November 6, 2017 | Sal Cordova

Paleontologist Becomes an Outcast After Publicly Renouncing Faith in Darwinism

by Sal Cordova

Once upon a time, the distinguished paleontologist Günter Bechly was on German national TV celebrating Darwinism, but then something happened. He read books about intelligent design and found them compelling. On a web page, Bechly describes part of his transformation from Darwinist to an advocate of intelligent design (ID). His story is also told by the Discovery Institute in a YouTube video.

Günter Bechly’s views changed when he read ID books (Discovery Institute)

Though Bechly now accepts ID, he would not be classified as a typical creationist. He had no religious background in his youth or adult life. Nevertheless, it is obvious he has had a radical change of views on many levels after making an honest effort to learn about the reasons some scientists doubt Darwinism. These radical changes include his conversion from Darwinism to ID first, and later from atheism to Catholicism. This did not sit well with the Darwin lobby.

A follow-up insult incident happened recently. As David Klinghoffer points out at Evolution News & Science Today, Wikipedia erased the memory of Bechly’s accomplishments.

Günter Bechly is a distinguished paleontologist, specializing in fossil dragonflies, exquisitely preserved in amber for tens of millions of years. After revealing his support for the theory of intelligent design, he was pushed out as a curator at the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart, Germany. He subsequently joined Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture as a Senior Fellow. Now we learn that our colleague has suffered another act of censorship: he has been erased from Wikipedia, ostensibly for not being “notable” enough.

But this recent insult by Wikipedia is nothing compared to what happened earlier at the German Natural History Museum. Evolution News reports:

Now, with the debate about intelligent design (ID) taking place on an increasingly international stage, we reach across the Atlantic to name Germany’s Natural History Museum in Stuttgart as our 2017 Censor of the Year.

If you follow us at Evolution News, you’ll already have an inkling of the story that lies behind this choice. On Friday we announced a new Senior Fellow with the CSC, the distinguished German paleo-entomologist Günter Bechly, formerly curator of amber and fossil insects at the Natural History Museum. In welcoming Dr. Bechly, a specialist in dragonflies, we left out one thing. After coming out as an ID sympathizer in 2015, following his private exploration of the evidence for design in nature, Bechly was the victim of retaliation and censorship by his institution. Though the addition of Dr. Bechly to our scientific community is a wonderful boon to us, the ensuing parting of the ways with his museum came with heavy personal, professional, and health costs.

Bechly joins a line of several former Darwinian scientists who rejected the naturalistic story for the origin of biological complexity, and suffered for it. The list includes Dean Kenyon, Richard Lumsden, Caroline Crocker and many others.

Sal Cordova, who has worked as a scientist, engineer, and a leader in the ID movement, has 4 science degrees and is working on a PhD. See his Author Profile for more information and for his previous CEH articles.



Contributing author Jerry Bergman has two books out on the persecution of Darwin skeptics, and a third one is coming out soon. As you read case after case, you will be shocked at the bigoted intolerance of the Darwin lobby against anyone who doubts their views. Scientists, reporters, teachers and other professionals have lost jobs, been denied tenure, and otherwise marginalized or ridiculed for –what? the crime of finding the Darwinian faith unconvincing in one way or another. Darwin bigots take extraordinary efforts to prevent criticism of their views from being heard. If you value freedom of expression and association, and think science needs to hear dissenting views from a fossilized consensus, do your part to defend the rights of Darwin skeptics.  —Ed.

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  • Fitimtari says:

    Now why Catholicism exactly, I wonder. It seems a strange choice for someone whose first significant move was to become a ‘generic creationist’, given that among Christian creationists generally, one would think that Protestants stand out far more prominently than Catholics. Maybe the Behe effect? Hopefully he gives Protestant advocates fulsome credit anyway.

    Meanwhile, yes, another instance of Wiki absurdity. Whenever anyone simply dies or retires from public life in politics or showbusiness or anything else, they become “was” or “is a former” so-and-so; nothing should change the entry for this scientist given his career to date, any more than if he’d retired or died.

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