COMMENTS FROM 1966 FROM FRANCIS SCHAEFFER on a book by Simone de Beauvoir entitled A VERY EASY DEATH (title is ironic because her mother’s death was not an easy death in her daughter’s eyes!)


Today I read this moving article THE LONG GOODBYE by Lawrence Krauss about his dying mother. I will be 61 years next month and I have not lost either one of my parents yet. I can’t imagine what Dr Krauss is going through. Like Dr Krauss I have a mother that I treasure.

Here is the most intriguing part of this moving article:

Yet there is something strange in all of this. I am given a handbook and a tutorial on what to expect as we reach the end…If you are uncomfortable reading this, I am equally uncomfortable writing it. Why do we feel so compelled to allow death by ‘natural causes’? Death is one more insult that nature throws at us. There is very little that is dignified about the whole thing, because nature doesn’t care if we are comfortable, happy, or in pain.

This reminds me of the words of Simone de Beauvoir in her book A VERY EASY DEATH (title is ironic because her mother’s death was not an easy death in her daughter’s eyes)!


(Francis Schaeffer pictured below)

Francis Schaeffer.jpg

The book A VERY EASY DEATH, 106 pages $3.95, was written by Simone de Beauvoir, who I have a real admiration for in a certain way because she has courage to play the game pretty far along and in this sense and for her clear brilliance, I also have admiration, for you must remember that Sartre and she when they graduated from the Sorbonne, Sartre was first in the class and he was 2nd and she has been his mistress for years.

I think this very recent book A VERY EASY DEATH touches me as much as anything, because in it she tells her reactions to the death of her mother. Her mother died in a hospital and I have a review here from NEWSWEEK, May 16, 1966 on this book:

To the professionals, the doctors and nurses going about their routine tasks this was only another death in the endless procession. Indeed, as these things go it was almost exemplary, relatively quick, relatively painless. The nurse could hardly understand the sobbing [of Simone]…A nurse could hardly understand the sobbing. “But Madam,” she said, a bit perplexed, “I assure you it was a very easy death.” The hospital was cozy and the attendants first rate. Not everyone could have afforded such [good] care.

In the end Madam de Beauvoir is not reconciled to death, her mother’s or anyone else’s 

Simone de Beauvoir wrote, You do not die from being born, nor from having lived, nor from old age. You die from something.

How right she is. She senses the abnormality of physical death. She senses here that you talk theoretically about absurdity as she and Sartre and the others have endlessly at the cafe tables but it looks different when someone you love dies. Now absurdity becomes sharp and becomes overwhelming. She is quite right you die of something. She understands that death is really abnormal.

Simone de Beauvoir writes, “There is no such thing as a natural death: nothing that happens to a man is ever natural, since his presence calls the world into question. All men must die: but for every man his death is an accident and, even if he knows it and consents to it, an unjustifiable violation” De Beauvoir,1 pp 105–6).

This is a totally Christian way to look at death. This is a Christian way to look at death. Death is an enemy, and that is what the Bible says. Simone de Beauvoir realizes here is an enemy to which we all lose. It becomes almost a symbol of total absurdity. The life that is lived and then has died can be seen in its abnormality in death as a sign board of the absurdity of man. Up to that point it could be a Christian statement as well as an existential one.

In Francis Schaeffer’s book ESCAPE FROM REASON he tells why we live in an abnormal world:

“the True Christian position is that, in space and time and history, there was an unprogrammed man who made a choice, and actually rebelled against God…without Christianity’s answer that God made a significant man in a significant history with evil being the result of Satan’s and then man’s historic space-time revolt, there is no answer but to accept Baudelaire’s answer [‘If there is a God, He is the devil’] with tears. Once the historic Christian answer is put away, all we can do is to leap upstairs and say that against all reason God is good.”(pg. 81)


The Family Project > Blog > The Fall: Four Deaths

The Fall: Four Deaths

The Entombment

by Glenn Stanton

Most Christians – and even many non-believers – know that the Fall brought death to mankind and the earth. But as Francis Schaeffer explains in his book Genesis in Space and Time, there were actually four kinds of death introduced into creation at the Fall. As a result, we all face and are crippled by them:

  1. Death between man and God. Man and God are no longer intimate. This alienation is what the rest of God’s story is about – the consequences of it and God’s seemingly unending work to make things right, to make a way for us back to Him through His unending grace.
  2. Death between man and himself. We all have fear. We are insecure. We doubt ourselves and feel shame about who we are and what we do. We often don’t think we are worth loving, either by ourselves or by others. Much of the psychosis that humans suffer is due to their inability to come to terms with and live with themselves. The Fall has created a great chasm there. In fact, the great Christian thinker Blaise Pascal said the primary trouble with man is that he cannot live quietly within himself. He is not comfortable there. He seeks to avoid this with busyness and diversions of every kind.
  3. Death with others. Schaeffer calls this the “sociological separation.” We do not relate with others as we were intended to. We mistrust, we are shy, we use others. These are things the virtuous person must always be mindful of, for they are more natural to us than their opposites.
  4. Death between man and the earth. Being banished from the garden, man’s relationship with the earth and nature now shows the signs of decay. We must struggle with and against it to get what we need and what had originally been designed to come naturally. We harvest by the sweat of our brow and ache in our shoulders, arms and backs. Our relationship to God’s physical creation is deeply marred

Schaeffer beautifully states, “The simple fact is that in wanting to be what man as a creature could not be, man lost what he could be.

But it will not remain this way. The good news of where God’s story is going and His “fix” is found in Revelation 21:5.


Glenn Stanton is the director of global family formation studies at Focus on the Family, and the co-author/co-creator of The Family Project, as well as the co-author (w/Leon Wirth) of The Family Projectbook.

From the account in Genesis, we discover that death is something that is abnormal – it was never God’s original intention or design. Death came as a result of the choice of the first human pair to commit sin. Humans were created to live, not to die. Death came as a result of judgment for sin.


1. In the original creation of God there was no death. Everything was perfect.

2. God warned Adam and Eve that disobedience to His commandment would result in their death.

3. Satan, the tempter, enticed Eve to eat the forbidden fruit.

4. After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit God pronounced judgment upon them. This judgment included death.

5. Death was passed on to all humans as a judgment for the sin of Adam and Eve.

6. Death, therefore, is something abnormal. God created humans to live, not die.

The Long Goodbye

Reflections on my mother’s dying days

My mother is dying.

As I write this, she is resting in front of me on a hospital bed that was delivered to our house. She is beside the beloved fireplace that she has enjoyed warming herself in front of over the past 4 months during which she has been staying with us.

She is comfortable, and every 4 hours we administer a dose of Morphine and Versed to help keep her comfortable (we think), and also shift her periodically so she doesn’t get bed sores. We wet her lips and teeth to help keep them from getting too dry, and change her when necessary. Once a day a group of nurses comes in to clean her and move her, and once a day a Palliative Care Nurse comes in and checks on progress.

I am told that she has perhaps 1-2 days left. We will see. She has been an incredibly strong-willed woman, and her grip is still very strong.

It is hard to believe that the vibrant party girl, who celebrated her 100th birthday this December (as shown in the photo above just before she left for the birthday bash), and who only weeks ago was flirting with her doctor, has come to this.

But such is life…and death.

The support we are getting here is incredible, and everyone’s goal is the same: To make my mother as comfortable as possible in her last days, and to have her experience these in a warm and familiar environment surrounded by family and friends.

Yet there is something strange in all of this. I am given a handbook and a tutorial on what to expect as we reach the end. These include the need for more regular injections of Morphine and Versed to reduce anxious movements and relax her, the need to dab her lips with water to keep them from drying out, and the need to shift her position her regularly. Then, I am told, she is likely to begin to wheeze, as her dehydrated body begins to shut down and something called terminal congestion (aka death rattle) begins. Ending in several long slow breaths.

If you are uncomfortable reading this, I am equally uncomfortable writing it. Why do we feel so compelled to allow death by ‘natural causes’? Death is one more insult that nature throws at us. There is very little that is dignified about the whole thing, because nature doesn’t care if we are comfortable, happy, or in pain.

What is great about being human is that we can overcome what once might have seemed ‘natural’. We can defy nature by creating artificial environments, stare down death in the face by extending life well beyond what was ‘natural’ for early hominids, and strategize about how to avoid and/or defend against all the other ways nature may try to ruin our lives.

Some say that if god had intended us to fly he would have given us wings, but the rest of us get on airplanes. Some have said that the miracle of childbirth is a gift from god, but now formerly barren couples can conceive, not due to any divine act, but due to the skill and technological wizardry of modern medicine.

