28 (February 1, 1997).)
- "It is not difficult to imagine how feathers, once evolved assumed additional functions, but how they arose initially presumably from reptilian scales, defies analysis." (Barbara J. Stahl [Professor of Biology, Saint Anselm College], Vertebrate History: Problems in Evolution, page 349 (New York: Dover, 1985).)
- "Zircon dating, which calculates a fossil's age by measuring the relative amounts of uranium and lead within the crystals, had been whittling away at the Cambrian for some time. By 1990, for example, new dates obtained from early Cambrian sites around the world were telescoping the start of biology's Big Bang from 600 million years ago to less than 560 million years ago. Now, with information based on the lead content of zircons from Siberia, virtually everyone agrees that the Cambrian started almost exactly 543 million years ago and, even more startling, that all but one of the phyla in the fossil record appeared within the first 5 million to 10 million years. "We now know how fast fast is," grins Bowring. "And what I like to ask my biologist friends is, How fast can evolution get before they start feeling uncomfortable?" (J.M. Nash, "When Life Exploded", Time, page 74 (December 4, 1995).)
- "If numerous species, belonging to the same genera or families, have really started into life all at once, the fact would be fatal to the theory of descent with slow modification through natural selection." (Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species: A Facsimile of the First Edition, page 302 (Harvard University Press, 1964).)
- "The appearance of many novel morphologies, frequently expressed taxanomically as new phyla, classes, or orders, occurs with such rapidity in evolutionary time that microevolutionary substitutions involving structural genes seem an implausible mechanism." (Douglas H. Erwin and James W. Valentine, ""Hopeful Monsters," Transposons, and Metazoan Radiation," Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 81: 5482-5483 (September 1984).)
- "The drawback for scientists is that nature's shrewd economy conceals enormous complexity. Researchers are finding evidence that the Hox genes and the non-Hox homeobox genes are not independent agents but members of vast genetic networks that connect hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other genes. Change one component, and myriad others will change as well--and not necessarily for the better. Thus dreams of tinkering with nature's toolbox to bring to life what scientists call a "hopeful monster"- such as a fish with feet--are likely to remain elusive." (J.M. Nash, "Where Do Toes Come From?," Time, Vol. 146 (5) (July 31, 1995).)
- "Schwartz ignores the fact that homeobox genes are selector genes. They can do nothing if the genes regulated by them are not there. It is these genes that specify in detail the adaptive structure of the organs. To be sure, turning on a homeobox gene at the wrong place can result in the appearance of an ectopic organ, but only if the genes for that organ are present in the same individual. It is totally wrong to imply that an eye could be produced by a macromutation when no eye was ever present in the lineage before. Homeotic mutations that reshuffle parts do happen, and sometimes they may have led to fixation of real evolutionary novelties, but this does not mean that such changes are implied in the majority of speciations. In fact, macromutations of this sort are probably frequently maladaptive, in contrast to the vast number of past and present species-not to mention the fact that morphological differences between related species can be minute." (Eors Szathmary, "When the Ends Do Not Justify the Means," Nature, Vol. 399: 745 (June 24, 1999) in his review of Jeffrey H. Schwartz, Sudden Origins: Fossils, Genes, and the Emergence of Species (Wiley, 1999).)
- "A record of pre-Cambrian animal life, it appears, simply does not exist. Why this lamentable blank? Various theories have been proposed; none is too satisfactory. It has been suggested, for example, that all the Pre-Cambrian sediments were deposited on continental areas, and the absence of fossils in them is due to the fact that all the older animals were sea-dwellers. But that all these older sediments were continental is a theory which opposes, without proof, everything we know of deposition in later times. Again, it is suggested that the Pre-Cambrian seas were poor in calcium carbonate, necessary for the production of preservable skeletons; but this is not supported by geochemical evidence. Yet again, it is argued that even though conditions were amenable to the formation of fossilizable skeletal parts, the various phyla only began to use these possibilities at the dawn of the Cambrian. But it is, a priori, hard to believe that the varied types present in the early Cambrian would all have, so to speak, decided to put on armour simultaneously. And, once again, it has been argued that the whole evolution of multicellular animals took place with great rapidity in late Pre-Cambrian times, so that a relatively short gap in rock deposition would account for the absence of any record of their rise. Perhaps; but the known evolutionary rate in most groups from the Cambrian on is a relatively leisurely one, and it is hard to convince oneself that a sudden major burst of evolutionary advance would be so promptly followed by a marked 'slowdown'. All in all, there is no satisfactory answer to the Pre- Cambrian riddle." (A.S. Romer, The Procession of Life, pages 19-20 (Cleveland, OH: The World Publishing Co., 1968).)
- "Since the identification of the Lower Cambrian "Yunnanozoon" as a chordate in 1995, large numbers of complete specimens of soft-bodied chordates from the Lower Cambrian Maotianshan Shale in central Yunnan (southern China) have been recovered. Here we describe a recently discovered craniate-like chordate, Haikouella lanceolata, from 305 fossil specimens in Haikou near Kunming. This 530 million-year-old (Myr) fish-like animal resembles the contemporaneous "Yunnanozoon" from the Chengjkiang fauna (about 35km southeast of Haikou) in several anatomic features. But Haiouella also has several additional anatomic features: a heart, ventral and dorsal aorta, an anterior branchial arterial, gill filaments, a caudal projection, a nerural cord with a relatively large brain, a head with possible lateral eyes, and a ventrally situated buccal cavity with short tentacles. These findings indicate the Haikouella probably represents a very early craniate-like chordate that lived near the beginning of the Cambrian period during the main burst of the Casmbrian explosion. These findings will add to the debate on the evolutionary transition from invertebrate to vertebrate." (Jun-Yuan Chen, Di-Ying Huang, and Chia-Wei Li, "An Early Cambrian Craniate-Like Chordate," Nature Asia, Vol. 402 (6761): 5182 (December 1999).)
- "How this earliest chordate stock evolved, what stages of development it went through to give rise eventually to truly fish-like creatures we do not know." (F. D. Ommanney, The Fishes (Life Nature Library), page 60 (1st ed., Time Inc., 1963).)
- "If ontogeny repeated phylogeny exactly, then an ancestor of man would have lived on milk all his life and a more remote ancestor would have spent his days attached to his mother by the umbilical cord!" (Jack Cohen and Brendan Massey [Embryologist, University of Birmingham], "Living Embryos," page 149 (3rd ed., Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1963).)
- "Haeckel misstated the evolutionary principle involved. It is now firmly established that ontogeny does not repeat phylogeny." (G. G. Simpson and W. Beck, An Introduction to Biology, page 241 (New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1965).)
- "The earliest cell divisions in zebrafish, turtle, and chick embryos are somewhat similar, but in most frogs they penetrate the yolk. Mammals are completely different, however, since one the second cleavage planes is at a right angle to the other. (Figure 5-3, second row) Continued cleavage in the other four classes produces a stable arrangement of cells, but mammalian embryos become a jumbled mass. At the end of cleavage, the cells of the zebrafish embryo form a large cap on top of the yolk; in the frog they form a ball with a cavity, in the turtle and chick they form a thin, two-layered disc on top of the yolk; and in humans they form a disc within a ball. (Figure 5-3, third row) Cell movements during gastrulation are very different in the five classes: In zebrafish the cells crawl down the outside of the yolk; in frogs they move as a coherent sheet through a pore into the inner cavity; and in turtles, chicks, and humans they stream through a furrow into the hollow interior of the embryonic disc. (Figure 5-3, fourth row) If the implications of Darwin's theory for early vertebrate development were true, we would expect these five classes to be most similar as fertilized eggs; slight differences would appear during cleavage, and the classes would diverge even more during gastrulation. What we actually observe, however, is that the eggs of the five classes start out noticeably different from each other; the cleavage patterns in four of the five classes show some general similarities, but the pattern in mammals is radically different." (J. Wells, Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution is Wrong, page 97 (Washington, DC: Regnery, 2000).)
- "It was expected that the embryo would recapitulate the features of its ancestors from the lowest to the highest forms in the animal kingdom. Now that the appearance of the embryo at all stages are known, the general feeling is one of disappointment; the human embryo at no stage is anthropoid in its appearance." (Sir Arthur Keith, The Human Body, page 94 (1932) cited by R.L. Wysong, ref , p. 399.)
- "Surely the biogenetic law is as dead as a doornail. It was finally exercised from biology textbooks in the fifties. As a topic of serious theoretical inquiry, it was extinct in the twenties." (Keith S. Thompson, "Ontogeny and Phylogeny Recapitulated," American Scientist, Vol. 76: 273 (May/June, 1988).)
- "Rotational holoblastic cleavage. It is not surprising that mammalian cleavage has been the most difficult to study. Mammalian eggs are among the smallest in the animal kingdom... knowledge of mammalian cleavage was worth waiting for, as mammalian cleavage turned out to be strikingly different from most other patterns of embryonic cell division.... There are several features of mammalian cleavage that distinguish it from other cleavage types.... The second fundamental difference is the unique orientation of mammalian blastomeres with relation to one another. The first cleavage is a normal meridional division; however, in the second cleavage one of the two blastomeres divides meridionally and the other divides equatorially (Figure 5.21). This type of cleavage is called rotational cleavage (Gulyas, 1975). The third major difference between mammalian cleavage and that of most other embryos is the marked asynchrony of early division. Mammalian blastomeres do not all divide at the same time. Thus, mammalian embryos do not increase evenly from 2- to 4- to 8-cell stages, but frequently contain odd numbers of cells. Also, unlike almost all other animal genomes, the mammalian genome is activated during early cleavage and the genome produces the proteins necessary for cleavage to occur.... " (S.F. Gilbert, Developmental Biology, pages 177-178 (4th ed., Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, 1994).)
- "Compaction. Perhaps the most crucial difference between mammalian cleavage and all other types involves the phenomenon of compaction. As seen in Figure 5.22, mammalian blastomeres through the 8-cell stage form a loose arrangement with plenty of space between them. Following the third cleavage, however, the blastomeres undergo a spectacular change in their behavior. They suddenly huddle together, maximizing their contact with the other blastomeres and forming a compact ball of cells (Figures 5.22 C,D and 5.23). This tightly packed arrangement is stabilized by tight junctions that form between the outside cells of the ball, sealing off the inside of the sphere (Figure 5.24). The cells within the sphere form gap junctions, thereby enabling small molecules and ions to pass between the cells..." (Gilbert, pages 178-179 (1994).)
- "In fact, the most obvious structural characteristics of either the eggs or the cleavage stages of a shark, a salmon, a frog, a bird, or a mammal are unique each to its own class, not generally shared. We would not consider them very much alike unless we had been taught so at a very early age. Very few vertebrates pass through a stage which can strictly be called a blastula. The embryo in its period of most active morphogenetic movements is usually called a gastrula, but as all agree this word has no morphologic meaning anymore. Each class of vertebrates (in mammals we might almost say each particular order) develops and then loses its own set of temporary structures-like the parade ground "formations of maneuver"- during this period." (W.W. Ballard, "Problems of Gastrulation: Real and Verbal," BioScience, Vol. 26 (1): 36-39, 38 (January 1976).)
- "Homologous structures are often specified by non-homologous genetic systems and the concept of homology can seldom be extended back into embryology." (Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, page 145 (London: Burnett Books, 1985).)
- "What’s a bee without its honey, a butterfly without a flower’s nectar? It’s a pretty puzzle posed by the fossil record, which suggests that insects evolved long before flowering plants did." (Miriam Boon, "Deciphering the Tree of Life," International Science Grid This Week (September 15, 2010).)
- "Given that so many insects play off chemical "artillery" in defense, there can be no question that diverse spray-aiming mechanisms remain to be discovered among insects. Photography and cinematography could prove helpful in elucidating how these mechanisms operate. Questions remain, however, even about S. insignis itself. Although we know that the males of this species also aim their discharges, they appear to do so with an apparatus that differs somewhat from that of the female. Thus, for instance, for ejecting forward over the back, males make use of a single broad reflective shield, instead of the pair of devices used by the female (data not shown). We are also ignorant about whether S. insignis always discharges from both glands simultaneously or whether it does so from one gland at a time. And, of course, there is the vexing problem of how the beetle, which inevitably drenches itself when discharging, withstands the heat and irritancy of its own spray." (Thomas Eisner and Daniel J. Aneshansley, "Spray Aiming in the Bombardier Beetle: Photographic Evidence, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 96 (17): 9705-9709 (August 17, 1999).)
