Susan C. Anthony

Evolution:  Quotations

Wernher von Braun, father of America's space program:

One cannot be exposed to the law and order of the universe without concluding that there must be design and purpose behind it all. . . . The better we understand the universe and all it harbors, the more reason we have found to marvel at the inherent design upon which it is based. . . . I endorse the presentation of alternative theories for the origin of the universe, life, and man in the science classroom.

Lord Kelvin, British physicist in the 1800s, credited with 70 inventions, the Kelvin temperature scale, and the first successful transatlantic cable:

Overwhelmingly strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie around us. . .the atheistic idea is so nonsensical that I cannot put it into words.

George Wald, winner of the 1967 Nobel Peace Prize, credited with discovering that Vitamin A is needed for night vision:

When it comes to the origin of life on this earth, there are only two possibilities: creation or spontaneous generation (evolution). There is no third way. Spontaneous generation was disproved 100 years ago, but that leads us only to one other conclusion: that of supernatural creation. We cannot accept that on philosophical grounds; therefore, we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance.

Frederic B. Burnham, science historian:

The idea that God created the universe is a more respectable hypothesis today than at any time in the last hundred years.

Francis Crick, atheist and Nobel Prize winner, credited with discovering the twisted ladder structure of DNA:

An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.

Science, November 1980:

The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomenon 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.

Sir Arthur Eddington, British cosmologist (1882-1944), credited for showing the relationship between the mass and brightness of a star:

Philosophically, the notion of the beginning of the present order of Nature is repugnant. . . . I should like to find a genuine loophole. We must allow evolution an infinite time to get started.

Sir Ernest Chain, Nobel Prize winner, credited with purifying penicillin in a way that made it possible to use as an antibiotic:

To postulate that the development and survival of the fittest is entirely a consequence of chance mutations seems to me a hypothesis based on no evidence and irreconcilable with the facts. These classical evolutionary theories are a gross oversimplification of an immensely complex and intricate mass of facts, and it amazes me that they are swallowed so uncritically and readily, and for such a long time, by so many scientists without a murmur of protest.

Michael Denton, medical doctor and scientist:

It is the sheer universality of perfection, the fact that everywhere we look, to whatever depth we look, we find an elegance and ingenuity of an absolutely transcending quality, which so mitigates against the idea of chance. Is it really credible that random processes could have constructed a reality, the smallest element of which — a functional protein or gene — is complex beyond our own creative capacities, which excels in every sense anything produced by the intelligence of man?

Stephen Jay Gould, Harvard evolutionist famous for making science understandable to nonscientists and a committed evolutionist:

[The neo-Darwinian synthesis] as a general proposition, is effectively dead, despite its persistence as textbook orthodoxy.

Niles Eldredge, paleontologist:

We paleontologists have said that the history of life supports [the story of gradual adaptive change], all the while really knowing that it does not.

No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution for so long. It never seems to happen. Assiduous collecting up cliff faces yields zigzags, minor oscillations, and the very occasional slight accumulation of change—over millions of years, at a rate too slow to account for all the prodigious change that has occurred in evolutionary history. When we do see the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang, and often with no firm evidence that the fossils did not evolve elsewhere! Evolution cannot forever be going on somewhere else. Yet that's how the fossil record has struck many a forlorn paleontologist looking to learn something about evolution.

Paul and Ann Ehrlich, biologists and authors of The Population Bomb:

The production of a new animal species in nature has yet to be documented.

Sir Fred Hoyle, physicist and atheist:

A superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology.

Robert T. Clark, scientist:

It is not even possible to make a caricature of evolution out of the paleobiological facts. The fossil material is now so complete that the lack of transitional series cannot be explained by the scarcity of material. The deficiencies are real, they will never be filled.

Please be aware that many of the scientists quoted above remain convinced that despite honest questions or occasional doubts, the evolutionary explanation must be true!  If nothing exists apart from nature, there must be a natural explanation. Until a superior naturalistic theory of origins arises or until they re-examine their presuppositions, evolution for them will remain an unquestionable fact.

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Source:, ©Susan C. Anthony