Evolutionary Fables and Geological Facts
Reprinted from “The Indian Christian,” Vol. 36, No. 6, March, 1946
EVOLUTION PROTEST MOVEMENT, 1947
Obtainable from W. E. Filmer, 23 Dingwall Road, Croydon, Surrey
Evolutionary Fables and Geological Facts
In the autumn of 1942, the British Broadcasting Corporation produced a succession of much-advertised talks by the leading evolutionary propagandists in Britain, headed by Professor D. M. S. Watson and. Dr. Julian S. Huxley. These gentlemen did not hesitate to make statements which Mr. Dewar (a zoologist) and I (a geologist) knew to be preposterous. Among them, for instance, were Watson’s assertions that scientists now know all nature to be “planless,” and have found the complete ancestries of many animals; while Huxley asserted that all scientists now have to accept Darwin’s explanation of nature, whether they like it or not.
These gentlemen speak much more cautiously before scientific assemblages; but apparently feel free to talk nonsense to a public which seems, on the whole, to enjoy that nonsense. And most professional scientists feel hardly concerned enough to interfere when things are broadcast to the public which they would regard as an insult to their intelligence if said to themselves.
So Dewar (an ex-evolutionist) and I joined forces to protest on behalf of those members of the public who wish to know the real facts. We specified our objections, and asked the B.B.C. Talks Director to let us either give a broadcast on the other side, or meet Watson and Huxley in broadcast debate to show how such gentlemen fare when faced by research workers whom they cannot bluff. Our request was refused; so we published these exchanges in a pamphlet entitled “The B.B.C. Abuses Its Monopoly.”
We then wrote an article entitled “Science and the B.B.C.,” which appeared in The Nineteenth Century for April, 1943 (pp. 167-73), directly attacking Watson’s and Huxley’s claims; and we sent copies of this article to the Councils of the four leading Scientific Societies in Great Britain (i.e., the Royal Societies of London and Edinburgh, and the Geological and Zoological Societies of London) inviting any Fellow of those Societies who approved of Watson’s and Huxley’s broadcasts, or disputed the statements in our article, to meet us in public debate. Not a man took up our challenge —nor did Watson or Huxley themselves do so, when we challenged them personally. Watson tried to sneer, but was soon driven under cover. Finding that nobody would fight, we published these further letters in a pamphlet entitled “Evolutionists Under Fire.” It makes instructive reading.
After that, Dewar and I published further articles in The Nineteenth Century for August and November 1943, January, April and July 1944, and February 1945. In them, we again repeatedly criticised Watson and Huxley, and exposed the similar pretensions of other leading modern evolutionists like Drs. Joseph Needham and H. B. Cott, Prof. E. S. Goodrich and various lesser fry. All those whom we criticised discreetly held their peace, even when sent copies of our articles with pressing invitations to fight if they thought they could. This itself was eloquent; for men like Julian Huxley and Joseph Needham are not noted for turning the other cheek when they think they can make effective rejoinder.
Meanwhile a number of Christians asked the B.B.C. why no talk against evolution was allowed; and the Director Secretariat finally (in his letter 28/MGF of 1st February, 1945) told one of these enquirers that the B.B.C. held “no opinion as regards the theory of evolution” and was “quite prepared to consider for broadcasting a positive expression of opinion by a scientist of repute” who wished to speak “from a Christian standpoint.”
This document was forwarded to me, with a request that I should take up the offer; so I asked the Director Secretariat if he admitted that I (who hold two doctorates for research in geology) am “a scientist of repute.” This must have upset him, for he took nearly two months to reply. Finally, however, he admitted the adequacy of my scientific status, and asked for my broadcast—for which he would only allot a few minutes.
On receiving the broadcast, however, he found it—despite its shortness— so fatal to the credit of evolution (and of the speakers whom he had allowed to broadcast without stint on behalf of evolution) that he sent it, despite my protests, to an ardent evolutionist—Professor A. E. Trueman—not just for factual criticism (which I said I would welcome, being glad to see if anyone could factually challenge my broadcast), but for his verdict, which was a monstrous procedure.