- "The better we understand the functioning of insect wings, the more subtle and beautiful their designs appear. Structures are traditionally designed to deform as little as possible; mechanisms are designed to move component parts in predictable ways. They have few if any technological parallels yet." (Robin J. Wootton, "The Mechanical Design of Insect Wings", Scientific American, Vol. 263: 120 (November 1990).)
- "[T]he species probably only exceptionally rests on tree trunks. . . . [Thus] it can be emphasized that the results of Kettlewell fail to demonstrate the qualitative predation of the morphs [i.e., varieties] of the Peppered Moth by birds or other predators in natural conditions." (Kauri Mikkola, "On the Selective Forces Acting in the Industrial Melanism of Biston and Oligia Moths (Lepidoptera: Geometridae and Noctuidae)," Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 21 (4): 409-421, 416 (April 1984).)
- "We agree with Mikkola’s critique of field experiments to estimate the relative fitness of the phenotypes of B. betularia [the scientific name for peppered moths] by using moths exposed on tree trunks. Such predation experiments must take into account the full range of the moth’s resting sites in more, or less exposed positions." (Tony G. Liebert and Paul M. Brakefield, "Behavioural Studies on the Peppered Moth Biston betularia and a Discussion of the Role of Pollution and Lichens in Industrial Melanism," Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 31 (2): 145 (June 1987).)
- "We are, however, convinced that exposed areas of tree trunks are not an important resting site for any form of B. betularia." (Rory J. Howlett and Michael E. N. Majerus, "The Understanding of Industrial Melanism in the Peppered Moth (Biston betularia) (Lepidoptera: Geometridae)," Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 30 (1): 40 (January 1987).)
- "[P]eppered moths do not naturally rest in exposed positions on tree trunks." (Michael E. N. Majerus, Melanism: Evolution in Action, page 121 (Oxford University Press, Inc., 1998).)
- "Cells have hundreds of different types of molecular motors, each specialized for a particular function. Many biological motor-like proteins have been discovered and characterized in recent years (see, for example, ref 1). Although there is much variation in design and performance among them, several lines of evidence suggest that many such "mechanochemical" proteins share fundamental underlying features that can be understood with the same basic concepts and theories. Such theories seek to describe the physical principles that govern the behavior of molecular motors, to explain the role of fluctuations in their operation, to describe the nature of the coupling between chemical reaction and physical coordinates, and to understand specific aspects of this conversion, such as its efficiency and reversibility." (Carlos Bustamante [U.C. Berkeley], David Keller [University of New Mexico], and George Oster [Berkeley], "The Physics of Molecular Motors," in Accounts of Chemical Research, Vol. 34 (5): 412-420 (May 15, 2001).)
- "The most elementary type of cell constitutes a 'mechanism' unimaginably more complex than any machine yet thought up, let alone constructed, by man." (W. H. Thorpe [evolutionist scientist] in W. R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited, pages 298-299 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Co., 1991).)
- "The-eukaryotic flagellum is a complex biochemical machine that moves cells or moves materials over the surface of cells, such as in the mammalian esophagus, oviduct or in protozoa. It is composed of over 250 polypeptides that must be assembled into a number of different structures and each structure must be attached with an exact periodicity along the microtubules. Once the flagellum is assembled, each of the components must act in concert and in three dimensions to produce a complex waveform. This review provides an outline of the composition and function of the different structures found in the flagella of Chlamydomonas. (Susan Dutcher, "Flagellar Assembly in Two Hundred and Fifty Easy-to-Follow Steps," Trends in Genetics, Vol. 11 (10).)
- "The post-reductionist era has been with us for some time, and cell biologists are now accomplished reconstructionists, building pictures of cellular structures from proteins identified through biochemistry and genetics. Understanding the beauty of cellular structures requires a knowledge of their inner architecture and engineering."
"The complexity of Millennium domes, Eiffel towers, and 'Ferris wheels' are likely just pale reflections of life at the heart of the cell." (Paul Ko Ferrigno, "The Nano-Scale Architecture of the Nucleus," Trends in Cell Biology, Vol. 10: 366 (2000).)
- "More so than other motors, the flagellum resembles a machine designed by a human." (David J. DeRosier, Cell, Vol. 93: 17 (1998).)
- "As a final comment, one can only marvel at the intricacy in a simple bacterium, of the total motor and sensory system which has been the subject of this review and remark that our concept of evolution by selective advantage must surely be an oversimplification. What advantage could derive, for example, from a "preflagellum" (meaning a subset of its components), and yet what is the probability of "simultaneous" development of the organelle at a level where it becomes advantageous." (R. Macnab, "Bacterial Mobility and Chemotaxis: The Molecular Biology of a Behavioral System," CRC Critical Reviews in Biochemistry, Vol. 5 (4): 291-341 (December 1978).)
- "But the level of sophistication within the 'simplest' living cell goes far beyond this. We need to think in terms of what modern engineers call high technology. A spade is an example of low technology. To function for digging a garden all that a spade requires is a 'willing' and hard working gardener, to take it up and use it; the spade's function to turn over the earth is so fulfilled. But after finishing the digging, the gardener decides to relax by going for a drive in the car. All that is required is to sit at the wheel, operate the starter and move forwards. The car represents high technology; it contains many components which function together, for example a steering wheel, road wheels, internal combustion engine, fuel system, ignition system, etc. Each of these components is interesting and requires skill to make, but each has no meaning in terms of function by itself unlike the spade whose function is complete in itself. This interdependency of parts is what is meant by high technology.... As we encounter high technology, in the articles we use everyday, we immediately think in terms of engineering design." (E.J. Ambrose [Emeritus Professor of Cell Biology, University of London], The Mirror of Creation (Scottish Academic Press, 1990).)
- "The rotary motor of E. coli. The rotor is attached rigidly to the inner end of the shaft, the outer end of which connects to the hook (a universal joint) which attaches to the inner end of the flagellar filament. The stator and the bearing are fixed rigidly to the inner and outer membranes of the cell. The rotor, hook and flagellum rotate at approximately 100 revolutions per second." (Bruce Alberts [President of the National Academy of Science] et al., Molecular Biology of the Cell, page 758 (New York: Garland Publishing, 1983), in Bible-Science Newsletter, Vol. 32 (2): 11 (1994).)
- "The evolution of the genetic machinery is the step for which there are no laboratory models; hence one can speculate endlessly, unfettered by inconvenient facts. The complex genetic apparatus in present-day organisms is so universal that one has few clues as to what the apparatus may have looked like in its most primitive form." (Richard E. Dickerson [Professor of Molecular Biology, University of California, Los Angeles], "Chemical Evolution and the Origin of Life," Scientific American, Vol. 239 (3): 77 (September 1978).)
- "Since there appear to be so few good sequences for a unique structure, the probability that there is any good sequence for any single novel backbone structure may be very small."
"Remarkably, in the designed sequences 51% of the core residues and 27% of all residues were identical to the amino acids in the corresponding positions in the native sequences....Taken together, these results suggest that the volume of sequence space optimal for a protein structure is surprisingly restricted to a region around the native sequence." (B. Kuhlman and D. Baker, "Native Protein Sequences are Close to Optimal for Their Structures," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 97: 10383-10388 (September 12, 2000).)
- "The amino acid sequences of enzymes like alcohol dehydrogenase and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase are strongly conserved across all phyla. We suggest that the amino acid conservation of such enzymes might be a result of the fact that they function as part of a multi-enzyme complex. The specific interactions between the proteins involved would hinder evolutionary change of their surfaces."
"Of its [histone H4] 103 residues, only two differ between human and pea."
"But as we shall demonstrate, the time passed or the different importance of the proteins in question for the survival of the cell are clearly not sufficient as an explanation."
"We reasoned that there could be two possible explanations for such an extensive conservation: (1) recent horizontal gene transfer, or (2) conservation of an unknown function." (B. Kisters-Woike, C. Vangierdegom, and B. Muller-Hill, "On the Conservation of Protein Sequences in Evolution," Trends in Biochemical Sciences, Vol. 25 (9): 419-421 (September 1, 2000).)
- "A pool of 5 x 10^14 different random sequence RNAs was generated... On average, any given 28-nucleotide sequence has a 50% probability of being represented... Remarkably, a single sequence accounted for more than 90% of the selected pool... This result indicates that there are relatively few solutions to the problem of binding biotin." (C. Wilson and J.W. Szostak, "In Vitro Evolution of a Self-Alkylating Ribozyme," Nature, Vol. 374: 777-782 (April 27, 1995).)
- "Based on their fundamental roles in genome transmission and in determining patterns of gene expression, it can be proposed that repetitive DNA elements set the "system architecture" of each species. The use of the term "system architecture" is meant to draw the analogy with computers, where programs with the same functionality (e.g. Microsoft Word (c)) are encoded differently according to the requirements of the underlying hardware and operating system (e.g. MacOS (c) or Windows (c)). From the system architecture perspective, what makes each species unique is not the nature of its proteins (a Windows (c) desktop resembles a Macintosh (c) desktop) but rather a distinct "specific" organization of the repetitive DNA elements that must be recognized by nuclear replication, segregation and transcription functions. In other words resetting the genome system architecture through reorganization of the repetitive DNA content is a fundamental aspect of evolutionary change." (J.A. Shapiro, "Genome System Architecture and Natural Genetic Engineering in Evolution," Annals of the New York Academy of Science, Vol. 870: 23-35 (May 18, 1999).)
- "As a biologist, I disagree. Of course, Darwin's theory works at some simple levels, such as antibiotic resistance and minor changes in finch beaks.... But Darwinian evolution purports to explain how all living things are descended from a common ancestor, and how the obvious differences among them arose through random mutations and natural selection. These larger claims are not consistent with the evidence." (Paul Nelson, "Darwin vs. Science Conflict is Real," Human Events (September 15, 2000).)
- "Many bacteria possessed resistance genes even before commercial antibiotics came into use. Scientists do not know exactly why these genes evolved and were maintained." (Stuart B. Levy, "The Challange of Antibiotic Resistance," Scientific American, page 35 (March 1998).)
- "The genetic variants required for resistance to the most diverse kinds of pesticides were apparently present in every one of the populations exposed to these man-made compounds." (Francisco J. Ayala, "The Mechanisms of Evolution," Scientific American, Vol. 239: 64 (September 1978).)
- "Since it is not possible to unambiguously identify useless structures, and since the structure of the argument used is not scientifically valid, I conclude that "vestigial organs" provide no special evidence for the theory of evolution." (S. R. Scadding, "Do 'Vestigial Organs' Provide Evidence for Evolution?," Evolutionary Theory, Vol. 5: 173 (May 1981).)
- "Other bodily organs and tissues-the thymus, liver, spleen, appendix, bone marrow, and small collections of lymphatic tissue such as the tonsils in the throat and Peyer's patch in the small intestine-are also part of the lymphatic system. They too help the body fight infection." (The Merck Manual of Medical Information, Home edition (New Jersey: Merck & Co., Inc. The Merck Publishing Group, Rahway, 1997).)
- "Apes possess an appendix, whereas their less immediate relatives, the lower apes do not; it appears again among the still mammals such as the opossum. How can the evolutionists account for this?" (H. Enoch, Creation and Evolution, pages 18-19 (New York, 1966).)
- "...This [the appendix] is frequently cited as a vestigial organ supposedly proving something or other about evolution. This is not the case; a terminal appendix is a fairly common feature in the cecum of mammals, and is present in a host of primates and a number of rodents. Its major importance would appear to be in the financial support of the surgical profession." (Alfred Romer, The Vertebrate Body, page 358 (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., 1962).)
- "Random mutation indisputably exists," said Margulis in an interview Thursday. "But I claim that new mutations don't create new species; they create offspring that are impaired."
