Western Thought on Human Origins Quotes

Hebrew scriptures

  • “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” -Psalms 19:1.
  • “Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind: ‘Who is this that speaks so ignorantly? Stand up like a man: I will question you, and you will answer me. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you are so smart. Who determined its measurements–surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” -Job 38:1-7.

    Greek and Roman quotes

  • In the Timaeus, Plato wrote the following question and answer sometime around 350 BC:

    “Is the world created or uncreated? — that is the first question.
    Created, I reply, being visible and tangible and having a body, and therefore sensible; and if sensible, then created; and if created, made by a cause, and the cause is the ineffable father of all things, who had before him an eternal archetype.”[1]

  • “Only because the people see

    So much in land and sky
    For which they do not know the cause,
    They think Divinities are working there.
    If they could but see that
    Nothing can be created from nothing,
    Then they would advance one more step
    Toward the answer that they seek:
    Those eternal elements became
    Everything that is,
    Without interference from Gods.”
    –Lucretius, “De rerum natura”, written about 60 BC

  • “Gutta cavat lapidem, non vi sed saepe cadendo.” (The drop excavates the stone, not with force but by falling often.)

    –Publius Ovidius Naso, Epistulae Ex Ponto (Letters from the Black Sea)

    Christian New Testament

  • “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools.” -Romans 1:18-22.
  • “First of all you must understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own passions and saying:

    ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation.’

    They deliberately ignore this fact: that by the word of God the heavens were created long ago, and an earth formed out of water and by means of water, through which the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.” 2 Peter 3:3-6.

    19th century and earlier

  • “The antagonism between science and religion, about which we hear so much, appears to me to be purely factitious–fabricated, on the one hand, by short-sighted religious people who confound a certain branch of science, theology, with religion; and, on the other, by equally short-sighted scientific people who forget that science takes for its province only that which is susceptible of clear intellectual comprehension; and that, outside the boundaries of that province, they must be content with imagination, with hope, and with ignorance.” -Thomas Huxley, The interpreters of Genesis and the interpreters of Nature (1885)
  • “Authors of the highest eminence seem to be fully satisfied with the view that each species has been independently created. To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of the individual. When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Silurian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled.” -Charles Darwin [2]
  • “Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books.” -Francis Bacon
  • “The church is not a pioneer; it accepts a new truth, last of all, and only when denial has become useless.” -Robert Ingersoll
  • “The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence.” -Thomas H. Huxley
  • “History warns us, however, that it is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end as superstitions; and, as matters now stand, it is hardly rash to anticipate that, in another twenty years, the new generation, educated under the influences of the present day, will be in danger of accepting the main doctrines of the ‘Origin of Species’ with as little reflection, and it may be with as little justification, as so many of our contemporaries, twenty years ago, rejected them. Against any such a consummation let us all devoutly pray; for the scientific spirit is of more value than its products, and irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors.” -Thomas Huxley, The Coming of Age of “The Origin of Species (1880); Collected Essays, vol. 2
  • “I attacked the foundations of morality in Erewhon, and nobody cared two straws, I tore open the wounds of my Redeemer as he hung upon the Cross in The Fair Haven, and people rather liked it. But when I attacked Mr. Darwin they were up in arms in a moment.” -Samuel Butler, Evolution Old and New, 1879, p. 54.
  • “I do not feel obliged to believe that same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect had intended for us to forgo their use.” -Galileo Galilei
  • “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.” -Charles Darwin
  • “It is in the uncompromisingness with which dogma is held and not in the dogma, or want of dogma, that the danger lies.” -Samuel Butler, The Way Of All Flesh
  • “Man has been here 32,000 years. That it took a hundred million years to prepare the world for him is proof that that is what it was done for. I suppose it is. I dunno. If the Eiffel tower were now representing the world’s age, the skin of paint on the pinnacle-knob at its summit would represent man’s share of that age; & anybody would perceive that that skin was what the tower was built for. I reckon they would. I dunno.” -Mark Twain, “Was the World Made for Man?”
  • “Nature and Nature’s laws lay hid in night. God said ‘Let Newton be!’ and all was light.” -Alexander Pope
  • “The religion that is afraid of science dishonors God and commits suicide…. Every influx of atheism, of skepticism, is thus made useful as a mercury pill assaulting and removing a diseased religion, and making way for truth.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Religions die when they are proven to be true. Science is the record of dead religions.” -Oscar Wilde
  • “There is more religion in men’s science, than there is science in their religion.” -Henry David Thoreau
  • “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.” -Isaac Newton (“General Scholium,” in Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, Isaac Newton. 1687)
  • “When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Cambrian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled.” -Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

    20th century

    Sourced

  • “Poll: Majority of Americans Reject Evolution. Accept ‘The Flintstones.'” -Ironictimes.com
  • “16O has exactly the right nuclear energy level either to prevent all the carbon from turning into oxygen or to facilitate sufficient production of 16O for life. Fred Hoyle, who discovered these coincidences in 1953, concluded that “a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology.” ~ Fred Hoyle. “The Universe: Past and Present Reflections”, in Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 20. (1982), p.16
  • “Amazing fine tuning occurs in the laws that make this [complexity] possible. Realization of the complexity of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word ‘miraculous’ without taking a stand as to the ontological status of the word.” ~ George Ellis (British astrophysicist) Ellis, G.F.R. 1993. The Anthropic Principle: Laws and Environments. The Anthropic Principle, F. Bertola and U.Curi, ed. New York, Cambridge University Press, p. 30
  • “Anthropological, biological, and genetic evidence all put the origin of modern humans at between 200,000 and 100,000 years ago, probably in Africa. There is also much data that show an outburst of cultural behavior occurring around 50,000-40,000 years ago in Europe. That’s when archaeologists date the oldest evidence of burial ceremonies, body ornaments, and cave paintings.” -William J. Cromie, Harvard Gazette article, ‘Facing up to modern man – Evidence shows our brains and faces have gotten smaller,’ which discusses the work of Harvard professor of biological anthropology Daniel Lieberman
  • Churches are block-booking seats for March of the Penguins, which is apparently a “condemnation of gay marriage” and puts forward the case for “intelligent design”, ie, Creationism. To be honest, this is good news. If American Christians want to go public on the fact that they’re now morally guided by penguins, at least we know where we all stand.
    o Caitlin Moran, London Times Online, “Penguins lead way” section of 20 September 2005 column [3]