So why do I sit and watch my mother suffer the indignity of these last days? There is nothing about her existence right now that seems to me to be remotely describable as a favorable quality of life. The drugs she is taken are keeping her as comfortable as can be, I am told, but she has lost complete control of herself and her surrounding.

I walked with my brother as we spoke about these questions the other day. He is very religious. I am most certainly not. Yet I was struck how even with our almost orthogonal worldviews these moral dilemmas were shared.

I understand that there is nothing unique about my situation at the moment, and that everyone has who gone through this experience has had to confront similar questions. My wife has reminded me of this. She had offered several books for me to consult over the past months, as we faced this inevitable end period. But my predilection was, for better or worse, to confront these things as they occurred.

Are we making these decisions—to administer these drugs, for example—for my mother, or for ourselves? Are we making her more comfortable, or are we doing this to make ourselves more comfortable as we watch her body slowly give up its struggle to survive? I don’t know what she is feeling or thinking, even as I stroke her hair and gently caress her, or as I watch her reach out to seemingly try and stop us or balance herself when we shift her position periodically. It is heartbreaking, but the alternative to trying in this way to keep her comfortable and safe would, I think, feel more heartbreaking.

I ponder this as I look at the syringes of Morphine that we administer every 4 hours now, wondering why I haven’t seriously considered just injecting all of them at once. I know I won’t, of course. It is an example of that weird ethical dilemma psychologists have uncovered, often presented as The Trolly Problem. When faced with the option of directing a switch down toward a track on which one person might be standing in order to an oncoming Trolley careening down a track where 10 people are standing, most people say they would redirect the Trolley down the less populated track. Yet, when faced with the option of actively pushing someone off a trestle to somehow cause the Trolley to stop before it killed other people down the track, most people say they would not choose this option.

Action or inaction that might indirectly cause death does not seem to be innately taboo. Directly causing death is. So I will continue here as long as it takes, not actively trying to keep my mother alive, but not actively trying to end her life either. The drugs we are administering may or may not hasten her demise, I don’t know. But I am administering them under the hope that they will also make this period more comfortable, for her, and for those of us who are at her side.

I will have moments alone with her to kiss her forehead and tell her I love her, without having any idea of whether those words mean anything to her at this point. I hope I feel in the end that we will have done whatever we could to help her during these last days, but I suspect a part of me will always wonder if turning these last days into a last day would have been a greater gift to her.

I’ll never know, but I can live with that. Not knowing, after all, is what motivates us to keep exploring the mysteries of the universe, as well as mysteries closer to home. In the meantime, I will keep my mother company.

Is There Evidence for God? William Lane Craig vs Lawrence Krauss

Published on Apr 24, 2012

William Lane Craig debates Lawrence Krauss on the evidence for God. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina — March 30, 2011

We welcome your comments in the Reasonable Faith forums:


Dr. Lawrence Krauss pictured below:

Laurence Krauss.JPG

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto


There are 3 videos in this series and they have statements by 150 scientists and I hope to respond to all of them.  Wikipedia notes Lawrence Maxwell Krauss (born May 27, 1954) is an American theoretical physicist and cosmologist who is Foundation Professor of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University and director of its Origins Project.[2] He is known as an advocate of the public understanding of science, of public policy based on sound empirical data, of scientific skepticism and of science education and works to reduce the impact of superstition and religious dogma in pop culture.[3] He is also the author of several bestselling books, including The Physics of Star Trek and A Universe from Nothing.


Dr. Krauss is found in this first clip in the first video below and his quote is found below in this post and my response is after that.

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)


I grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church under the leadership of our pastor Adrian Rogers and I read many books by the Evangelical Philosopher Francis Schaeffer and have had the opportunity to contact many of the evolutionists or humanistic academics that they have mentioned in their works. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-).Harry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-),Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson(1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-),  and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

Quote of Lawrence Krauss

“…most scientists don’t think enough about God to know whether they believe in him or not …they don’t think about it enough to even know if they are atheists but the bottom  line is if you look at the universe and study the universe what you will find is that there’s no evidence that we need anything but the laws of physics and the other laws of science to explain everything we see. There’s no evidence that we need any supernatural hand of God.”


