PBS Evolution A Critical Review
Viewers Guide

Activity 7: Who Are Darwin’s Critics Now?

Accompanies the Viewer’s Guide, Chapter 7-A, “The Creation-Evolution Controversy and U.S. Science Education”


Activity 1 of this series asked students to investigate why many of Darwin’s contemporaries objected to his theory of evolution. This activity is similar–only now the focus will be on our own time. As in Darwin’s time, Darwinian theory is opposed not only by biblical literalists, but also by a wide variety of religious believers and scientists. In this research project, students will learn about some of Darwin’s current religious and scientific critics, and why they object to his theory.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be aware that Darwin’s theory has drawn opposition from a broad diversity of critics.
  • Students will be able to identify some of Darwin’s scientific and religious critics, as well as some of the critics’ objections to Darwin’s theory.


Hand out the worksheet on the following two pages and go over worksheet directions with students.

Who Are Darwin’s Critics Now?


The following people have voiced criticisms of Darwin’s theory of evolution. They represent a wide range of perspectives, and some, such as Stephen J. Gould and Niles Eldredge, still consider themselves defenders of Darwinism.

David BerlinskiMichael BeheWilliam DembskiMichael Denton
Niles EldredgeBrian GoodwinStephen Jay GouldMae-Wan Ho
Phillip JohnsonSøren LøvtrupHenry MorrisColin Patterson
David RaupPeter SaundersJonathan Wells 

Choose five people from the list above and answer the following questions about each:

  • Who is he or she?
  • What is his or her occupation?
  • What is he or she best known for?
  • What are his or her objections to Darwin’s theory?

How do your answers compare to how opponents of evolution have been portrayed throughout the Evolution video series?


You can find information about these people on the Web and in a number of printed books and articles. Here are a few places to look.

  • Michael Behe. Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. New York: Free Press, 1996.
  • David Berlinski. “The Deniable Darwin.” Commentary 101 (June 1996).
  • William A. Dembski. Intelligent Design: The Bridge between Science and Theology. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1999.
  • William A. Dembski, Ed. Mere Creation: Science, Faith & Intelligent Design. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1998.
  • Michael Denton. Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. Bethesda, Maryland: Adler and Adler, 1986.
  • Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould. “Punctuated Equilibria: An Alternative to Phyletic Gradualism.” In T. J. M. Schopf, ed., Models in Paleobiology, 82-115. San Francisco: Freeman Cooper, 1972.
  • Niles Eldredge. Reinventing Darwin: The Great Debate at the High Table of Evolutionary Theory. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1995.
  • Niles Eldredge. Time Frames: The Evolution of Punctuated Equilibria. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press,1985. (Originally published as Niles Eldredge. Time Frames: The Rethinking of Darwinian Evolution and the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1985.)
  • Brian Goodwin. How the Leopard Changed Its Spots: The Evolution of Complexity. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1994.
  • Stephen Jay Gould. “Is a New and General Theory of Evolution Emerging?” Paleobiology 6 (1980), 1, 119-120.
  • Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge. “Punctuated Equilibria: The Tempo and Mode of Evolution Reconsidered.” Paleobiology 3 (1977): 115-151.
  • Mae-Wan Ho and Peter T. Saunders. “Beyond Neo-Darwinism–An Epigenetic Approach to Evolution.” Journal of Theoretical Biology 78 (1979): 573-91.
  • Phillip E. Johnson. Darwin on Trial. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1991.
  • Phillip E. Johnson. The Wedge of Truth. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2001.
  • Søren Løvtrup. Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth. London: Croom Helm, 1987. (Also published by Viking Penguin.)
  • Henry M. Morris. Creation Science. El Cajon, Calif.: Master Books, 2001.
  • Paul A. Nelson. “A Colin Patterson Sampler.” Origins & Design 17:1.
  • Paul A. Nelson. “Colin Patterson Revisits His Famous Question about Evolution.” Origins & Design 17:1.
  • David M. Raup. Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad Luck? New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1992.
  • Jonathan Wells. Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2000.