  • “[Darwin’s] triumph has won for us a common height from which we see the whole world of living beings as well as all inorganic nature; phenomena of every order we now regard as expressions of natural causes. The supernatural has no longer a standing is science; it has vanished like a dream, and the halls consecrated to its thraldom of the intellect are becoming radiant with a more cheerful faith.” ~ Charles Otis Whitman, 1919 (posth.)
  • “The main task of any theory of evolution is to explain adaptive complexity, that is, to expain the same set of facts that Paley used as evidence of a creator.” ~ John Maynard Smith, “The status of neo-darwinism”, in C.H. Waddington, ed., Towards a Theoretical Biology (University Press, Edinburgh, 1969)
  • “I am not arguing with the scientist who explains the elephant, but only with the sophist who explains it away.” ~ G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man.
  • “It is absurd for the evolutionist to complain that it is unthinkable for an admittedly unthinkable God to make everything out of nothing and then pretend that it is more thinkable that nothing should turn itself into everything.” ~ G.K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas.
  • “In all their polemics, the anti-creationists invariably avoid discussing the actual scientific evidence for macro-evolution. If there were any such evidence, they could easily settle the whole conflict, merely by presenting the evidence! Instead they seem compelled to resort to bombast ridicule, defamation, intimidation, and distortion. Surely that great body of working scientists, largely uninvolved so far in the creation/evolution conflict will soon begin to see that a two-model approach to all scientific study is salutary and will persuade their more emotional brethren to open their minds to potential truth wherever it might be found.” ~ Henry Morris, founder of the Institute for Creation Research
  • “Any competent biologist is aware of a multitude of problems yet unresolved and of questions yet unanswered. After all, biologic research shows no sign of approaching completion; quite the opposite is true. Disagreements and clashes of opinion are rife among biologists, as they should be in a living and growing science. Antievolutionists mistake, or pretend to mistake, these disagreements as indications of dubiousness of the entire doctrine of evolution. Their favorite sport is stringing together quotations, carefully and sometimes expertly taken out of context, to show that nothing is really established or agreed upon among evolutionists. Some of my colleagues and myself have been amused and amazed to read ourselves quoted in a way showing that we are really antievolutionists under the skin.” ~ Theodosius Dobzhansky, Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution, 1973 [4]
  • “Intelligent Design Trial Hopes to Wrap Up Soon. Courthouse needed for Santa Claus, Easter Bunny trials.” -[5]
  • “Let me try to make crystal clear what is established beyond reasonable doubt, and what needs further study, about evolution. Evolution as a process that has always gone on in the history of the earth can be doubted only by those who are ignorant of the evidence or are resistant to evidence, owing to emotional blocks or to plain bigotry. By contrast, the mechanisms that bring evolution about certainly need study and clarification. There are no alternatives to evolution as history that can withstand critical examination. Yet we are constantly learning new and important facts about evolutionary mechanisms.” -Theodosius Dobzhansky “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution”, American Biology Teacher vol. 35 (March 1973) reprinted in Evolution versus Creationism, J. Peter Zetterberg ed., ORYX Press, Phoenix AZ 1983
  • “No geological difficulties, real or imagined, can be allowed to take precedence over the clear statements and necessary inferences of Scripture.” ~ Henry Morris [6]
  • “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.” ~ P. P. Grasse, Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation (Academic Press, 1977), p. 7
  • A few words need to be said about the “theory of evolution,” which most people take to mean the proposition that organisms have evolved from common ancestors. In everyday speech, “theory” often means a hypothesis or even a mere speculation. But in science, “theory” means “a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed.” as the Oxford English Dictionary defines it. The theory of evolution is a body of interconnected statements about natural selection and the other processes that are thought to cause evolution, just as the atomic theory of chemistry and the Newtonian theory of mechanics are bodies of statements that describe causes of chemical and physical phenomena. In contrast, the statement that organisms have descended with modifications from common ancestors–the historical reality of evolution–is not a theory. It is a fact, as fully as the fact of the earth’s revolution about the sun. Like the heliocentric solar system, evolution began as a hypothesis, and achieved “facthood” as the evidence in its favor became so strong that no knowledgeable and unbiased person could deny its reality. No biologist today would think of submitting a paper entitled “New evidence for evolution;” it simply has not been an issue for a century. -Douglas J. Futuyma, Evolutionary Biology, 2nd ed., 1986, Sinauer Associates, p. 15
  • “IN SHORT, three concepts, evolution, in the minimal sense of “descent with modification” (no “emergence”, no “higher and lower” allowed), variation, in the sense of Mendelian micromutation, tiny changes in the structure or arrangement of the genes, the ultimate material of heredity (no sweeping or sudden alterations allowed), and natural selection, the decrease in frequency of those variants that happen in each successive generation to be less well adapted than others to their particular environment: these three form a tight circle within which, in happy self-confirmation, neo-Darwinian thinking moves. To those who believe in it, this circle is an ample intellectual dwelling place, roomy enough in fact to house all the immense achievements of modern biological research. To those not so convinced, however, the circle seems a strangely constricted one. They may even agree with the Professor Emeritus of Zoology at Cambridge that ‘no amount of argument, or clever epigram, can disguise the inherent improbability of orthodox (Darwinian) theory.'” ~ M. Grene, “The Faith of Darwinism”, Encounter, November 1959, p. 50 (emphasis in original)
  • It is time for students of the evolutionary process, especially those who have been misquoted and used by the creationists, to state clearly that evolution is a fact, not theory, and that what is at issue within biology are questions of details of the process and the relative importance of different mechanisms of evolution. It is a fact that the earth with liquid water, is more than 3.6 billion years old. It is a fact that cellular life has been around for at least half of that period and that organized multicellular life is at least 800 million years old. It is a fact that major life forms now on earth were not at all represented in the past. There were no birds or mammals 250 million years ago. It is a fact that major life forms of the past are no longer living. There used to be dinosaurs and Pithecanthropus, and there are none now. It is a fact that all living forms come from previous living forms. Therefore, all present forms of life arose from ancestral forms that were different. Birds arose from nonbirds and humans from nonhumans. No person who pretends to any understanding of the natural world can deny these facts any more than she or he can deny that the earth is round, rotates on its axis, and revolves around the sun. The controversies about evolution lie in the realm of the relative importance of various forces in molding evolution. -R. C. Lewontin “Evolution/Creation Debate: A Time for Truth” Bioscience 31, 559 (1981) reprinted in Evolution versus Creationism, op cit.
  • “Another philosophical question regards the very definition of the word ‘selection’. One of the original formulations of selection was ‘the survival of the fittest’. If you open a standard textbook of genetics ‘fitness’ will probably be defined as ‘the ability to survive’ or something similar. But if the ‘fittest’ are defined as ‘the best survivors’ then the idea of natural selection becomes ‘the survival of those best at surviving’. So what else is new? If there is no more to Darwinism than a truism then the whole theory rests on very shaky ground.” ~ B. Leith, The Descent of Darwin: A Handbook of Doubts about Darwinism (Collins, 1982), p. 21
  • “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 still stands—mainly, as said before, because nobody has a atisfactory 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 random 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 (Picador, 1983), pp. 184–185
  • “The trouble was that in reading widely during my early teens I ran into the Darwinian theory, for a little while with illusions and then with less respect than adults with bated breath were wont to show. The theory seemed to me to run like this: ‘If among the varieties of a species there is one that survives better in the environment than the others, then the variety that survives best is the one that best survives.’ If I had known the word tautology I would have called this a tautology. People with still more bated breath, called it natural selection. I made them angry, just as I do today, by saying that it did nothing at all. You could select potatoes as much as you pleased but you would never make them into a rabbit. Nor by selecting oak trees could you make them into colonies of bats, and those who thought they could in my opinion were bats in the belfry.” Fred Hoyle, Mathematics of Evolution (Memphis, Tenn.: Acorn Enterprises, 1999), p. 2
  • “The fact that the theory of natural selection is difficult to test has led some people, anti-Darwinists and even some great Darwinists, to claim that is a tautology. A tautology like ‘All tables are tables’ is not, of course, testable; nor has it any explanatory power. It is therefore most surprising to hear that some of the greatest contemporary Darwinists themselves formulate the theory in such a way that it amounts to the tautology that those organisms that leave most offspring leave most offspring. And C. H. Waddington even says somewhere (and he defends this view in other places) that ‘Natural selection … turns out … to be a tautology.’ However, he attributes at the same place to the theory an ‘enormous power … of explanation.’ Since the explanatory power of a tautology is obviously zero, something must be wrong here.” ~ Karl Popper, “Natural Selection and the Emergence of Mind”, Dialectica 32(3-4), 1978, p. 344 (ellipses in original)
