Is Evolution "In Crisis" ?

Various Creationist authors have said that Evolution is "in crisis". They mean by that that the scientific community is seeing Evolution's evidences slipping away, or that large numbers of scientists are now harboring doubts.

They are wrong. I, personally, testify that the scientific community does not feel this way. The scientific literature generally treats the Creation/Evolution debate as something that was settled a century ago.

Do they all agree?

Unanimity is impossible when you're talking about a million people, worldwide. However, I estimate that over 99% of scientists are part of the consensus. Many organizations have spoken out.

In 1986, there was a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to find unconstitutional a Louisiana law requiring balanced treatment of evolution and creation in state schools. Seventy two Nobel Prize winners signed the brief. I believe that that was unanimous. That is, it was signed by every Nobel winner living in the U.S.A.

So, what is the mood?

It's considered an interesting field, maybe even exciting. We continue to find prehuman fossils. New Precambrian fossil beds have been found. New transitional forms between dinosaurs and birds have been found. CAT scan technology has allowed us to look at the interiors of fossils. Computer technology has allowed us to study marine microfossils. The human genome is now about half-explored, and a flood of genetic discoveries are providing new evidence of common descent. Many biochemists have decided it is time to study the issue of life coming from nonliving chemicals. Geologists and astronomers have had recent breakthroughs in understanding how organic chemicals came to be on the ancient earth. Radioactive dating methods have been giving consistent, reliable results for decades. We are getting to the point where we can say which method of speciation is the most common. Even psychologists are incorporating evolution into their theories. The Theory of Evolution has never been more alive.

Who am I to say this?

I have a doctorate. I've spent 17 years studying or working at universities, and I read a lot of material written by other scientists, so I'm quite sure that I know our consensus.

Last modified: 16 March 1999

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