Is Evolution a Theory in Crisis? This Biochemist Says Yes.
By Sean McDowell
Michael Denton’s 1985 book Evolution: A Theory In Crisis was one of the most influential scientific critiques of Darwinian evolution in the 20th century. That’s why I eagerly anticipated the release of his 2016 book, Evolution: Still A Theory In Crisis, which both updates and expands his original arguments.
While Denton believes in common descent, and embraces a non-Darwinian law-based explanation for the diversity and complexity of life (although he concedes that his theory “may point to the intelligent design of the universe as uniquely fit for life” ), he launches a trenchant critique of the Darwinian model of adaptive gradualism. Essentially, he defies the claim that macroevolution is merely an extension of microevolution. There exist certain “homologs” or “primal patterns” in nature, claims Denton, which simply cannot be accounted for by cumulative selection. According to Denton, natural selection does play a minor role in the development of various organisms in nature, but there must be other operational forces. He explains:
The Darwinian claim that all homologs were gradually achieved over millions of generations by incremental functionalism—the genetic code, human language, the flower, the diaphragm, etc.—is a phantasm. The near-universal absence of intermediates leading from antecedent structures to the homologs speaks volumes.
Simply put, there are not the innumerable transitional links Darwin predicted, and in many cases, there is not even conceivable links to account for various “structures” in nature. According to Denton, this is one of the major unsolved challenges for Darwinian evolution.
Denton provides a number of examples in nature that lack Darwinian pathways, such as the cell, limbs, feathers, wings, flowering plants, language and more. Let’s briefly consider a few of his examples…
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