  • “Since Darwin’s time, massive additional evidence has accumulated supporting the fact of evolution–that all living organisms present on earth today have arisen from earlier forms in the course of earth’s long history. Indeed, all of modern biology is an affirmation of this relatedness of the many species of living things and of their gradual divergence from one another over the course of time. Since the publication of The Origin of Species, the important question, scientifically speaking, about evolution has not been whether it has taken place. That is no longer an issue among the vast majority of modern biologists. Today, the central and still fascinating questions for biologists concern the mechanisms by which evolution occurs.” -Helena Curtis and N. Sue Barnes, Biology 5th ed. 1989, Worth Publishers, p. 972
  • “The theory of natural selection may be so formulated that it is far from tautological. In this case it is not only testable, but it turns out to be not strictly universally true.” ~ Karl Popper, “Natural Selection and the Emergence of Mind”, Dialectica 32(3-4), 1978, p. 346 (ellipses in original)
  • “Today, nearly all biologists acknowledge that evolution is a fact. The term theory is no longer appropriate except when referring to the various models that attempt to explain how life evolves… it is important to understand that the current questions about how life evolves in no way implies any disagreement over the fact of evolution.” -Neil A. Campbell, Biology 2nd ed., 1990, Benjamin/Cummings, p. 434
  • “The statistical probability that organic structures and the most precisely harmonized reactions that typify living organisms would be generated by accident, is zero.” ~ Ilya Prigogine (Chemist-Physicist) Recipient of two Nobel Prizes in chemistry I. Prigogine, N. Gregair, A. Babbyabtz, Physics Today 25, pp. 23-28
  • “The concept of relative adaptation removes the apparent tautology in the theory of natural selection. Without it the theory of natural selection states that fitter individuals have more offspring and then defines the fitter as being those that leave more offspring; since some individuals will always have more offspring than others by sheer chance, nothing is explained.… Unfortunately the concept of relative adaptation also requires the ceteris paribus assumption, so that in practice it is not easy to predict which of two forms will leave more offspring.” ~ Richard Lewontin, “Adaptation”, Scientific American 239(3), September 1978, pp. 166–167
  • “It may be true that scientism and evolutionism (not science and evolution) are among the causes of atheism and materialism. It is at least equally true that biblical literalism, from its earlier flat-earth and geocentric forms to its recent young-earth and flood-geology forms, is one of the major causes of atheism and materialism. Many scientists and intellectuals have simply taken the literalists at their word and rejected biblical materials as being superseded or contradicted by modern science. Without having in hand a clear and persuasive alternative, they have concluded that it is nobler to be damned by the literalists than to dismiss the best testimony of research and reason. Intellectual honesty and integrity demand it.” ~ Conrad Hyers, The Meaning of Creation: Genesis and Modern Science
  • “Today, almost half a century after the publication of the Encyclical, fresh knowledge has led to the recognition that evolution is more than a hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge … [however,] theories of evolution which, in accordance with the philosophies inspiring them, consider the mind as emerging from the forces of living matter, or as a mere epiphenomenon of this matter, are incompatible with the truth about man. Nor are they able to ground the dignity of the person.” ~ Pope John Paul II [7]
  • “I meet many people offended by evolution, who passionately prefer to be the personal handicraft of God than to arise by blind physical and chemical forces over aeons from slime. They also tend to be less than assiduous in exposing themselves to the evidence. Evidence has little to do with it: what they wish to be true, they believe is true.… The clearest evidence of our evolution can be found in our genes. But evolution is still being fought, ironically by those whose own DNA proclaims it—in the schools, in the courts, in textbook publishing houses, and on the question of just how much pain we can inflict on other animals without crossing some ethical threshold.” ~ Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World, p. 325.
  • In the American vernacular, “theory” often means “imperfect fact”–part of a hierarchy of confidence running downhill from fact to theory to hypothesis to guess. Thus the power of the creationist argument: evolution is “only” a theory and intense debate now rages about many aspects of the theory. If evolution is worse than a fact, and scientists can’t even make up their minds about the theory, then what confidence can we have in it? Indeed, President Reagan echoed this argument before an evangelical group in Dallas when he said (in what I devoutly hope was campaign rhetoric): “Well, it is a theory. It is a scientific theory only, and it has in recent years been challenged in the world of science–that is, not believed in the scientific community to be as infallible as it once was.”

    Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world’s data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts don’t go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein’s theory of gravitation replaced Newton’s in this century, but apples didn’t suspend themselves in midair, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin’s proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.

    Moreover, “fact” doesn’t mean “absolute certainty”; there ain’t no such animal in an exciting and complex world. The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us falsely for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science “fact” can only mean “confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional consent.” I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

    Evolutionists have been very clear about this distinction of fact and theory from the very beginning, if only because we have always acknowledged how far we are from completely understanding the mechanisms (theory) by which evolution (fact) occurred. Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: establishing the fact of evolution, and proposing a theory — natural selection — to explain the mechanism of evolution. -Stephen J. Gould, “Evolution as Fact and Theory”; Discover, May 1981

  • “One way or another, Darwinists meet the question ‘Is Darwinism true?’ with an answer that amounts to an assertion of power: ‘Well, it is science, as we define science, and you will have to be content with that.’ Some of us are not content with that, because we know that the empirical evidence for the creative power of natural selection is somewhere between weak and non-existent. Artificial selection of fruit flies or domestic animals produces limited change within the species, but tells us nothing about how insects and mammals came into existence in the first place. In any case, whatever artificial selection achieves is due to the employment of human intelligence consciously pursuing a goal. The whole point of the blind watchmaker thesis, however, is to establish what material processes can do in the absence of purpose and intelligence. That Darwinist authorities continually overlook this crucial distinction gives us little confidence in their objectivity.” ~ Phillip E. Johnson[8]
  • “What kind of God can one infer from the sort of phenomena epitomized by the species on Darwin’s Galapagos Islands? The evolutionary process is rife with happenstance, contingency, incredible waste, death, pain and horror.… The God of the Galapagos is careless, wasteful, indifferent, almost diabolical. He is certainly not the sort of God to whom anyone would be inclined to pray.” ~ David Hull, reviewing Phillip Johnson’s Darwin on Trial for Nature
  • “Science is fundamentally a game. It is a game with one overriding and defining rule:

    1. Let us see how far and to what extent we can explain the behavior of the physical and material universe in terms of purely physical and material causes, without invoking the supernatural.” ~ Richard Dickerson, Journal of Molecular Evolution 34:277, 1992