"Intelligent design says that random mutation could not account for the sophisticated life around us. It had to have a designer," said Margulis. "Well, between 1850 and 1950, in what we now think of as southern California, skyscrapers and highways and a movie industry rose out of nothing and it all fits together -- well, sort of. And they'd say, 'Oh my God -- it had to be designed, it just came out of nowhere.' But that doesn't take any history into account, like the geographic background of southern California or the origin of electricity."
(Darry Madden, "UMass Scientist to Lead Debate on Evolutionary Theory," Brattleboro Reformer (Feb 3, 2006).)
- “We agree that very few potential offspring ever survive to reproduce and that populations do change through time, and that therefore natural selection is of critical importance to the evolutionary process. But this Darwinian claim to explain all of evolution is a popular half-truth whose lack of explicative power is compensated for only by the religious ferocity of its rhetoric. Although random mutations influenced the course of evolution, their influence was mainly by loss, alteration, and refinement. One mutation confers resistance to malaria but also makes happy blood cells into the deficient oxygen carriers of sickle cell anemics. Another converts a gorgeous newborn into a cystic fibrosis patient or a victim of early onset diabetes. One mutation causes a flighty red-eyed fruit fly to fail to take wing. Never, however, did that one mutation make a wing, a fruit, a woody stem, or a claw appear. Mutations, in summary, tend to induce sickness, death, or deficiencies. No evidence in the vast literature of heredity changes shows unambigious evidence that random mutation itself, even with geographical isolation of populations, leads to speciation. Then how do new species come into being? How do cauliflowers descend from tiny, wild Mediterranean cabbagelike plants, or pigs from wild boars?” (Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan, Acquiring Genomes: A Theory of the Origins of the Species, page 29 (Basic Books, 2003).)
- “It seems clear that the normal resting place of the Peppered Moth is beneath small, more or less horizontal branches (but not on narrow twigs), probably high up in the canopies, and the species probably only exceptionally rests on tree trunks.” (Kauri Mikkola, "On the Selective Forces Acting in the Industrial Melanism of Biston and Oligia Moths (Lepidoptera: Geometridae and Noctuidae), Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 21 (1984).)
- “The tree canopy contains quite different resting sites from the trunks on which the species was believed to rest.” (Kauri Mikkola, "On the Selective Forces Acting in the Industrial Melanism of Biston and Oligia Moths (Lepidoptera: Geometridae and Noctuidae), Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 21 (1984).)
- “In short: among the twigs the protective colours are expected to be of less significance than on the trunks.” (Kauri Mikkola, "On the Selective Forces Acting in the Industrial Melanism of Biston and Oligia Moths (Lepidoptera: Geometridae and Noctuidae), Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 21 (1984).)
- "However, night-active moths, released in an illumination bright enough for the human eye, may well choose their resting sites as soon as possible and most probably atypically.” (Kauri Mikkola, "On the Selective Forces Acting in the Industrial Melanism of Biston and Oligia Moths (Lepidoptera: Geometridae and Noctuidae), Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 21 (1984).)
- “Although the data “after one day of self-determination” are statistically not sufficient to detect differences to the trunk-resting moth it can be emphasized that the results of Kettlewell (1955a, 1956) fail to demonstrate the qualitative predation of the morphs of the Peppered Moth by birds or other predators in natural conditions.” (Kauri Mikkola, "On the Selective Forces Acting in the Industrial Melanism of Biston and Oligia Moths (Lepidoptera: Geometridae and Noctuidae), Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 21 (1984).)
- “But the problem is that we do not know the resting sites of the moth during the day-time.” (C.A. Clarke, G.S. Mani, and G. Wynne, "Evolution in Reverse: Clean Air and the Peppered Moth," Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 26 (1985).)
- “We do not believe that this type of protection occurs in our area and all we have observed is where the moths do not spend the day. In 25 years we have only found two betularia on the tree trunks or walls adjacent to our traps (one on an appropriate background and one not), and none elsewhere.” (C.A. Clarke, G.S. Mani, and G. Wynne, "Evolution in Reverse: Clean Air and the Peppered Moth," Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 26 (1985).)
- “When the bias in being able to see exposed individuals is taken into account it seems certain that most B. betularia rest where they are hidden.” (Rory J. Howlett and Michael E.N. Majerus, "The Understanding of Industrial Melanism in the Peppered Moth (Biston Betularia) (Lepidoptera: Geometridae)," Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 30 (1987).)
- “We are, however, convinced that exposed areas of tree trunk are not an important resting site for any form of B betularia.” (Rory J. Howlett and Michael E.N. Majerus, "The Understanding of Industrial Melanism in the Peppered Moth (Biston Betularia) (Lepidoptera: Geometridae)," Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 30 (1987).)
- “We therefore believe that Mikkola’s findings do apply to B. betularia on Merseyside and throughout much, if not all, of Britain. This brings into question the validity of fitness values of the different forms obtained by putting moths on tree trunks in relatively exposed positions.” (Rory J. Howlett and Michael E.N. Majerus, "The Understanding of Industrial Melanism in the Peppered Moth (Biston Betularia) (Lepidoptera: Geometridae)," Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 30 (1987).)
- “Kettlewell (1955, 1956) was the first to employ this technique to investigate the relative survival rates of different morphs in industrial melanism context.” (Theodore D. Sargent, Craig D. Millar, and David M. Lambert, "The “Classical” Explanation of Industrial Melanism – Assessing the Evidence," Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 30 (1998).)
- “Indeed these experiments still provide the primary evidence for the “classical” industrial melanism story. This study however was beset with many problems, and Sermonti and Catastini (1984) have concluded that. . . Kettlewell’s experiments do not prove in any acceptable way, according to the current scientific standard, the process he maintains to have experimentally demonstrated." We have already discussed some of the problems that could have affected the results of this study. For example, the normal resting sites of B. betularia remain uncertain but are almost certainly not the exposed tree trunks onto which the moths were originally released in this study.” (Theodore D. Sargent, Craig D. Millar, and David M. Lambert, "The “Classical” Explanation of Industrial Melanism – Assessing the Evidence," Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 30 (1998).)
- “We have reviewed the evidence that appears to support what we have described as the “classical” hypothesis regarding industrial melanism, i.e., that melanism has increased in industrial areas because of a cryptic advantage that melanics enjoy on the darkened substrates that industrialization creates. This hypothesis seems eminently reasonable and has become a standard textbook example of evolution in action. However, the process envisioned is based on a number of assumptions, many of which we feel are not convincingly supported.” (Theodore D. Sargent, Craig D. Millar, and David M. Lambert, "The “Classical” Explanation of Industrial Melanism – Assessing the Evidence," Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 30 (1998).)
- “Predation studies in the field are beset with problems that arise in large measure from our lack of knowledge regarding the natural resting habits of the species involved. And, without observations of naturally resting moths, there can be no observations of natural acts of predation on them.” (Theodore D. Sargent, Craig D. Millar, and David M. Lambert, "The “Classical” Explanation of Industrial Melanism – Assessing the Evidence," Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 30 (1998).)
- “Of course, the “classical” explanation may be true, in whole or in part. We contend, however, that there is little persuasive evidence, in the form of rigorous and replicated observations and experiments, to support this explanation at the present time.” (Theodore D. Sargent, Craig D. Millar, and David M. Lambert, "The “Classical” Explanation of Industrial Melanism – Assessing the Evidence," Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 30 (1998).)
- “From time to time, evolutionists re-examine a classic experimental study and find, to their horror, that it is flawed or downright wrong.” (Jerry A. Coyne, "Not Black and White," Nature, Vol. 396 (November 5, 1998).)
- “Until now, however, the prize horse in our stable of examples has been the evolution of ‘industrial melanism’ in the peppered moth, Biston betularia, presented by most teachers and textbooks as the paradigm of natural selection and evolution occurring within a human lifetime.” (Jerry A. Coyne, "Not Black and White," Nature, Vol. 396 (November 5, 1998).)
- “Depressingly, Majerus shows that this classic example is in bad shape, and, while not yet ready for the glue factory, needs serious attention.”(Jerry A. Coyne, "Not Black and White," Nature, Vol. 396 (November 5, 1998).)
- “Majerus notes that the most serious problem is that B. betularia probably does not rest on tree trunks.” (Jerry A. Coyne, "Not Black and White," Nature, Vol. 396 (November 5, 1998).)
- "This alone invalidates Kettlewell’s release-recapture experiments, as moths were released by placing them directly onto tree trunks, where they are highly visible to bird predators.” (Jerry A. Coyne, "Not Black and White," Nature, Vol. 396 (November 5, 1998).)
- “I unearthed additional problems when, embarrassed at having taught the standard Biston story for years, I read Kettlewell’s papers for the first time.” (Jerry A. Coyne, "Not Black and White," Nature, Vol. 396 (November 5, 1998).)
- “My own reaction resembles the dismay attending my discovery, at the age of six, that it was my father and not Santa who brought the presents on Christmas Eve.”(Jerry A. Coyne, "Not Black and White," Nature, Vol. 396 (November 5, 1998).)
- “First, for the time being we must discard Biston as a well-understood example of natural selection in action, although it is clearly a case of evolution.” (Jerry A. Coyne, "Not Black and White," Nature, Vol. 396 (November 5, 1998).)
- “Majerus acknowledges the difficulties with the classic example and details the major elements in the story, some of which are seriously flawed. For example, peppered moths do not actually rest exposed on the trunks of trees.” (Craig Millar and David Lambert, "Industrial Melanism—a Classic Example of Another Kind?," Bioscience, Vol. 49 (12) (December 1999).)
- “This has major implications for the classic example; among other things, it calls into question the findings of the bird predation experiments, which form the backbone of the classic explanation.” (Craig Millar and David Lambert, "Industrial Melanism—a Classic Example of Another Kind?," Bioscience, Vol. 49 (12) (December 1999).)
- “Moreover, the reader is left in no doubt that Majerus, although critical of some of the components of the present explanation, nevertheless still regards the textbook story as basically correct.” (Craig Millar and David Lambert, "Industrial Melanism—a Classic Example of Another Kind?," Bioscience, Vol. 49 (12) (December 1999).)
- “Because he feels that he knows the answer, Majerus does not detail or encourage the reader to consider any alternative explanations, such as potential nonvisual selective forces or direct induction of melanism by chemicals found in pollutants.” (Craig Millar and David Lambert, "Industrial Melanism—a Classic Example of Another Kind?," Bioscience, Vol. 49 (12) (December 1999).)
- “Unfortunately, it is just this attitude that has perpetuated the textbook story itself, despite the now obvious flaws.” (Craig Millar and David Lambert, "Industrial Melanism—a Classic Example of Another Kind?," Bioscience, Vol. 49 (12) (December 1999).)
- “Wells disagrees with the results of the research on industrial melanism in the peppered moth, and manipulates the literature and the data to fit his views.” (Dr. Alan Gishlick, in his review of the Discovery Institute’s “Analysis of the Treatment of Evolution in Biology Textbooks”.)
- “First, Wells argues that the story is seriously flawed because “peppered moths in the wild don’t even rest on tree trunks” (Wells, 2000:138). He repeats this point throughout the chapter. However, it is both false and irrelevant, and only serves as a distraction to lead the reader away from the actual story of the moths. Contrary to Well’s assertions, data given by Majerus (1998:123) indicate that moths do indeed rest on the trunks of trees 25% of the time.” (Dr. Alan Gishlick, in his review of the Discovery Institute’s “Analysis of the Treatment of Evolution in Biology Textbooks”.)
- “However, a number of workers have questioned the quantitative accuracy of these estimates, because peppered moths do not naturally rest in exposed positions on tree trunks (Mikkola 1979, 1984; Howlett and Majerus 1987; Liebert and Brakefield 1987).” (Michael E.N. Majerus, Melanism – Evolution in Action (Oxford University Press, 1998).)
- “Data on the natural resting sites of the peppered moth are pitifully scarce, and this in itself suggests that peppered moths do not habitually rest in exposed positions on tree trunks.” (Michael E.N. Majerus, Melanism – Evolution in Action (Oxford University Press, 1998).)
- “The largest data set of the resting positions of wild pepper moths found in truly natural positions (i.e. not near moth traps or other light sources which may have attracted the moths) is just 47 moths found over a period of 34 years (Howlett and Majerus 1987).” (Michael E.N. Majerus, Melanism – Evolution in Action (Oxford University Press, 1998).)
