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Q: Have any Protestant Biologists who don’t believe in evolution posted real research papers showing how evolution is not likely or possible?

I think I heard a famous atheist say creation and evolution are incompatible.

(Let me know if I need to edit question/post)

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    JFYI, we have a chat room for these sorts of topics if you're interested in additional discussion. (Please feel free to ask questions there, even if it looks like there isn't a lot of activity.)
    – Matthew
    May 24 at 14:05
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    This question needs to be more precise to be useful. As it stands you're asking for something internally contradictory--a "real research paper" (i.e. peer-reviewed by biologists, in respected biological journal) that "demonstrates evolution is untenable" (so that anybody reading it would have to concede that evolution is false)--this would have to be a paper that a) disproves a fundamental mechanism of biology, which b) expert biologists found well-supported enough to publish, but c) did not actually change the mind of anyone in the field.
    – Tiercelet
    May 25 at 13:55
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    Any positive answer to your question would have to deal with the contradiction: if the paper is so definitive and convincing, why aren't any biologists convinced?
    – Tiercelet
    May 25 at 13:56
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    I cannot help but notice the hostile & condescending tone taken by so many critics of this question. If the answer to the question is obvious, one need only cite the facts, not launch attacks. Trying to shut down discussion of competing views does not display confidence, it displays insecurity. May 25 at 22:25
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    Why are you making a difference between "Protestant" and any other biologists? May 26 at 20:24

6 Answers 6

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No. There is not a single "real (peer-reviewed) research paper" showing that evolution is not likely or possible. I would challenge anybody who provides names to instead post a link to such a paper. If they do, I can guarantee you that it either:

  1. isn't a real peer-reviewed journal, or
  2. is very very old and has since been discarded, or
  3. has been misinterpreted by the commenter and does not actually show that evolution is unlikely or impossible.

There are two main reasons I can promise this is so:

  1. Science is not in the practice of proving negatives to begin with. (e.g., "X cannot happen." The most you might get is "X does not happen under Y conditions," or "X requires Z conditions.")
  2. Evolution has been directly observed in laboratories many many times already and itself is a supporting pillar of other working sciences that produce working results. Evolution itself isn't (just) a theory (any more); it is an observed fact like gravity. (Instead of thinking of the label "evolution", just reword it like "new species arise from older species") But the theory of why evolution (aka, speciation) happens is "natural selection". As in, just as Einstein posited General Relativity for his theory as to why gravity happens, so Darwin posited Natural Selection for his theory as to why evolution happens. (The modern accepted theory is actually more complex than that now. See Wikipedia on "the modern synthesis" of evolution.)

The people who may desire or claim to produce such a paper may be found on this list. You can sort by field, qualification, and date of last real (i.e., non-pseudojournal) publication. You'll note that there are no such people meeting the asker's criteria.

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    @Matthew that is an excellent find on your part, of which I was previously unaware, but it still fails both of the asker's criteria: Meyer is not a scientist of any kind, let alone a biologist (he's a historian and science philosopher), and it was not a research paper, but a review of existing literature. Its peer-review was considered very controversial, and the publishers have renounced it, and consider its publication to be a failure of their review process. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sternberg_peer_review_controversy
    – David
    May 26 at 19:32
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    "Meyer is not a scientist of any kind" — according to his own bio, he's a former geophysicist. But I'll grant you he isn't a trained/practicing biologist. The controversy speaks directly to your first point, however; any source you'd consider "real" is going to be one that won't publish anything against Evolutionism. How much credibility do you really want to grant to sources that can't stand someone merely calling out that Evolutionism isn't as settled as they want to claim? (We should probably continue this in chat...)
    – Matthew
    May 26 at 20:46
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    The “Wow! signal” of the terrestrial genetic code appears to make the claim that random mutation and natural selection cannot explain the observed structure within the genome. It was published in Icarus, impact factor 3.5.
    – User65535
    May 27 at 10:34
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    So should I burn all my Asimov books except the ones on basic chemistry? I do like this approach though, C.S. Lewis used it with respect to philology and yet his opponents failed to shut their pie holes. So I think continually criticizing scientists for being the wrong kind of scientist is about the laziest argument known to man.
    – Peter Turner
    May 27 at 16:15
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    "Evolution has been directly observed in laboratories many many times already" The sort of evolution that has been directly observed is not the sort of evolution that various 'Protestant researchers' are denying, tho'. I've used evolutionary algorithms in my work. Never in a million (billion? 10 billion?) years would I say this comes anywhere near proving you can get an ostrich from an amoeba. At best it's suggestive. May 30 at 17:52
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Michael Behe, Stephen Meyer, and Douglas Axe have argued in technical & lay publications against the plausibility of unguided evolution; several of the arguments used are:

  • Specified complexity is found in DNA; specified complexity is not known to occur randomly, but is known to be developed by intelligent minds
  • Irreducible complexity in cellular structures requires design if the unit would not function in intermediate stages (i.e. you either have a functioning machine or a non-functioning machine, anything "in between" would be useless and natural selection would not favor it)
  • There haven't yet been enough life forms in the history of earth for macro-evolution to produce 1 novel, successful protein fold by chance, let alone do so many, many times. Axe argued that approx. 1 in every 1078 possible DNA permutations creates a viable protein fold (others have suggested at least a somewhat less daunting figure); there have only been approx. 1041 or 1042 living organisms in earth's history. If this calculation is correct, we would have to replay the entire history of life on earth about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times in order to get just one new protein fold to come into being by chance.
  • Changes in epigenetics & developmental gene regulatory networks cannot be explained by natural selection acting upon random mutation. This doesn't mean evolution cannot influence these things, but it does mean that the Modern Synthesis of Darwinsim cannot adequately account for them.

(See Darwin's Doubt by Stephen Meyer for further development of each of these ideas)

These are not deductive arguments, they are abductive arguments, making an inference to the best, known explanation. Honest biologists on all sides of the debate must acknowledge that there is much that we do not yet know. Further discoveries will doubtless answer some existing dilemmas and create new ones as well.

These do not constitute arguments against evolution generally, rather, they are arguments against blind/unguided evolution. Each of the authors cited is a proponent of the development of life under the hand of an intelligent designer.

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Disclaimer: I can't say with confidence that any of the cited individuals are Protestant, as opposed to Orthodox or Catholic, although it's unclear to me why that should matter.

Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson is a Christian Creationist with a Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology from Harvard University. He is a practicing research biologist, and has published a book, Replacing Darwin, which "comprehensively rebuts and replaces the evolutionary model for the origin of species". His most recent research further demonstrates that DNA archaeology provides strong support for a 'recent' (~6kya) Creation. (At the very least, this research satisfies the criteria of demonstrating that Evolutionism is untenable, since Evolutionism requires millions of years.)

Some other Christian, Creationist biologists:

  • Dr. Joe Francis, Ph.D. in biology (Wayne State University).
  • Dr. Ariel A. Roth, Ph.D. in biology (University of Michigan).
  • Dr. Arthur Jones, Ph.D. in biology (University of Birmingham)
  • Dr. Wayne Friar, Ph.D. in biochemical taxonomy (Rutgers University, New Jersey)
  • Dr. Henry Zuill, Ph.D. in biology (Loma Linda University)
  • Dr. David DeWitt, Ph.D. in neuroscience (Case Western Reserve University, Ohio)
  • Dr. David N. Menton, Ph.D. in cell biology (Brown University)
  • Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell, M.D. (Vanderbilt University)
  • Dr. Tommy Mitchell, M.D. (Vanderbilt University¹)
  • Dr. Georgia Purdom, Ph.D. in molecular genetics (Ohio State University)

(¹ The information I found is not entirely clear whether Mitchell's doctoral degree is from here, or if he merely completed part of his education here.)


There are, in fact, a lot of biologists (and medical doctors, and people in similar fields) that don't believe in Evolutionism. As far as "posted real research papers", however... this is going to depend on your definition of "real". Although many books and papers have been published against Evolutionism, "mainstream" (which is to say, Materialist-controlled) journals have a well established track record of refusing to publish anything which questions the accepted orthodoxy. In some cases, this extends to refusing to publish anything, regardless of content, by authors who are even sympathetic to Creationism or Intelligent Design Theory.

The Sternberg controversy is perhaps the poster child of this attitude. Stephen Meyer published an article summarizing various existing literature which highlighted issues with Evolutionism. The article was subsequently retracted and an apology issued. One has to wonder, when a prominent journal apologies for allowing "scientific" orthodoxy to be questioned, what actual support that orthodoxy has. The tendency of entrenched dogma to react with exaggerated hostility to challenges, regardless of actual evidence, is well known and documented.

Evolutionism's "publicists" do an excellent job of presenting a strong and apparently united public face, but the reality is that there are a great many debates and unknowns which are acknowledged even by adherents to Evolutionism if one digs past the headlines and "mainstream media" assertions.

Christians, moreover, ought to be especially careful when it comes to these issues. The Bible teaches in multiple places that God Created all things in six days, and that humans have existed since the beginning. It teaches that death came into Creation as a direct consequence of Adam's sin. Evolutionism (and Uniformitarianism) deny these things. The Bible also teaches us that those who would seek to instruct others will be judged much more severely. A Christian, therefore, is cautioned to be very certain when they claim Evolutionism and Uniformitarianism to be true. (Further reading.)

Evolutionism, and Uniformitarianism, aren't about evidence or truth. As one article puts it, they are "a desperate attempt to keep God from playing any role in reality". They are rooted in Mankind's sinful desire to deny God at all costs, and, while they tell a good story, the available evidence can also be interpreted in a way that is consistent with a plain reading of Genesis. Many scientists from many disciplines have pointed out problems in both the Evolutionist and Uniformitarian stories.

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    Now we’re talking, this is way more detailed. Thx. I will consider that book now. The fact that he has earned a PhD in Cell and developmental biology is interesting in itself.
    – Cork88
    May 27 at 18:37
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    The way Sternberg (and others) have been repudiated by the elites of the time is eerily reminiscent of the way Galileo was repudiated by the elites of his day. May 28 at 18:42
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Yes. You can find many articles at ApologeticsPress.org by Jeff Miller who is a Biomechanical Engineer who explains why evolution is a false theory. See "God and the Laws of Science: Genetics vs. Evolution (Part I) here.

Excerpt:

"Scientists have realized today that Darwin was wrong. Natural selection alone would not suffice to cause evolution to occur. Evolutionary paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard University once explained, “The essence of Darwinism lies in a single phrase: natural selection is the creative force of evolutionary change. No one denies that selection will play a negative role in eliminating the unfit. Darwinian theories require that it create the fit as well” (1977, p. 28, emp. added). Therein lies the problem. Evolutionists recognize today that they cannot even claim that natural selection could create the fit. Hugo de Vries long ago said, “Natural selection may explain the survival of the fittest, but it cannot explain the arrival of the fittest” (1905, pp. 825-826, emp. added)."

And, further -

" the origin of biological information” (1990, p. 170). In the book, In the Beginning was Information, Gitt makes the compelling argument that “[t]he question ‘How did life originate?’ which interests us all, is inseparably linked to the question ‘Where did the information come from?’… All evolutionary views are fundamentally unable to answer this crucial question” (Ch. 6). Neil Shubin, paleontologist and professor of organismal biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago wrote:

I can share with you one true law that all of us can agree upon. This law is so profound that most of us take it completely for granted. Yet it is the starting point for almost everything we do in paleontology, developmental biology, and genetics. This biological “law of everything” is that every living thing on the planet had parents. Every person you’ve ever known has biological parents, as does every bird, salamander, or shark you have ever seen…. To put it in a more precise form: every living thing sprang from some parental genetic information (2009, p. 174, emp. added)."

Moreover -

"Several years ago, evolutionary scientists gathered in Mainz, Germany and discussed some of the problems that had yet to be solved by naturalists (and still have not been solved today) regarding origins. Klaus Dose of the Institute for Biochemistry at Johannes Gutenberg University wrote concerning the findings of the seventh “International Conference on the Origins of Life”:

A further puzzle remains, namely the question of the origin of biological information, i.e., the information residing in our genes today…. The Mainz report may have an equally important historical impact, because for the first time it has now been determined unequivocally by a large number of scientists that all evolutionary theses that living systems developed from poly-nucleotides which originated spontaneously, are devoid of any empirical base (1983, pp. 968-969, emp. added). .

In other words, no scientist has any empirical evidence that biological information could spontaneously generate. But evolution requires the spontaneous generation of information. Without such a process, naturalistic evolution has no mechanism for the initial generation of information at the onset of life or for interkind transformation."

Part II of his article continues here.

Apologetics Press has many more articles from other scientists explaining why the theory of evolution is false and has never been proven empirically. It is a theory designed to satisfy those who rebel against the idea of a creator, and who refuse to believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Yet, it is the "state religion" that is taught in all of American education science classes as a fact.

ADDENDUM

Just a couple of notes relating to some comments and answers on this question. This is the "Christianity" stack site, but many are wanting answers that are "peer reviewed" from scientists who have been trained in educational centers that will only provide "degrees" if the student agrees with and corresponds to the accepted "science" agenda. It is disingenuous to claim that there are no peer reviewed papers against the theory of evolution when to do so in today's politicized environment will ruin a "scientist's" career.

Further, the interpretation of "genes" and DNA > RNA development comes from the biased presumption that evolution is real, and so all data or discoveries is seen through the rose colored lenses of that bias to support that belief system. See "What is Horizontal Gene Transfer, and Does It Support Evolution" by Joe Deweese at Apologetics Press here .

Mutations are mostly harmful, and destructive, and do not supply better information. The human gene pool is degenerating over time, not getting better.

Excerpt from "Heterozygous Lethal Mutations" by Joe Deweese, Ph.D. Biochemistry -

"While it is true that relatively “small” mutations can cause major problems and conversely, some “larger” mutations do not result in immediate lethality (for example, the extra copy of chromosome 21 in Down’s Syndrome), this argument may be missing a more relevant point. It is clear that mutations cause many problems, including cancer (Hanahan and Weinberg, 2011), and that documented mutations in long-term evolution experiments do not show major evidence for macroevolutionary change (Behe, 2010). Perhaps the more important point has to do with the types of changes that can be expected. As one geneticist argued in a recent book, mutations cause the decay of the “message” of the genome rather than the formation of new information (Sanford, 2008). A summary of long-term evolution experiments also suggests that even mutations considered “beneficial” (for the organism) in these studies generally involved the loss of genetic information (Behe, 2010).

In order for organisms to progressively evolve from one form to the next, new genetic information is needed. However, there is no known mechanism or natural process for generating new information (Gitt, 2005; Sanford, 2008; Meyer, 2009). Some theorize that naturally occurring mutation processes like duplication could account for increases in genetic information. But duplication does not explain the origin of the gene being duplicated, much less explain how position-specific nucleotide changes could develop a new feature or function (Sanford, 2008). The random mutations occurring naturally have no direction and do not have a “plan” for developing a particular function (Sanford, 2008). The expectation that random changes will develop new information does not fit the available evidence, nor is it statistically likely to occur (Sanford, 2008; Meyer, 2009; Behe, 2010). [NOTE: This topic gets very complex very quickly, and care should be taken any time this is discussed to be sure that the underlying science is very well understood. Misunderstanding can lead to misrepresentation, which can harm the cause and discredit those responsible.]

In summary, some very small, but very harmful, genetic changes have been documented, and their occurrence supports the concept that the genome is decaying over time (Sanford, 2008). A larger challenge for the macroevolutionary approach is to explain how new information can develop by random, undirected means in order to facilitate the development of new features and ultimately new organisms. A better explanation? We are here by design (Romans 1:20)." (Source: ApologetiicsPress

New information is not better information, and is not a proof of macro-evolutionary change.

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  • we're looking for evidence of things unseen here, not scientific rigor. For the purposes of this site, suggesting a good book is as useful as a research paper because its likely to help someone reach a conclusion.
    – Peter Turner
    May 26 at 16:03
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In order to come to a conclusion about research that shows the theory of evolution to be untenable, you will need to read quite a few books and articles, written by Christian scientists who maintain the theory has more holes in it than a colander. I detail just two at the end of this answer.

It should also be pointed out that part of the process of coming to such a conclusion requires examining the research that promotes the theory of evolution, to see whether there is verifiable proof of the claims made in support of it. If there was sufficient doubt as to the veracity of evidence presented, that in itself could be enough for rational people to think, "Maybe - maybe not. Actual proof is still lacking." I expect this paragraph might elicit howls of protest from evolution supporters, insisting that evolution has been proven. Sigh. The proof that is given is one thing. The conclusions arrived at can be another thing, being interpretations that are dubious. A set of scientific facts can have varying conclusions arrived at, due to people having differing interpretations of the facts. Unless people are prepared to look at the subject with such openness to the problem of how facts can be interpreted in different ways, no progress can be made.

That is why it can be a waste of time trying to answer such a massive question as this on such a limited forum as this. Therefore, I suggest you start reading a couple of books (there are far more than these), written by a Christian who is a scientist.

Who Made God? Searching for a theory of everything by Edgar Andrews

What is Man? Adam, Alien or Ape? by Edgar Andrews

Edgar Andrews is Emeritus Professor of Materials Science in the University of London, England. He hold PhD and DSc (higher doctorate) degrees in Physics and has published over 100 scientific research papers. I believe he is now retired. He has written Bible commentaries / books, acclaimed by the Evangelical Library. Yes, he’s a Protestant.

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    "Unless people are prepared to look at the subject with such openness..." ...which is, of course, the problem. Man, by nature, hates God and hates His Word, and will go to great lengths to deny both. Even many that think they are Christian are opposed to the plain teaching of the Bible (required reading).
    – Matthew
    May 27 at 17:20
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Henry M Morris and John C Whitcomb together wrote the book 'The Genesis Flood' and published it in 1961. The entire book is, in effect, a 'research paper' and I would suggest it is more than that : I would classify it myself as a PhD thesis.

The book gives a sensible, plausible and thoroughly researched alternative to evolution and shows, extensively, that evolution cannot be a truth, in and of itself.

It is said that the book "elevated young Earth creationism to a position of fundamentalist orthodoxy."(1)

Whitcomb was a geologist and a paleontologist ; and Morris was a hydraulic engineer.

The book covers paleontology, geology, biology, cosmology, physics, chemistry, genetics and biology. The book is scientifically based but quotes extensively, also, from the holy bible.

The book had a profound effect on evangelical Protestantism in the 1960s and thereafter.

I read the entire book whilst I was a teenager in the 1960s and whilst I was studying chemistry and biology at school. I was thoroughly convinced then and I remain so to this day, now in my seventieth year.

I went on to study Chemistry at College and, further, to attain Licentiateship of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Both as a chemist and as a Christian, I can see no logic whatsoever to the concept of evolution as a mechanism of either generating or propagating species. The Genesis Flood destroys every single pillar upon which that theory is supported.

(1) Ronald Numbers, 2006

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  • I almost bought that book yesterday! lol. Are you also quoting Ronald Numbers above or are you saying you read and trusted that book on "The Genesis Flood"? Like you are saying you got a chemist degree?
    – Cork88
    May 24 at 16:15
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    "The Genesis Flood" is in no way a peer-reviewed paper. And the idea that it destroyed every pillar is laughable given that evolution is directly observed in laboratory experiments, and is itself a pillar to other productive scientific work.
    – David
    May 24 at 22:58
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    @David Your position is held by multitudes, but Jesus reliably informs me that there are seventy generations (and no more) from Christ back to the man called 'Adam'. And reliably informs me that humanity was created in 'the beginning of creation'. And I follow his words and I follow the scientific data produced by Morris and Whitcomb and I am persuaded by my own knowledge of the human cell. So, I note your laughter and I do not join in.
    – Nigel J
    May 25 at 8:29
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    @NigelJ you earned a Chemistry degree. (Bachelors? Masters? Doctoral?) In what world does that qualify you to judge the validity of geology research??? (None; it doesn't.) I would never presume to assert that you are not entitled to your religious beliefs. But you have not and cannot produce a rational basis for objecting to evolution on scientific grounds. You've never even done the work to equip yourself to do so. If you had, you would have been publishing peer-reviewed research on it.
    – David
    May 25 at 15:33
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    I'm very skeptical of anybody who tells me that "Jesus reliably informs" them. This is not how being a Christian works. May 26 at 14:51

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