Timeline of Creationism and Science

A Timeline of Creationism (including ID) and Science


Creationism and Intelligent Design


13th Century

Thomas Aquinas argues that natural things act to achieve the best result, can’t be done without intelligence as a goal setter


Robert Hook publishes first drawings of microorganisms seen through an early microscope.


Pierre Louis Maupertuis writes about natural modifications during reproduction and accumulating over the course of generations.


James Burnett writes about the concept that man has descended from primates in response to the environment.


George Cuvier publishes differences between living elephants and those found in the fossil record.  He identifies mastodons and mammoths as unique species.


William Paley develops the watchmaker analogy


Georges Cuvier and Alexandre Brongniart independently publish the geological history of the region around Paris, establishing the ancient age of the Earth.


William Charles Wells assumes the evolution of humans and recognizes the principle of natural selection.


Charles Lyell publishes “Principles of Geology”


Charles Darwin Formulates idea of natural selection


John Phillips names the three major eras in the geologic timescale (which is well known at this point).


Darwin and Wallace present the concept of natural selection to the Linnean Society of London


On the Origin of Species” is published.  Thomas Huxley uses comparative anatomy to suggest that humans and apes are related.


Gregor Mendel’s work finds traits are inherited in a predictable manner


Ernst Haeckel proposes “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny’.


George James Allman (a follower of Paley) uses ‘intelligent design’ for the first time in the annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science)


F.C.S. Schiller publishes “Humanism” that contains this quote “It will not be possible to rule out the supposition that the process of evolution may be guided by an intelligent design”


Russian botanist Konstantin Mereschkowski first describes endosymbiotic theory for chloroplasts.


T.H. Morgan experiments with fruit flies and establishes a solid link between chromosomes and Mendelian genetics.


D’Arcy Thompson publishes “On Growth and Form” showing similarities in body plans and how geometric transformations could explain the variations.


R.A. Fisher combines biometrics and Mendelian genetics into an early version of the Modern Synthesis of evolutionary biology.


Ivan Wallin extends endosymbiotic theory to include mitochondria.


JBS Haldane et. al reconcile the apparent contradiction between Mendel and Darwin.  Foundations for population genetics established.


George McCready Price writes a treatise on the Seventh-day Adventist perspective of geology, this would form the basis of Henry Morris’ early works.


Butler Act (Tennessee) prohibits teaching of evolution.


Scopes Monkey Trial (The State of Tennessee v. Scopes), Scopes declared guilty of breaking the law prohibiting the teaching of evolution.

1930 – 1940s

Population genetics becomes intergrated with other biologic fields forming the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis.


Theodosius Dobzhansky (former student of TH Morgan) publishes “Genetics and the Origin of Species


Ernst Mayer develops the biological species concept.


Julian Huxley publishes “Evolution: The Modern Synthesis”


George Gaylord Simpson publishes “Tempo and Mode in Evolution”, showing that the fossil record is consistent with the irregular non-directional pattern predicted by evolutionary theory.


J. Laurence Kulp (a geologist) et. al. publishes “Deluge Geology” in the “Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation” The development of molecular genetics.


Miller and Urey publish the results of their experiments in creating organic compounds from non-organic raw materials.


Watson and Crick publish the structure of DNA.


Horizontal gene transfer discovered by researchers in Japan.


YECs promote ‘Creation Science‘.


Henry M. Morris and John Whitcomb publish “The Genesis Flood” claiming that observed geologic systems were consistent with Noah’s Flood of the Bible.


Lynn Margulis publishes “The Origin of Mitosing Eukaryotic Cells” substantiating endosymbiotic theory.


Encyclopedia of Philosophy runs an article “Teleological argument for the existence of God”.  States “Stated most succinctly, the argument runs: The world exhibits teleological order (design, adaptation). Therefore, it was produced by an intelligent designer”


Epperson v. Arkansas – overturns prohibition of teaching of evolution (as unconstitutional).


Motoo Kimura provides a theoretical basis for the molecular clock and the neutral theory of molecular evolution.


Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould publish “Punctuated equilibria: an alternative to phyletic gradualism”


Leigh Van Valen describes the ‘evolutionary arms race’ – coevolution.