- “Analysis of these results (Table 6.1) and an additional data set of the resting positions of moths found close to moth traps or street lights (Table 6.2) led Howlett and Majerus to conclude that peppered moths generally rest in unexposed positions, using three main types of site: (a) tree trunks, a few inches below a branch/trunk join to the moth is in shadow; (b) the underside of branches (Plate 3a-c); and (c) foliate twigs (Plate 3d and Fig. 6.3).” (Michael E.N. Majerus, Melanism – Evolution in Action (Oxford University Press, 1998).)
“If the relative fitness of the morphs of the peppered moth does depend on their crypsis, the resting position is crucially important to the estimation of fitness differences between the morphs.” (Michael E.N. Majerus, Melanism – Evolution in Action (Oxford University Press, 1998).)
- “The total number of B. betularia caught over the 35 years was 17,300, of which only 91 were females.” (A Long Term Assessment of Biston betularia (L.) in One UK Locality (Caldy Common Near West Kirby, Wirral), 1959-1993, and Glimpses Elsewhere, Cyril A. Clarke, Bruce Grant, Frieda M.M. Clarke, and Takahiro Asami, The Linnean, vol. 10, no. 2, 1994)
“Perhaps the over emphasis on the importance of lichens is owed to the famous posed photographs of melanic and typical forms resting on soot coated, and lichen encrusted tree trunks deliberately arranged only to illustrate the reversed crypsis of the two forms on contrasting backgrounds. While such demonstrations should not be offered as proof as to where the moths actually do hide from predators by day, alas, a picture is worth a thousand words.” (A Long Term Assessment of Biston betularia (L.) in One UK Locality (Caldy Common Near West Kirby, Wirral), 1959-1993, and Glimpses Elsewhere, Cyril A. Clarke, Bruce Grant, Frieda M.M. Clarke, and Takahiro Asami, The Linnean, vol. 10, no. 2, 1994)
“To date, the hiding places of Biston betularia remain its secret.” (A Long Term Assessment of Biston betularia (L.) in One UK Locality (Caldy Common Near West Kirby, Wirral), 1959-1993, and Glimpses Elsewhere, Cyril A. Clarke, Bruce Grant, Frieda M.M. Clarke, and Takahiro Asami, The Linnean, vol. 10, no. 2, 1994)
Homology in Vertebrate Limbs:
“The question next arises whether the reacting tissues which are induced to form a structure must also be ‘the same’ if the structures formed out of them are to be regarded as homologous. If by ‘similarity’ of tissues is meant similarity of position in the fertilized egg or early embryo, then clearly homologous organs can arise from material of dissimilar original location. Organ-forming substances for corresponding structures may be found in different places.” (Embryos and Ancestors, Sir Gavin de Beer, The Clarendon Press, 1958)
“It may further be remembered that homologous structures need not arise from the same segments of the body; the arm in the newt is formed from segments 9 to 11; in man, segments 13 to 18.” (Embryos and Ancestors, Sir Gavin de Beer, The Clarendon Press, 1958)
“The fact is that correspondence between homologous structures cannot be pressed back to similarity of position of the cells in the embryo, or of the parts of the egg out of which the structures are ultimately composed, or of developmental mechanisms by which they are formed.” (Embryos and Ancestors, Sir Gavin de Beer, The Clarendon Press, 1958)
“Therefore, correspondence between homologous structures cannot be pressed back to similarity of position of the cells of the embryo or the parts of the egg out of which these structures are ultimately differentiated.” (Homology, An Unsolved Problem, Sir Gavin de Beer, Oxford Biology Readers, 1971, emphasis in original)
“It is therefore necessary to give the lie direct to the entry on ‘Homology’ in the glossary by W.S. Dallas which Darwin most unfortunately appended to the 6th edition of the Origin of Species. It defines homology as ‘That relation between parts which results from their development from corresponding embryonic parts.’ This is just what homology is not. The real situation was well defined by E.B. Wilson in 1894, when he pointed out that ‘Embryological development does not in itself afford at present any absolute criterion whatever for the determination of homology. . . .comparative anatomy, not comparative embryology, is the primary standard for the study of homologies.’” (Homology, An Unsolved Problem, Sir Gavin de Beer, Oxford Biology Readers, 1971)
“Because there are so many examples of homologous structures arising from nonhomologous developmental processes, I believe homology can no longer retain its historical links to shared embryonic development.” (Homology and Embryonic Development, Brian K. Hall, Evolutionary Biology, vol. 28, 1995)
“For the moment, however, evidence dictates that we not require common developmental processes as a mandatory criterion for determining features to be homologous. Many homologous features share common development but many do not.” (Homology and Embryonic Development, Brian K. Hall, Evolutionary Biology, vol. 28, 1995)
“Even more difficult threshold effects can yield changes in process whereby apparently homologous features can arise from new precursors or pathways. We have observed phenomena of this type in closely related sea urchins that differ in developmental mode.” (Larval Homologies and Radical Evolutionary Changes in Early Development, Rudolf A. Raff, Novartis Foundation Symposium 222, 1999)
“Most intriguingly, features that we regard as homologous from morphological and phylogenetic criteria can arise in different ways in development (Rieppel 1994, Shubin 1994).” (Larval Homologies and Radical Evolutionary Changes in Early Development, Rudolf A. Raff, Novartis Foundation Symposium 222, 1999)
“A stringent definition of homology is necessary to establish phylogenetic relationships among Paleozoic amphibians.” (Homology Among Divergent Paleozoic Tetrapod Clades, Robert L. Carroll, Novartis Foundation Symposium 222, 1999)
“Identification of homology by the similarity of structure, anatomical position and pattern of development is insufficient to establish the synapomorphy of bone and limb loss or precocial ossification of vertebral centra, which are common among small Paleozoic amphibians.” (Homology Among Divergent Paleozoic Tetrapod Clades, Robert L. Carroll, Novartis Foundation Symposium 222, 1999)
“In establishing relationships, it is vital to recognize that characters may be homologous on the basis of structural and positional correspondence, or similarity of developmental patterns and constraints, without necessarily being the result of immediate common ancestry.” (Homology Among Divergent Paleozoic Tetrapod Clades, Robert L. Carroll, Novartis Foundation Symposium 222, 1999)
“The pattern of the pentadactyl limb which is such a striking feature of the skeleton of tetrapods constitutes the classic example oh homology.” (The Prechondrogenic Patterns in Tetrapod Limb Development and Their Phylogenetic Significance, J.R. Hinchliffe and P.J. Griffiths, The Sixth Symposium of the British Society for Evolutionary Biology, Cambridge University Press, 1983)
“To Darwin, the homology of the vertebrate limb, regardless of its various functional adaptations, indicated descent from a common ancestor.” (The Prechondrogenic Patterns in Tetrapod Limb Development and Their Phylogenetic Significance, J.R. Hinchliffe and P.J. Griffiths, The Sixth Symposium of the British Society for Evolutionary Biology, Cambridge University Press, 1983)
“This suggests that there is no general pattern of condensation, common to all tetrapod groups.” (The Prechondrogenic Patterns in Tetrapod Limb Development and Their Phylogenetic Significance, J.R. Hinchliffe and P.J. Griffiths, The Sixth Symposium of the British Society for Evolutionary Biology, Cambridge University Press, 1983)
“This resulted in different views of limb development and evolution (those of Rabl and Gegenbaur) which assume that the early embryological stages of limb development are shared among all tetrapods and that these stages are representative of the adult ancestral stages.” (A Morphogenetic Approach to the Origin and Basic Organization of the Tetrapod Limb, Neil H. Shubin and Pere Alberch, Evolutionary Biology, vol. 20, 1986)
“Hinchliffe and Griffiths (1983) found that limb development, in terms of both the number and position of elements, is specialized from its early stages.” (A Morphogenetic Approach to the Origin and Basic Organization of the Tetrapod Limb, Neil H. Shubin and Pere Alberch, Evolutionary Biology, vol. 20, 1986)
“Contrary to Haeckelian and von Baerian views, limb development may be specialized since its early stages. Early bifurcation and segmentation events are not necessarily more preserved that later ones (as in the case of the deletion of the intermedium in the anuran limb).” (A Morphogenetic Approach to the Origin and Basic Organization of the Tetrapod Limb, Neil H. Shubin and Pere Alberch, Evolutionary Biology, vol. 20, 1986)
Microevolution and Macroevolution:
“It will be one of the major contentions of this book to show that the facts of microevolution do not suffice for an understanding of macroevolution.” (The Material Basis of Evolution, Richard Goldschmidt, 1940, Yale University Press)
“With De Vries’ theory of mutation again the large steps came to the foreground, and though his original material, Oenothera, turned out to be of importance in quite a different direction, the awakening Mendelism took over the theory of mutant as the basic material of selection and evolution.” (The Material Basis of Evolution, Richard Goldschmidt, 1940, Yale University Press
“Only very few paleontologists were strict Darwinians, accepting natural selection as the dominant agent of evolution.” (The Growth of Biological Thought – Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance, Ernst Mayr, 1982, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
“Macroevolutionary processes and causations were generally considered to be of a special kind, quite different from the populational phenomena studied by genetics and students of speciation.” (The Growth of Biological Thought – Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance, Ernst Mayr, 1982, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press)
“Even though most paleontologists agreed that natural selection was insufficient to explain the phenomena of macroevolution, there were some rather vigorous supporters of natural selection, such as Dollo, Koyaleysky, Abel, Goodrich, and Matthew.” (The Growth of Biological Thought – Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance, Ernst Mayr, 1982, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press)
“However, it is not clear from their writings whether they considered natural selection alone as sufficient to explain all evolutionary phenomena.” (The Growth of Biological Thought – Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance, Ernst Mayr, 1982, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press)
“So, this book is starting with an exhortation to the reader to believe that current evolutionary theory, based on natural selection and adaptation in present-day lineages is, at the very least, incomplete; and this exhortation is based on the drawing of a parallel between the processes of development and evolution.” (The Origin of Animal Body Plans – A study in Evolutionary Developmental Biology, Wallace Arthur, 1997, Cambridge University Press)
“Our case studies on the action of natural selection all involve microevolutionary changes occurring within particular lineages, hundreds of millions of years after the origin of the major body plans of which the species concerned represent variations.” (The Origin of Animal Body Plans – A study in Evolutionary Developmental Biology, Wallace Arthur, 1997, Cambridge University Press)
“The most striking features of large-scale evolution are the extremely rapid divergence of lineages near the time of their origin, followed by long periods in which basic body plans and ways of life are retained. What is missing are the many intermediate forms hypothesized by Darwin, and the continual divergence of major lineages into the morphospace between distinct adaptive types.” (Towards a New Evolutionary Synthesis, Robert L. Carroll, Tree, vol. 15, no.1 January 2000)
“The most conspicuous event in metazoan evolution was the dramatic origin of major new structures and body plans documented by the Cambrian explosion.” (Towards a New Evolutionary Synthesis, Robert L. Carroll, Tree, vol. 15, no.1 January 2000)
“Then, within less then 10 million years, almost all of the advanced phyla appeared, including echinoderms, chordates, annelids, brachiopods, molluscs and a host of arthropods.” (Towards a New Evolutionary Synthesis, Robert L. Carroll, Tree, vol. 15, no.1 January 2000)
“The extreme speed of anatomical change and adaptive radiation during this brief time period requires explanations that go beyond those proposed for the evolution of species within the modern biota.” (Towards a New Evolutionary Synthesis, Robert L. Carroll, Tree, vol. 15, no.1 January 2000)
“This explosive evolution of phyla with diverse body plans is certainly not explicable by extrapolation from the processes and rates of evolution observed in modern species, but requires a succession of unique events.” (Towards a New Evolutionary Synthesis, Robert L. Carroll, Tree, vol. 15, no.1 January 2000)
“One of the oldest problems in evolutionary biology remains largely unsolved” (Perspective: Evolutionary Developmental Biology and the Problem of Variation, David L. Stern, International Journal of Organic Evolution, vol. 54, no. 4, August 2000)
“Historically, the neo-Darwinian synthesizers stressed the predominance of micromutations in evolution, whereas others noted the similarities between some dramatic mutations and evolutionary transitions to argue for macromutationism.” (Perspective: Evolutionary Developmental Biology and the Problem of Variation, David L. Stern, International Journal of Organic Evolution, vol. 54, no. 4, August 2000)
“One of the oldest debates in evolutionary biology concerns the magnitude of the individual steps contributing to evolutionary change.” (Perspective: Evolutionary Developmental Biology and the Problem of Variation, David L. Stern, International Journal of Organic Evolution, vol. 54, no. 4, August 2000)
“However, depending largely on preconceptions generated from other evidence, observed mutations have been used to support both extreme micromutationism and extreme macromutationism as important modes of evolutionary change.” (Perspective: Evolutionary Developmental Biology and the Problem of Variation, David L. Stern, International Journal of Organic Evolution, vol. 54, no. 4, August 2000)
“An finally, I will address, from a developmental genetic perspective, the long-standing question of the sufficiency of evolutionary mechanisms observed at or below the species level (“microevolution”) to account for the larger-scale patterns of morphological evolution (“macroevolution”).” (Endless: The Evolution of Gene Regulation and Morphological Diversity, Sean B. Carroll, Cell, vol. 101, June 9, 2000)
“One of the longest running debates in the evolutionary biology concerns the sufficiency of processes observed within populations and species for explaining macroevolution.” (Endless: The Evolution of Gene Regulation and Morphological Diversity, Sean B. Carroll, Cell, vol. 101, June 9, 2000)
“From the perspective of developmental genetics, the global micro/macro evolutionary debate can be reduced to the question of whether the same genetic mechanisms underlying intraspecific variation and interspecific differences are sufficient to account for the large-scale changes in evolution. Several arguments can be made in support of the explanatory sufficiency of regulatory evolution and against the necessity for or the probability of dramatic large-scale “macromutations” playing a significant role in morphological evolution.” (Endless: The Evolution of Gene Regulation and Morphological Diversity, Sean B. Carroll, Cell, vol. 101, June 9, 2000)
“A long standing issue in evolutionary biology is whether the processes observable in extant populations and species (microevolution) are sufficient to account for the larger-scale changes evident over longer periods of life’s history (macroevolution). Outsiders to this rich literature may be surprised that there is no consensus on this issue, and that strong viewpoints are held at both ends of the spectrum, with many undecided.” (The Big Picture, Sean B. Carroll, Nature, vol.409, February 8, 2001)
“The crucial question is whether there is any evidence that distinct macroevolutionary mechanisms affect morphological or phyletic evolution. There are no reports of high level genetic mechanisms (genome rearrangements or ‘macromutations’) distinct from microevolutionary genetic mechanisms underlying speciation, the large scale morphological diversification of various body plans, or the origin of major innovations.” (The Big Picture, Sean B. Carroll, Nature, vol.409, February 8, 2001)
“On the contrary, an unexpected degree of genetic similarity exists between morphologically and phylogenetically divergent tax suggesting that the distinction between micro- and macroevolution in terms of morphological change is descriptive, not mechanistic.” The Big Picture, Sean B. Carroll, Nature, vol.409, February 8, 2001
“Macro - = Micro - = Evolution” (The Big Picture, Sean B. Carroll, Nature, vol.409, February 8, 2001)
“However, more important than redefining macroevolution is recognizing that discipline of scale bound considerations of only one component of evolution, or of solely extrinsic or intrinsic mechanisms, are inadequate.” (The Big Picture, Sean B. Carroll, Nature, vol.409, February 8, 2001)
“A persistent debate in evolutionary biology is one over the continuity of microevolution and macroevolution – whether macroevolutionary trends are governed by the principles of microevolution.” (The Continuity of Microevolution and Macroevolution, Andrew M. Simons, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, vol.15, 2002)
“The continuity of selective process over microevolutionary and macroevolutionary time continues to be a source of disagreement in evolutionary biology (… et al., 1999; Erwin, 2000; Carroll, 2001; Plothick and Sepkoski, 2001), one that Maynard Smith (1989) described as ‘unsatisfactory.’” (The Continuity of Microevolution and Macroevolution, Andrew M. Simons, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, vol.15, 2002)
“In dispute is whether the effects of selection operating over microevolutionary time, or at the population level, account for observed trends over macroevolutionary time.” (The Continuity of Microevolution and Macroevolution, Andrew M. Simons, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, vol.15, 2002)
“Resolution of the continuity issue is critical because if selection is discontinuous over different time scales, then palaeobiology and evolutionary genetics are not two approaches to the same evolutionary problems; they are only distantly related fields of study.” (The Continuity of Microevolution and Macroevolution, Andrew M. Simons, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, vol.15, 2002)
“The fact that the debate has not been resolved means that a single perspective of selection consistent with both micro- and macroevolution is still needed.” (The Continuity of Microevolution and Macroevolution, Andrew M. Simons, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, vol.15, 2002)
“Reduction and trivialization of macroevolution” (The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, Stephen Jay Gould, 2002, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press)
“No evolutionary assertion has been more commonly advanced in textbooks, or more superficially (and almost nonchalantly) proclaimed by fiat, than the claim that adaptation by natural selection must be fully sufficient to render life’s entire history.” (The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, Stephen Jay Gould, 2002, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press)
“But I must confess that a stronger and more focused form of this argument has long evoked my deeper distress, and has served in substantial measure, as the impetus for personal career choices in research and for my eventual decision to write this book.” (The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, Stephen Jay Gould, 2002, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press)
“I refer to the claim, repeated almost as a catechism, and obviously copied from textbook to textbook, that macroevolution poses no problem not resolvable by a further understanding of allelic substitutions directed by natural selection in contemporary populations.” (The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, Stephen Jay Gould, 2002, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press)
“Most standard textbooks make this confident assertion based on little beyond hope and tradition—thus making macroevolution a nonsubject.” (The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, Stephen Jay Gould, 2002, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press)
"It will be determined to what extent the phylogenic tree, as derived from molecular data in complete independence from the results of organismal biology, coincides with the phylogenic tree constructed on the basis of organismal biology. If the two phylogenic trees are mostly in agreement with respect to the topology of branching, the best available single proof of the reality of macro-evolution would be furnished. Indeed, only the theory of evolution, combined with the realization that events at any supramolecular level are consistent with molecular events, could reasonably account for such a congruence between lines of evidence obtained independently, namely amino acid sequences of homologous polypeptide chains on the one hand, and the finds of organismal taxonomy and paleontology on the other hand. Besides offering an intellectual satisfaction to some, the advertising of such evidence would of course amount to beating a dead horse. Some beating of dead horses may be ethical, when here and there they display unexpected twitches that look like life." ("Evolutionary Divergence and Convergence in Proteins." in Evolving Genes and Proteins, p. 101. (1965)
“But many biologists claim they know for sure that random mutation (purposeless chance) is the source of inherited variation that generates new species of life and that life evolved in a single-common-trunk, dichotomously branching-phylogenetic-tree pattern! "No!" I say. Then how did one species evolve into another? This profound research question is assiduously undermined by the hegemony who flaunt their "correct" solution. Especially dogmatic are those molecular modelers of the "tree of life" who, ignorant of alternative topologies (such as webs), don't study ancestors. Victims of a Whiteheadian "fallacy of misplaced concreteness," they correlate computer code with names given by "authorities" to organisms they never see! Our zealous research, ever faithful to the god who dwells in the details, openly challenges such dogmatic certainty. This is science.” (FROM THE PRESIDENT The Phylogenetic Tree Topples Lynn Margulis, American Scientist, May/June, 2006 (http://www.americanscientist.org/template/AssetDetail/assetid/50772;jsessionid=baafAbZ5EsKUSj))
“Unlike the sequence of an exon, the exact nucleotide sequence of an intron seems to be unimportant. Thus introns have accumulated mutations rapidly during evolution, and it is often possible to alter most of an intron’s nucleotide sequence without greatly affecting gene function. This has led to the suggestion that intron sequences have no function at all and are largely genetic “junk”…” (Molecular biology of the Cell, 3rd Ed. (1994) by Bruce Alberts, Dennis Bray, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, and James D. Watson)
The simplest way to explain the surplus DNA is to suppose that it is a parasite or at best a harmless but useless passenger, hitching a ride in the survival machines created by the other DNA." (Christian de Duve, Vital Dust: Life as a Cosmic Imperative, Basic Books, 1996. pp. 222-23.)
"Our view is that they are the remains of nature's experiments which failed. The earth is strewn with fossil remains of extinct species; is it a wonder that our genome too is filled with the remains of extinct genes?" (p. 368 Ohno, Susumu, "So much 'junk' DNA in our genome," Brook Haven Symposia in Biology, 23:366-370, 1972.)
"The excess DNA in our genomes is junk, and it is there because it is harmless, as well as being useless, and because the molecular processes generating extra DNA outpace those getting rid of it." (Sydney Brenner, "Refuge of spandrels," Current Biology, 8(19): R669, 1998.)
"It does not seem strictly impossible that mutations should have introduced into the animal kingdom the differences which exist between one species and the next...hence it is very tempting to lay also at their door the differences between classes, families and orders, and, in short, the whole of evolution. But it is obvious that such an extrapolation involves the gratuitous attribution to the mutations of the past of a magnitude and power of innovation much greater than is shown by those of today." (French biologist Jean Rostand, in "A Biologist's View" (William Heinemann Ltd., London, 1956))
“The growing gap between molecular analyses and the fossil record, including the supposed Cambrian ‘explosion’  is astounding. Exemplifying the trend, Kumar an Hedges  date the origin of primates at 90 Mya, whereas the fossil record puts the event at 55 Mya . Paton et al.  rejected a rapid Tertiary evolution hypothesis and a ‘transitional shorebird’ ancestry based on mitochondrial DNA sequences of the highly derived turnstone and oystercatcher, taxa no more hypothetically allied with long extinct ‘transitional shorebirds’ than are any other modern birds. Many of these studies suffer from invalid calibration and inadequate sampling of taxa . Nevertheless, estimated dates for the origins of modern orders are, in millions of years: 100^ , 100^ , 100þ (mammals) , 100–120 (Palaeognathae–Neognathae and Galloanserae–Neoaves); 90þ (fowl–ducks); 110 (primate–rodent) , and 82–85 (passerines) .” ("'Big bang’ for tertiary birds?," Alan Feduccia, TRENDS in Ecology and Evolution Vol.18 No.4 April 2003 (pg. 172-176))
"[T]he immediate cause of this conference is a pretty widespread sense of dissatisfaction about what has come to be thought as the accepted evolutionary theory in the English-speaking world, the so-called neo-Darwinian Theory. ... There are objections made by fellow scientists who feel that, in the current theory, something is missing ... These objections to current neo-Darwinian theory are very widely held among biologists generally; and we must on no account, I think, make light of them. The very fact that we are having this conference is evidence that we are not making light of them." (Sir Peter Medawar, "Remarks by the Chairman," in Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution (Wistar Institute Press, 1966, No. 5), pg. xi, emphasis in original)
"[A]n opposite way to look at the genotype is as a generative algorithm and not as a blue-print; a sort of carefully spelled out and foolproof recipe for producing a living organism of the right kind if the environment in which it develops is a proper one. Assuming this to be so, the algorithm must be written in some abstract language. Molecular biology may well have provided us with the alphabet of this language, but it is a long step from the alphabet to understanding a language. Nevertheless a language has to have rules, and these are the strongest constraints on the set of possible messages. No currently existing formal language can tolerate random changes in the symbol sequences which express its sentences. Meaning is almost invariably destroyed. Any changes must be syntactically lawful ones. I would conjecture that what one might call "genetic grammaticality" has a deterministic explanation and does not owe its stability to selection pressure acting on random variation." (Murray Eden, "Inadequacies as a Scientific Theory," in Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution (Wistar Institute Press, 1966, No. 5), pg. 11)
"[I]t seems to require many thousands, perhaps millions, of successive mutations to produce even the easiest complexity we see in life now. It appears, naively at least, that no matter how large the probability of a single mutation is, should it be even as great as one-half, you would get this probability raised to a millionth power, which is so very close to zero that the chances of such a chain seem to be practically non-existent." (Stanislaw M. Ulam, "How to Formulate Mathematically Problems of Rate of Evolution," in Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution (Wistar Institute Press, 1966, No. 5), pg. 21)
"We do not know any general principle which would explain how to match blueprints viewed as typographic objects and the things they are supposed to control. The only example we have of such a situation (apart from the evolution of life itself) is the attempt to build self-adapting programs by workers in the field of artificial intelligence. Their experience is quite conclusive to most of the observers: without some built-in matching, nothing interesting can occur. Thus, to conclude, we believe that there is a considerable gap in the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution, and we believe this gap to be of such a nature that it cannot be bridged within the current conception of biology." (Marcel Schutzenberger, "Algorithms and Neo-Darwinian Theory," in Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution (Wistar Institute Press, 1966, No. 5), pg. 75)
"Because of the stochastic way in which lineages sort during speciation, gene trees may differ in topology from each other and from species trees. Surprisingly, assuming that genetic lineages follow a coalescent model of within-species evolution, we find that for any species tree topology with five or more species, there exist branch lengths for which gene tree discordance is so common that the most likely gene tree topology to evolve along the branches of a species tree differs from the species phylogeny. This counterintuitive result implies that in combining data on multiple loci, the straightforward procedure of using the most frequently observed gene tree topology as an estimate of the species tree topology can be asymptotically guaranteed to produce an incorrect estimate." (Degnan and Rosenberg, “Discordance of Species Trees with Their Most Likely Gene Trees,” Public Library of Science: Genetics, Volume 2 | Issue 5 | MAY 2006)
".. random mutation (purposeless chance) is the source of inherited variation that generates new species of life and that life evolved in a single-common-trunk, dichotomously branching-phylogenetic-tree pattern!