My first response is to recount my correspondence with the famous evolutionist Ernst Mayr (1904-2005) of Harvard. In his letter to me he basically said that there are many chemists and molecular biologists who find the story of gradual evolution of life totally convincing and that he is sticking with them. This is very similar to the approach by Dr. Krauss and it is an appeal to authority in that they are suggesting that we just accept the brilliant scientists’ point of view because they are brilliant scientists and they are smarter than the rest of us.THERE IS A SIMPLE ANSWER THAT I COULD GIVE to both Dr. Mayr and Dr. Krauss which is  a quote from Adrian Rogers:

Did you know that all atheists are not atheists because of intellectual problems? They’re atheists because of moral problems. You say, “But I know some brilliant people who are atheists.” Well, that may be so, but I know some brilliant people who are not. You say, “I know some foolish people who believe in God.” Well, I know everyone who doesn’t believe in God is foolish.

In other words there are brilliant and stupid people on both sides of the fence and it is not an intellectual issue but a moral one. Let’s take a look at the history of science that was handled down to us from Western Europe and take a closer examination of those great men’s religious views and if their religious views were corrosive to their scientific pursuits? This is the accusation of many modern day evolutionists.

Dr. Krauss wants us to stop thinking about the possibly that God exists because the brilliant scientists have already figured out that there is no God out there. 

Ernst Mayr (pictured below with the beard)

Bill Gates, John Grisham, James Michener, E. O. Wilson, Ernst Mayr, George Lucas…

Published on May 19, 2012

Bill Gates, John Grisham, James Michener, E. O. Wilson, Ernst Mayr, George Lucas, James Cameron, Larry King, Ian Wilmut, Jane Goodall, Stephen Jay Gould, Tim D. White, Leon Lederman, Timothy Berners-Lee and Bill Gates. Complete and more interview go to websites “”.

Mais entrevistas e completas no site “”.



In 1994 and 1995 I had the opportunity to correspond with the famous evolutionist Dr. Ernst Mayr of Harvard. He stated in his letter of 10-3-94, “Owing to your ideological commitments, it is only natural that you cannot accept the cogency of the scientific evidence. However, to a person such as myself without such commitments, the story of the gradual evolution of life as reconstructed by chemists and molecular biologists is totally convincing.”

I responded by pointing out three points. First, Scientific Naturalism is atheistic by definition. Second, many great scientists of the past were Christians, and that did not disqualify their observations and discoveries. Third, the fact that evolution is true does not rule out God’s existence (Harvard’s own Owen Gingerich and many others such as Francis Collins hold to a Creator and evolution).

Let me just spend some time on my second point. Francis Schaeffer in his book “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?” stated that according to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God. In the article, “Christianity and Technological Advance – The Astonishing Connection,” by T. V. Varughese, Ph.D, he observed:

Without question, “technology” has now become the new magic word in place of the word “science.” Since technology represents the practical applications of science, it is clearly consumer-oriented. Herein is bright economic promise to all who can provide technology.

In terms of technology, our present world can be divided into at least three groups: countries that are strong providers of technology, both original and improved; countries that are mass producers because of cheaper labor; and countries that are mostly consumers. Without a doubt, being in the position of “originating” superior technology should be a goal for any major country. The difficult question, however, is “how.”

An obvious place to start suggests itself. Why not begin with the countries that have established themselves as strong originators of technology and see if there is a common thread between them? The western nations, after the Renaissance and the Reformation of the 16th century, offer a ready example. Any book on the history of inventions, such as the Guinness Book of Answers, will reveal that the vast majority of scientific inventions have originated in Europe (including Britain) and the USA since the dawn of the 17th century. What led to the fast technological advances in the European countries and North America around that time?

The answer is that something happened which set the stage for science and technology to emerge with full force. Strange as it may seem, that event was the return to Biblical Christianity in these countries.

The Epistemological Foundation of Technology

According to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God.[1] Entomologist Stanley Beck,though not a Christian himself, acknowledged the corner-stone premises of science which the Judeo-Christian world view offers: “The first of the unprovable premises on which science has been based is the belief that the world is real and the human mind is capable of knowing its real nature. The second and best-known postulate underlying the structure of scientific knowledge is that of cause and effect. The third basic scientific premise is that nature is unified.”[2] In other words, the epistemological foundation of technology has been the Judeo-Christian world view presented in the Bible…

Perhaps the most obvious affirmation that Biblical Christianity and science are friends and not foes comes from the fact that most of the early scientists after the Renaissance were also strong believers in the Bible as the authoritative source of knowledge concerning the origin of the universe and man’s place in it.[4] The book of Genesis, the opening book of the Bible, presents the distinctly Judeo-Christian world view of a personal Creator God behind the origin and sustenance of the universe (Genesis 1:1Colossians 1:17; etc.).