Trueman admitted the “general accuracy” of my factual claims, but asserted that the broadcast was “misleading” and would “confuse the lay audience as to the actual state of affairs.” He never attempted to show how my facts could “mislead” anybody; and he never defined his idea of “the actual state of affairs”—which would doubtless match the drivel broadcast by Watson and Huxley. But his bare veto was all the B.B.C. wanted, and they refused my broadcast on the strength of it. So that broadcast is reproduced here, to show the facts which even this fanatic could not deny.
The Text of Col. L. M. Davies’ Proposed Talk
It is often claimed that all scientists now regard evolution as proved. But the truth is very different. Evolution is not proved; and, as even Haeckel admitted, there is no prospect of its ever being proved. It is true that most scientists believe in it; but belief is not proof, and some of the best-informed scientists reject it altogether. Just before the war, in 1937, a leading French geologist, Professor Paul Lemoine, declared that the theory of evolution was impossible, and that nobody really believed in it any longer, That was probably the case in France, for not a single French scientist protested against this declaration, although it appeared in a most public quarter (Editorial summary to Volume V of the Encyclopédie Française ). Nor are French scientists the only ones who disbelieve in evolution. I am a British scientist who has never believed in it; and there are others who once believed in it, but now reject it as emphatically as I do.
Why do we reject it? Because we know the real facts, which are very different from statements often made about them. Thus it is sometimes actually said that geologists now know the complete ancestries of all animals —which is absolute rubbish. The fossil record begins with what is called the Cambrian system, or period, the early part of which is estimated as being about 500 million years old. There we find a large assortment of highly-developed creatures of all the invertebrate phyla or groups. Among them are Cephalopods (or Cuttle-fish), Pteropods (or swimming shell-fish), Jellyfish, Coral types, Sea-urchin types, and many Arthropods (or jointed creatures like shrimps and woodlice). Many of the latter, called Trilobites, have highly developed eyes, while others have specialised bodies and probably lived at great depths in the sea. And so, at the very beginning of the fossil record, we find a highly organised and differentiated mass of creatures, and we are forced to admit that the greatest problems of life were already solved.
When were they solved? Even Darwin admitted that life, from its first appearance, seems to have been practically as highly organised in essentials as it is to-day. When and where was it evolved? Evolutionists estimate that the actual fossil record only shows us the last quarter—and some call it much less—of the history of life on this earth. In other words, if evolution be true, the first three quarters, at least, of the life record is missing, and just has to be imagined.
But why is it missing, if evolution be true? Why does the record open so abruptly, with this mass of highly organised and widely different types? All suggested explanations break down. The older rocks are certainly not all metamorphosed or changed. Great masses of them, like the vast Cuddapah series of India, over 20,000 feet thick, are quite unchanged, and would certainly show numerous remains of life had any existed. But they show none. Nor will it do to suppose that earlier animals were all soft-bodied. For what hard parts has a jelly-fish? And since we find jellyfish in the Cambrian, we should certainly find traces of soft-bodied creatures before the Cambrian—had they existed. And it is unthinkable that swarms of creatures of all kinds should suddenly and simultaneously have acquired hard parts— and the habits of life associated with them. It is simpler, and less credulous, to believe in Creation, than to believe in evolution of that sort.
And the same thing holds good all down the scale. Essentially new types always appear suddenly, and all attempts to explain their arrival are purely imaginary efforts. Thus the first insects include the biggest ones known to us—Meganeura—or monster dragonflies, with a wing-span nearly a yard in extent. Together with them we find numerous cockroaches of many different kinds—where did they all spring from? The first birds have large and perfectly formed feathers. The first bats are as perfect bats as any existing to-day, and actually include members of a still-existing family (the Vespertilionidae). The first whales, though some are different from modern ones, are just as true whales and as fully adapted to sea life; and they actually include members of an existing order (the Odontoceti), who seem to have no connection with the others. So here, again, we find full specialisation and differentiation right from the beginning.
Now that is where all materialistic evolutionary theories break down. For a materialistic theory, like Darwinism, has to suppose that four-legged creatures, like lizards or mice, became flying ones, like birds or bats, or swimming ones, like ichthyosaurs or whales, by long series of slow changes, during which every slight modification towards the new end gave its possessor an advantage over those who had not that modification. But these hypothetical series are not found, and it is obvious that intermediate forms could not have been advantageous. A leg would be useless as a leg long before it became effective as a wing; so Natural Selection, as it is called, would kill off the intermediate types, and prevent progress along that road.
So it is amusing to find that the more intelligent Darwinists themselves throw Darwin over, whenever they come to the really big problems in geology, and say that, owing to the slackening of competition at certain points, Natural Selection ceased to keep animals under control, and what they call “orgies of variations” brought about the big changes which appear so abruptly.
But that is really a counsel of despair. It gives up the attempt at mechanical explanation, and asks us to believe that most intricate and purposive adaptations appeared spontaneously out of wild confusion. Some scientists object to this. They call it sheer fantasy, and prefer to believe in literal creation—which at least makes sense. They are prepared to examine any reasonable mechanical theory of change—but they draw the line when such theories obviously break down, and they are asked, instead, to believe in a mere “orgy.” One might as well believe that Shakespeare’s plays were produced by an earthquake in a printer’s office.
So the scientific case has not changed much in the last hundred years. For although we have discovered countless new facts, many of them are very uncomfortable facts—from the evolutionists’ point of view. I could quote some that I have found in my own personal research, as a geologist; but time does not allow me to go into details.
Why, then, it may be asked, do so many scientists accept evolution as fact? For the great majority certainly do so—in this country, at least— although by no means all do so, even here. A hundred years ago, nearly all scientists—in Britain as elsewhere—believed in special Creation. Why the change?
Much is probably due to training and habit. Young scientists are now brought up to take evolution for granted; and they seldom get out of the habit, whatever uncomfortable facts they may discover. Even more important is the fact that the religious atmosphere has changed during the last century. A hundred years ago, belief in God and the Bible was much more common than it is to-day. We may still believe in some sort of God Who started things going in some very distant beginning; but few of us now like to think of His interfering with things after they started, as our forefathers used to believe that He did. For scientists, a century ago, had a doctrine of what was called “Catastrophism.” They spoke of God destroying one creation after another, replacing old creations by new ones, and finally all but destroying our own creation by the Flood of Noah. Just about a hundred years ago, one of the greatest of British geologists, Buckland, wrote his Reliquiae Diluvianae, talking of that Flood.
But during the last century all that has changed. The doctrine of Catastrophism, held by the great men—Cuvier, Agassiz, Forbes, d’Archiac and many others—who founded the sciences of geology and palaeontology, has been replaced by the modern doctrine of Continuity (sometimes called Uniformity) which insists that God (if there be a God) has never interfered with things right from the beginning; in which case, of course, we are compelled to explain all past and existing forms of life by some theory of evolution, however difficult it may be to fit the facts to that theory, and whatever fanciful stories we may have to invent for the purpose.
So I say, as a Christian, to any of my fellow Christians who may be listening to this broadcast:—You will find this very state of affairs clearly foretold in the Bible. Look up 2 Peter iii, (the Second Epistle of Peter, chapter three). Read the whole chapter, especially verses 3 and 4. You will find the rise of our modern doctrine of Continuity foretold, with all its effects, beginning with the denial of Noah’s Flood, and ending with denial of the Second Advent and any coming Judgment by God. For all these things are logically connected together.
I speak, of course, as a Christian, as well as a geologist. For Bible facts are as real to me as geological ones; and I am immensely struck by the way in which the Bible foresaw, and summed up, eighteen centuries in advance, the revolution in geological thought which has now taken place—that astounding shift over, from the “Catastrophism” of Cuvier’s day, to our modern doctrine of unlimited “Continuity” which was popularised by Lyell and Darwin.
I am sorry to deal so briefly with so huge a subject; but I cannot, in these few minutes, discuss all the false ideas being taught to-day. I can only touch on some of them; and if any scientists question my statements, I invite them to meet me in debate on the subject. Thus I flatly deny that man ever has a “tail” or “gill-arches” during his development. Appearances are purely superficial, and such claims will not stand critical examination.
Again: —Children are being told to-day that “First came ape-men, then near-men, and lastly true men.” This is utterly false. As Woollard and others admit, true men appeared before any degraded types; and it would be easier in every way to derive apes from men than men from apes. This is inevitable, for tree-living animals have to be specialised in many ways which throw them out of series between ground-living ones, like quadrupeds and men. Those who appreciate this fact talk of a “common ancestor” of men and apes. But this supposed common ancestor is as much a figment as Cinderella’s fairy godmother.