"No!" I say.". (Lynn Marguils, The Phylogenetic Tree Topples, May-June 2006, American Scientist, www.americanscientist.org/template/AssetDetail/assetid/50772;jsessionid=baafAbZ5EsKUSj )
“And the cell falls short of miraculous. “A lot of the DNA in there is not needed -- it’s junk,” says Phillip Kitcher, the Columbia University philosopher of science. “If it’s intelligently designed, then God needs to go back to school.”
(Doubting Rationalist ‘Intelligent Design’ Proponent Phillip Johnson, and How He Came to Be By Michael Powell, Washington Post,, Sunday May 15, 2005 talk about Johnson being a program advisor to CSC)
“When discussing organic evolution the only point of agreement seems to be: ‘It happened.’ Thereafter, there is little consensus.” (Simon Conway Morris, “Evolution: Bringing Molecules into the Fold,” Cell 100 (Jan. 7, 2000): 1–11.)
“...contrary to classical evolutionary theory, the processes that drive the small changes observed as species diverge cannot be taken as models for evolution of the body plans of animals. These are as apples and oranges, so to speak, and that is why it is necessary to apply new principles that derive from the structure/function relations of gene regulatory networks to approach the mechanisms of body plan evolution.” (p. 195) Eric Davidson, The Regulatory Genome: Gene Regulatory Networks in Development and Evolution
"I would give nothing for the theory of natural selection, if it requires miraculous additions at any one stage of descent." (Darwin, F., ed. 1888. The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin. John Murray: London. p210.)
“Genomes are littered with nonfunctional pseudogenes, faulty duplicates of functional genes that do nothing, while their functional cousins (the word doesn't even need scare quotes) get on with their business in a different part of the same genome. And there's lots more DNA that doesn't even deserve the name pseudogene. It, too, is derived by duplication, but not duplication of functional genes. It consists of multiple copies of junk, "tandem repeats", and other nonsense which may be useful for forensic detectives but which doesn't seem to be used in the body itself. Once again, creationists might spend some earnest time speculating on why the Creator should bother to litter genomes with untranslated pseudogenes and junk tandem repeat DNA.”
(Richard Dawkins, "The Information Challenge," The Skeptic, Vol. 18 (4) (December, 1998), at http://www.simonyi.ox.ac.uk/dawkins/WorldOfDawkins-archive/Dawkins/Work/Articles/1998-12-04infochallange.shtml)
"Do introns in existing eukaryotes have any function? We do not know. However, the length (but not the nucleotide sequence) of particular introns is conserved in evolution, suggesting some functional constraint." – p. 209
"Our knowledge of repeated DNA is recent and incomplete. It is therefore foolish to hold dogmatic views about its role in evolution ." – p. 224
John Maynard Smith, Evolutionary Genetics, New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.
"The DNA of mammals, about 800 times as much as in Escherichia coli, could code for more than 2 million different proteins. But some amphibians have more than 25 times as much DNA as mammals. It is hard to imagine that they are 25 times as biochemically complex, so it seems likely that much of the DNA in most organisms is not translated into protein and may be doing little except replicating itself….This leaves a lot of the DNA unexplained, and it may well be nonfunctional." – p. 37
"The most extreme, still hypothetical, example is that of the highly repetitive short sequences of DNA that may never be transcribed into RNA. These may have a function…but I would not be surprised if they did not." (p. 434
Douglas J. Futuyama, Evolutionary Biology, Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, Inc., 1979.)
"The fact that such a large portion of the DNA or of the genome is inactive leads naturally to the question: Does this portion of DNA presently serve any useful purpose at all, or did it perhaps only function earlier in evolution? No completely satisfactory answer can yet be given. It seems logical to assume, however, that through the history of the evolution of any species many genes useful at one period may have become useless later, even though carried along for some time by the organisms. This assumption would explain the large variations in the DNA content among the higher species." (p. 103 Cheng Kang Chai. Genetic Evolution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976.)
"A pseudogene is a region of a DNA molecule that clearly resembles the sequence of a known gene, but differs from it in some crucial respect and probably has no function." – p. 172
"There are two main evolutionary hypotheses to explain all this repetitive, non-coding DNA. One is that it is functional, even though it does not actually encode genes. It may be needed for some regulatory or structural reason, for example; maybe it is needed to keep the genes apart or correctly configured in the DNA molecule's three-dimensional shape. Alternatively, the repetitive DNA may be selfish DNA—parasitic, or 'junk,' DNA." – p. 252
"if the hypothesis is right, it would explain why this apparently functionless DNA actually is functionless." – p. 259
(Mark Ridley, Evolution, Boston: Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1993.)
"... I must be able to convice you --by actual example--that honorable, reasonable, and fascinatingly different alternatives could have produced a substantially divergent history of life not graced by human intelligence. ..." (Wonderful Life, p. 292).
"... Since human intelligence arose just a geological second ago, we face the stunning fact that the evolution of self-consciousness required about half of the earth's potential time. Given the errors and uncertainties, the variations of rates and pathways in other runs of the tape, what possible confidence can we have in the eventual origin of our distinctive mental abilities? Run the tape again, and even if the same general pathways emerge, it might take twenty billion years to reach self-consciousness this time--except that the earth would be incinerated billions of years before. Run the tape again, and the first step from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cell might take twelve billion instead of two billion years--and stromatolites, never awarded the time to move on, might be the highest mute witnesses to Armageddon." (Wonderful Life, pp. 310-311).
"... we must assume that conciousness would not have evolved on our planet if a cosmic catastrophe had not claimed the dinosaurs as victims. In an entirely literal sense, we owe our existence, as large and reasoning mammals, to our lucky stars." (Wonderful Life, p. 318).
"... The divine tape player holds a million scenarios, each perfectly sensible. Little quirks at the outset, occurring for no particular reason, unleash cascades of consequences that make a particular future seem inevitable in retrospect. But the slightest early nudge contacts a different groove, and history veers into another plausible channel, divergin continually from its original pathway. The end results are so different, the initial perturbacion so aparently trivial. If little penis worms ruled the sea, I have no confidence that Australopithecus would ever have walked erect on the savannas of Africa. And so, for ourselves, I think we can only exclaim, O brave--and improbable--new world, that has such people in it!" (Wonderful Life, pp. 320-321).
"It appears that the amount of DNA in organisms is more than is strictly necessary for building them: a large fraction of the DNA is never translated into protein. From the point of view of the individual organism this appears paradoxical. If the ‘purpose’ of DNA is to supervise the building of bodies, it is surprising to find a large quantity of DNA which does no such thing. Biologists are racking their brains trying to think what useful task this apparently surplus DNA is doing. But from the point of view of the selfish genes themselves, there is no paradox. The true ‘purpose’ of DNA is to survive, no more and no less. The simplest way to explain the surplus DNA is to suppose that it is a parasite, or at best a harmless but useless passenger, hitching a ride in the survival machines created by the other DNA. (Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (1976), pp. 43-44)
“The notion that undulipodia and such cytoskeletal elements as centriols and spindle fibers should be traced back to a motile eubacterial symbiont, for which no evidence has ever been produced, is being superseded by the discovery that tubulin is homologous to the bacterial cell-division protein FtsZ (we still await solid evidence regarding the genealogy of actin). But far from resolving the issue of eukaryotic origins, molecular phylogeny has (at least for the present) deepened the mystery.” – pp. 180-81--2001 book by F.M. Harold (The Way of the Cell)
"...classical Darwinian evolution could not have provided an explanation, in a mechanistically relevant way, of how the diverse forms of animal life actually arose during evolution, because it matured before molecular biology provided explanations of the developmental process. To be very brief, the evolutionary theory that grew up before the advent of regulatory molecular biology dealt with the problem of the origin of novel organismal structures in two ways. The first has been to treat the mechanisms generating novel morphological structures as a black box. New forms were considered to arise "because" the environment changed. But while changes in Precambrian or Ordovician weather, continental shifts, or temperature may have contributed crucial selective forces, they do not generate heads or appendicular forms; only genes do that. The second mode of classical argument was that organismal evolution is the product of minute changes in genes and gene products, which occur as point mutations and which accumulate little by little, providing the opportunity for selection and ultimately reproductive isolation. The major forms this argument has taken have focused on stepwise, adaptive changes in protein sequence, but this is probably largely irrelevant to the evolution of any salient features of animal morphology (see, e.g., Miklos, 1993)." (E. Davidson, Genomic Regulatory Systems: Development and Evolution (New York, Academic Press, 2001), pp. 19-20.)
"The history of organic life is undemonstrable; we cannot prove a whole lot in evolutionary biology, and our findings will always be hypothesis. There is one true evolutionary history of life, and whether we will actually ever know it is not likely. Most importantly, we have to think about questioning underlying assumptions, whether we are dealing with molecules or anything else.” (Jeffrey H. Schwartz, Pitt Professor Contends Biological Underpinnings Of Darwinian Evolution Not Valid, February 9, 2007, University of Pittsburgh News, at http://mac10.umc.pitt.edu/m/FMPro?-db=ma&-lay=a&-format=d.html&id=2807&-Find )
"Geneticists can study the gradual increase of favored genes within populations of fruit flies in laboratory bottles. Naturalists can record the steady replacement of light moths by dark moths as industrial soot blackens the trees of Britain. Orthodox neo-Darwinians extrapolate these even and continuous changes to the most profound structural transitions in the history of life: by a long series of insensibly graded intermediate steps, birds are linked to reptiles, fish with jaws to their jawless ancestors. Macroevolution (major structural transition) is nothing more than microevolution (flies in bottles) extended. If black moths can displace white ones in a century, then reptiles can become birds in a few million years by the smooth and sequential summation of countless changes. Change of gene frequencies in local populations is an adequate model for all evolutionary processes-or so the current orthodoxy states." (Gould, S.J., "The Return of Hopeful Monsters," Natural History, Vol. 86, No. 6, June-July 1977, pp.23-30, p.23)
“From a design point of view, pseudogenes are indeed mistakes. So why are they there? Intelligent design cannot explain the presence of a nonfunctional pseudogene, unless it is willing to allow that the designer made serious errors, wasting millions of bases of DNA on a blueprint full of junk and scribbles. Evolution, however, can explain them easily. Pseudogenes are nothing more than chance experiments in gene duplication that have failed, and they persist in the genome as evolutionary remnants of the past history of the b -globin genes." (Kenneth R. Miller, Life’s Grand Design, Technology Review February / March 1994 Volume 97 (2): 24 – 32, http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/lgd/index.html )
"The ENCODE data, which revealed that most of the genome was transcribed into RNA, essentially shifted the junk DNA question to a junk RNA question. We're now asking similar questions about RNA as we once did for DNA: what does all the extra stuff do, if anything?" (http://arstechnica.com/journals/science.ars/2007/07/12/inactive-genes-still-produce-rna)
“Throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another.” (Alan H. Linton, The Times Higher Education Supplement (April 20, 2001), p. 29 )
“The greater the differences in the DNA…, the longer the time since two organisms shared a common ancestor. This DNA evidence for evolution has confirmed evolutionary relationships derived from other observations.”
