Famous Yale Scientist Evolves Past Darwinism

By Mark A. Kellner | Posted September 16, 2019

Call it the ultimate in evolutionary progress: A world-famous scientist and Yale University professor has had a change of heart on Darwinism—and now admits the possibility of some form of “intelligent design.” What’s more, he hopes the rest of his colleagues will ultimately join him.

Writing in the Claremont Review of Books a few months back, Yale’s David Gelernter, a computer scientist, said the time had come to move on past the theories of life’s origin promulgated more than 150 years ago by Charles Darwin, even if it is accepted as “settled truth” in much of the scientific world.

“Like so many others, I grew up with Darwin’s theory, and had always believed it was true,” Gelernter wrote. “I had heard doubts over the years from well-informed, sometimes brilliant people, but I had my hands full cultivating my garden, and it was easier to let biology take care of itself. But in recent years, reading and discussion have shut that road down for good.”

He claims that dropping Darwinism—in which it’s asserted that all life originated spontaneously and from a common ancestor—is “a defeat for human ingenuity” and “not a victory for any religion.” He writes, “It means one less beautiful idea in our world, and one more hugely difficult and important problem back on mankind’s to-do list.”

Gelernter lays an intellectual ax at the root of Darwin’s theory: “There’s no reason to doubt that Darwin successfully explained the small adjustments by which an organism adapts to local circumstances: changes to fur density or wing style or beak shape. Yet there are many reasons to doubt whether he can answer the hard questions and explain the big picture—not the fine-tuning of existing species but the emergence of new ones. The origin of species is exactly what Darwin cannot explain.”

Gelernter notes that recent developments in molecular biology—unavailable to Darwin—make it all but impossible to trust Darwinism, or its counterpart neo-Darwinian evolution, as a key to the origin of various species. (Neo-Darwinism suggests traits can migrate over time within species and create change in those species.)

It Simply Doesn’t Compute

However, the numeric possibility of such random changes in gene sequences staggers the imagination: “In other words: immense is so big, and tiny is so small, that neo-Darwinian evolution is—so far—a dead loss. Try to mutate your way from 150 links of gibberish to a working, useful protein and you are guaranteed to fail. Try it with ten mutations, a thousand, a million—you fail. The odds bury you. It can’t be done,” he wrote.

Although Gelernter is far from embracing “intelligent design” or any other supernatural Creation-event argument as an explanation for origins, he revealed to a video interviewer that intelligent design needs greater consideration.

“My argument is with people who dismiss intelligent design without considering, it seems to me—it’s widely dismissed in my world of academia as some sort of theological put up job—it’s an absolutely serious scientific argument,” Gelernter said during the interview, as reported by The College Fix. “In fact, it’s the first and most obvious and intuitive one that comes to mind. It’s got to be dealt with intellectually.”

As noted, Gelernter isn’t in the intelligent design/Creationist camp, but it is impressive when someone with his substantial academic and intellectual reputation comes out saying that the most prevalent forms of Darwinism are—when it comes to the basic question of species origin—in essence, nonsense.

The Christian’s Advantage

For those who know and believe the God of the Bible, however, there’s a better answer than evolution. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” we read in Genesis 1:1. And evidence is found throughout nature: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).

And for many, the gift of the Bible Sabbath, coming after the creation of humans as the final act of Creation week, signifies the blessing of knowing the Creator: In Genesis 2:2, 3, we read, “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”

A far more detailed discussion of the creation/evolution controversy is found in “Evolution, Creation & Logic,” with Pastor Doug. He sets forth the logical case for a Creator and what that means for each of us. As someone once suggested, there are enough “missing links” in evolution to form a chain on their own!

Mark Kellner
Mark A. Kellner is a staff writer for Amazing Facts International. He is a veteran journalist whose work has been published in Religion News Service, The Washington Times, and numerous computer magazines.

When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions of our comments policy.

If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.
To help maintain a Christian environment, we closely moderate all comments.

  1. Please be patient. We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be approved until the following Monday.

  2. Comments that include name-calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc. will be automatically deleted and the invitation to participate revoked.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites will not be approved.

  4. Comments containing telephone numbers or email addresses will not be approved.

  5. Comments off topic may be deleted.

  6. Please do not comment in languages other than English.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or by Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate.