Douglas Dewar book

Douglas Dewar

1875 - 1957
by David F. Coppedge

An eminent ornithologist and former evolutionist, Douglas Dewar helped organize a movement against the theory of evolution in Britain in the post-Scopes era.

The following description of his life is taken from Men of Science, Men of God by Henry M. Morris:

Douglas Dewar (1875 – 1957) was a founder of the Evolution Protest Movement in London in 1932 and was a long-time leader of this organization. He had been a graduate of Cambridge in Natural Science and was an evolutionist in his early career, even authoring books on evolution. He had a distinguished career in India, both in politics and as a naturalist and ornithologist, authoring more than 20 books on the birds and the history of India. After he became a Christian and creationist, when he was about 50 years of age, he wrote numerous papers and books expounding the scientific basis of creationism. He was elected Vice President of the Victoria Institute and participated in a number of both written and oral creation/evolution debates with leading British evolutionists, including H. S. Shelton, J. B. S. Haldane, and Joseph McCabe.”

The Evolution Protest Movement is now called the Creation Science Movement and is still active. Their website mentions Douglas Dewar as one of the prime movers of the organization. His title is listed as “barrister and Auditor General of the Indian Civil Service.” He served as the EPM’s third president from 1946 to 1957, the year he died.

Some may remember a palm-sized booklet distributed by the Evolution Protest Movement that summarized key scientific evidences against Darwin’s ideas. This booklet was widely circulated in the 1950s and 1960s when few creationist resources were available.

A search on Amazon.com shows that 38 books by Douglas Dewar are still listed. To have written 20 books on birds of India, the Himalayas and Kashmir suggests years of travel, adventure, and detailed scientific observation in a country far distant from his native land.

Among the many scientific books on birds and ornithology, the catalog lists half a dozen other books by Dewar on the creation/evolution controversy. Most notably, his anti-evolution book The Transformist Illusion (1957) received three five-star ratings by reviewers. The reviews are well worth reading.

Another book is a debate against J. B. S. Haldane. For Dewar to take on this prominent evolutionary theorist is noteworthy. Remember what evolutionist Steve Jones said about Haldane? (09/02/2004) –

Set against the bearded bigot [R. A. Fisher], the Gandalf-like figure of Haldane is revealed in a rather better light.  A daring and often reckless experimenter, he was known in the trenches as the Rajah of Bomb and was pursued by the whiff of cordite [smokeless powder] throughout his career.  He stuck with the Communist party long after his colleagues had abandoned it, and Kohn provides a telling account of Haldane’s readiness to support Comrade Lysenko even in the face of powerful evidence against his theories.

So if the communist Haldane was fond of Lysenko, who is today roundly denounced as a mad scientist responsible for artificial famines in Russia and China that killed millions, what should we think of Haldane’s adherence to “Chairman Charles” as Jones called Darwin? This should be an interesting debate to go back and review.

In her article about the Evolution Protest Movement at CMI, Effie Munday provides this description of the fearless creationist:

Douglas Dewar, Captain Acworth’s close friend and associate in the work, added scientific knowledge to his legal skills to become a formidable opponent in debates. It was he who produced the great bulk of the literature distributed over many years. His work was so sound that his facts could not be challenged although his conclusions were always criticised. The Victoria Institute (of which he was a vice-president) published his book Man: A Special Creation in three editions, besides other papers refuting the theory of evolution. As a keen debater Douglas Dewar was fearless in challenge; and as a brilliant barrister he was undeterred by threats of legal action by the famous Sir Julian Huxley.

Munday notes that “Dewar and other pioneers [of the Evolution Protest Movement] took the long day-age standpoint and accepted the classical geological periods” because their primary concern was about “the effect on society of the theory of evolution.” In later years, however, they moved toward a Biblical creation view. The EPM changed its name to the Creation Science Movement (CSM) in 1980 to reflect the change in focus. Apparently the group is still in operation as of 2022 and has a website with resources.

I remember listening to an excellent lecture in the 1990s by one of CSM’s leaders, Dr David Rosevear, who was in the USA on a speaking tour. It was the first time I had heard of ATP synthase and its rotary mechanism, which was just becoming known at the time (see article by Michael Behe about this “most important machine in the world” in World Magazine, Sept 22, 2022). Rosevear highlighted this rotary engine as an example of God’s wisdom in the cell—something evolution could not explain. That lecture may have been similar to this one posted on CSM’s YouTube channel (date not provided, uploaded from videotape).

Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any portraits of Douglas Dewar. His life story, though, gives the lie to the myth that creationists are bound to the church indoctrination of their youth and cannot accept evolution for religious reasons. Here was a man who was an esteemed scientist with a long scientific and publishing career, with political leadership experience, before he turned against Darwinism in his mature years. He was so adamant in his scientific objections to evolution, he devoted himself to the formation of the Evolution Protest Movement, which he helped lead for 12 years in his 70s and 80s. In addition, he debated leading evolutionists, and wrote books that are still highly regarded today.

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