(U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (1998))
“Moreover, in evolutionary biology there is little payoff in repeating other people’s experiments, and, unlike molecular biology, our field is not self-correcting because few studies depend on the accuracy of earlier ones.” ((Jerry Coyne, “Not Black and White,” Nature, Vol. 396:35-36 (Nov. 5, 1998).)
"We conclude that the extrapolation of microevolutionary rates to explain the origin of new body plans is possible, but does not accord with the primary evidence." (Valentine, J., and Erwin, D. in "Interpreting Great Developmental Experiments: The Fossil Record" in Development as an Evolutionary Process, Raff, Rudolf A. and Elizabeth C. Raff, ed. Alan R. Liss, Inc., New York, NY (1985), p.95. )
“Because random mutations are more likely to be deleterious in complex organisms than in simple organisms, do complex organisms adapt more slowly than simple ones?” (H. Allen Orr, The Genetic Theory of Evolution: A Brief History,” Nature Reviews Genetics, Vol. 6: 119-127 (February, 2005).)
“Breed almost any organism under conditions where it is forced to accumulate random mutations, its fitness will invariably decay. The reason is that very few mutations improve an organism’s ability to survive or reproduce; the majority are harmful.” (A Betancourt, "When the going gets tough, beneficial mutations get going," Heredity (2007) 99, 359–360.)
“The science of life is undergoing changes so jolting that even its top researchers are feeling something akin to shell-shock. Just four years after scientists finished mapping the human genome - the full sequence of 3 billion DNA "letters" folded within every cell - they find themselves confronted by a biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than anyone imagined.
"Science is just starting to probe the wilderness between genes," said John M. Greally, molecular biologist at New York's Albert Einstein School of Medicine. "Already we're surprised and confounded by a lot of what we're seeing."
"A slew of recent but unrelated studies of everything from human disease to the workings of yeast suggest that mysterious swaths of molecules - long dismissed as "junk DNA" - may be more important to health and evolution than genes themselves.”
"In 1956, many scientists, including Nobel laureate Barbara McClintock, proposed that ‘junk DNA’ was essential and functional genetic material. But, since that view didn’t fit with the presupposition of evolutionary philosophy, their proposals were dismissed and the next 50-60 years of research was primarily focused on pursuing the dogma that genes controlled everything:
“Bejerano and his colleagues aren't the first to suggest that transposons play a role in regulating nearby genes. In fact, Nobel laureate Barbara McClintock, PhD, who first discovered transposons, proposed in 1956 that they could help determine the timing for when nearby genes turn on and off." (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070423185538.htm)
“Genomes are littered with nonfunctional pseudogenes, faulty duplicates of functional genes that do nothing, while their functional cousins (the word doesn't even need scare quotes) get on with their business in a different part of the genome. And there’s lots more DNA that doesn’t even deserve the name pseudogene. It, too, is derived by duplication, but not duplication of functional genes. It consists of multiple copies of junk, “tandem repeats”, and other nonsense which may be useful for forensic detectives but which doesn’t seem to be used in the body itself. Once again, creationists might spend some earnest time speculating on why the Creator should bother to litter genomes with untranslated pseudogenes and junk tandem repeat DNA.” (Richard Dawkins, A Devil's Chaplain, 2003, p.99.)
"From a design point of view, pseudogenes are indeed mistakes. So why are they there? Intelligent design cannot explain the presence of a nonfunctional pseudogene, unless it is willing to allow that the designer made serious errors, wasting millions of bases of DNA on a blueprint full of junk and scribbles. Evolution, however, can explain them easily. Pseudogenes are nothing more than chance experiments in gene duplication that have failed, and they persist in the genome as evolutionary remnants of the past history of the b-globin genes."
(Kenneth Miller, Life’s Grand Design, Technology Review, February-March 1994, Volume 97(2): pg. 24–32.)
"Unlike the sequence of an exon, the exact nucleotide sequence of an intron seems to be unimportant. Thus introns have accumulated mutations rapidly during evolution, and it is often possible to alter most of an intron’s nucleotide sequence without greatly affecting gene function. This has led to the suggestion that intron sequences have no function at all and are largely genetic “junk” …”
(Molecular Biology of the Cell, 1994, pg. 373 (3rd Ed.)
“… a possibility that must be seriously entertained is that much repetitive DNA serves no useful purpose whatever for its host. Rather, it is selfish or junk DNA, a molecular parasite that, over many generations, has disseminated itself throughout the genome …” (Biochemistry, 1995, pg. 1138)
“Speaking of the finding of functional non-coding DNA that is not conserved among mammals, the ENCODE Project Consortium states, “This is perhaps the biggest surprise of the pilot phase of the ENCODE Pilot Project, and suggests that we take a more ‘neutral’ view of many of the functions conferred by the genome.” Again because of their evolutionary assumptions that if it’s not conserved (based on the assumption that it should be because all mammals share a common ancestor) it’s not important, almost half of the junk DNA is being relegated to a category in which it may not be further studied. Once again we see evolutionary ideas inhibiting science. As creationists, 'junk' DNA, whether conserved or not conserved among species, is important and should be studied.”
“Large swaths of garbled human DNA once dismissed as junk appear to contain some valuable sections, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of California-Santa Cruz. The scientists propose that this redeemed DNA plays a role in controlling when genes turn on and off.” (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070423185538.htm)
“No one knows yet just what the big picture of genetics will look like once this hidden layer of information is made visible, "Indeed, what was damned as junk because it was not understood may, in fact, turn out to be the very basis of human complexity,'' Mattick suggests. Pseudogenes, riboswitches and all the rest aside, there is a good reason to suspect that is true. Active RNA, it is now coming out, helps to control the large-scale structure of the chromosomes and some crucial chemical modifications to them--an entirely different, epigenetic layer of information in the genome.” (http://www.arn.org/docs2/news/JunkDNA111903.htm)
“Scientists have shown in literally thousands of studies that the p53 gene deserves its reputation as "the guardian of the genome."
Now, University of Michigan Medical School scientists provide the most thorough evidence yet that p53 also regulates a trio of genes from the realm of so-called 'junk' genes — the roughly 97 percent of a cell's genetic material whose function is only beginning to be understood.”
“In a region of DNA long considered a genetic wasteland, HMS researchers have discovered a new class of gene. Most genes carry out their tasks by making a product--a protein or enzyme. This is true of those that provide the body's raw materials, the structural genes, and those that control other genes' activities, the regulatory genes. The new one, found in yeast, does not produce a protein. It performs its function, in this case to regulate a nearby gene, simply by being turned on.” (http://focus.hms.harvard.edu/2004/June4_2004/genetics.html)
“As active agents, repeats have reshaped the genome by causing ectopic rearrangements, creating entirely new genes, modifying and reshuffling existing genes, and modulating overall GC content. They also shed light on chromosome structure and dynamics, and provide tools for medical genetic and population genetic studies.” (http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-
“Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered that introns, or junk DNA to some, associated with RNA are an important molecular guide to making nerve-cell electrical channels.”
“'This finding revealed a surprisingly important role for piRNAs, as well as junk DNA, in stem cell division,' Lin said. 'It calls upon biologists to look for answers beyond the one percent of the genome with protein coding capacity to the vast land of junk DNA, which constitutes 99 percent of the genome.'”
“One of the oldest problems in evolutionary biology remains largely unsolved…Historically, the neo-Darwinian synthesizers stressed the predominance of micromutations in evolution, whereas others noted the similarities between some dramatic mutations and evolutionary transitions to argue for macromutationism.” (Stern, David L. “Perspective: Evolutionary Developmental Biology and the Problem of Variation,” Evolution 2000, 54, 1079-1091. A contribution from the University of Cambridge.)
“We’d want to discuss evolution beyond natural selection — the other forces that can sometimes cause (or prevent) evolutionary change. For although natural selection is the only creative force in evolution — the only one that can produce complex structures such as wings and eyes — it is not the only force that affects which genes will spread, and which will vanish.” (http://judson.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/15/lets-get-rid-of-darwinism/index.html?8ty&emc=ty July 15, 2008, 6:48 pm Olivia Judson, NYTLet’s Get Rid of Darwinism)
"Evolution on its own doesn't look like it can make the creative leaps that have occurred in the history of life," says Dr Seth Bullock, another of the conference's organisers. "It's a great process for refining, tinkering, and so on. But self-organisation is the process that is needed alongside natural selection before you get the kind of creative power that we see around us.
"Understanding how those two processes combine is the biggest challenge in biology." (Can we make software that comes to life?, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/earth/2008/08/05/scicomputers.xml, August 5, 2008)
“We now know how fast fast is. And what I like to ask is my biologist friends is, how fast can evolution get before they start feeling uncomfortable.” (Geologist Samuel Bowring, talking about Cambrian Explosion)
“Those genes that control key early developmental processes are involved in the establishment of the basic body plan. Mutations in these genes will usually be extremely disadvantageous, and it is conceivable that they are always so.” (Wallace Arthur)
“My talk will delineate problems with the evolutionary synthesis, with an emphasis upon random genetic drift. Every assertion of the evolutionary synthesis below is false. 1. Natural selection was the primary mechanism at every level of the evolutionary process. Natural selection caused genetic adaptation. 2. Genetic homeostasis. The entire genome was organized and tied together, and even gene pools were homeostatic. 3. ìOne gene, one enzyme.î 4. Evolution of phenotypic characters such as eyes and ears, etc, was a good guide to protein evolution: or, protein evolution was expected to mimic phenotypic evolution. 5. Protein evolution was a good guide to DNA sequence evolution. Even Lewontin and Hubby thought, at first, that understanding protein evolution was the key to understanding DNA evolution. 6. Recombination was far more important than mutation in evolution. 7. Macroevolution was a simple extension of microevolution. 8. Definition of ìspeciesî was clear--the biological species concept of Dobzhansky and Mayr. 9. Speciation was understood in principle. 10. Evolution is a process of sharing common ancestors back to the origin of life, or in other words, evolution produces a tree of life. 11. Inheritance of acquired characters was impossible in biological organisms. 12. Random genetic drift was a clear concept and invoked constantly whenever population sizes were small, including fossil organisms. 13. The evolutionary synthesis was actually a synthesis. 14. Molecular biology has stolen from paleontology all ability to construct phylogenies." (William Provine, Cornell University. “Random Drift and the Evolutionary Synthesis” at http://www.hssonline.org/meeting/oldmeetings/archiveprogs/2008archiveMeeting/2008HSSAbstracts.html)
“The modern synthesis is good at modelling the survival of the fittest, but not the arrival of the fittest.” Scott Gilbert, quoted in "Biological Theory: Postmodern evolution?," Nature, Vol. 455:281-284 (2008).
"By reducing the efficiency of selection, random genetic drift imposes a high degree of directionality on evolution by increasing the likelihood of fixation of deleterious mutations and decreasing that of beneficial mutations." (Michael Lynch, "The frailty of adaptive hypotheses for the origins of organismal complexity," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 104:8597–8604 (May 15, 2007).)
“In sum, we can see that natural selection operates most efficiently when there are large amounts of genetic variation for it to work with. Furthermore, the efficiency of natural selection is also determined by the size of the population, working best when it is large. When population sizes are small, mutations are more under the control of chance processes.” (RODERICK D.M. PAGE AND EDWARD C. HOLMES, MOLECULAR EVOLUTION: A PHYLOGENETIC APPROACH, 105-106 (Blackwell Publishing 2005) (1998).)
“there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.” (Franklin M. Harold, The Way of the Cell: Molecules, Organisms and the Order of Life, pg. 205 (Oxford University Press, 2001).)