It is often said that rudimentary organs prove evolution. But they do nothing of the sort. For the Bible accounts for them consistently; while Darwin, as T. H. Huxley realised, could not do so.
In short, there are no “converging lines of testimony” to evolution. Those same supposed lines could equally be said to converge in proving literal creation and curse; for the Bible makes every allowance for all those things in nature—pain, abortion, parasites, internecine strife, etc.—which are held to conflict with belief in literal creation. One of the most eminent botanists of the last century, Professor J. H. Balfour of Edinburgh University, pointed that out long ago.
Indeed, nothing is more amusing than to compare the statements of various evolutionists. For all that I have said could be backed by quoting the admissions of prominent evolutionists themselves. Agreeing to believe in evolution, these men totally disagree as to why they believe in it. What one evolutionist regards as clear proof, another dismisses as sheer nonsense. Take the way in which expert embryologists like De Beer flatly deny and ridicule the “recapitulation theory” of Haeckel; or the way in which an expert on fossil mammals, like Deperet, ridicules the supposed fossil “ancestries” of the modem horse, calling them all “pretended pedigrees” and “deceitful delusions.”
Why is this? No such agreement to believe, with utter disagreement as to why they believe, exists in any other department of science. There is only one explanation of the fact, and that is that evolution doctrine is not natural science but natural philosophy. When it is called science, it is “science, falsely so-called.”
L. M. DAVIES.
It is obvious that when Professor Trueman admitted “the general accuracy” of the above proposed broadcast, he destroyed the credit of Watson’s and Huxley’s broadcasts. Take, for instance, Watson’s assertion that we have found the “complete ancestries” of many animals; Trueman cannot deny that even the most plausible of those supposed ancestries—that of the horse—has been utterly repudiated by an expert like Charles Depéret. What is more: Even if we accept that “pretended pedigree” as Depéret called it, it only goes back to Eohippus in the Eocene, about 50 million years ago, or barely a tenth of the way back to the early Cambrian—500 million years ago—where the fossil record starts. And Trueman admits that that record can only represent the last quarter (at most) of life history, if evolution be true. So even the boasted ancestry of the horse can only represent the last fortieth, or 2½ per cent, of that ancestry. No wonder that Trueman thought these bald geological FACTS would “confuse” believers in evolutionary fables.
It was also significant that the B.B.C. ceased publishing Watson’s and other evolutionists’ broadcasts in The Listener from the moment that Dewar and I began to take them up. They found our quotations from The Listener too embarrassing. Yet they recently (Autumn, 1945) allowed Watson again to broadcast the assertions which he and they now know to be indefensible. And when I asked the Scottish Director, B.B.C., for copies of the scripts of these repeated—and now obviously deliberate—misstatements, he refused to supply the copies unless I undertook not to use them for critical purposes. So the B.B.C. allow statements to be broadcast which they dare not show, in writing, to a competent critic.
Among other misstatements which the B.B.C, have deliberately allowed to be repeated, after being shown that they were indefensible, are: —
(2) The assertion that all biologists now believe in evolution. This is proved false by the very fact of Dewar’s and my opposition; not to mention our citations from other scientific opponents of evolution.
(3) The assertion that Darwin’s theory is now proved to be true. This is fantastic since—as Trueman had to admit—its own chief advocates now reject it at all the most critical junctures.(4) The assertion that all nature is now proved to be “planless.” This is the reverse of the truth, as both Watson—who dare not face us on that issue—and his patrons of the B.B.C. well know.
This state of affairs is certainly remarkable. That such deliberate misrepresentation of facts should be indulged in by men supposed to be devoted to scientific truth, and just as deliberately promoted on the largest scale by an institution like the B.B.C., while it is obviously welcomed by most of their hearers (who clearly delight in such fables), is a remarkable phenomenon. Even more striking is the fact that it was clearly foretold in the Bible. For we have a perfect description of present conditions in 2 Tim. iii: 1—iv: 4. Note that fable-mongers are to multiply as time goes on, “deceiving and being deceived ”; while they are “heaped” to their listeners, whose “itching ears” their fictions are tuned to gratify.
