Stranger Fruit

Jerry Bergman is well know to those of us who follow creationism – in the past he has blamed Darwin(ism) for practically every ill that afflicts the modern world and regularly publishes “historical” work in the journals of the Answers in Genesis and teh Creation Research Society. Bergman’s history is deeply flawed and he twists facts to suit his pre-ordained position (like many YEC commentators).

Bergman has recently written a piece for ICR Impact discussing the French philosopher, Henri Bergson, author of L’Evolution créatrice (1907, not 1944 as Bergman indicates). The articles begins:

An anti-Darwinian theory of biological origins that was well received and widely accepted for years was creative evolution. This theory attempted to deal with some of the major problems of Darwin’s theory, especially the origin of biological information. Developed by Henri Bergson, the level of the theory’s acceptance is indicated by the fact that the author was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in this area. It is the only Nobel ever awarded for an anti-Darwinian theory of biological origins.

As Bergson’s theory is adequately discussed here, it will suffice for me to point out (as Bergman himself nottes) that Bergson’s Nobel prize was for literature “in recognition of his rich and vitalizing ideas and the brillant skill with which they have been presented,” certainly not an indicator of “the level of the theory’s acceptance” and hardly an endorsement of “an anti-Darwinian theory of biological origins.” Certainly there is no evidence for Bergman’s claim that

Bergson’s theory was honored with a Nobel because it appeared to a large number of scholars to be a plausible explanation for the source of genetic variety which natural selection could fine tune.


  1. #1 PalMD
    August 17, 2007

    Arghh!!111oneone!!! Oh, the humanity! Next, we’ll see him quoting Nelson Mandela on HIV…(see the parallel?)

  2. #2 Erp
    August 17, 2007

    I think you might be confusing Nelson Mandela with his successor Thabo Mbeki. Mbeki is the one who has been making
    claims about AIDS and HIV not being related.

  3. #3 TomS
    August 18, 2007

    I’d like to point out that in the early 20th century there was the era called “the eclipse of Darwnism”.

    If, as the writers contend, “creative evolution” was widely accepted in that era (and “Darwinism” was not), then the blame for the evils consequences falls more on writers like Bergson than on Darwin.

    It is somewhat suggestive, after all, if one believes, along with many of the creationists:

    1. Evolution occurs within “mankind”.

    2. Without intelligent design, evolution will lead to deterioration.

    3. There are moral lessons to be drawn from nature.

    … which is to say, if one takes a creationist approach to evolution, rather than a scientific one, then eugenics is a plausible consequence.

    And the coincidence of these various social/political movements with the eclipse of Darwinism – including Bergson’s creative evolution – is not so much of a coincidence.

  4. #4 James McGrath
    September 20, 2007

    I recently posted an ‘award’ for the most hypocritical argument in the history of young-earth creationism on my blog at

    It relates to this theme because it illustrates that one’s area of expertise is only relevant if it supports YEC, but not if it undermines it.

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