Michael Denton, the author of the book Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis is an australian biochemist.
The first, original edition of the book has been published in 2016 under Discovery Institute Press.
Denton is the author of a well-known book titled Evolution: A Theory of Crisis published in 1985, in which he sustained that there are not any reliable empirical testimonies to the Darwin’s theory. The presented publication is a continuation of his previous work. The author insist that since Evolution: A Theory of Crisis has been published, it has already been over 30 years – however the problems raised in that publication are still valid, and even more relevant.
The australian biochemist sustains that in nature there is a non-adaptive order, which the darwinian theory is not able to explain. According to Denton, a vaste palette of the organic world still remains a huge mystery for the evolutionistic biologists, who seek explanations in the adaptations to the environmental changes. The scientist has given examples of different species of daisies – he underlined, that there are species of daisies in nature which have thirteen petals, twenty-one or thirty-one petals. A similar variety is present in an enormous number of different species, which, according to Denton, is not possible to explain only by the phenomenon of environmental changes. He compared darwinism to a huge construction built on sand, because this theory is not able to explain the origins of traits that do not fulfill any natural selection role.
The author has suggested to look for the answers to these problems in the past and has referred to the statements of the british biologist, anatomist and paleontologist Richard Owen, who even before the publication of On the Origin of Species has been calling the researchers to seek for the base structures in the anatomy of animals (archetypes). For Owen the form was more important of the function, meanwhile Darwin has later stated his opposite position on this concept. A resumption of Owen’s theory might be – according to Denton – be native to new trends in the biological research (for example in taxonomy). Denton states that there are basic types of animals in nature, inside which a wide variety of forms can be observed. In the book, he gives a lot of examples of traits that decide about the organisms’ appurtenance to the given taxon (for example, the placenta and erythrocytes only appear in the bodies of mammals).
In the presented book, the scientist also raises the question about the lack of the indirect forms in fossils. He has also stated, that the fossil record is representative. Lack of transitional forms is not the effect of what was not yet discovered, but it rather is implied by the lack of a transitional state between different organisms. Meanwhile Darwin stated, that nature does not make any sudden changes, according to Denton – the world of living organisms is full of examples of sudden appearances of new structures.