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Donald Prothero

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Donald R. Prothero is a palaeontologist, author, promoter of evolution, and critic of dissenters from evolution.


Promotion of evolution

Prothero claims to show that the transitional forms required by evolution really do exist, and has received prominence for his views, publishing them in the book Evolution: What the fossils say and why it matters, from which were taken examples used in a New Scientist article, Evolution: What missing link?.[1] However, his examples do not withstand scrutiny.

Prothero's text book Bringing Fossils to Life: An Introduction to Paleobiology makes use of the embryo drawings of Ernst Haeckel that have long been known to be fraudulent.[2]

Abusive and poor arguments

Because creationists—which includes many practising scientists—don't agree with evolution, he considers them "science deniers",[3] and calls them "liars".[4][5]

Prothero falsely accuses creationists of not understanding, or even not knowing of, various evolutionary claims and scientific observations.[5]


Prothero seems prone to making inconsistent claims.

He claims both that supernatural claims can't be tested, and have been tested and found wrong.[6]

In his 2007 book Evolution: What the fossils say and why it matters, he criticises creationists for being woefully out of date, yet concentrates his criticisms on old creationist publications like the 1961 book by Henry Morris and John Whitcomb, The Genesis Flood.[5]

Prothero accuses creationists of abuse and harassment, whereas it's the anti-creationists and anti-IDers, including Prothero himself, who are most guilty of this.[7]

Citing Matt Taibbi, he claims "creationists live in a very cloistered cultish subculture, where they read only what their church elders tell them to read, attend many church meetings and intensive weekend retreats to receive constant reinforcement, and avoid listening to or reading any outside sources that might challenge their worldview",[8] ignoring that most non-creationists read only what the secular media tells them, attend schools that provide constant reinforcement of evolutionary ideas, and avoid reading any outside sources that might challenge their naturalistic worldview.


  1. Donald Prothero, Evolution: What missing link?, New Scientist No. 2654, Wed. 27th February, 2008Wed. February 27th, 2008. Subscription required.
  2. Luskin, Casey, Textbooks by Our Critic Donald Prothero Are Some of the Most Recent to Reprint Phony Embryo Drawings - See more at:, Evolution News and Views, Wed. 31st July, 2013Wed. July 31st, 2013.
  3. Donald Prothero, Lethal nonsense on “The View”, SkepticBlog, Wed. 24th July, 2013Wed. July 24th, 2013.
  4. Walker, Tas, Creationists are ‘liars’ (?), Creation Ministries International, Wed. 26th March, 2008Wed. March 26th, 2008.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Woodmorappe, John, Evolutionary cladograms and malevolent, straw-men creationists, Journal of Creation 23(3):39–43 December 2009, Creation Ministries International.
  6. See Creation-evolution controversy#Contradictory arguments.
  7. See Creation-evolution controversy#Ridicule and vilification, Suppression of academic dissent#Vilification, and Creation-evolution controversy#Creationist strategies, and Woodmorappe, 2009.
  8. Donald Prothero, In the belly of the beast, SkepticBlog, Wed. 31st July, 2013Wed. July 31st, 2013.
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