Evolutionist Professor Becomes a Creationist


Article #382

by Bill Nugent

Can you imagine the stir it caused when an evolutionist professor at San Francisco State University, went from writing a book about evolution to becoming a creationist just 7 years later?

Dean Kenyon (1939-    ) received his PhD in biophysics at Stanford University in 1965. The following academic Year he was a national science foundation postdoctoral fellow at University of California Berkeley.  Kenyon began his academic career as an assistant professor of biology at San Francisco State University in 1966.

He was a committed evolutionist. He was convinced that human beings are simply the products of nature. He believed human beings evolved from ape-like creatures which had in turn evolved from earlier mammal species who in turn evolved ultimately from lifeless atoms swirling in the mud of early earth.

Dr. Kenyon Writes a Major Book on Evolution

In 1969 Dean Kenyon co-authored a very important book along with Gary Steinman, PhD titled Biochemical Predestination. In this book Kenyon grappled with an extremely difficult question for evolutionists. That question is how life could have evolved from non-life. The evolution of life from non-life is called chemical evolution or proto-evolution or abiogenesis.

Evolutionists for decades have advanced many theories to try to explain how the first living cell could have formed by atoms colliding randomly in the early earth. Many theories have been advanced. None of these theories are strong enough to be universally agreed upon by scientists.

Kenyon advanced the theory called “chemical affinity.” This theory claims that amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, have a chemical preference or attractiveness to bond to each other to form long chains. These chains of amino acids allegedly become long enough to eventually become functional proteins. It’s the claim that amino acids just fall together like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. Then once the proteins are formed it’s claimed that the proteins self-assemble into a living cell.

I have to admit that it sounds like a clever way of explaining how life could form by unguided random processes in the early earth. Kenyon and Steinman’s book was a seminal book. It had great influence.

However, Computer driven analysis of 250 proteins was conducted to try to prove the validity of the chemical affinity theory. The analysis had the effect of essentially disproving chemical affinity. The sequence of the amino acids in the proteins did not reflect chemical affinity or preference (see The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel pp. 129-130, 142-143).

Kenyon Publicly repudiates Chemical Affinity

Kenyon has stated that in 1976 a student gave him a book by British creationist A. E. Wilder-Smith. Kenyon read it and also read other books and articles by creationists. Kenyon was persuaded by the scientific arguments presented in the creationist books and articles. Kenyon rejected evolution and became a creationist.

Kenyon wrote the forward to Walter L. Bradley’s 1984 book, The Mystery of Life’s Origin. In the foreword, Kenyon repudiated all the current theories of chemical origins of life.

He Boldly Teaches Scientific Evidence Against Evolution

During this time and in the following years Kenyon began teaching creation science, also called scientific creationism, in his biology classes along with other material related to biology. 

In 1980 things came to a head. There was a dispute over his teaching creationism in his classes at San Francisco State University. Kenyan challenged anyone on the faculty to a debate on the merits of evolutionary theory versus scientific creationism.

No faculty member agreed to debate Kenyon. Things were peacefully settled by a faculty vote not to change the course description of the biology 337 class in question. It was essentially just a public statement that the biology department at the university did not support teaching creationism

For more than 10 years following this, Kenyon continued to teach creationism in his classes alongside other academic material. Kenyon even became involved in court cases defending the teaching of creation science in public schools.

The most prominent was the 1987 case, Edwards versus Aguilar. Involving a Louisiana law that required teaching of scientific creationism on an equal basis with evolution in public schools. It gained national and international attention. The case eventually reached the US Supreme Court. In a summary judgment, the Supreme Court unfortunately decided against the Louisiana law requiring the teaching of creationism.

Kenyon Wins a Victory for Academic Freedom

In 1992, the storm clouds of academic persecution again gathered and came against Dean Kenyon. The chairman of the biology department at San Francisco State University came against Kenyon and removed him from his classroom and assigned him to labs only.

Kenyon pressed his case to be allowed the academic freedom to teach creation science, which by that time was more commonly called intelligent design. After a hearing, the faculty came out in full support of Kenyon and he won his right to teach intelligent design in his classes.

Over the following decades, Kenyon continues to speak out in favor of intelligent design. Presently he’s a speaker, writer and board member for the Kolbe Center, a Catholic young earth creationist group.

The Impossibility of Life Forming From Non-Life

Many origin-of-life-scientists have tried to explain the formation of the first living cell by random processes in the early earth. In fact many of them object to the word “random.” They say, in defense of alleged chemical evolution, that the atoms and molecules in the early earth did not move randomly but they moved according to the laws of chemistry and physics.

