by Terri Kammerzell
Truth of Genesis Ministry Partner
Today, the last Friday of October, happens to be “National Frankenstein Day.” The day is to recognize Mary Shelley and her novel in which scientist Victor Frankenstein created a monster. And while you can celebrate the day by reading the book, drawing your own picture, conducting an experiment with electricity, or baking cookies or other treats in the shape of a monster, I’ve chosen to celebrate by introducing you to my Fun Fact about the “hopeful monster” theory:
What is the “hopeful monster” theory?
The “hopeful monster” theory is an evolutionary theory which states that occasionally an animal births a totally new creature.
You may recall that last week I told you an observed truth of genetics: apes make apes, people make people, and finches make finches. But what if that wasn’t always true? What if your beautiful little collie had a litter of pups, and one of them—instead of a collie—was randomly a banacrowtula? Or how about an eleraffepple? You probably hope that doesn’t happen because it might give you quite a startle!
Some evolutionists, however, hope such an occurrence does happen. For a long time, evolutionary scientists have been looking for answers to try to explain away the need for a Creator God to have made all the animal kinds we see today. That there is no observable evidence for Darwinian evolution doesn’t stop them from hoping there could be.
Part of the problem (for evolutionists) is that as they examine the fossil record, animals appear suddenly, all at once. There is no sign of animals transitioning from one kind to another. When apes appear in the fossil record, they are apes. When finches appear in the fossil record, they are finches. And so on, and so forth.
Rather than acknowledging Darwinian evolution might be false, and especially rather than acknowledging there might be a Creator God to Whom we are accountable, one of the ideas these scientists have come up with is that occasionally one animal birthed a totally new creature. Otto Schindewolf, a German paleontologist, was credited with this idea in the 1930s. Basically, he suggested that instead of slow progressions of evolutionary development, transformations happened in large single leaps between species.
UC Berkeley geneticist Richard Goldschmidt took hold of Schindwolf’s theory, calling the new animals “embryological monsters,” and thus named the idea the “hopeful monster theory.” Despite the fact that there has been no evidence to support this idea, and that the theory should have died with its originator, shortly after Schindewolf’s death in the early 1970s, two other scientists—Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge—revived the idea and repackaged the theory. They called it “punctuated equilibrium.” And although there still remains no evidence for it, because it answers Darwinian evolution’s problem of missing transitional fossils, it has been widely accepted and is often taught as fact in public schools and secular museums.
You may recall that Romans 1:20 tells us that everyone—in their heart of hearts—knows there is a God. But verse 21 goes on to say, “Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (NKJV). These scientists keep hoping to find evidence to dismiss what they know: there is a God Who created them and will hold them accountable.
Let me reassure you: You have no reason at all to believe your little doggie is going to give birth to a new creature any more than you have reason to believe that Frankenstein’s or anyone else’s monster is under your bed. However, if you have placed your faith in the living God of the Bible, you can rest your head each night knowing your hope is in the Creator of the universe, Who will someday redeem you to Himself. Your eternal future is secure with Him.
If you have not placed your faith in Him, National Frankenstein Day is just as good a day as any other to visit this website and learn how to start your life with the Author of hope.
Don’t just take my word for it! Visit YouFormedMe.com/theories/hopefulMonster.html to read, watch, and listen to supporting research and commentary from scientists, doctors, theologians, and more!
This blog is from a special series of “Creation Fun Facts” by Terri Kammerzell, starting from June 10, 2020. Read the introduction at TruthOfGenesis.com/blogs/building-a-biblical-defense-of-creation.