Evolution: Still A Theory in Crises

By Michael Denton

Publisher Discovery Institute Press 2016

Reviewed by Jack Kettler

A brief bio:

Michael Denton is a Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Formerly a Senior Research Fellow in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Otago in New Zealand, he earned his MD from Bristol University and a PhD in biochemistry from King’s College in London. He is author of Evolution: A Theory in Crisis and Nature’s Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe, and he has published articles in journals such as Nature, Nature Genetics, BioSystems, and Human Genetics.

What others are saying:

“A devastating critique.” - Jonathan Wells, PhD, Biologist and Author, Icons of Evolution

“Denton moves adroitly from the history of ideas to scientific explanation…It is a rare and powerful combination that demands careful reading.” - Gunter Bechly, PhD, Paleontologist 

“Darwinist often deflect trenchant criticism by kicking the can down the road. In ten or twenty years science will surely show their theory is correct, they say. Now thirty years after his groundbreaking book, Evolution” A Theory in Crisis, Michael calls their bluff. Not only hasn’t Darwinism overcome its challenges, severe new problem have made the crisis much worse.” - Michael Behe, PhD, Professor of Biological Sciences, Lehigh University, and author of Darwin’s Black Box and The Edge of Evolution.  

Michael Denton’s book:

After more than thirty years, Michael Denton revisits his earlier thesis about the inability of Darwinism’s enthusiasts to explain the functional adaptive beneficial mutation mechanisms leading to the complexity of biological life as we know it today.

Subsequent to more than thirty years, evolutionary biologists still cannot explain the tetrapod limb, the pentadacyyl limb, the origin of feathers, the flowering plants, the wings of the bat, the origin of the endometrial cell, human language, the origin of the cell, the origin of ORFan genes, the reduction of the aortic arch, protein forms, folded proteins, lipid forms and DNA and gene sequencing.

During the last thirty years, knowledge of the complexity of cellular mechanisms has exponentially increased. Yet, still evolutionary biologists have no answers on how random mutations could have produced life as we know it. It must be said they are still hopeful and willing to attack anyone has doubts about the prevailing orthodoxy.     

Denton’s analysis of the Darwinian crisis is devastating: 

“The complexity of living systems is so great that there is now an almost universal consensus, as we saw in the discussion of ORFan genes, that the simplest of all biological novelties—a single functional gene sequence—cannot come about by chance mutations in a DNA sequence. And if an individual gene sequence is far too complex to be produced by chance, then the sudden origination of a morphological novelty like a feather, a limb, or even such a comparatively simple novelty such as an enucleate red cell—all novelties vastly more complex than an individual functional gene sequence—is by any common-sense judgment far beyond the reach of any sort of undirected “chance” saltation. Only if nature were specifically pre-arranged for the actualization of such novelties would it be conceivable that they could originate in saltational jumps. According to Fred Hoyle’s famous calculation, the probability of the evolution of cellular life by chance is about one in 1040,000 “(226) 

This is why Goldschmidt’s ‘hopeful monsters” have repeatedly reared their ugly heads… (228) No worry, the evolutionary faithful will keep beating these monsters back into place.

In wrapping up his analysis, Denton says:

“The sheer bankruptcy of the claim that novelties which are not led up to via empirically known incremental functional sequences might have been put together by “chance” macromutations which “just happened to put together” complex structures like a mammalian hair, a diaphragm, a bat’s wing, a  branched bipinnate feather, etc., is only to obvious. Evolutionary biology is clearly a theory in deep crisis if evolutionary biologists have to enter Darwin’s realm of miracle to account for the emergence of evolutionary novelties that are not led up via Darwin’s long chain of “innumerable transition forms.” (229)

In summary:

Denton’s argues against Darwinian adaptive mutational functionalism, opting instead for a typological antecedent structuralism utilizing the entire display of DNA, RNA protein folding, amino acid and gene sequencing complexity leading to the intricacy of life as we know it. The most brilliant scientists can't make the simplest form of life in a test tube. And yet we are to believe that billions and billions of beneficial mutations and accidents brought us life as we know it today out of nothing.

One thing we are certain of, the future knowledge of the extraordinary complexity of micro-cellular life will continue to unfold, exposing the gate keepers of Darwinian orthodoxy of having no clothes. At some point, the Darwinian will no longer be able to take to the bank, “we know evolution happened, we just don’t how.”  Evolution most certainly is a theory still in crisis!   

Even though quite technical, I highly recommend this book!

Mr. Kettler is the owner of Undergroundnotes.com a conservative web hub and the author of the new book, The Religion That Started in a Hat: A Reference Manual for Christians who Witness to Mormons that is available at Amazon.