No scientist would dispute that atoms move according to the laws of chemistry and physics. However this claim doesn’t do anything to reduce the utter remoteness of the possibility of even one functioning protein of 400 amino acids forming by unguided processes. 

To illustrate this, let me point out that when you throw dice, the dice tumble and move according to the laws of physics. Nobody disputes that. However, try throwing dice and getting two ones to come up a hundred times in a row. You’ll find that you could throw dice for a billion years and statistically you would not have two ones come up 100 times in a row during all those years of trying. 

When people who believe in intelligent design use the word “random” it means simply “unguided” movement of atoms and molecules. In the evolutionary view of the early Earth, there’s no intelligent designer building long chains of amino acids to form proteins and then assembling the proteins to produce the first living cell. Darwinian evolution is unguided and therefore random.

 A “simple” bacterium is composed of a minimum of 200 proteins and a typical protein is a chain of 400 amino acids. Even many evolutionists see the impossibility of random processes producing life on earth. Some evolutionists therefore claim that life was brought to earth by aliens from outer space. It’s a sad and pathetic attempt to cling to unbelief and reject the creator God.

The Intelligent Design Movement is comprised of scientists who see the impossibility of unguided processes producing the immense complexity of even the simplest forms of life.

The evolution hypothesis fails at the very start because it cannot explain how life came from non-life. Evolution also fails at many other levels. 

The Fossils Say No!

The fossil record doesn’t line up with what evolutionists expect. For instance, when paleontologists dig up dinosaur bones they also dig up bones of other creatures that lived in the same rock layer, hence at the same time, as the dinosaurs. 

What they find are the fossils of small mammals and birds very similar to mammals and birds that live today. This has been documented in the scientific literature and I personally own some documentation with pictures showing the fossils that have been found in the dinosaur layers that are very similar to modern mammals and birds. These fossils are clearly out of order from a evolutionary perspective. 

Even Wikipedia, which generally promotes evolution, freely admits that birds with beaks are found in the dinosaur layers. This is astounding.  Traditional evolutionists always believed that mammals and birds came millions of years after dinosaurs.

Let’s Look to the Creator and Redeemer

Don’t believe the lie that life is a result of billions of highly improbable accidents. There’s an intelligence behind the fabulous design of all living things. Turn to God who created you and turn to God’s Son, the Messiah (Christ) who died for your sins. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

God’s Love and Redemption

God loves people. The pagan gods don’t love people. Brahma doesn’t love you. The ancient Greek pagan god, Zeus, doesn’t love you. The spirits of modern Wicca don’t love you. The only God who loves you and redeems you is the biblical Judeo-Christian God!

People are taking a new look at Christianity. They reflect on the fact that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came in fulfillment of over 300 Old Testament prophecies. They are also aware of the miracles that occur in answer to Christian prayer. 

The ancient Hebrew prophets of the Old Testament foretold the coming of the Messiah (Messiah is Hebrew for Christ). The prophets predicted that He would die for the sins of the people. Jesus Christ took the punishment of our sins upon Himself so that we can receive forgiveness of sins.

Isaiah the prophet wrote “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him [Christ] the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6, written circa 700 BC). I invite you to turn to Christ today to receive forgiveness of sins!

Steps to salvation:

Jesus said “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).

  • 1) Believe that God created you and loves you and sent the Messiah (Messiah is Hebrew for Christ) to redeem you.
  • 2) Believe that Jesus Christ came in fulfillment of over 300 Bible prophecies to die for you, to take upon Himself the penalty of your sins (Isaiah 53:5-6, John 6:29, Romans 4:5, First Peter 3:18).
  • 3) Turn from sin and call on the name of Jesus to receive forgiveness of sins (Romans 10:13).
  • 4) Receive Jesus as Savior and experience the new birth (John 1:12, Acts 2:38).
  • 5) Follow Jesus Christ as Lord (John 14:21).

Prayer to receive salvation:

“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

To receive the salvation that Jesus purchased for us at the terrible cost of His suffering and death on our behalf I invite you to pray this simple prayer:

“Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for sending Jesus, the promised Messiah, to die for my sins. I admit that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and I ask for your forgiveness on the basis of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I ask you to fill me with your Holy Spirit to empower me to serve you under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

If you prayed this prayer in the humble sincerity of your heart then you have received everlasting life, which includes power to live right in this life and entrance into heaven in the afterlife!

(C) 2016 William P. Nugent, permission granted to email or republish for Christian outreach.

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