Austin H. Clark (1880–1954) was an American evolutionary zoologist who wrote 630 articles and books in six languages.1 Not many people have heard of him today, because he had a major problem with Darwinism, and to get around this he proposed a new theory, which challenged the evolutionary orthodoxy of his contemporaries.

The problem

In an extraordinary book, The New Evolution: Zoogenesis,2 Clark showed that there was no evidence that any major type of plant or animal had evolved from or into any other type. He wrote, ‘When we examine a series of fossils of any age we may pick out one and say with confidence “This is a crustacean”—or a starfish, or a brachiopod, or an annelid, or any other type of creature as the case may be.’ This is because all these fossils look so much like their living counterparts today. He pointed out that none of today’s definitions of the phyla or major groups of animals needs to be altered to include the fossils, and he said, ‘[I]t naturally follows that throughout the fossil record these major groups have remained essentially unchanged … the interrelationships between them likewise have remained unchanged.’3

He even said, ‘Thus so far as concerns the major groups of animals, the creationists seem to have the better of the argument. There is not the slightest evidence that any one of the major groups arose from any other.’4

None of today’s definitions of the phyla or major groups of animals needs to be altered to include the fossils.

His solution: a new theory

With all this lack of fossil evidence discrediting rather than supporting Darwin’s theory of evolution, what was an intransigent evolutionist to do? Propose a brand-new theory of his own, of course! Clark declared that each major type of life form must have evolved separately and independently from all the others. He called this idea ‘zoogenesis’….

 

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