  • “Religious opposition to evolution propels antievolutionism. Although antievolutionists pay lip service to supposed scientific problems with evolution, what motivates them to battle its teaching is apprehension over the implications of evolution for religion.” ~ National Academy of Sciences [9]
  • “The discipline of biology will not only survive but prosper if it turns out that genetic information really is the product of preexisting intelligence. Biologists will have to give up their dogmatic materialism and discard unproductive hypotheses like the prebiotic soup, but to abandon bad ideas is a gain, not a loss. Freed of the metaphysical chains that tie it to nineteenth-century materialism, biology can turn to the fascinating task of discovering how the intelligence embodied in the genetic information works through matter to make the organism function. In that case chemical evolution will go the way of alchemy—abandoned because a better understanding of the problem revealed its futility—and science will have reached a new plateau.” ~ Phillip E. Johnson, Reason in the Balance, p. 92
  • “The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love (1973)
  • “…there is overwhelming evidence that the earth is billions of years old, that the Big Bang is currently the accepted scientific explanation for the origin of the universe, and that evolutionary mechanisms such as natural selectionare the predominant explanations for the diversity of life on Earth.” Excerpted from a letter to Alexa Posny, Assistant Commissioner of Education in the Kansas State Department of Education, from Ralph J. Cicerone, Ph.D., President, National Academy of Sciences and Chairman, National Research Council, upon Kansas’ decision to teach Evolution as a Controversial theory within the scientific community and Intelligent Design and Evolution as two equal scientific theories. See [10]
  • “I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.” ~ Alan Sandage (winner of the Crawford prize in astronomy) Willford, J.N. March 12, 1991. Sizing up the Cosmos: An Astronomers Quest. New York Times, p. B9.
  • “Amazing fine tuning occurs in the laws that make this [complexity] possible. Realization of the complexity of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word ‘miraculous’ without taking a stand as to the ontological status of the word.” ~ George Ellis (British astrophysicist) Ellis, G.F.R. 1993. The Anthropic Principle: Laws and Environments. The Anthropic Principle, F. Bertola and U.Curi, ed. New York, Cambridge University Press, p. 30
  • “We are, by astronomical standards, a pampered, cosseted, cherished group of creatures.. .. If the Universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in.” ~ John O’Keefe (astronomer at NASA) Heeren, F. 1995. Show Me God. Wheeling, IL, Searchlight Publications, p. 200.
  • “Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the conditions required to permit life, and one which has an underlying (one might say ‘supernatural’) plan.” ~ Arno Penzias (Nobel prize in physics) Margenau, H and R.A. Varghese, ed. 1992. Cosmos, Bios, and Theos. La Salle, IL, Open Court, p. 83.
  • “Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life. In the absence of an absurdly-improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan.” ~ Arno Penzias, nobel laureate & co-discoverer of the radiation afterglow (Quoted in Walter Bradley, “The ‘Just-so’ Universe: The Fine-Tuning of Constants and Conditions in the Cosmos”, in William Dembski and James Kushiner, eds., Signs of Intelligence. 168)
  • “As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency—or, rather, Agency—must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being? Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?” ~ George Greenstein (American astronomer) Greenstein, George. The Symbiotic, Universe: Life and Mind in the Cosmos. (New York: William Morrow, (1988), pp. 26-27
  • “When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics.” ~ Frank Tipler (Professor of Mathematical Physics) Tipler, F.J. 1994. The Physics Of Immortality. New York, Doubleday, Preface.
  • “A life-giving factor lies at the centre of the whole machinery and design of the world.” – John Wheeler (American physicist) Wheeler, John A. “Foreword”, in The Anthropic Cosmological Principle by John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler. (Oxford, U. K.: Clarendon Press, 1986), p. vii.
  • “We go about our daily lives understanding almost nothing of the world. We give little thought to the machinery that generates the sunlight that makes life possible, to the gravity that glues us to an Earth that would otherwise send us spinning off into space, or to the atoms of which we are made and on whose stability we fundamentally depend. Except for children (who don’t know enough not to ask the important questions), few of us spend much time wondering why nature is the way it is; where the cosmos came from, or whether it was always here; if time will one day flow backward and effects precede causes; or whether there are ultimate limits to what humans can know.” ~ Carl Sagan (From an introduction to “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking)
  • “This is an exceedingly strange development, unexpected by all but the theologians. They have always accepted the word of the Bible: In the beginning God created heaven and earth… [But] for the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; [and] as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” ~ Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers [New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1978], 116. Professor Jastrow was the founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute, now director of the Mount Wilson Institute and its observatory.)
  • “The honest scientist, like the philosopher, will tell you that nothing whatever can be or has been proved with fully 100% certainty, not even that you or I exist, nor anyone except himself, since he might be dreaming the whole thing. Thus there is no sharp line between speculation, hypothesis, theory, principle, and fact, but only a difference along a sliding scale, in the degree of probability of the idea. When we say a thing is a fact, then, we only mean that its probability is an extremely high one: so high that we are not bothered by doubt about it and are ready to act accordingly. Now in this use of the term fact, the only proper one, evolution is a fact. For the evidence in favor of it is as voluminous, diverse, and convincing as in the case of any other well established fact of science concerning the existence of things that cannot be directly seen, such as atoms, neutrons, or solar gravitation ….

    So enormous, ramifying, and consistent has the evidence for evolution become that if anyone could now disprove it, I should have my conception of the orderliness of the universe so shaken as to lead me to doubt even my own existence. If you like, then, I will grant you that in an absolute sense evolution is not a fact, or rather, that it is no more a fact than that you are hearing or reading these words. -H. J. Muller, “One Hundred Years Without Darwin Are Enough” School Science and Mathematics 59, 304-305. (1959) reprinted in Evolution versus Creationism op cit.

  • “I had motives for not wanting the world to have meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption … For myself, as no doubt, for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneous liberation from a certain political and economic system, and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom.” ~ Aldous Huxley (REPORT, June 1966. “Confession of Professed Atheist”, A. Huxley)
  • “Intelligent design is not an argument of the same character as these [evolutionary science] controversies. It is not a scientific argument at all, but a religious one. It might be worth discussing in a class on the history of ideas, in a philosophy class on popular logical fallacies, or in a comparative religion class on origin myths from around the world. But it no more belongs in a biology class than alchemy belongs in a chemistry class, phlogiston in a physics class or the stork theory in a sex education class. In those cases, the demand for equal time for ‘both theories’ would be ludicrous. Similarly, in a class on 20th-century European history, who would demand equal time for the theory that the Holocaust never happened?” The Guardian, “One side can be wrong”, 1 September 2005 [11]
  • “If complex organisms demand an explanation, so does a complex designer. And it’s no solution to raise the theologian’s plea that God (or the Intelligent Designer) is simply immune to the normal demands of scientific explanation. To do so would be to shoot yourself in the foot. You cannot have it both ways. Either ID belongs in the science classroom, in which case it must submit to the discipline required of a scientific hypothesis. Or it does not, in which case get it out of the science classroom and send it back into the church, where it belongs.” The Guardian, “One side can be wrong”, 1 September 2005
  • “The bitter truth is that there is no argument going on in the scientific community about whether evolution took place.” -Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, which supports the teaching of evolution, who also noted that the “controversy” being examined in the case of the Dover, PA school board has little to do with science.
  • “To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.” -Isaac Asimov
  • “There is no controversy within science over the core proposition of evolutionary theory.” -Kenneth Miller, Brown University Professor
  • “Intelligent design is not a testable theory in any sense and as such it is not accepted by the scientific community.” -Kenneth Miller, Brown University Professor
  • “The intelligent-design movement is an effort to introduce creationism into the schools under a different name” Eric Rothschild, attorney representing the students’ families in the Dover school district case being tried in Harrisburg, PA. See [12]
  • “It’s Scopes in reverse. They’re going to get a gag order to be placed on teachers across the country, John West, senior fellow, The Discovery Institute, defending the teaching of ID in schools against attacks, as quoted in an article on the Dover, PA school trial. See [13]
  • “When non-biologists talk about biological evolution they often confuse two different aspects of the definition. On the one hand there is the question of whether or not modern organisms have evolved from older ancestral organisms or whether modern species are continuing to change over time. On the other hand there are questions about the mechanism of the observed changes… how did evolution occur? Biologists consider the existence of biological evolution to be a fact. It can be demonstrated today and the historical evidence for its occurrence in the past is overwhelming. However, biologists readily admit that they are less certain of the exact mechanism of evolution; there are several theories of the mechanism of evolution.” -Laurence Moran

    Attributed

  • “It is, for example, impossible for evolution to account for the fact than one single cell can carry more data than all the volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica put together.”-Anthony Flew, Professor of Philosophy, former atheist, author, and debater
  • “The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books – a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects.” -Albert Einstein
  • “We’ve arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for awhile, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” -Carl Sagan
  • “Evolution is a bankrupt speculative philosophy, not a scientific fact. Only a spiritually bankrupt society could ever believe it.… Only atheists could accept this Satanic theory.” -Jimmy Swaggart
  • “We are convinced that masses of evidence render the application of the concept of evolution to man and other primates beyond serious dispute.” -The Pontifical Academy of Sciences
  • “We’ve been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture.” -Pastor Ray Mummert, creationist/intelligent design proponent, March 2005
  • “The really amazing thing is not that life on Earth is balanced on a knife-edge, but that the entire universe is balanced on a knife-edge, and would be total chaos if any of the natural ‘constants’ were off even slightly. You see,” Davies adds, “even if you dismiss man as a chance happening, the fact remains that the universe seems unreasonably suited to the existence of life — almost contrived — you might say a ‘put-up job’.” -Dr. Paul Davies (noted author and Professor of Theoretical Physics at Adelaide University)
  • “…how surprising it is that the laws of nature and the initial conditions of the universe should allow for the existence of beings who could observe it. Life as we know it would be impossible if any one of several physical quantities had slightly different values.” -Professor Steven Weinberg (Nobel Laureate in High Energy Physics [a field of science that deals with the very early universe], writing in the journal “Scientific American”.)
  • “It now seems to me that the findings of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design.” -Anthony Flew Professor of Philosophy, former atheist, author, and debater
  • “What turns a mere piece of matter from being mere matter into an animated being? What gives certain special physical patterns in the universe the mysterious privilege of feeling sensations and having experiences?” -D.R. Hofstadter
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