But some—especially Christians—will wish to know the truth; and it is for them that my colleague and I write. They can rest assured that evolution is not proved. It is rank fiction, meeting a growing demand for God-denying fables. It takes the very form foretold of it two millenniums ago; and its propagandists dare not face the genuine scientist. Boycott, not argument, is their resort when faced by the latter.
Since the above was sent to The Indian Christian, I wrote to Prof. Trueman direct, demanding that he show how my proposed broadcast could “mislead” anybody. At first he said he would (letter of 1st March, 1946); but he afterwards apparently changed his mind, for when I met him on the 6th May, and asked when I could expect his explanation, he said “Probably never,” and told me I could think and say what I liked about it. So this I promptly did, in terms which obviously disconcerted him, though he could make no effective rejoinder. As he seemed to mind the expression of my opinion more than he had expected, I wrote to him (7th May) giving him a final fortnight in which to produce his explanation, if I was not to regard my opinion as confirmed. He then appealed to the B.B.C.; and I received an “Express ’’ letter (unnumbered, but dated the 20th May) from Mr. R. A. Rendall, the Talks Controller, saying that Prof. Trueman had sent them copies of my letters to him, and that as the B.B.C. accepted responsibility for rejecting my script, they had advised Prof. Trueman not to answer me. I replied (21st May) stating that although the B.B.C. were responsible for rejecting the broadcast, Prof. Trueman was responsible for what he himself said about it; and I called it distinctly engaging to see how the B.B.C. first sheltered behind Trueman, and then Trueman sheltered behind them.
That they could not dispute. These concluding facts are therefore recorded, in case anyone supposes that Trueman might somehow have justified his assertion about my broadcast. Obviously, as I told him (both verbally and on paper) he dare not try to defend that piece of unmitigated nonsense. The B.B.C. are also now self-convicted of rejecting my broadcast (for which they had themselves asked, as from “a scientist of repute ”) on the strength of an assertion which its own maker dares not defend, and which they advise him not to try to defend. Could any exposure be more complete?
EVOLUTION PROTEST MOVEMENT LITERATURE
The Man from Monkey Myth, 4d., 2s. per doz.
Obsessions of Biologists. 6d., 3s. 6d. per doz.
Pernicious Propaganda by the B.B.C. 2d., 1s. 3d. per doz.
The B.B.C. Abuses its Monopoly. 3d., 1s. 3d. per doz.
Evolutionists under Fire. 4d., 2s. per doz.
Reasons why Biologists refuse to debate Evolution. 2d., 1s. per doz.
A Freethinker Kicks against the Pricks. 2d., 1s. per doz.
How the B.B.C. Humbugs the Public. 3d., 1s. 6d. per doz.
Evolution: How the Doctrine is propagated in our Schools. 5d., 2s. 6d. per doz.
Evolution To-day. 2d., 1s. per doz.
Devolution. 4d., 2s. 6d. per doz.
Those Missing Links. 3d., 1s. 6d. per doz.
More about those Missing Links. 4d., 3s. per doz.
Dr. Julian Huxley’s “Glorious Paradox.” 2d., 1s. per doz.
Recent Opinions of Biologists on Evolution. 3d., 2s. per doz.
The Bible and Evolution. 3d., 2s. per doz.
Evolution or Christianity ? 3d., 1s. 6d. per doz.
Science and Pseudo-Science. 3d., 1s. 6d. per doz.
Evolutionary Fables and Geological Facts. 3d., 1s. 6d. per doz.
The Sophistry of Dr. Donald O. Soper and its Antidote. 3d., 2s. per doz.
Evolution—The Modern Superstition. 3d., 1s. 6d. per doz.
How the “Daily Telegraph” Stifles Evidence against Evolution. 3d., 1s. 6d. per doz.
The Royal Society of New Zealand refuses to debate Evolution. 3d., 2s. per doz.
Why I believe in Creation. 3d., 2s. per doz.
Rationalists in Retreat. 3d., 2s. per doz.
Evolution not a true Science. 3d., 2s. 6d. per doz.
BOOKS OBTAINABLE FROM THE E.P.M.
