Quote: Christian de Duve, Nobel Prize winner

As one Creationist put it,

"Chance, and chance alone, did it all, from the primeval soup to man," said Nobel laureate Christian de Duve, speaking about the origin of life. Is chance, though, a rational explanation for the cause of life?
This makes it sound as if de Duve thought chance was the whole story: that four-chambered hearts had simply leapt into existence. The implication is that famous scientists just can't think of anything more plausible. But what he actually said was:
"The answer of modern molecular biology to this much-debated question is categorical: chance, and chance alone, did it all, from primeval soup to man, with only natural selection to sift its effects. This affirmation now rests on overwhelming factual evidence."

A Guided Tour Of The Living Cell, Volume Two, Page 357
Scientific American Library, 1984

So, De Duve never said that evolution is random. He said that it seizes on small random events, keeping the useful ones, and discarding the rest. And, that there's evidence for that - such as transitional forms, and laboratory demonstrations that the raw materials of life would have been present on the early Earth.

Last modified: 17 January 2004

Up to the quotes page.

Back to the Creation/Evolution page.

Email a comment.

Search this web site