Robert Nozick (Political Philosopher) writes “Consider now complicated patterns which one would have thought would arise only through intelligent design”


Daniel v. Waters declares creationism to violate the establishment clause of the US Constitution.  Creation Science is created as a result.


E.O. Wilson publishes “Sociobiology: The New Synthesis” a highly controversial work claiming that evolutionary theory could explain many aspects of animal and human behavior.


Richard Dawkins publishes “The Selfish Gene” focusing on the gene-centered view of evolution.


Richard Lewontin writes an influential paper on “Spandrels” in which a biological structure could arise as an accidental result of selection on another structure.


Creationism movement


Arkansas Act 590 details the principles of creation science for public schools.


McLean v. Arkansas finds creation science fails to meet the essential characterizes of science and it creation science is primarily a religious view.


Stephen J Gould publishes “Exaptation – a missing term in the science of form”.  This expounds upon Lewontin’s work on ‘spandrels’.


Ernst Hafen, Michael Levine, and William McGinnis independently discover homeobox genes.


Jon Buell (Foundation for Thought and Ethics) publishes “The Mystery of Life’s Origin” by Charles B. Thaxton.


Stephen C. Meyer publishes a review work suggesting that DNA in the cell shows “specified complexity” and must have originated by an intelligent agent. (note similarity to Aquinas)


Creationism ruled unconstitutional in Edwards v. Aguillard


“Redesigning the body plan of Drosophila by ectopic expression of the homoeotic gene Antennapedia” is published in nature.  It shows how changed to controller genes change the body plan of fruit flies.


“Intelligent Design” replaces “creation” in “Of Pandas and People” resulting in ‘cdesign proponentists’.


Richard Lenski begins the E. coli long-term evolution experiment.  (still on-going as of mid-2011)


Thaxton holds conference “Sources of Information Content in DNA”.  Thaxton states this is a sophisticated Paley argument and it is compatible with metaphysical naturalism and supernaturalism.


Of Pandas and People published with ‘intelligent design’ ‘design proponents’ and ‘design theory’


Carl Woese, using evolutionary relatedness as a basis, introduces the three domain classification system.


Kurt Wise and Walter ReMine introduced baraminology (the study of Biblical kinds).


Phillip Johnson publishes “Darwin on Trial”


Stephen Meyer earns Ph.D. in philosophy of science with “Of clues and causes: A methodological interpretation of origin of life studies”


Stephen Meyer defends Johnson’s “Darwin on Trial” during the ‘Ad Hoc Origins Committee’.


Conference at Southern Methodist University culminates in the “Wedge Strategy


Michael Behe describes the concept of Irreducible Complexity in “Of Pandas and People (1993 revised edition)


Jonathan Wells earns a second Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley with the express intent of disproving evolution.


Behe publishes “Darwin’s Black Box”  ‘formal’ introduction of irreducible complexity


Center for Science and Culture established by the Discovery Institute


Russell Doolittle (upon whom much of Behe’s concept of Irreducible Complexity was based) publishes a rebuttal of irreducible complexity.


Phillip Johnson publishes “Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds”


William Dembski publishes “The Design Inference”


William Dembski publishes “Inteligent Design: The Bridge between Science and Theology”


Henry Morris (scientific creationist) states that ID will fail because it is not Biblical.


Meyer (et.al.) publishes a legal strategy for introducing intelligent design into public schools in the book “Intelligent Design in Public School Science Curriculum”.


The Discovery Institute releases (accidentally) the “Wedge Document”.


Discovery Institute hold congressional briefing on ID.  Sen. Rick Santorum is a vocal supporter.


Granville Sewell publishes in “The Mathematical Intelligencer” claiming that evolution violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics.


Santorum Amendment encourages the ‘teach the controversy’ approach.  This is not law.


William Dembski states that he stopped publshing in peer-review journals because of their slow time to print and he makes more money from books.


Ohio Board of Education adopts Discovery Institute’s model lesson plan featuring Intelligent Design.  Victory is declared by DI.  2006, the Ohio Board removes the model and ID references in an 11-4 vote.


Stephen Meyer touts 44 peer-reviewed papers as supporting Intelligent Design 26 of the scientists representing 34 of the papers disagree with Meyer’s claim.


William Dembski publishes “No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased without Intelligence”


Stephen Meyer announces the “Teach the Controversy” strategy.


Jonathan Wells publishes “Icons of Evolution” claiming that ten commonly held evidences of evolution are invalid.


Noah Rosenberg et. al. publish “Genetic Structure of Human Populations” in Science showing that genetic differences have a high correlation to physical regions.


Stephen Meyer publishes a review paper in the “Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington (August, 2004)”.  The paper was withdrawn after it was discovered that the editor of the jounral (Richard Sternberg) bypassed normal review procedure and accepted a paper not in keeping with the journals primary theme. The Clergy Letter Project begins.  By 2010 it has collected 12,508 signatures of US Christian clergy supporting evolution.


Michael Behe and David Snook publish “Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues” in Protein Science.


 Barbara Forrest and Paul Gross publish “Creationism’s Trojan Horse“, a history of creationism and the Intelligent Design movement.


Guillermo Gonzalez published “The Privileged Planet”, concludes that the Earth was intelligently designed.


Wells, Meyer and other ID proponents participate in the Kansas evolution hearings (transcript).


Intelligent Design declared equivalent to creationism by federal judge John E. Jones III in the Kitzmiller trial. (transcript)


Discovery Institute begins to abandon “Teach the Controversy” and works on “Critical analysis” strategies.


Jonathan Wells publishes “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design”


Michael Behe publishes “The Edge of Evolution” stating that while evolution works, there is a limit and anything beyond the limit must be attributed to a designer.


Dembski tells Focus on the Family that “The Designer of intelligent design is, ultimately, the Christian God.”


Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” is shown.


Richard Lenski’s long-term E. coli evolution experiment results in a variant of E. coli that has the ability to utilize citrate.


August 2008 Judge S. James Otero in ACSI v. Roman Sterns rejects Behe’s claims that “Biology for Christian Schools” is a valid science textbook.


Stephen Meyer publishes “Signature in the Cell” in which he claims that DNA is too complex to have evolved.  An 18-month discussion on Amazon forums ensues, with no single person able to identify any ‘evidence’ in the book.


William Dembski publishes four papers with Robert Marks about information and computer searches.


Richard Lenski’s long-term E. coli evolution experiment reaches 50,000 generations of bacteria.

* Note that many of the comments in the science side don’t have an ‘author’.  This is because so many of these major concepts were developed over decades with tens to hundreds of scientists and researchers involved and writing supporting papers.


25 Responses to Timeline of Creationism and Science

  1. Pingback: Timeline of Creationism and Science | Cassandra's Tears

  2. Without sounding narky, I do not see how you have listed more on the side of creationism. There is so much there, both in the natural philosophies e.g. biology, zoology etc and the physical, e.g. cosmology, astrophysics etc that you have missed out.

  3. OgreMkV says:

    I totally agree. The problem is picking the fundamental items out of the tens of thousands of papers and the hundreds (if not thousands of books). I am requesting and soliciting suggestions. Especially anti-creationism materials and papers that fundamentally defeat the notions of ID/creationism.

    That and there’s only a few ID/creationists that are worth putting up.

  4. David says:

    Er, why didn’t you title this:

    A Timeline of Creationism (including ID) and Evolutionism

  5. Cubist says:

    Why *should* it have been titled “a timeline of Creationism (including ID)…”, rather than just “a timeline of Creationism…”, David? The existing title works just fine, because ID *is* Creationism, end of discussion. “Creationism (including ID)” is just redundant.

  6. David Bump says:

    I think the key point of David’s comment is that the title leaves out “evolutionism,” because most of the entries on the “science” side are actually about emotionally-charged responses to “creationism” that are not scientific studies. It also fails to note that Cuvier and Mendel were creationists, and Mendel’s discovery was the antithesis of what Darwin proposed. For that matter, there’s a large chunk of the history of science that took place while everyone involved still believed in creation. Many advances such as Hook’s microscope work could be put on the creationism side, or at least a HUGE “science that’s consistent with creationism or evolutionism” list in-between. Kepler, Newton, and others made it clear they were inspired and/or guided by their belief that the world around us was amenable to intellectual discovieries because it had been created, (and not the result of unguided chaotic forces such as some Greek philosophers had proposed). There was a lot of work on “natural theology” before Paley that could be included.

    It leaves out the fact that Haeckel fraudulently doctored illustrations to back up his “ontology” theory, which has been disproved, although it keeps getting resurrected in various forms. It repeats the fallacy (oversimplified statement) that the Butler law “prohibits teaching of evolution.” I think it’s also a gross oversimplification to have nothing before Price’s work for decades and to give it that much credit for Morris’s work. It leaves out the work of G.W. Carver, who was inspired by his belief that the Creator designed even the lowly peanut to have its uses.

    For all its faults, though, it does clearly show a couple things that are true and not so good for the proponents of the “science” of evolutionism: A lot of the work on that side has been done in response to challenges from the other, and (sadly) it hasn’t amounted to much useful or even reliable information, let alone good science. The few items of real science (published experimental work, not just speculative essays/books or philosophical “rebuttals”, etc.) listed are either neutral to creationism or even supportive. For instance, the note on Urey’s work shows that it’s been more than 5 decades since intelligent scientists have been trying to create life in the lab without borrowing from previous living things, and they still haven’t gotten close. Lenski’s work shows that even with intelligent selection of an organism’s (artificial) environment for tens of thousands of generations, the biggest result was a slight change in a digestive enzyme, making it less specific and thus trading off efficiency for generality.

  7. David says:

    Ciubist asks:
    “Why *should* it have been titled “a timeline of Creationism (including ID)…”, rather than just “a timeline of Creationism…”, David?”

    The evolutionist is invoking an arbitrarily modified definition of “science” to
    imply that naturalistic philosophy is entitled to exclusive domination of the
    ‘scientific community’.

  8. Dave Wisker says:

    You left out Creation Week.

  9. David: please define your definition of “naturalistic philosophy”. We can start from that.

  10. David says:

    Notes based on “Men of Science — Men of God” by Henry M. Morris, 1988, 13th
    printing 1997.

    1473-1543 Nicholas Copernicus — wrote the first major modern proposal of the
    heliocentric theory.

    1561-1626 Francis Bacon sets forth the most famous proposal for a
    systematic, organized approach to science in general, based on direct observation,
    experiment, and judicious application of inductive logic.

    1564-1642 Galileo — though often cited as an example of a free-thinking scientist
    persecuted by ignorant churchmen, recent studies have shown that this is inaccurate.
    Galileo promoted an idea that basically had been accepted as a theory worth consideration,
    but his insistence that it be accepted immediately as a fact, combined with personal
    frictions with both the Pope and leading academics, brought a relatively mild
    censure upon him.

    1571-1630 Johann Kepler — one of the founders of modern astronomy, along with
    Galileo and Tycho Brahe (1545-1601). Kepler’s description of the laws of planetary
    motion provided the foundation for the modern mathematical precision in astronomy
    and played a role in many further advances in science.

    1627-1691 Robert Boyle — “one of the founders of the Royal Society of London, is
    generally credited with being the father of modern chemistry… he was also a humble,
    witnessing Christian and a diligent student of the Bible… profoundly interested in

    1627-1705 John Ray — “has been called the father of English natural history…was
    one of the founding members of the Royal Society. He was the greatest authority of
    his day in both botany and zoology. Ray was also a strong Christian and

    1631-1686 Nicolaus Steno — “also known as Nils Stennsen… with his extensive field
    studies, developed the principles of stratigraphical interpretation… interpreted
    the strata…in the manner of flood geologists, attributing their formation in large measure to the Great Flood.”

    1639-1723 Increase Mather — although “best known as a clergyman and leading
    theologian” (and with his son Cotton, often used to illustrate benighted American
    puritanism), “He was also an avid avocational astronomer and promoter of science …
    the primary founder of the Philosophical Society and one of the first presidents of

    1642-1727 Isaac Newton. His contributions to our understanding of gravity, motion,
    optics and mathematics are legendary.

    1646-1719 John Flamsteed — “the founder of the famous Greenwich observatory and
    the first Astronomer Royal of England… He was also a faithful clergyman…”

    1662-1727 Cotton Mather — “president of Harvard… and was probably the first American to
    publish original contributions in science, with many publications in the _Transactions of the
    Royal Society_.”

