WAU - Paradigm Crisis Gallery

A paradigm crisis

Paradigm Crisis Gallery

With the advance of knowledge a widening gap has appeared between the evidence and the accepted interpretation of the world around us. Thomas Kuhn called such a situation a paradigm crisis.1 These exhibits elaborate reasons for coming to such a conclusion:

  • The fossil evidence from the geological strata does not support the evolution of complex life from molecules. Most phyla – the major groups in the animal kingdom – appear suddenly, mainly in the Cambrian rocks;
  • Life is dependent on a source of information which has not been replicated by experiment;
  • Organisms reveal levels of interdependence, and are therefore irreducibly complex;
  • The evidence suggests that many of the rock formations result from catastrophic rather than gradual uniformitarian processes;
  • The long periods of time originally required to justify the uniformitarian approach need to be re-evaluated;
  • the principles on which radioactive dating is based can be questioned.
1 Kuhn, Thomas, S (1962), The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, University of Chicago Press

Trilobite (Asaphus kowalewskii) from the middle Ordovician deposits of the Volkhov River region near St Petersburg, Russia.

The Fossil Record

Is there a common ancestor in the fossil record?

Diagram of DNA code replicating. Two strands of the old DNA are separated, each one pairing up to form new coded units. The strands then ”zip” together again.


How does information make life?

Quartz crystals. The crystals exhibit the characteristic shape, hardness and density of this mineral.


Design or natural selection?

Tektites formed by the impact of large meteorites on Earth's surface. They are natural glass rocks,

Record of the Rocks

A catastrophic story?

Polonium radiohalos in Shap granite.


Is dating reliable?