The Story of Gunter Bechly, a Top German Scientist Who Rejected Evolution

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Article #327

by Bill Nugent

Every life tells a story and the life of Gunter Bechly, Ph. D. tells the journey of a scientist who took a stand for the facts even when it threatened to destroy his career. Gunter Bechly is a prominent German paleoentomologist. He specializes in the study of insects and insect fossils. He was curator for amber and fossil insects at the State Museum of Natural History, Stuttgart, Germany from 1999 to 2016. He has discovered 160 new species and has ten biological groups (taxa) of insects named after him.

 

Gunter Bechly (1963-   ) studied at the University of Hohenheim Germany (1987-91) and Eberhard-Karls-University, Tubingen, Germany: M. Sc. 1994, Ph. D. 1999. He and his wife Maria have two sons.

 

For all of his academic career up to 2015, Bechly was a believer in the Darwinian claim that life assembled itself by the random swirling of molecules in the prebiotic earth. He had fully embraced the Darwinian claim of molecules to man evolution or as is often said: “From goo to you by way of the zoo.” He, like many scientists educated in the evolution paradigm, did not see the necessity of a Creator to design and build living things. Many such scientists live as practical atheists, regarding humans as just another species of animal with no souls and no future conscious existence after death.

 

Things began to change for Bechly in 2009 when he became director of the “Darwin Day” exhibit at his museum that commemorated the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. Bechly’s exhibit was one of the largest in Germany and it welcomed over 100,000 visitors. He designed his exhibit to refute Intelligent Design theory. He featured Darwin’s Origin of Species along with books by Intelligent Design authors. Bechly was familiar with the Intelligent Design Movement but what he had read about it was biased material written by detractors.

 

Intelligent Design theory is the claim that the complexity of the structures of living things show that living things were designed and built for a purpose. Adherents to the theory differ from creationists in that they refrain from religious explanations or the claim that God is the Intelligent Designer of life.

 

During the Darwin Day exhibition, Bechly took the time to actually read the Intelligent Design books rather than rely on snippets cited in critical articles. The books offered sound scientific based arguments that living things, even the simplest cells, are far too complex too have formed by random processes. Bechly began to see that the scientific evidence was clear and the arguments for Intelligent Design had merit.

 

One ID scientist, Michael Behe, has articulated irreducible complexity  as evidence of design. For instance, Behe showed that the flagellum of a bacterium cell is powered by what could be called a microscopic electric motor built of protein and if any one part is missing, it’s useless to the cell. The flagellum motor must be fully developed and in place in order to function. Only the deliberate work of an Intelligent Designer could do that. No gradual, random, step by step, blind assembly process could build such an exquisite microscopic motor. A partially assembled motor would not work and would be disadvantageous to the bacterium. (See Behe’s book: Darwin’s Black Box.)

 

Bechly’s own work on insect fossils also gives much evidence that undermines evolution. There are many finely detailed insect fossils found in the Cambrian (lowest) fossil rock layers and the Jurassic and Cretaceous layers. Insect fossils closely resemble insects alive today and there are no transitional precursors or intermediate fossils of insects. Darwinism predicts many transitional fossils. The insect fossil record shows no reasonable transitional fossils. Insects, because of their exoskeletons, fossilize with great detail. Insects also have short lifespans and rapid rates of reproduction. Insects are an ideal lab for evaluating evolution. The lack of transitional fossils in the insect fossil record is another death blow to Darwinism.

 

Bechly contacted some of the authors of the Intelligent Design books. He went on an academic and intellectual journey over the next few years and became convinced that Darwinian evolution, on which he had based his career, was a flawed theory. Bechly had the integrity to take a public stand for scientific truth in 2015. He was immediately persecuted by colleagues who stubbornly clung to the old Darwinian evolutionist establishment position.

 

Bechly was forced to resign his position as curator at the museum after seventeen years of faithful service. Wikipedia soon erased his page and this caused controversy and accusations against Wikipedia of censorship. Bechly would soon become strongly involved in the intelligent Design movement. Since 2016, Bechly is a Senior Fellow of the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute based in Seattle Washington.

 

The Discovery Institute is a think tank of scientists who have dissented from Darwinian evolution because they view the mounting evidence that points to design in nature. They welcome scientists of all religions or of no religion who see the necessity of an Intelligent Designer of life. Over 1,000 scientists, philosophers and authors have publicly signed a statement of dissent from Darwinism that is displayed online at ww.dissentfromdarwin.org.

 

Bechly says that science led him to God. He describes himself as a late life convert to Catholicism. (See his website at ww.bechly.at.)

 

God has two books: the Bible and nature. The two books are consistent with each other and they both point to God. Many in the scientific community have come to faith in God. The Christian faith appeals to scientific minded people because Christianity is not a blind faith. Christianity is a faith based on evidence which God has provided. “By many infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3). God expects us to view this evidence and act on it and receive Christ as Savior and follow Him as Lord.

 

Nature gives the evidence for design that calls for a Creator. The Bible gives the evidence of fulfilled prophecies and miracles that point to Christ as the only way to God. Christ fulfilled over 300 prophecies that were written in the Old Testament hundreds of years before He was born. No other founder of a religion or philosopher or world leader can match this prophetic accreditation. Christ worked miracles in front of eyewitnesses. Additionally there are the many miracles that have occurred in Christian meetings down through history and even in our present age. Miracles reveal the power of God.

 

The prophets foretold that Christ, through His suffering and death, would take the penalty of our sins upon Himself, thus making atonement. On this basis we receive forgiveness of sins. 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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