    1707-1778 Carolus Linnaeus — “widely regarded as the father of biological taxonomy.
    The standard classification system of plants and animals still used today is known
    as the Linnaean system… One of his main goals in systematizing the tremendous varieties
    of living creatures was to attempt to delineate the original Genesis ‘kinds’.” Later, evolutionists would take the variations of his “species” as evidence that “fixity of species” was false, rather than considering the probable inaccuracy of this first attempt and of variations within true “kinds.”

    1738-1822 William Herschel — “has long been recognized as both an outstanding
    Christian and an outstanding astronomer. In astronomy he made many great
    discoveries, perhaps the most notable being the recognition of double stars and the
    discovery of Uranus. … As a Christian, Sir William was…noted for his kindness
    and his sublime conception of the universe as a marvelous witness to the handiwork
    of God. It was Herschel who said: ‘The undevout astronomer must be mad’.”

    1761-1826 Jedidiah Morse (father of the inventor of the telegraph) — “the leading
    geographer of America during his lifetime. He wrote the first American textbook of
    geography, almost universally used in the schools of the day and going through 25
    editions, many of them after his death. He was a strong advocate of flood geology
    and the literal-day Mosaic chronology of earth history.”

    1769-1832 Georges Cuvier “is considered to be the founder of the science of comparative anatomy.”

    1785-1873 Adam Sedgwick “one of England’s leading 19th century geologists, long-time
    professor of geology at Cambridge, especially famous for identifying and naming the
    major rock systems known as Cambrian and Devonian. He was also a clergyman and
    Bible-believing Christian… a friend of Charles Darwin, he always opposed his
    evolutionary ideas…”

    1791-1867 Michael Faraday “is universally acknowledged as one of the greatest
    physicists of all time… particularly in developing the new sciences of electricity
    and magnetism. … Two basic units … are named in his honor.”

    1792-1871 Charles Babbage “developed the first actuarial tables, invented the first
    speedometer, and the first skeleton keys, as well as the first ophthalmoscope and
    the first locomotive ‘cowcatcher’.” He is best known for his description of a mechanical
    computation device with the main concepts (programming, data storage, input,
    processing unit, output) needed for modern computers — unfortunately, it was
    impractical if not impossible to construct at the time.

    1793-1864 Edward Hitchcock “was one of the first American geologists of importance… During his later years he also was state geologist for Vermont… As a Christian, he was a strong creationist … He became probably the strongest opponent of Darwinism and evolutionism in America during his later years. He preached vigorously on the theme that belief in evolution led to atheism …”

    1804-1892 Richard Owen “was one of he strongest scientific opponents of Darwinism”
    in his day. “Although he was not a Christian in the Biblical sense, he was a strong
    theist… His scientific specialties were zoology, comparative anatomy, and
    paleontology. … He was also one of the first of the dinosaur hunters, having the
    distinction of coining the name _dinosaur_…”

    1806-1873 Matthew Maury “was, to all intents and purposes, the founder of the
    modern sciences of hydrography and oceanography.” Inspired by the mention in Psalm
    8:8 of “paths of the seas,” he “dedicated his life” largely to “charting the winds and currents of the Atlantic…”

    1807-1873 Louis Agassiz — Morris describes him as “a great Christianpaleontologist .. recognized as the father of glacial geology and the science of glaciology. His studies of fishes, both living and fossil, were definitive, and have never been equaled.”
    Furthermore, “He profoundly believed in God and His special creation of every kind
    of organism…he was an inveterate opponent of evolutionism to the very end of his

    1811-1870 James Simpson “is best known as the discoverer of chloroform in 1847,
    helping to lay the foundation of modern anaesthesiology. He is said to have derived
    the motivation for the research leading to his discovery by the record of Adam’s
    ‘deep sleep’ in Genesis, when Eve was formed.”

    1818-1889 James Joule — “his greatest discovery…was the value of the constant known as the ‘mechanical equivalent of heat,’ … this conversion factor led to the formulation of the law of conservation of energy. … a man of sincere Christian faith.”

    1820-1899 John William Dawson “was the first president of the Royal Society of Canada and also was elected president of the American Association for Advancement of Science. He was knighted in 1884. Sir William was a devout Christian and anti-evolutionist, even though he accepted the long-age concept of geology.”

    1822-1884 Gregor Mendel — Mendel thought it was too early to scientifically judge
    Darwin’s work, bu tthat his method of studying heredity (and the results he had
    obtained) would be the beginning of putting Darwin’s ideas to the test. At any rate, he conducted his scientific work within a religious institution and “is rightly considered the father of genetics” even though those who saw his work didn’t recognize its value at the time.

    1822-1895 Louis Pasteur — “one of the greatest names in the history of science and
    medicine, chiefly because of his establishment of the germ theory of disease and
    his conclusive demolition of the then-prevalent evolutionary concept of spontaneous
    generation.” He also worked on chemistry, fermentation, and of most practical
    importance, “he isolated a number of disease-producing organisms and developed
    vaccines to combat them — notably the dread diseases of rabies, diphtheria,
    anthrax, and others.” He also came up with “the processes of pasteurization and
    sterilization.” Morris says Pasteur “undoubtedly made the greatest contribution of
    any one man to the saving of human lives, and most scientists today would say he
    was the greatest biologist of all time.”

    1824-1907 William Thompson, Lord Kelvin “was a physical scientist of the same
    stature as Newton and Faraday before him” and his greatest scientific claim to fame
    was probably that he “established thermodynamics as a formal scientific discipline
    and formulated its first and second laws in precise terminology…. Lord Kelvin was a strong Christian, opposing both Lyellian uniformitarianism and Darwinian evolution… he always remained a humble Christian, firmly believing the Bible and supporting its teaching in the schools of England.”

    1827-1912 Joseph Lister, “whose great contribution was the development of antiseptic surgery through the use of chemical disinfectants… Of Quaker background, Lord Lister was a firm believer throughout his life. He wrote: “I am a believer in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity’.”

    1831-1879 J. Clerk Maxwell “One of the greatest scientists of all time, he was also
    a sincere Bible-believing Christian. … he developed a comprehensive theoretical and mathematical framework of electromagnetic field theory… Albert Einstein called Maxwell’s
    achievement “the most profound and most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton.”

    1845-1933 A.H. Sayce “an English philologist and archeologist… When he began his
    career, he was steeped in higher criticism, but the hard facts from the archeological and linguistic investigations in which he played a leading role contributed to his conversion to
    Biblical Christianity.”

    1849-1945 John Ambrose Fleming “could well be recognized as the father of modern
    electronics, devising the first true electron tube. … He was also a founder and the first president of the Evolution Protest Movement.”

    1851-1939 William Mitchell Ramsay “was among the greatest of all archeologists. A
    liberal in theology as a result of his university studies, he was converted to true Biblical
    Christianity as a result of his own uniquely extensive archeological discoveries in Asia Minor…”

    1864 “717 scientists signed a remarkable manifesto entitled The Declaration of
    Students of the Natural and Physical Sciences,’ … This declaration affirmed their
    confidence in the scientific integrity of the Holy Scriptures. The list included 86
    Fellows of the Royal Society.”

    1864-1943 George Washington Carver is famous for having “developed over 300 products
    from the peanut and over 118 from the sweet potato.” This biochemical wizard “was
    also a sincere and humble Christian, never hesitating to confess his faith in the
    God of the Bible and attributing all his success and ability to God.”

    1875-1957 Douglas Dewar “was a founder of the Evolution Protest Movement in
    London in 1932… He had been a graduate of Cambridge in Natural Science and was an
    evolutionist in his early career… He had a distinguished career…as a naturalist
    and ornithologist… After he became a Christian and a creationist… he wrote
    numerous papers and books expounding the scientific basis of creationism. … and
    participated in a number of … debates with leading British evolutionists…”

    1878-1940 Paul Lemoine “was President of the Geological Society of France, Director of the Natural History Museum in Paris, and a chief editor of the _Encyclopedie Francaise_, 1937 edition” which included this comment on evolution: “The theory of evolution is impossible… a kind of dogma which the priests no longer believe…” even though “LeMoine had once been an evolutionist himself.

    1882-1954 Charles Stine “was for many years Director of Research for the E.I. duPont
    company. As an organic chemist with many degrees and honors, he developed many new
    products and patents… Dr. Stine gave this testimony of the Creator. ‘The world about us… bears the signature of its Creator’…”

    See also:



  11. OgreMkV says:

    This isn’t really a timeline of people, but of major events. but thanks for the info.

  12. Dave Wisker says:

    David Bump:

    “Mendel’s discovery was the antithesis of what Darwin proposed.”

    The difference was apparent, but not real, as the entry “JBS Haldane et. al reconcile the apparent contradiction between Mendel and Darwin. Foundations for population genetics established.”, said. Didn’t you read that?

    “The few items of real science (published experimental work, not just speculative essays/books or philosophical “rebuttals”, etc.) ”

    You have no idea what you are talking about. Have you read Dobzhansky’s “Genetics and the Origin of Species”, or RA Fisher’s “The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection”? Or Gould & Lewontin’s Spandrels paper? Or Haldane’s papers? Or Simpson’s works? What’s so “speculative about them?”

    “It leaves out the fact that Haeckel fraudulently doctored illustrations to back up his “ontology” theory, which has been disproved, although it keeps getting resurrected in various forms. ”

    Not on the science side. It’s only a silly obsession with IDers.

    “A lot of the work on that side has been done in response to challenges from the other, and (sadly) it hasn’t amounted to much useful or even reliable information, let alone good science.”

    So the works by Dobzhansky, Fisher, Gould & Eldredge, Gould & Lewontin, Haldane and Simpson fall under this category? You must be joking.

  13. nmatzke says:

    Hi — interesting post. You could add a lot more interesting history on the evolution of creation science into ID from this article I wrote:

    Matzke, N. (2009). “But Isn’t It Creationism? The beginnings of ‘intelligent design’ and Of Pandas and People in the midst of the Arkansas and Louisiana litigation.” But Is It Science?: The Philosophical Question in the Creation/Evolution Controversy, Updated Edition, Prometheus Books, edited by Robert Pennock and Michael Ruse. Prometheus Books, Amherst, New York, pp. 377-413.

    …I can email you a PDF if you email me at matzkeATberkeley.edu. Cheers! Nick

  14. Starbuck says:

    Interesting post thanks.

  15. astrowright says:

    An excellent compilation! -Admirable effort. Thanks for your contribution to the cyberverse!


  16. David — it’s not that religious people cannot do good science; many have and continue to do so. However, there’s a huge difference between “religious” and “creationist”. Creationists, particularly young earth creationists, actively deny science in order to embrace their disproven dogma; they are antithetical to actual science.

    Many of the people you cite in your post actually contributed, directly or indirectly, to the framework that proved the literal interpretation of the Genesis creation accounts (yes, accounts, as there are more than one) false. In the spirit of this post, that would put them firmly in the “science” column, not the creationist, as they did forward scientific knowledge in spite of their religious beliefs.

    Your list contains a great example of how one can do good science yet hold what might be considered lunatic (and certainly unscientific!) beliefs in William Herschel. He believed every celestial body was inhabited, _including the Sun_, positing it had a hard surface and some sort of protective shell shielding its inhabitants from the exceedingly hot upper atmosphere, and yet his astronomical catalog, in modified form, is still in use today, he discovered IR radiation, and he proved coral was an animal, not a plant.

    Take his discovery of IR radiation — that in turn led to the “black body radiation” equations that describe how rapidly a body radiates away heat, which in turn was used to estimate the age of the earth (which turned out to be quite a wrong estimate, as they had no knowledge that the earth was generating internal heat through radioactive decay) based on how much residual heat the planet held and calculating backwards to account for heat loss from its original formation. This estimate, even though horribly flawed in the direction of a young earth by orders of magnitude, still set a minimum age of the earth that blew the ~6000 year “literal” biblical estimate out of the water.

    His discovery that coral was an animal was a small part of the study of these fascinating creatures, leading to the discovery that certain corals put down annual “growth rings” much like trees do and by taking core samples you can count these layers and see quite directly how many seasons that particular coral formation has existed. This revealed that we have corals that have been happily growing in place for much longer than 6000 years, again disproving the YEC claim.

    There are thousands of examples just like these — dendrochronology, multiple forms of radio-isotope dating, alluvial silt deposits, genetic “clocks”, astronomical observations of distance coupled with the speed of light, and on, and on, and on — that unequivocally strike down the young earth claim, that establish that the earth is several orders of magnitude older than they believe. There’s a similarly large (both broad and deep) body of evidence backing our evolutionary origins and out inter-relation with the rest of life on this planet, and again, much of that evidence was contributed by religious people. You can’t argue that just because a scientist was a Christian that their work bolsters “creationist” belief, because quite the contrary is true, sorry.

  17. David Marjanović says:

    It should be stressed that Cuvier discovered extinction. Up to then, it was considered obvious that God would never let one of His Creations become extinct. Few creationists deny extinction anymore!

    Something else that’s very important: the discovery by Wöhler that organic chemistry isn’t magic but just chemistry – he produced oxalic acid out of “cyan” in 1824 and urea out of ammonium cyanate in 1828. Perhaps also mention that Döbereiner showed in 1822 that there aren’t separate animalic and vegetabilic acids by making one (formic acid) out of the other (tartric acid).


    Creationists, science does not automatically require that supernatural explanations be excluded from all consideration. It only requires that as few extra assumptions as possible be made. A god amounts to a lot of assumptions that are not necessary to explain anything. Sire, je n’ai pas eu besoin de cette hypothèse – “I didn’t need that hypothesis”.

  18. Stevarious says:

    You forgot to put at the very top of the timeline this news article:

  19. OgreMkV says:

    Thanks for the suggestions… I’ve got to get a spare few minutes and update the timeline.

    David, those are excellent ideas.

  20. David Marjanović says:

    I forgot to mention that you misspelled Ernst Mayr. (He’s a four-letter-word.) And while the misnamed Biological Species Concept is a contribution to terminology, it’s not one to science as far as I can see…

  21. sparc says:

    You could have added DI’s list “Dissent from Darwin” and NSCE’s “Project Steve”.


  22. John says:

    While it is rather interesting reading, It’s kind of like watching the US elections. lots of talk, lots of emotional involvement, and at the end of the day, people are still losing their homes, don’t have enough to eat, are suffering from natural clalmities that non believers call “Acts Of God” unless nobody gets hurt then Lucky” gets the credit.

    It’s great intellectual masaturbation, but is it accomplishing anything? Or is it just distracting us from the responsibilities towards the less fortunate, those that are sick, homeless & hungry, all over the world.

    Knowledge simply for the sake of knowledge is useless.
    How is this knowledge being put to use to benefit manking?
    Not hte bank accout of some “investor” but how does it put food on the table to atttempt to disprove creation or evolution?

  23. OgreMkV says:

    John, are you talking about the knowledge of science and evolution or this particular post?

    If the latter, then I would remind you that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Take a look at the court cases on this list. They are exactly the same, every one. The people of ID and creationism don’t know history and can’t understand that logic actually works so they continue to make the same claims in the hopes that, someday, they will be right. They aren’t actually doing anything. But this post is a lesson for those that are curious (maybe like yourself). It shows the difference between what scientists do and what ID/creationists do. With all the links, I hope that it’s a valuable resource for the teaching of the ID/creationist movement. Any day that you learn something is not a wasted day.

    If the former, then I can point to hundreds of thousands of examples of evolutionary theory and science providing direct benefits to everyone, not just the rich.

    As far as your last statement ‘disprove creation of evolution’. There is no attempt to disprove either. The work is done. The judgement is in. Creationism and ID are dead. Evolution is the best explanation for the diversity of life that we have. It also works. It works in fields as diverse as agriculture and finance, process planning and production scheduling, building microscopic drugs and hypersonic aircraft. Creationism does nothing.

    I hope that helps.

  24. Pingback: Welcome Cassandra’s Tears | Tales of the Genomic Repairman

  25. Hannah says:

    How can you totally discredit the idea of intelligent design? Take a look at the world around you, how did it all begin? In my opinion, the theory of evolution is a plausible explanation. However, evolution has no evidence of what began the first organism on Earth or constructed the universe, nor has their been a concrete discovery of an organism demonstrating a change in KIND. Obviously we have been created from somewhere. Sure, we have evolved and adapted to changes in our environment, but the only plausible explanation of where we originate lays in the hands of an intelligent Creator.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s