Nobel Laureate Darwin Skeptics
(Investigator 186, 2019 May)
It is often claimed that no modern scientist doubts orthodox
Neo-Darwinism. Without much trouble I located a dozen Nobel Laureates
who have published their doubts about the ability of Darwinism to
create life. A few of these are as follows:
Sir Ernst Chain (June 19, 1906
– Aug 12, 1979), a professor at both Cambridge and Oxford, shared the
1945 Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for his work on isolating
penicillin. Chain and his co-workers developed the protocol used to
make the commercial use of penicillin practical. He also discovered
penicillinase, an enzyme that destroys penicillin. Chain wrote "The
Darwin-Wallace theory of evolution is based on such flimsy assumptions,
mainly of morphological-anatomical nature that it can hardly be called
a theory…I would rather believe in fairies than in such wild
speculation" (Chain, et al., 1940, pp. 226-228) (Clark, 1985, p. 147).
Alexander Fleming (Aug 6, 1881
– March 11, 1955), the discover of Penicillin, said in his 1945 Nobel
Prize banquet speech that, "while we think we are masters of the
situation we are merely pawns being moved about on the board of life by
some superior power," namely God (Fleming, 2018). Penicillin was the
very first example of a set of complex chemicals that were soon to be
labeled antibiotics. Fleming obtained his medical degree from the
University of London in 1908 and was a professor there when he made his
discovery in 1928 that earned him his Nobel.
John C. Eccles (Jan 27, 1903 –
May 2, 1997), was awarded the Nobel for medicine and physiology in 1963
for his work on nerve conduction. He wrote that he concluded from his
lifetime of study on the brain that, since naturalism fails to account
for our experienced uniqueness, I am constrained to attribute the
uniqueness of the Self or Soul to a supernatural spiritual creation. To
give the explanation in theological terms…It is the certainty of the
inner core of unique individuality that necessitates the ‘Divine
creation’. I submit that no other explanation is tenable; neither the
genetic uniqueness with its fantastically impossible lottery, nor the
environmental differentiations which do not determine one’s uniqueness,
but merely modify it. This conclusion is of inestimable theological
significance. It strongly reinforces… a Divine creation. There is
recognition not only of the Transcendent God, the Creator of the
Cosmos…but also of the loving God to whom we owe our being." (1991, p.
Eccles concluded that it "is the Immanent God to whom we owe our
existence…God is the Creator of all the living forms…each with the
conscious selfhood of an immortal soul" (1991, p. 243).
Arno Allan Penzias (April 26,
1933 - ) and Dr. Wilson were awarded the 1978 Nobel for their
discovery of the microwave background radiation. Penzias also
discovered large amounts of deuterium in the Milky Way. His Ph.D. from
Columbia University was awarded in 1962. Penzias’ cosmology research
has caused him to see "evidence of a plan of divine creation," and that
"the best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted, had I
had nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible
as a whole" (Browne, 1978, p. 54).
Albert von Szent-Györgyi
(Sept. 16, 1893 – Oct. 22, 1986), earned his Ph.D. from Cambridge in
1927 and was awarded the 1937 Nobel in Medicine and Physiology for his
important work on Vitamin C (ascorbic acid, a word meaning no scurvy
because the vitamin prevented scurvy), and the catalysis of fumaric
acid. He also isolated the molecule that is the energy currency of the
cell, ATP and made major discoveries in understanding the biochemistry
and physiology of muscular contraction. Szent-Györgyi concluded
that his life work found the world was far more complex than scientists
have imagined, that he had "no doubt in my mind is that the
Creator must have known a great deal of wave mechanics and solid state
physics, and must have applied them. Certainly, He did not limit
himself to the molecular level when shaping life just to make it
simpler for the biochemist." (2012, p. 15).