Among the early scientists of note who held the Biblical creationist world view are Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), and Samuel Morse (1791-1872) – what motivated them was a confidence in the “rationality” behind the universe and the “goodness” of the material world. The creation account in Genesis presents an intelligent, purposeful Creator, who, after completing the creation work, declared it to be very good (Genesis 1:31). That assures us that the physical universe operates under reliable laws which may be discovered by the intelligent mind and used in practical applications. The confidence in the divinely pronounced goodness of the material world removed any reluctance concerning the development of material things for the betterment of life in this world. The spiritual world and the material world can work together in harmony.

 References –

  1. Francis A. Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live (Revell, 1976), p. 132.
  2. Henry M. Morris, Biblical Basis for Modern Science (Baker, 1991), p. 30.
  3. Schaeffer, p. 131.
  4. Henry M. Morris, Men of Science, Men of God (Master Books, CA, 1988), 107 pp.


Henry Morris pointed out:

Many of these great scientists of the past were before Darwin, but not all of them. However, all of them were acquainted with secular philosophies and some were in fact opponents of Darwinism (Agassiz, Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Dawson, Virchow, Fabre, Fleming, etc). Many of them believed in the inspiration and authority of the Bible, as well as in the deity and saving work of Jesus Christ. They believed that God had supernaturally created all things, each with its own complex structure for its own unique purpose. They believed that, as scientists, they were “thinking God’s thoughts after Him,” learning to understand and control the laws and processes of nature for God’s glory and man’s good. They believed and practiced science in exactly the same way that modern creationist scientists do.

And somehow this attitude did not hinder them in their commitment to the “scientific method.” In fact one of them, Sir Francis Bacon, is credited with formulating and establishing the scientific method! They seem also to have been able to maintain a proper “scientific attitude,” for it was these men (Newton, Pasteur, Linnaeus, Faraday, Pascal, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Kepler, etc.) whose researches and analyses led to the very laws and concepts of science which brought about our modern scientific age…. 

To illustrate the caliber and significance of these great scientists of the past, Tables I and II have been prepared. These tabulations are not complete lists, of course, but at least are representative and they do point up the absurdity of modern assertions that no true scientist can be a creationist and Bible-believing Christian.

Table I lists the creationist “fathers” of many significant branches of modern science. Table II lists the creationist scientists responsible for various vital inventions, discoveries, and other contributions to mankind. These identifications are to some degree oversimplified, of course, for even in the early days of science every new development involved a number of other scientists, before and after. Nevertheless, in each instance, a strong case can be made for attributing the chief responsibility to the creationist scientist indicated. At the very least, his contribution was critically important and thus supports our contention that belief in creation and the Bible helps, rather than hinders, scientific discovery.


My relatives live 3 miles from Spring Hill, Tennessee. When the new General Motors plant opened there I got to go see it. What if I had said, “The assembly line created a beautiful Saturn automobile!” Hopefully, some would have corected me by responding, “The assembly line did not create the automobile. It was first designed by the General Motors engineers in Detroit.” ASSUMING EVOLUTION IS TRUE, IT WOULD STILL ONLY BE THE MECHANISM. DOES EVOLUTION ACCOUNT FOR THE DESIGNER?










2000 Interview with Ernst Mayr, Harvard University

Uploaded on Jul 13, 2008

Interviews conducted in March 2000 at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Biological Sciences on the topic of Challenges for the New Millennium. Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. See for additional AIBS conference recordings.


Henry Morris


The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book

Download PDFDownload The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book PDF

With the passing in recent years of the three most revered scientific spokesmen for evolution—Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, and now Stephen Jay Gould—Professor Ernst Mayr is left as the unquestioned dean of the modern evolutionary establishment.

Gould, Asimov, and Sagan were all three extremely prolific and brilliant writers. All three were atheistic professors at prestigious eastern universities (Gould at Harvard, Asimov at Boston University, Sagan at Cornell), and all three were effusive and vigorous anti-creationists. They were formidable opponents (but eminently quotable), and we miss them. All three died at relatively young ages.

But that leaves Ernst Mayr, long-time professor of biology at Harvard. Dr. Mayr was born in 1904 and is (at this writing) still very much alive, and nearing the century mark. Dr. Gould recently called him “the greatest living evolutionary biologist and a writer of extraordinary insight and clarity” (in a jacket blurb on Mayr’s latest book).

