Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin

Everyone agrees that microevolution (evolutionary change within a species or small group of organisms, especially over a short period) occurs. But mainstream scientific and academic literature is saturated with skepticism about the neo-Darwinian claim that microevolution offers an adequate basis for justifying macroevolutionary claims. Günter Theißen of the Department of Genetics at Friedrich Schiller University in Germany wrote in the journal Theory in Biosciences that “while we already have a quite good understanding of how organisms adapt to the environment, much less is known about the mechanisms behind the origin of evolutionary novelties, a process that is arguably different from adaptation. Despite Darwin’s undeniable merits, explaining how the enormous complexity and diversity of living beings on our planet originated remains one of the greatest challenges of biology.”8

A 2011 paper in Biological Theory stated, “Darwinism in its current scientific incarnation has pretty much reached the end of its rope,”9 and in 2012, the noted atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel argued in an Oxford University Press book that “the materialist neo-Darwinian conception of nature is almost certainly false.”10

Evolutionary biologist Stanley Salthe likewise describes himself as “a critic of Darwinian evolutionary theory,”11 which he insists “cannot explain origins, or the actual presence of forms and behaviors”12 in organisms. Biologist Scott Gilbert has stated in a report in Nature that “[t]he modern synthesis is remarkably good at modeling the survival of the fittest, but not good at modeling the arrival of the fittest,” and evolutionary paleobiologist Graham Budd admits: “When the public thinks about evolution, they think about the origin of wings and the invasion of the land, . . . [b]ut these are things that evolutionary theory has told us little about.”13

Eugene Koonin writes in Trends in Genetics about the increasingly undeniable reasons to doubt core neo-Darwinian tenets, such as view that “natural selection is the main driving force of evolution,” indicating that “the modern synthesis has crumbled, apparently, beyond repair” and “all major tenets of the modern synthesis have been, if not outright overturned, replaced by a new and incomparably more complex vision of the key aspects of evolution.” He concludes: “Not to mince words, the modern synthesis is gone.”14

Because of such criticisms, Cornell evolutionary biologist William Provine believes the Darwinian claim that “Macroevolution was a simple extension of microevolution” is “false.”15

[8.] Günter Theißen, “Saltational Evolution: Hopeful Monsters are Here to Stay,”Theory in Biosciences, 128: 43-44 (2009) (internal citations omitted).
[9.] D. J. Depew and B. H. Weber, “The Fate of Darwinism: Evolution After the Modern Synthesis,” Biological Theory, 6: 89-102 (December 2011).
[10.] Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False (Oxford University Press, 2012).
[11.] Stanley N. Salthe, Home Page, (last visited Dec. 18, 2009).
[12.] Stanley N. Salthe, Analysis and Critique of the Concept of Natural Selection (and of the NeoDarwinian Theory of Evolution) in Respect (Part 1) to its Suitability as Part of Modernism’s Origination Myth, as Well as (Part 2) of its Ability to Explain Organic Evolution (2006),
[13.] John Whitfield, “Biological Theory: Postmodern Evolution?,” Nature, 455: 281-283 (2008).
[14.] Eugene V. Koonin, “The Origin at 150: Is a New Evolutionary Synthesis in Sight?,” Trends in Genetics, 25:473-474 (2009) (internal citations omitted).
[15.] William Provine, “Random Drift and the Evolutionary Synthesis,” History of Science Society HSS Abstracts.

Excerpts taken from an article by Casey Luskin March 10, 2015 “Information for Students about the Scientific Dissent from Darwinism List”