The Bible and Science, by D. S. Milne, M.B., Ch.B. 2s. 8d.
Why be an Ape ? by Newton Watts. 2s. 8d.
Man: A Special Creation, by Douglas Dewar. 2s. 4d.
A Challenge to Evolutionists, by Douglas Dewar. 1s. 8d.
Evolution, by A Medical Student. 6d., 4s. 6d. per doz.
The World and its God, by Philip Mauro. 2s. 8d.
Darwin: Before & After, by R. E. D. Clark. 6s. 4d.
Is Evolution Proved? A debate by by Shelton and Dewar. 18s. 6d.
All prices include postage
Printed by THE DAWN PRESS, Clapham, London, S.W.4
- Though backed by University Professors and Church dignitaries of all denominations, who urged that both sides should be heard on so important an issue. The Director Secretariat has lately, under pressure, excused himself (his letter of 7th December, 1945) for ignoring these eminent appellants (including a Dean, an Archbishop, an ex-Moderator, College Principals, etc.), since they were only “individuals” and not “any body so constituted as to be able to speak authoritatively.” Apparently Deans, Archbishops, Moderators, etc., cannot speak “authoritatively” enough to make the B.B.C. allow an anti-evolution broadcast.
- Compare his readiness to allow young Mr. S. A. Barnett (who had no doctorate, or any geological status) to answer “Forces” questioners by return, and make fantastic assertions about evolution in general and fossils in particular.
- Nothing was said, in the Director’s original fair-seeming offer, of subjecting the opinion of the “scientist of repute” to the verdict of an opponent. If the scientist’s opinion had to be approved by an evolutionist, that should have been said from the first, when it would have been seen what a farce the pretended offer was.
- In advising suppression of admitted facts, Trueman acted like the mediaeval Inquisitors who suppressed Galileo’s appeal to facts. Any refusal to face facts and discuss things openly is, of course, utterly unscientific; and the very appearance of a boycott here shows that evolution is not science. Its devotees instinctively behave as fanatics have always behaved.
- The B.B.C.'s actions in this connection seem to be persistently disingenuous. Thus, after rejecting my broadcast, the Director Secretariat repeated, to later enquiries, the same pretended offer in the same identical terms, as if nobody had taken it up. So I wrote to him, pointing out the impropriety of this. I told him that if he ever again issued such a pretended offer, concealing his intention to subject anti-evolution opinion to evolutionary veto, and suggesting that no such opinion as he invited had yet been offered, I would openly charge him with deliberately deceiving his correspondent. He acknowledged my letter (sent by registered post) and—so far as I know—has not yet repeated the offence.
- A leading scientist like Einstein remarks on the “sublimity and marvellous order” seen in nature, and evidence of “an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.” (The World as I see It, Eng. Trans., 1935, pp. 25, 28, etc.).
- There will always be such people; for we read of this period that while “the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand,” yet “the wise shall understand” (Dan. xii: 10). And since the fear of God is the beginning of what Scripture calls “wisdom” (Prov. ix: 10), it seems that these “wise” will probably be Christians (cf 2 Tim. iii: 13-15).
- This refers, of course, to people like the B.B.C.’s proteges. All professing evolutionists are not propagandist fanatics, and some of the most eminent ones frankly admit the justice of Dewar’s and my protests. Thus the Secretary of the Royal Society of Edinburgh admitted (in his letter of 18th June, 1943, on behalf of the Council of that Society) the reasonableness of our Nineteenth Century article on “Science and the B.B.C.,” protesting against Watson’s and Huxley’s broadcasts; while one of the most senior Professors of Geology in Britain wrote to say that he substantially agreed with that article, and a well-known Professor of Zoology wrote saying that our attack “properly castigates the satisfied dogmatic.” Similarly, another senior Professor of Geology, after seeing my proposed broadcast and related correspondence with the B.B.C., wrote saying that the B.B.C. “behaved most improperly” in rejecting the broadcast, which he himself considered to be a “well-argued demonstration that the case for evolution has not been proved, and that it is thoroughly unscientific for anyone to claim that it has, even by implication.” Such comments pass behind the scenes, while the B.B.C. blares out fables to suit the itching ears of willing dupes.