Mayr’s New Book

And that book is the subject of this article. Its title is intriguing—What Evolution Is (Basic Books, 2001, 318 pages),—for if anyone could speak authoritatively on such a subject, it should be Professor Mayr. In his adulatory foreword, Jared Diamond, another leading modern evolutionist, concludes: “There is no better book on evolution. There will never be another book like it” (p. xii).

That evaluation should give any reader very high expectations. Unfortunately, however, Dr. Mayr first shows his disdain for creationism, not even considering its arguments. He simply says:

It is now actually misleading to refer to evolution as a theory, considering the massive evidence that has been discovered over the last 140 years documenting its existence. Evolution is no longer a theory, it is simply a fact (p. 275).

He dismissed the evidence for creation as unworthy of further discussion. “The claims of the creationists” he says, “have been refuted so frequently and so thoroughly that there is no need to cover this subject once more” (p. 269).

Ignoring Creation Evidence

He himself, however, has apparently not bothered to read any creationist or secular anti-evolutionist scientific books or articles. Or at least that is what one would infer from the fact that none of them or their arguments and evidence are even mentioned in his book.

No mention is made by Mayr, for example, of creationist expositions of the amazing created designs in living systems, nor of the effects of God’s curse on the creation, or of the significance of the great flood in understanding the geologic record. He does not even acknowledge the significance of naturalistic catastrophism or of such scientific concepts as complexity or probability. Current ideas about “intelligent design” are never mentioned. The origins of all things are due to time, chance, and natural selection, no matter how complex and interdependent they may be, according to Professor Mayr, who had been (along with Julian Huxley, George Simpson, and a few others) primarily responsible for the so-called modern evolutionary synthesis (or neo-Darwinism) back in the 1930s and 1940s.

Neither does Mayr seem aware that there are now thousands of credentialed and knowledgeable scientists (including a great many biologists) who reject evolution, giving not even a nod to the Creation Research Society, or to ICR, or any other creationist organization. He does occasionally refer to God or to Christianity, but only in passing, and always in a context that indicates that he does not believe in either one. He, like his three younger colleagues, is an atheist, and this naturally constrains him to ignore any possible theological implications of the origins issues.

The Alleged Evidence for Evolution

Mayr’s new book is beautifully written and does contain much good material, but it will not convert many to evolutionism, even though he does devote a chapter to what he thinks are the evidences for evolution. These evidences are essentially the same as those used 140 years ago by Darwin in the Origin (fossils, comparative morphology, embryological similarities and recapitulation, vestigial structures, and geographical distribution). Mayr adds nothing new to these arguments, ignoring the fact that creationists (and even a number of evolutionists) have long since refuted all of them. He does devote a brief section to the more recent “evidence” from molecular biology. But that also has been vigorously disputed by a number of specialists in this field, especially the supposed evolutionary relationships implied by the molecules. Even Mayr admits that “molecular clocks are not nearly as constant as often believed” (p. 37), but he does not mention any of the numerous contradictory relationships implied by these biochemical studies (e.g., the well-known genomic similarities of humans and bananas).

As do most evolutionists, Mayr spends much time in discussing micro-evolution, whereas modern creationists only reject macroevolution. He devotes five chapters to microevolution and only one to macroevolution. This particular chapter is quite long, discussing many speculative theories about how macroevolutionary changes might be produced, but there is one vital deficiency. He gives no example of any macroevolutionary change known to have happened. In other words, macroevolution seems never to have occurred within the several thousand years of recorded history. Thus, real evolution (as distinct from variation, recombination, hybridization, and other such “horizontal” changes) does not happen at present. Where, we would ask Professor Mayr, are there any living forms in the process of evolutionary change? He gives no examples, of course, because there are none.

As far as pre-human history is concerned, Dr. Mayr does insist that the fossil record documents past evolution. He cites the usual claims—horses, Archaeopteryx, mammal-like reptiles, walking whales, etc.—which are very equivocal, at best, and have all been shown by creationists to be invalid as transitional forms. Instead of a handful of highly doubtful examples, there ought to be thousands of obvious transitional forms in the fossils if evolution had really been occurring. Yet Mayr admits,

Wherever we look at the living biota, . . . discontinuities are overwhelmingly frequent. . . . The discontinuities are even more striking in the fossil record. New species usually appear in the fossil record suddenly, not connected with their ancestors by a series of intermediates (p. 189).