"I have queried biologists working in areas where one might have thought the Darwinian paradigm could guide research, such as the emergence of resistance to antibiotics and pesticides. Here, as elsewhere, I learned that the theory had provided no discernible guidance in choosing the experimental designs but was brought in, after the breakthrough discoveries, as an interesting narrative gloss. The Academy’s new booklet has three inserts, highlighted in yellow, on pages 5, 6, and 9, which are offered as proof of the value of evolutionary theory for medicine, agriculture, and industry, that fail to support the claims: they totally neglect to address the matter of the essential experimental designs scientists require, offering instead vague statements about evolution." (Philip Skell, Politics and the Life Sciences, Vol. 27(2):47-49 (October 9, 2008).)
"Sicklecell anemia represents the one well-established case where a genetic disease results from adaptive evolution. But this is an isolated example; indeed, one might characterize the sickle-cell gene as a very poor sort of adaptation, since it imposes such a severe cost in the loss of homozygotes. It seems reasonable to predict that such costly adaptations will be few, since, were a new mutant to arise that provides an equivalent benefit without the high cost, it would spread quickly at the expense of the costly adaptation." (Alan L. Hughes, “Looking for Darwin in all the wrong places: the misguided quest for positive selection at the nucleotide sequence level,” Heredity, Vol. 99:364–373 (2007).)
“Finally, let me review what I have argued: I began by pointing out that the aim of comparative genomics is to say something about the way in which genes function, and ‘function’, at the bare minimum, means the production of proteins. Next, I explained that the fundamental assumption of homologous gene alignments employed in comparative genomic studies is the idea that genes are discrete entities—like words—whose functional end products can be inferred from the sequence. I then argued that the growing number of complexities involved in gene expression make it increasingly difficult to compare genes as if they were words because the functional products of genes do not necessarily match if the type and order of the nucleotides match. As a result, I showed that claims coming out of comparative genomics are not entitled to the substantive force they carry with them—in both scientific research as well as media reports— because what comparative genomicists in fact measure does not map onto what they claim to be measuring.” (Monika Piotrowska, "What Does It Mean to Be 75% Pumpkin? The Units of Comparative Genomics," Philosophy of Science, 76 (December 2009) pp. 838–850)
"Our theory of evolution has become one . . . which cannot be refuted by any possible observations. Every conceivable observation can be fitted into it. It is thus `outside of empirical science' but not necessarily false. No one can think of ways in which to test it. Ideas, either without basis or based on a few laboratory experiments carried out in extremely simplified systems, have attained currency far beyond their validity. They have become part of an evolutionary dogma accepted by most of us as part of our training. The cure seems to us not to be a discarding of the modern synthesis of evolutionary theory, but more scepticism about many of its tenets." (L.C. Birch and P. Ehrlich Nature 214 (1967) 349-352)
“Too often investigators start with the assumption that a feature absolutely must have been selected for, or it wouldn't be there, and then contrive elaborate rationalizations for processes that could have favored its preservation in our ancestry…and the aura of plausibility is then sufficient to conclude that it must be so, even in the absence of any supporting evidence, and sometimes even in the face of contradictory evidence.” (PZ Myers, "The evolution of rape?," at http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/01/the_evolution_of_rape.php (January 17, 2011).)
So all I am saying is we have so much variation in all of these things that somehow or other by adjusting these figures we will come out all right. We are comforted by knowing that evolution has occurred.” (Ernst Mayr responding to Murray Eden in Wistar Symposium Proceedings, p. 30)
“There is absolutely no disagreement among professional biologists on the fact that evolution has occurred. [...] But the theory of how evolution occurs is quite another matter, and is the subject of intense dispute.” (‘Evolution as a fact and theory’ – Bios 56, 1985).
“The blind worship of natural selection is not evolutionary biology. It is arguably not even science. Natural selection is just one of several evolutionary mechanisms, and the failure to realize this is probably the most significant impediment to a fruitful integration of evolutionary theory with molecular, cellular, and developmental biology.” (Michael Lynch, The Origins of Genome Architecture, Sinauer, 2007, p. 369).
“The edifice of the modern synthesis has crumbled, apparently, beyond repair… The summary of the state of affairs on the 150th anniversary of the Origin is somewhat shocking. In the postgenomic era, all major tenets of the modern synthesis have been, if not outright overturned, replaced by a new and incomparably more complex vision of the key aspects of evolution. So, not to mince words, the modern synthesis is gone. What comes next? The answer suggested by the Darwinian discourse of 2009 is a postmodern state, not so far a postmodern synthesis. Above all, such a state is characterized by the pluralism of processes and patterns in evolution that defies any straightforward generalization.” (Koonin, E. V. (2009). The Origin at 150: is a new evolutionary synthesis in sight? Trends in genetics: TIG, 25(11), 473–5.)
"When the public thinks about evolution, they think about the origin of wings and the invasion of the land. But these are things that evolutionary theory has told us little about."
“The modern synthesis is remarkably good at modelling the survival of the fittest, but not good at modelling the arrival of the fittest.”
“You can't deny the force of selection in genetic Evolution … but in my view this is stabilizing and fine-tuning forms that originate due to other processes.” (Whitfield, J. (2008). Postmodern evolution? Nature, 455, 281–284.)
“There are limits on what selection can accomplish. We must remember that it merely acts as a sieve, preserving some variants and rejecting others; it does not create variation. If genetic change were random, what could ensure that enough favorable phenotypic variation had taken place for selection to have produced the exquisite adaptation and variety we see on the earth today? At various times, biologists thought that genetic change must be directed in some way to produce enough of the appropriate kinds of phenotypic variation. If selection were presented with a preselected subset of variants, that might greatly facilitate evolutionary change. Or if the organism generated just the right variants, selection might not be needed at all. Thus, the efficacy of selection would depend on the nature of phenotypic variation…Is genetic variation purely random, or is it in fact biased to facilitate evolutionary change?” (Marc Kirschner and John Gerhart, The Plausibility of Life: Resolving Darwin’s Dilemma, Yale, 2005, p. 13).
“We agree that very few potential offspring ever survive to reproduce and that populations do change through time, and that therefore natural selection is of critical importance to the evolutionary process. But this Darwinian claim to explain all of evolution is a popular half-truth whose lack of explicative power is compensated for only by the religious ferocity of its rhetoric. Although random mutations influenced the course of evolution, their influence was mainly by loss, alteration, and refinement.” [Lynn Margulis & Dorion Sagan, Acquiring Genomes: A Theory of the Origins of the Species, p. 29 (2002).]
“The fact that Darwinism’s scientific credentials have proven to be more secure than those of rival evolutionary traditions – Lamarckism, for example, or saltationist mutationism – explains why it remains to this day the dominant research tradition in evolutionary biology. These rival traditions had pre-Darwinian antecedents, but under Darwinism’s influence they embraced common descent after 1859. What they rejected was the power of natural selection. Many notions favored by these rival traditions are empirically true enough. Nonetheless, it is largely because Lamarckism, saltationist (sudden) mutationism, and inner-driven orthogenesis, to name the most enduring alternative traditions in evolutionary biology, failed to become mathematical empirical sciences with at least a foothold on value-neutrality that Darwinism still rules the evolutionary roost…Darwinism in its current scientific incarnation has pretty much reached the end of its rope.” (David J. Depew and Bruce H. Weber. "The Fate of Darwinism: Evolution after the Modern Synthesis" Biological Theory 6.1 (2011): 89-102.)
“How did the first functional envelope-spanning complex originally arise in evolution? Although we can easily reject the supernatural solution ID advocates propose in response to this question, we also have to acknowledge that we still have no clear scientific answer to it.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-a-shapiro/bacterial-antibiotic-resistance_b_1192507.html
“Despite all its indisputable explanatory power, the Synthetic Theory has serious shortcomings. The empirical basis of gradualism is weak at best. The most direct view into life’s past on earth is provided by the fossil record. With its abrupt transitions, however, it provides little evidence for a gradual evolution of new forms. Also the branching patterns of higher taxa in both animals and plants as revealed by cladistics and systematics do not support the idea that the major features of body plans and their constituent parts arose in a gradual way. Moreover, even though population genetics might be the most elaborate approach that we have to explain evolution, it might not be sufﬁcient. For example, it falls short of explaining innovations and constraints, and the evolution of body plans.” [internal citations omitted] (Theissen, G. (2006). The proper place of hopeful monsters in evolutionary biology. Theory in biosciences = Theorie in den Biowissenschaften, 124(3-4), 349–69.)
“Neo-Darwinism has failed as an evolutionary theory that can explain the origin of species, understood as organisms of distinctive form and behaviour. In other words, it is not an adequate theory of evolution.” (Brian Goodwin, “Neo-Darwinism has failed as an evolutionary theory” Times Higher Education Supplement (May 22, 1995), at http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/98152.article)
“However, no scientific idea is permanent, and the rest of this book tells a rather different story, another transformation of current ideas. The reason for making this change is not merely an unease with the metaphorical structure of Darwinism; it is with the science. Some of the basic assumptions that underlie the conceptual structure of the present view of biology are inconsistent with the evidence. (Brian Goodwin, How the Leopard Changed Its Spots: The Evolution of Complexity, p. 33, Charles Scribner, 1994)
“Since Darwin, we turn to a single, singular force, Natural Selection, which we might as well capitalize as though it were a new deity. Random variation, selection-sifting. Without it, we reason, there would be nothing but incoherent disorder. I shall argue in this book that this ideas is wrong.” Stuart Kauffman (At Home in the Universe).
"Do the sequences of contemporary genomes fit the predictions of change by 'numerous, successive, slight variations,' as Darwin stated, or do they contain evidence of other, more abrupt processes, as numerous other thinkers have asserted? The data are overwhelmingly in favor of the saltationist school that postulated major genomic changes at key moments in evolution. ... [L]ittle evidence fits unequivocally with the theory that evolution occurs through the gradual accumulation of "numerous, successive, slight modifications." (Evolution: A View from the 21st Century, pp. 89, 128)
"In the midst of his outpouring of anger at and dismissal of Goldschmidt, Dobzhansky neglected to consider the fact that while Goldschmidt's systemic mutations may not have been observed, neither had the mechanisms of speciation that he, or anyone else, for the matter, had proposed. Rather, Dobzhansky, as others did and would do, took for granted that, with enough time, the kinds of small mutations and changes that were observed in laboratory experiments on fruit-fly population genetics were also capable of producing the degrees of differences that seem to characterize species in the wild. To be sure, there was a certain logic in the belief that it was unnecessary to postulate another mechanism for evolutionary change when one already appeared to exist. This logic also seemed to benefit from the assertion that not only had no other mechanism been observed but that no other mechanism had yet produced species. Nevertheless, it was and still is the case that, with the exception of Dobzhansky's claim about a new species of fruit fly, the formation of a new species, by any mechanism, has never been observed." (Schwartz J.H., "Sudden Origins: Fossils, Genes, and the Emergence of Species," John, Wiley & Sons: New York NY, 1999, pp.299-300)
"The only illustration Darwin published in On the Origin of Species was a diagram depicting his view of evolution: species descendant from a common ancestor; gradual change of organisms over time; episodes of diversification and extinction of species. Given the simplicity of Darwin's theory of evolution, it was reasonable for paleontologists to believe that they should be able to demonstrate with the hard evidence provided by fossils both the thread of life and the gradual transformation of one species into another. Although paleontologists have, and continue to claim to have, discovered sequences of fossils that do indeed present a picture of gradual change over time, the truth of the matter is that we are still in the dark about the origin of most major groups of organisms. They appear in the fossil record as Athena did from the head of Zeus—full-blown and raring to go, in contradiction to Darwin's depiction of evolution as resulting from the gradual accumulation of countless infinitesimally minute variations, which, in turn, demands that the fossil record preserve an unbroken chain of transitional forms."(Jeffrey H. Schwartz - Professor of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh, USA, "Sudden Origins: Fossils, Genes, and the Emergence of Species," John Wiley & Sons: New York NY, 1999, p. 3)
"Evolution by natural selection... has lately come to function more as an antitheory, called upon to cover up embarrassing experimental shortcomings and legitimize findings that are at best questionable and at worst not even wrong." Robert B. Laughlin, A Different Universe: Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down (New York: Basic Books, 2005), 168-69)
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