not logged in

Quotations on Evolution

<< Back to Subject List


You will be greatly disappointed (by the forthcoming book); it will be grievously too hypothetical. It will very likely be of no other service than collocating some facts; though I myself think I see my way approximately on the origin of the species. But, alas, how frequent, how almost universal it is in an author to persuade himself of the truth of his own dogmas.

~ Charles Darwin

- 1858, in a letter to a colleague regarding the concluding chapters of his Origin of Species. As quoted in 'John Lofton's Journal', The Washington Times, 8 February 1984

In fact, evolution became in a sense a scientific religion; almost all scientists have accepted it and many are prepared to 'bend' their observations to fit in with it.

~ H.S. Lipson

- FRS (Professor of Physics, University of Manchester, UK), 'A physicist looks at evolution'. Physics Bulletin, vol. 31, 1980, p. 138

'The fact of evolution is the backbone of biology, and biology is thus in the peculiar position of being a science founded on an unproved theory - is it then a science or a faith? Belief in the theory of evolution is thus exactly parallel to belief in special creation - both are concepts which believers know to be true but neither, up to the present, has been capable of proof.'

~ L. Harrison Matthews

- FRS, Introduction to Darwin's The Origin of Species, J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd, London, 1971, p. xi.

One must conclude that, contrary to the established and current wisdom, a scenario describing the genesis of life on earth by chance and natural causes which can be accepted on the basis of fact and not faith, has not yet been written.

~ Hubert P. Yockey

- (Army Pulse Radiation Facility, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, USA), 'A calculation of the probability of spontaneous biogenesis by information theory'. Journal of Theoretical Biology, vol. 67, 1977, p. 396

Evolution, at least in the sense that Darwin speaks of it, cannot be detected within the lifetime of a single observer.

~ David B. Kitts

- Ph.D. (zoology) (School of Geology and Geophysics, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA). 'Palaeontology and evolutionary theory'. Evolution, vol. 28, September 1974, p. 466

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 favoured by natural selection. But such stories are not part of science, for there is no way of putting them to the test.

~ Dr Collin Patterson

- Personal letter (written 10 April 1979) , Senior Palaeontologist at the British Museum of Natural History in London, to Luther D. Sunderland; as quoted in Darwin's Enigma by Luther D. Sunderland, Master Books, San Diego, USA, 1984, p. 89

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. And yet, it is just such impossibility that is demanded by anti-evolutionists when they ask for "proofs" of evolution which they would magnanimously accept as satisfactory.

~ Theodosius Dobzhansky

- (late Emeritus Professor of Zoology and Biology, Rockefeller University), 'On methods of evolutionary biology and anthropology, Part 1, biology'. American Scientist, vol. 45(5), December 1957, p.388

<< Back to Subject List

South Africa's Top Sites