Evolution Handbook

Chapter 1a:

History of Evolutionary Theory

How modern science got into this problem

This chapter is based on pp. 895-934 (History of Evolutionary Theory) and 1003-1042 (Evolution and Society) of Other Evidence (Volume Three of our three-volume Evolution Disproved Series). Not included in this chapter are at least 318 statements by scientists, which you will find in the appendix to those chapters, plus much more, on our website: evolution-facts.org.

This chapter is heavily condensed and omits many, many quotations by scientists, historians, and evolutionists. You will find many of them later in this book.


Introduction: Stellar evolution is based on the concept that nothing can explode and produce all the stars and worlds. Life evolution is founded on the twin theories of spontaneous generation and Lamarckism (the inheritance of acquired characteristics);—yet, although they remain the basis of biological evolution, both were debunked by scientists over a century ago.

Science is the study of the natural world. We are thankful for the many dedicated scientists who are hard at work, improving life for us. But we will learn, in this book, that their discoveries have provided no worthwhile evidence supporting evolutionary theory.

Premises are important. These are the concepts by which scientific facts are interpreted. For over a century, efforts have been made to explain scientific discoveries by a mid-19th century theory, known as "evolution." It has formed the foundation for many other theories, which also are not founded on scientific facts!

Restating them again, here are the two premises on which the various theories of evolution are based:

1 - This is the evolutionary formula for making a universe:

Nothing + nothing = two elements + time = 92 natural elements + time = all physical laws and a completely structured universe of galaxies, systems, stars, planets, and moons orbiting in perfect balance and order.

2 - This is the evolutionary formula for making life:

Dirt + water + time = living creatures.

Evolutionists theorize that the above two formulas can enable everything about us to make itself—with the exception of man-made things, such as automobiles or buildings. Complicated things, such as wooden boxes with nails in them, require thought, intelligence, and careful workmanship. But everything else about us in nature (such as hummingbirds and the human eye) is declared to be the result of accidental mishaps, random confusion, and time. You will not even need raw materials to begin with. They make themselves too.

How did all this nonsense get started? We will begin this paperback with a brief overview of the modern history of evolutionary theory.

But let us not forget that, though it may be nonsensical, evolutionary theory has greatly affected—and damaged—mankind in the 20th century. Will we continue to let this happen, now that we are in the 21st century? The social and moral impact that evolutionary concepts have had on the modern world has been terrific.

Morality and ethical standards have been greatly reduced. Children and youth are taught in school that they are an advanced level of animals, and there are no moral principles. Since they are just animals, they should do whatever they want. Personal survival and success will come only by rivalry, strife, and stepping on others.

Here is a brief overview of some of the people and events in the history of modern evolutionary theory. But it is only a glimpse. Much more will be found as you read farther in this paperback. And it is all fascinating reading!

Only a few items are listed in this chapter, but they are enough to provide you with a nice entry point to the rest of this paperback. Keep in mind that you can look in the Index, at the back of this paperback, and frequently find still more information on a given subject ("Linnaeus," "Thermodynamics," "Guadeloupe Woman," "Mendel," etc.).


Prior to the middle of the 1800s, scientists were researchers who firmly believed that all nature was made by a Master Designer. Those pioneers who laid the foundations of modern science were Creationists. They were men of giant intellect who struggled against great odds in carrying on their work. They were hard-working researchers.

In contrast, the philosophers sat around, hardly stirring from their armchairs and theorized about everything while the scientists, ignoring them, kept at their work.

But a change came about in the 19th century, when the philosophers tried to gain control of scientific endeavor and suppress research and findings that would be unfavorable to their theories. Today’s evolutionists vigorously defend the unscientific theories they thought up over a century ago.

William Paley (1743-1805), in his 1802 classic, Natural Theology, summarized the viewpoint of the scientists.

He argued that the kind of carefully designed structures we see in the living world point clearly to a Designer. If we see a watch, we know that it had a designer and maker; it would be foolish to imagine that it made itself. This is the "argument by design." All about us is the world of nature, and over our heads at night is a universe of stars. We can ignore or ridicule what is there or say it all made itself, but our scoffing does not change the reality of the situation. A leading atheistic scientist of our time, *Fred Hoyle, wrote that, although it was not difficult to disprove Darwinism, what Paley had to say appeared likely to be unanswerable (*Fred Hoyle and *Chandra Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space, 1981, p. 96).

It is a remarkable fact that the basis of evolutionary theory was destroyed by seven scientific research findings,—before *Charles Darwin first published the theory.

Carl Linn (Carolus Linnaeus, 1707-1778) was a scientist who classified immense numbers of living organisms. An earnest Creationist, he clearly saw that there were no halfway species. All plant and animal species were definite categories, separate from one another. Variation was possible within a species, and there were many sub-species. But there were no cross-overs from one species to another (*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution, 1990, p. 276).

First Law of Thermodynamics (1847). Heinrich von Helmholtz stated the law of conservation of energy: The sum total of all matter will always remain the same. This law refutes several aspects of evolutionary theory. *Isaac Asimov calls it "the most fundamental generalization about the universe that scientists have ever been able to make" (*Isaac Asimov, "In the Game of Energy and Thermodynamics You Can’t Even Break Even," Journal of Smithsonian Institute, June 1970, p. 6).