Charles Townes (July 28,
1915--Jan. 27, 2015). Towns was awarded the Nobel for his work in
quantum electronics which led to the construction of oscillators and
amplifiers. This allowed his development of the first successful maser
in 1954. His Ph.D. is from Cal Tech. and he was a professor at both MIT
and Berkley (Schlessinger and Schlessinger, 1986, p. 177).
Robert Millikan (March 22, 1868
– Dec. 19, 1953), was awarded the Nobel in 1923 for his work on
measuring the charge size on a single electron by his famous ion oil
drop experiment. His work was the definitive proof of the particulate
theory of electricity. After noting that our Sun was made by the "Great
Architect" (1950, p. 274), he concluded that wise men have always
looked in amazement at the wonderful orderliness of nature and then
recognized their own ignorance and finiteness and have been content to
stand in silence and in reverence before the Being who is immanent in
Nature, repeating with the psalmist, "The fool hath said in his heart,
there is no God." Einstein, one of the wisest of modern men, has
written: "It is enough for me to reflect upon the marvelous structure
of the Universe which we can dimly perceive, and to try humbly to
comprehend even an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifested in
nature" (1950, p. 287).
Millikan earned his Ph.D. in Physics from Columbia University and,
after a post doc in Germany, became a professor at the University of
Chicago and later the Presidency of California Institute of Technology
(Cal Tech) in California.
Arthur Holly Compton (Sept 10,
1892 – March 15, 1962) was awarded the Nobel for his discovery of the
Compton Effect, the wavelength increase of x-rays caused by the
scattering of the incident radiation by electrons (Schlessinger and
Schlessinger, 1986, p. 159). He was a research scientist at both the
University of Cambridge and the University of Chicago. He had a wide
variety of interests from physics to astronomy and for this reason made
contributions in several academic areas (Shankland, 1973).
A famous example of how he integrated his faith and his scientific work
was during a scientific meeting he took out his Bible and, vouchsafed a
parable to the 60 or 70 scientists there. Without introduction, he
opened his Bible to Judges 7:5-7 and read to Leo Szilard, Enrico Fermi,
Eugene Wigner, John Wheeler and the three score other scientists there
the account of how the Lord helped Gideon sort among His people to find
a few good men to fight the Midianites when there were too many
volunteers and to demonstrate clearly that the victory would be
entirely the Lord’s work. "When Compton finished reading," Woods
remembers, "he sat down." Not surprisingly, "there was more
Quaker-meeting silence." Or astonishment (Rhodes, 1986, p. 422).
Although most of these scientists would be closer to intelligent design
in belief rather than creationism, concluding that intelligent design
is clearly evident in the natural world, they all rejected orthodox
Neo-Darwinism that postulates a totally naturalistic explanation for
Browne, Malcolm. 1978. "Clues to the Universe’s Origin Expected." New York Times, Mar. 12, p. 1.
Chain, E; H.W. Florey, A.D. Gardner; N.G. Heatley; M.A. Jennings; J.
Orr-Ewing; and A.G. Sanders. 1940. "Penicillin as a Chemotherapeutic
Agent." The Lancet. August. 239:2, 226-28.
Clark, Ronald W. 1985. The Life of Ernst Chain: Penicillin and Beyond. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
Fleming, Sir Alexander. 2018. Banquet speech.
https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/1945/fleming/speech/ Accessed 12/26/2018.
Eccles, John C. 1991. Evolution of the Brain: Creation of the Self. New York: Routledge.
Millikan, Robert A. 1950. The Autobiography of Robert A. Millikan. New York: Prentice-Hall.
Rhodes, Richard. 1986. The Making of the Atomic Bomb. N.Y. Simon and Schuster.
Szent-Györgyi, Albert. 2012. Introduction to a Submolecular Biology. New York: Academic Press.
Schlessenger, Bernard and June. 1986. The Who’s Who of Nobel Prize Winners. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press.
Shankland, Robert (Editor). 1973. Scientific Papers of Arthur Holly Compton. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.