Professor Mayr still says that the fossils are “the most convincing evidence for the occurrence of evolution” (p. 13). Yet he also says that “the fossil record remains woefully inadequate” (p. 69). Thus, as creationists have often pointed out, there is no real evidence of either present or past evolution.

We have repeatedly noted also that the scientific reason why this is so is because real evolution to any higher level of complexity is impossible by the law of entropy, which states the proven fact that every system of any kind “tends” to go toward lower complexity, unless constrained otherwise by some pre-designed external program and mechanism.

Yet Ernst Mayr seems either to ignore or misunderstand this key argument of the creationists. Here is what he says:

Actually there is no conflict, because the law of entropy is valid only for closed systems, whereas the evolution of a species of organisms takes place in an open system in which organisms can reduce entropy at the expense of the environment and the sun supplies a continuing input of energy (p. 8).

And that’s all he says about one of the key arguments against evolution. This ubiquitous dodge of the evolutionists has been discredited again and again by creationists, and one would think that this “greatest living evolutionary biologist” in this “best book on evolution” would at least take notice of our arguments! At least half of America’s population, according to many polls, are creationists, apparently agreeing more with us than with Mayr.

An open system and external energy are, indeed, necessary conditions for a system to grow in complexity, but most definitely are not sufficient conditions. The question is just how does the sun’s energy produce complexity in an open system? The fact is that the application of external heat energy to an open system (such as from the sun to the earth) will increase the entropy (that is, decrease the organized complexity) in any open system, if that’s all there is. This is a basic principle of thermodynamics, and neither Mayr nor any other evolutionist has answered this problem. Evolution seems to be impossible by the known laws of science.

Professor Mayr does not deal with the theological or Biblical evidences, of course. For those who believe in God and the Bible, on the other hand, creation—not evolution—is, to appropriate Mayr’s words, “simply a fact.” Evolution is merely a belief held by many who “willingly are ignorant” (II Peter 3:5) of the strong evidences and arguments for creation, and who don’t even bother to consider them. In the words of the apostle Paul: “Where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (I Corinthians 1:20).

Cite this article: Henry Morris, Ph.D. 2002. The Dean of Evolution – A Review of Ernst Mayr’s Latest Book. Acts & Facts. 31 (8).



When the Case for God Is Strong, Skeptics Attack Christianity

When the Case for God Is Strong, Skeptics Attack ChristianityI’m currently researching and preparing for a second book effort, and I’ve discovered an interesting trend. I’ve been examining the alternative naturalistic explanations for the origin and apparent “fine tuning” of the universe, reading the latest books from atheist physicists, Lawrence Krauss, Stephen Hawking and Victor Stenger (amongst manyothers). It’s been a fascinating learning experience for me and I can’t wait to start writing. These authors offer differing naturalistic explanations for what we observe in the universe, but all three are united in their rejection of Christianity. I found it interesting, however, that Christianity became the specific focus of their comparisons. I couldn’t help but wonder if this wasn’t in some way a tacit admission affirming the reasonable case for God’s existence.

To illustrate this point, let me offer a quick mind experiment. Imagine we lived in a world without any historic theistic or deistic belief systems. No Christianity, no Islam, no Judaism, no Mormonism, no Bahá’í, no Budhism, etc. In fact, imagine this generation of humans was the first to ever even consider the existence of God or any extra-, supra-, or supernatural realities. Given access to the science we have today, would any of us be inclined toward a belief in God? Would theevidence of a universe with a beginning, or even the speculation about a precisely calibrated multiverse generating “first cause”, incline any of us toward some form of belief in the supernatural? Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure these atheist authors,committed as they are to naturalism, would remain atheists. But for the rest of us who are less dogmatically committed to naturalism, would we evaluate their conclusions and reject theistic or deistic explanations as readily? I don’t think so, and I think these atheist authors realize this as well. That’s why they pick on Christianity specifically.

I realize this is a somewhat extravagant and controversial claim. But, whenAntony Flew, the famous atheist British philosopher and Oxford scholar, eventually changed his mind and became a deist, he did so based on the evidence of intelligent design. He died as a deist, convinced the evidence was clear. He found the case for God persuasive, but did not take the additional step to embrace a Christian view of God, saying, “While reason, mainly in the form of arguments to design, assures us that there is a God, there is no room either for any supernatural revelation of that God or for any transactions between that God and individual human beings.” His good friend, Christian apologist and historian,Gary Habermas, was unable to persuade him otherwise, but I can’t help but wonder where Flew might have ended up if he had become a deist at the age of 61, rather than the age of 81. Once an atheist determines the existence of God is reasonable, the move to Christianity requires an additional investigative step (I’ve written about this in Cold Case Christianity).

Those who make a case for some form of atheistic cosmology have a choice. They can examine the evidence and reason to the best inference between atheism and theism (or deism), or they can reason between atheism and Christianity. Krauss, Hawking and Stenger often choose the second approach, recognizing the additional layer of evidences demanded by Christianity. Many of their readers may, like Flew, be inclined toward a belief in God more readily if it wasn’t characterized by some sarcastic view of Christianity. When these authors choose to compare their naturalistic explanations to some cynical misrepresentation of Christianity rather than a more minimalistic characterization of theism or deism, they expose their concern related to the reasonable case for God’s existence.

I believe the evidence for God’s existence is strong, and if there were no historic theistic systems from which to choose, I would, like Flew, embrace some form of theism or deism. But we do have a history from which to draw, and if the history related to Jesus is reliable, we owe it to ourselves to examine the additional claims of Christianity.

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Related posts:

Open letter to President Obama (Part 519) (The Way of Discovery: A Personal Journey of Faith Henry F. Schaefer III)

Open letter to President Obama (Part 519) (Emailed to White House on 5-3-13.) President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get […]

Evolutionary dogma with the biblical message are doomed to undermine faith

The Scientific Age Published on Jul 24, 2012 Dr. Schaeffer’s sweeping epic on the rise and decline of Western thought and Culture Francis Schaeffer rightly noted, “These two world views stand as totals in complete antithesis in content and also in their natural results….It is not just that they happen to bring forth different results, […]

Truth Tuesday:The Way of Discovery: A Personal Journey of Faith Henry F. Schaefer III

The Way of Discovery: A Personal Journey of Faith  Henry F. Schaefer III The Scientific Age Uploaded by NoMirrorHDDHrorriMoN on Oct 3, 2011 _______________ Episode VII – The Age of Non Reason ____________________ Episode 8: The Age Of Fragmentation Published on Jul 24, 2012 Dr. Schaeffer’s sweeping epic on the rise and decline of Western thought and […]

Evolution debating with Ark Times Bloggers Part 6 “Dr. George Wald on the origin of life”

The Long War against God-Henry Morris, part 6 of 6 _______________ I have debated with Ark Times Bloggers many times in the past on many different subjects. Here are some of the subjects: communism, morality, origin of evil, and the Tea Party. I have always loved to post about evolution and I have had a chance […]


The Long War against God-Henry Morris, part 5 of 6 _______________ I have debated with Ark Times Bloggers many times in the past on many different subjects. Here are some of the subjects: communism, morality, origin of evil, and the Tea Party. I have always loved to post about evolution and I have had a chance […]

Evolution debating with Ark Times Bloggers Part 4 “Neaderthal, Australopithicus and Piltdown man”

The Long War against God-Henry Morris, part 4 of 6 _______________ I have debated with Ark Times Bloggers many times in the past on many different subjects. Here are some of the subjects: communism, morality, origin of evil, and the Tea Party. I have always loved to post about evolution and I have had a chance […]

Evolution debating with Ark Times Bloggers Part 3 “Evolution and spontaneous generation”

The Long War against God-Henry Morris, part 3 of 6 Uploaded by FLIPWORLDUPSIDEDOWN3 on Aug 30, 2010 _______________ I have debated with Ark Times Bloggers many times in the past on many different subjects. Here are some of the subjects: communism, morality, origin of evil, and the Tea Party. I have […]

Evolution debating with Ark Times Bloggers Part 2 “Gouldians versus Dawkinsians”

The Long War against God-Henry Morris, part 2 of 6 Uploaded by FLIPWORLDUPSIDEDOWN3 on Aug 30, 2010 _________ I have debated with Ark Times Bloggers many times in the past on many different subjects. Here are some of the subjects: communism, morality, origin of evil, and the Tea Party. I have […]

Evolution debating with Ark Times Bloggers Part 1 “Steven Jay Gould and the fossil record”

The Long War against God-Henry Morris, part 1 of 6 Uploaded by FLIPWORLDUPSIDEDOWN3 on Aug 30, 2010 _________ I have debated with Ark Times Bloggers many times in the past on many different subjects. Here are some of the subjects: communism, morality, origin of evil, and the Tea Party. I have always loved to post about evolution […]



Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: