Entomologists Endangering Evolutionism – Karl C. Priest

by / November 3, 2016

When I first began the Insectman ministry I was profoundly aware of how little I knew about entomology.  Fortunately I live in West Virginia’s capital city, the “seat of government,” and the Department of Natural Resources has professional entomologists (with Ph.D.’s) on staff.  Amazingly, one of them was the father of one of my students and another was the husband of the science teacher on my middle school teaching team!

I contacted both me via email and telephone and also took one to lunch and observed the other speak to a group of children at the public library.  Both of them were very helpful and real nice gentlemen.  However, in my interactions with them, it was apparent that those men (who knew a whole lot more than me) only knew a fraction of a fraction of a fraction about insects.  It hit me when I was in one of their offices and asked a question.  The Ph.D. entomologist pulled down a book the size of an unabridged dictionary to look up the question.  Another time I telephoned him with a question about periodical cicadas.  He told me a “Taxonomist or someone who works with cicadas would have to answer” my question.  Since those incidents there have been several other occasions (including emails to university professors of entomology) when I asked questions and was simply told that the “expert” did not know the answer.

Also, I found out that evolution has nothing to do with the real scientific world with which those entomological scientists deal.

My point is that just because one has a degree or lab coat does not mean that evolutionism will gain any attachment to reality.

This brings me to why I titled this article as I did.

Some bona fide Ph.D. entomologists and/or fathers of entomology were/are creationists.  Their degrees have no bearing on the truth of what they believe, but the fact that real entomologists with impeccable credentials are creationists (even “Young Earth” creationists in some cases) is another factor that endangers evolutionism.

Allow me to “introduce” you to some of them.

A living creationist entomologist whom I have had the pleasure of meeting is Dr. Joseph Henson who earned his Ph.D. from Clemson University, was a chief chemist for a large chemical company, taught science at three different universities and was the chairman of the Bob Jones University Science Department.

One of Dr. Henson’s students, David Boyd, went on to receive a Ph.D. in entomology from Clemson University.  Dr. Boyd became an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Mississippi State University, a Research Entomologist for the United States Department of Agriculture, and a professor at Bob Joes University.

Another Christian entomologist I have been blessed to meet is Dr. Athur Raske who joined the faculty of Northland Baptist Bible College after working for 29 years for the Canadian Forest Service.  Dr. Raske’s Ph.D. is from the University of California in entomology with a specialization in identifying and classifying organisms.

I have communicated with Dr. Kirk Smith by email and viewed a DVD of one of his presentations.  As part of the Arizona Origins Science Association he presents “How Did Insects Survive the Flood?” and “Insects for the Creationist”.

Dr. Smith obtained his Ph.D. from the University of California, was a Research Entomologist for the University of Arizona, and trained Pest Management professionals.  Other creationist entomologists who are not ashamed or afraid to be listed on this page are in Addendum #5.

Bernard d’Abrera (1940- ) is an Australian lepidopterist (the study of butterflies and moths) and correctly states that evolution is not scientific and actually is “viscid, asphyxiating baggage” requiring “blind religious faith”.  He is active in the International Society for Complexity, Information and Design which is an Intelligent Design group.

Now, let’s leave the “Sons of Entomology” and go to the “Fathers of Entomology”.

As a transition, we will take a look at statements made by the world famous entomologist Dr. William R. Thompson ((1897-1972) Dr. Thompson was the Director of the Commonwealth Institute of Biological Control in Ottawa, Canada. Although it has not been determined if Dr. Thompson was a creationist, he certainly was an honest scientist.   Dr. Thompson wrote the introduction to the sixth edition of Darwin’s infamous Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.

Thompson’s several page introduction is a scathing rebuke to claims that Darwin had presented purely scientific facts in his tome.   I will share two quotes from Dr. Thompson.  After stating that he (Dr. Thompson) was most familiar with fossil insects, Thompson said, “…the age of the rocks is not determined by their intrinsic characteristics but by the fossils they contain while the succession of the fossils is determined by the succession of the strata.”   Thompson thereby exposed the common evolutionist folly of circular reasoning.   Thompson’s coup de grace in the introduction was, “The situation, where scientific men rally to the defense of a doctrine they are unable to define scientifically, much less demonstrate with scientific rigour, is abnormal and undesirable in science.”

Statements like those of Dr. Thompson are dangerous to Darwinism.

Some of the following individuals were not entomologists (in the precise sense of the word), but their fascination with insects brought entomology into their scientific endeavors.

An Italian Christian, Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522-1605) was dubbed the “Father of Natural History” (scientific study of plants and animals) by the Christian and eminent taxonomist Carl Linnaeus.  Aldrovandi wrote a book mainly about insects in 1602.

Thomas Muffet (1553-1604), a devout Puritan, studied insects (although he included spiders) in the context of medicine.  He prepared (did not author) the Theatre of Insects in Latin which was published posthumously and was the first book totally about insects.

Few consider Francesco Redi (1626-1697) a “pure” entomologist, but a 1926 book is entitled Francesco Redi, the Father of Experimental Entomology.  Redi’s classic experiment (see addendum) proved that fly maggots did not form spontaneously and disproved spontaneous generation. Had evolutionists been in touch with scientific reality it would have stopped the anti-science of evolutionism right then and there.

A scientist who became the Pope’s physician, Marcello Malpighi  (1628-1694) published a detailed study of the silkworm, in 1669.  He is referred to as the “Father of Microscopic Anatomy”.  Malpighi also was a mentor for Antonio Vallisneri and one of his publications about silkworms inspired Jan Swammerdam (see below).

Vallisneri (1661-1730), along with Malpighi and Redi, published Dialogues on the Curious Origin of Several Insects which contradicted the belief in spontaneous generation.

Of course, evolutionists ignored the real science brought forth by the entomological studies disproving spontaneous generation and eliminating evolution as a viable scientific endeavor.

Other entomological fathers had no need of evolutionism in the pursuit of their scientific studies.

An indisputable Christian, John Ray (1628-1705) became known as the “Father of Natural History in Britain”.  He was an ordained Anglican minister who made it clear that he was a creationist.  Ray set up a classification system based upon his belief that there was a divine order of Creation.  In 1660 he wrote, “There is for a free man no occupation more worthy and delightful than to contemplate the beauteous works of nature and honour the infinite wisdom and goodness of God.”  Ray’s “natural theology” was based upon the foundation that God could be comprehended by studying Creation.  Another Christian, Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), used Ray’s ideas to form the basis of his system of taxonomic classification.

Ray was another debunker of spontaneous generation and called the concept “the atheist’s fictitious and ridiculous account”.  Ray’s direct contribution to entomology was his book Historia insectorum which was published in 1710 after his death.

A Dutch scientist, Jan Swammerdam (1637-1680) has an entire website (http://www.janswammerdam.net/) dedicated to him.  The author of the website is obviously pro-evolutionism, but Swammerdam’s anti-evolution position is readily apparent.

Although trained as a medical doctor Swammerdam did not practice medicine.  However, Swammerdam made a tremendous amount of medical studies and discoveries.  In addition to his medical endeavors, Swammerdam pursued his childhood passion for insects which led him to dissections of insects revealing their complexity.

Swammerdam wrote a voluminous work about bees and other insects.

From 1673 to 1680 he prepared a work on bees which included amazing drawings of his dissections.  One on the ovaries of a queen bee had a three page description which included his count (he actually attempted it) of over 5000 eggs.

His study of the development of insects caused Swammerdam to declare that spontaneous generation (“the short path to atheism) did not occur.   His Bible of Nature (which contained references to passages from the Bible) asserted that creatures do not change into other creatures and his studies entirely debunked the “monstrous opinion of a fortuitous generation of creatures.”

Swammerdam’s fascination with insects caused him to scientifically observe their development including rearing some on his own body.  Watching insects go through their stages of life from egg to adult, he precisely noted his observations, but added many comments of praise to the “Supreme Architect” (God).  As he reared and dissected insects Swammerdam felt he was uncovering proof of a glorious Creator.

When he wrote about his study of butterflies, Swammerdam proclaimed, “How can we avoid crying out, O God of miracles!  How wonderful are all thy works!  How beautiful are the ornaments!  How well adapted the powers which thou so profusely bestowed upon thy creatures!”

The title, “Father of Entomology in England”, goes to a preacher who loved insects—William Kirby (1759-1850). He co-authored (with William Spence—see below) a four volume work (Introduction to Entomology, 1815- 1826) which is foundational in the history of entomology.  In this work Kirby referred to insect internal anatomy as “wonderful manifestations of the Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of the Creator.”  Regarding insect behavior Kirby said it was due to “Faculties implanted in their constitution at the first creation by their Maker.”

The “Father of American Entomology” was Thomas Say (1787-1834) who grew up in a Quaker family.  Say may not have remained true to his Quaker background because he ended up in a utopian religious community, but one thing is certain, his entomological contributions were immense and none had to do with evolutionism.

A Lutheran church pastor, F. V. Melsheimer (? to ?), is also credited by some to be the “Father of American Entomology”.  He wrote the first American entomological publication (A Catalogue of Insects of Pennsylvania, 1806) which was used for a quarter century.

Obadiah Westwood (1805-1893) was a professor at Oxford University and was well known for his entomological artistic ability.  His writing and correspondence reveal that he was in disagreement with his contemporary Charles Darwin.  It is ironic that Darwin referred to West wood as “my father in Entomology”.  Too bad Darwin didn’t follow in his “father’s” footsteps.

Overlapping and even collaborating with Westwood, John Curtis (1791–1862) also illustrated insects and co-authored an extremely beautiful entomological multi-volume publication (British Entomology: Illustrations and Descriptions of the Genera of Insects Found in Great Britain and Ireland (1824–1840).  Curtis may have been the first scientist to earn a living as an entomologist.  Curtis’s first published pictures appeared in William Kirby’s Introduction.  Kirby was a friend of his so it is unlikely that Curtis had any use for evolution.

William Spence (1783-1860) was a friend of John Curtis.   Spence was raised by a preacher who educated the young Spence in botany.  Spence became friends with William Kirby and suggested that they write Introduction.

Called THE “Father of Entomology”, Pierre-Andre Latreille, was an ordained priest.  He lived from 1762 to 1833 and did not have to deal with Darwin’s delusions.

Another Parish Priest, Johann Dzierzon,  (the “Bee-Master of Europe”) originated Hymenopteran (a taxonomic order of insects with membranous wings) genetics by declaring that male bees develop from unfertilized eggs.  Dzierzon became known as the “Father of Modern Apiology and Apiculture (from apis, bee)

The “Father of Modern Entomology” is widely accepted to be Jean-Henri Fabre (1823-1915).  He deserves an article all to himself.  You can read more about him in the article “Fun with Fabre”.

Most entomologists of Darwin’s day did not accept evolutionism as scientific.  In 1863 Darwin complained to Charles Lyell that his belief in evolution would not immediately prevail because. “The entomologists are enough to keep the subject back for half a century.”    Darwin was more hopeful by 1867 when he wrote to Erenst Haeckel that “The belief in the descent theory is slowly spreading in England, even amongst those who can give no reason for their belief. No body of men were at first so much opposed to my views as the members of the London entomolog. Soc; but now I am assured that with the exception of 2 or 3 old men all the members concur with me to a certain extent.”   A staunch admirer of Darwin, Edward Poulton, polled the Entomological Society of London in 1897 and found that most of the members doubted natural selection (specifically mimicry).  Poulton later reported that by 1887 (almost 30 years after Darwin published his tome) there was a large degree of acceptance of Darwinism by British entomologists.

All of the “fathers” mentioned above, and their scientific work, are examples of entomologists endangering evolutionism.

Addendum

1, The early history of science is dominated by males. However, a female rose to prominence in the filed of entomology.  Maria Sybilla Merian (1647-11717) has been called the “Mother of Entomology”.   Not only was Ms. Merian going against the gender grain, she also was bucking the prevailing belief in spontaneous generation of insects.  Her detailed studies of the life cycle of butterflies provided heretofore unknown facts about metamorphosis and provided more weight to the refutation of spontaneous generation.

Ms. Merian had a love of insects as a girl and soon after the birth of her second daughter she completed an original work on caterpillars (The Caterpillar, Marvelous Transformation and Strange Floral Food, 1679).   She featured her beautiful drawings of the life stages and plants for each specimen.

After her marriage failed she lived in a fundamentalist Christian commune.

Wanting to study exotic caterpillars in their natural habitat, Ms. Merian traveled to a Surinam, South American outpost of the Christian commune.  After two years, illness forced her to return home.  Her 1705 book, Metamorphosis of the Insects of Surinam was republished four times after she died.

Another “Lady of Entomology” was Eleanor Ormerod (1828-1901) who became a consultant to Royal Agricultural Society of England.  She was called the “best authority on farm and garden entomology” by the journal Nature.  She was homeschooled and active in St. Michael’s Church in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England.

2. Charles Bonnet (1720-1793) was a Swiss entomologist who is an example of scientists who attempt to compromise with faith and evolutionism. Bonnet believed a “divine Being” created a bunch of germs with the power of self-development.  These germs progressed through steps toward perfection.  He believed man, and all other life forms were immortal.

3. Francesco Redi

“People believed for thousands of years that live maggots could be spawned from dead meat. In 1665, Francesco Redi (1626–1697) put meat in three jars, one open, one closed with gauze and the third closed with paper. Flies laid their eggs on the meat in the open jar. The eggs hatched to maggots, then young flies. Unable to reach the meat, flies laid their eggs on the gauze of the second jar and the maggots hatched on the gauze, not on the meat. No eggs were laid on the paper or the meat of the third jar, so it remained free of maggots. With this repeatable experiment, Redi proved scientifically that life, the maggots, comes from life, the flies, and not from non-life, the dead meat. This proved that vitalism and evolution, which depend on vitalism, were superstitions. However, the vitalists would not give up. They maintained that the microorganisms that grow in a culture broth or that ferment beers or wines were spawned from nothing alive.”

“Redi’s experiment proved that life, maggots, from non-life, meat, was superstition.”

Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo:  http://www.csulb.edu/~jmastrop/data6.html

Following are quotes from Redi’s 1668 “Experiments on the Generation of Insect”s.

There is no doubt that the senses were given to Reason by the Supreme Architect as aids to the better comprehension of natural things.  They are like windows or doors through which she may look out on those things, or through which they may come in and make themselves known.  Still better said:  the senses are scouts, or spies, that seek to discover the nature of things, and report these observations to Reason within, who passes judgment on everything, describing with more or less clearness and precision, according to the validity, alertness, and accuracy of her informers.

…I have nevertheless given myself all possible trouble and have taken the greatest care to convince myself of facts with my own eyes by means of accurate and continued experiments before submitting them to my mind as matter for reflection.

Although content to be corrected by any one wiser than myself, if I should make erroneous statements, I shall express my belief that the Earth, after having brought forth the first plants and animals at the beginning by order of the Supreme and Omnipotent Creator, has never since produced any kinds of plants or animals, either perfect or imperfect; and everything which we know in past or present times that she has produced, came solely from the true seeds of the plants and animals themselves, which thus, through means of their own, preserve their species. 

…being desirous of tracing the truth in the case, I made the following experiment:  (emphasis added)

…Belief would be vain without the confirmation of experiment… (emphasis added)

Hence as I have shown, no dead animal can breed worms….

http://eee.uci.edu/clients/bjbecker/NatureandArtifice/week4i.html

On this subject, Dr. Mastropaolo also wrote me that “Evolve does not exist. The entire universe is devolving, the exact opposite and excluder of evolving. Evolution was based on ignorance that maggots came from invisible fly eggs and the flies that hatched from the maggots were the same type as those that laid the eggs.  Devolve exists and in fact is universal. Things rust, wear out, die, go extinct, all permanently. Spontaneous generation of maggots from putrefied meat, and evolution of flies from maggots was typical ignorance prior to Dr. Francesco Redi’s experiments of 1668. By contrast, Darwin was a medical school dropout with a theology degree.”

4. It was a preacher, Reverend W. Cran, that discovered the fossil that True Believers in Evolutionism (TBEs) identified as the “world’s oldest fossil insect.” (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/earth/fossils/article-oldest-insect-fossil/) The springtail was one of many insect fossils discovered by Cran and allowed scientists to study. It was almost identical to living springtails. (https://www.abdn.ac.uk/rhynie/collembolan.htm)  We don’t know what we don’t know about sprinftails.  Of many fascinating facts about them is their jumping ability.  A scientific study (“The Kinematics of Jumping of Globular Springtail” http://www.academia.edu/7331683/The_Kinematics_of_Jumping_of_Globular_Springtail) identifies them as insects.  Also see http://insectsdiditfirst.com/category/locomotion/.

5. Reverend W. F. White wrote Ants and Their Ways in 1883 which was reviewed by Alfred Russel Wallace.

 

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Karl Priest has over 35 years of experience as an educator mostly as a mathematics teacher. He has worked with students from grades K through 9 including four years as a principal. He is a strong supporter of home and Christian schools. While in the Navy Karl accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior in November of 1968. God led Karl into several different areas of ministry one of which is using his insect collection to proclaim Christ as the creator. You can see Karl’s testimony on the Internet at www.insecman.us.

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