Second Law of Thermodynamics (1850). R. J. E. Clausius stated the law of entropy: All systems will tend toward the most mathematically probable state, and eventually become totally random and disorganized (*Harold Blum, Time’s Arrow and Evolution, 1968, p. 201). In other words, everything runs down, wears out, and goes to pieces (*R.R. Kindsay, "Physics: to What Extent is it Deterministic," American Scientist 56, 1968, p. 100). This law totally eliminates the basic evolutionary theory that simple evolves into complex. *Einstein said the two laws were the most enduring laws he knew of (*Jeremy Rifkin, Entropy: A New World View, 1980, p. 6).

Guadeloupe Woman Found (1812). This is a well-authenticated discovery which has been in the British Museum for over a century. A fully modern human skeleton was found in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe inside an immense slab of limestone, dated by modern geologists at 28 million years old. (More examples could be cited.) Human beings, just like those living today (but sometimes larger), have been found in very deep levels of strata.

Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) was a Creationist who lived and worked near Brunn (now Brno), Czechoslovakia. He was a science and math teacher. Unlike the theorists, Mendel was a true scientist. He bred garden peas and studied the results of crossing various varieties. Beginning his work in 1856, he concluded it within eight years. In 1865, he reported his research in the Journal of the Brunn Society for the Study of Natural Science. The journal was distributed to 120 libraries in Europe, England, and America. Yet his research was totally ignored by the scientific community until it was rediscovered in 1900 (*R.A. Fisher, "Has Mendel’s Work Been Rediscovered?" Annals of Science, Vol. 1, No. 2, 1936). His experiments clearly showed that one species could not transmute into another one. A genetic barrier existed that could not be bridged. Mendel’s work laid the basis for modern genetics; and his discoveries effectively destroyed the basis for species evolution (*Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution, 1984, pp. 63-64).

Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) was another genuine scientist. In the process of studying fermentation, he performed his famous 1861 experiment, in which he disproved the theory of spontaneous generation. Life cannot arise from non-living materials. This experiment was very important; for, up to that time, a majority of scientists believed in spontaneous generation. (They thought that if a pile of old clothes were left in a corner, it would breed mice! The proof was that, upon later returning to the clothes, mice would frequently be found there.) Pasteur concluded from his experiment that only God could create living creatures. But modern evolutionary theory continues to be based on that out-dated theory disproved by Pasteur: spontaneous generation (life arises from non-life). Why? Because it is the only basis on which evolution could occur. As *Adams notes, "With spontaneous generation discredited [by Pasteur], biologists were left with no theory of the origin of life at all" (*J. Edison Adams, Plants: An Introduction to Modern Biology, 1967, p. 585).

August Friedrich Leopold Weismann (1834-1914) was a German biologist who disproved *Lamarck’s notion of "the inheritance of acquired characteristics." He is primarily remembered as the scientist who cut off the tails of 901 young white mice in 19 successive generations, yet each new generation was born with a full-length tail. The final generation, he reported, had tails as long as those originally measured on the first. Weismann also carried out other experiments that buttressed his refutation of Lamarckism. His discoveries, along with the fact that circumcision of Jewish males for 4,000 years had not affected the foreskin, doomed the theory (*Jean Rostand, Orion Book of Evolution, 1960, p. 64). Yet Lamarckism continues today as the disguised basis of evolutionary biology. For example, evolutionists still teach that giraffes kept stretching their necks to reach higher branches, so their necks became longer! In a later book, *Darwin abandoned natural selection as unworkable, and returned to Lamarckism as the cause of the never-observed change from one species to another (*Randall Hedtke, The Secret of the Sixth Edition, 1984).

Here is a brief, partial overview of what true scientists were accomplishing in the 18th and 19th centuries. All of them were Creationists:

Louis Agassiz (1807-1873): glacial geology, ichthyology.

Charles Babbage (1792-1871): actuarial tables, calculating machine, foundations of computer science.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626): scientific method of research.

Robert Boyle (1627-1691): chemistry, gas dynamics.

Sir David Brewster (1781-1868): optical mineralogy, kaleidoscope.

Georges Cuvier (1769-1832): comparative anatomy, vertebrate paleontology.

Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829): thermokinetics.

Jean Henri Fabre (1823-1915): entomology of living insects.

Michael Faraday (1791-1867): electric generator, electro-magnetics, field theory.

Sir John A. Fleming (1849-1945): electronics, thermic valve.

Joseph Henry (1797-1878): electric motor, galvanometer.

Sir William Herschel (1738-1822): galactic astronomy, double stars.

James Joule (1818-1889): reversible thermodynamics.

Lord William Kelvin (1824-1907): absolute temperature scale, energetics, thermodynamics, transatlantic cable.

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630): celestial mechanics, ephemeris tables, physical astronomy.

Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778): classification system, systematic biology.

Joseph Lister (1827-1912): antiseptic surgery.

Matthew Maury (1806-1873): hydrography, oceanography.

              James C. Maxwell (1831-1879): electrical dynamics, statistical thermodynamics.

Gregor Mendel (1822-1884): genetics.

Samuel F.B. Morse (1791-1872): telegraph.

Isaac Newton (1642-1727): calculus, dynamics, law of gravity, reflecting telescopes.

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662): hydrostatics, barometer.

Louis Pasteur (1822-1895): bacteriology, biogenesis law, pasteurization, vaccination, and immunization.

Sir William Ramsey (1852-1916): inert gases, isotropic chemistry.

John Ray (1627-1705): natural history, classification of plants and animals.

John Rayleigh (1842-1919): dimensional analysis, model analysis.

Bernhard Riemann (1826-1866): non-Euclidean geometry.

Sir James Simpson (1811-1870): chloroform, gynecology.

Sir George Stokes (1819-1903): fluid mechanics.

Rudolph Virchow (1821-1902): pathology.