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Left; Charles Darwin, Right; Tucker Carlson.	Source: Left; Julius Jääskeläinen/CC BY 2.0 Right; Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA 2-0

Does Tucker Carlson Have A Point About the Theory of Evolution?


In a recent episode of "The Joe Rogan Experience," Tucker Carlson made controversial statements regarding Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, suggesting that there is "no evidence" to support the idea that humans have evolved from single-cell organisms to their current state. This claim, which counters centuries of scientific research, has sparked significant debate and criticism from various quarters, questioning and disagreeing with Carlson's position. So, what is Calson talking about, and does it have any validity?

“No evidence, zip, zero”

Carlson's claim that "there's no evidence at all" for human evolution from single-cell organisms is a strong statement, and flies in the face of both the nature of scientific evidence and the vast array of data that many specialist scientists accept supports evolutionary theory. These scientists claim there is plenty of evidence supporting the theory, and enough to extrapolate that humans evolved in just the same way as the evidence shows other living organisms did.

So, what lies underneath this claim?

Carlson notes that evolution “is still a theory”, which is a valid point - the theory of evolution by natural selection is a theoretical explanation for how living organisms as they exist today came about. This is like many other scientific theories that we use to help explain the world (eg. various theories of Gravity, Quantum Mechanics, the Big Bang Theory, even the Germ Theory of Disease).

One should note that in scientific terms, a theory is not just a guess or hypothesis but a well-substantiated explanation for phenomena observed in the natural world. Theories are grounded in evidence and tested against observations; they are not mere speculations.

However, a well substantiated theory isn't always correct. Many theories are replaced as new evidence emerges. Examples include the Phlogiston theory, the Miasma theory, and Einstein's Static Universe model.

So even generally accepted theories are open to be questioned and challenged, and Calson later notes this is what science does - questions and seeks proof.

Carlson Interview April 2024 on the Joe Rogan Experience. (Joe Rogan Experience/YouTube Screenshot)

Carlson Interview April 2024 on the Joe Rogan Experience. (Joe Rogan Experience/YouTube Screenshot)

The Glaring Gaps

Calson’s main argument to back his statement that, “I think we have given up on the idea of evolution, the theory of evolution as articulated by Darwin is, kind of not true” was that there are gaps in the fossil record that cannot be explained. He said, “the idea that all life emerged from a single cell organism over time, there would be a fossil record of that, and there’s not.”

These gaps allow Calson (and others) to argue that humans did not necessarily evolve in the same way as the other living things, as reflected in the fossil record. His statement is perhaps an exaggerated form of the idea that, without evidence showing the full progression from single cell to human, we cannot be sure that there are not stages in evolution that differ from what we have a record of.

Questioning gaps in the fossil record is one of several lines of criticisms of the evidence for Darwin’s evolution theory (and the only one we will go into here). Indeed, Darwin was aware of these shortfalls in evidence and hoped the gaps would be filled with future findings.

So firstly, why would there be such gaping holes in the fossil record, gaps of millions of years? And secondly, does this disprove the Theory of Evolution?

Collage of four fossil taxa/genera. (PaleoNeolitic/CC BY 4.0)

Collage of four fossil taxa/genera. (PaleoNeolitic/CC BY 4.0)

Fossil Evidence for Evolution

What does exist in the fossil record? The fossil record extends back to the origins of solid-bodied organisms, roughly 3.5 billion years ago. Here's a breakdown of key points in the development of the fossil record:

  1. Archean Eon (4 to 2.5 billion years ago): The oldest known fossils date to this period. These fossils are mainly stromatolites, which are layered structures formed by the activities of microbes, particularly cyanobacteria. Stromatolites provide evidence of life from around 3.5 billion years ago.
  2. Proterozoic Eon (2.5 billion to 540 million years ago): This eon features the continuation of microbial life, with an increase in the complexity and diversity of organisms, including the appearance of eukaryotic cells (cells with a nucleus). Toward the end of the Proterozoic, around 600 million years ago, the first multicellular organisms begin to appear, such as the soft-bodied Ediacaran biota, which are among the earliest multicellular life forms visible in the fossil record.
  3. Phanerozoic Eon (540 million years ago to present): This eon, which includes the current period, is when the fossil record becomes significantly richer and more diverse, reflecting the rapid evolution and diversification of life forms. It starts with the Cambrian Period (540 million to 485 million years ago), famous for the "Cambrian Explosion," a relatively short evolutionary event that marks the rapid emergence of most major animal phyla and a dramatic increase in the complexity of organisms.
  4. Cambrian and Beyond: Post-Cambrian periods show progressively complex and diverse life forms, including the rise of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The fossil record from these periods includes not only bones but also soft tissues in some exceptional cases, providing a detailed view of the past ecosystems and evolutionary history.

To directly respond to Carlson’s argument, can the gaps be explained?

Well, not everything that dies becomes fossilized, and in fact, the process of fossilization is extremely rare. Any organism that is made of only soft tissue soon disappears. Even humans soon decay and bones crumble to dust, unless conditions allow fossilization to occur. So it is not really surprising that there are gaps.

Do the gaps in the evidence allow that we might not have the full story on what occurred through the evolutionary process from amoeba to humans? Yes. SOMETHING might have happened that we don’t know about, but there is no scientific evidence of anything else (yet).

Other arguments against the fossil record supporting the Theory of evolution include:

 (1) The sudden emergence of complex organisms; (2) Missing intermediate forms; (3) Mass extinctions; (4) Stasis in animals; (5) Out of order fossils; (6) Compressed timelines; (7) The Burgess Shale discovery of more complex organisms at the Cambrian; and (8) Precambrian only offers microscopic organisms and no precursors.  (Evolution Is A Myth)

Charles Darwin. (Julius Jääskeläinen/CC BY 2.0)

Charles Darwin. (Julius Jääskeläinen/CC BY 2.0)

Do these considerations make the theory as a whole void?

Advocates of evolutionary theory claim it places all of the data from fossils and from living organisms into a coherent pattern, which fits very well with the evidence.

For instance, the fossil record, despite its gaps, contains numerous examples of transitional species such as the archaeopteryx, a creature with features of both birds and dinosaurs, suggesting a link between the two groups.

In general, the fossil record provides critical insights into the development of life on Earth, supporting a long history of gradual development from simple to complex organisms. Top of Form

Modern genetics has further bolstered Darwin's theory by mapping the DNA sequences of different species, which show clear patterns of shared ancestry and divergence consistent with evolutionary theory. The genetic similarities between diverse species, including humans, are profound and difficult to explain without evolutionary theory.

Geneticists claim that, once the basics of DNA were understood, and with the help of computers, it has become possible to unravel the entire genome of many living species and, the fact that they are all genetically related.

So there is a lot of evidence from different areas of study which fit perfectly with the Theory of Evolution.

Now, there have been corrections to the theory over the years, for example, a recent gene study posited that gene mutation is not random, as Darwin thought, but favors beneficial traits.

But such alterations and adjustments to the theory in the light of new evidence does not serve to prove it is completely wrong, only it is not 100% accurate in its current form, and adjustments can be made.

Filling in the Gaps

While Tucker Carlson is certainly entitled to his opinions, this claim about evolution generally lacks support from the scientific community, and contradicts the plentiful evidence available to date that does support Darwin’s theory. Is the evidence complete? No, but the idea that there is ‘no evidence’ seems severely flawed.

And although he is correct to observe there are gaps in the fossil record, his assertion that this would not be the case if Darwin’s theory was true doesn’t hold water, due to the explanations for the gaps above. Does it throw up question about evolution? Sure.

Evolutionary theory remains one of the most robust and widely accepted explanations in the scientific community for the diversity and complexity of life on Earth, but is still open to critique and refinement.

Top image: Left; Charles Darwin, Right; Tucker Carlson.Source: Left; Julius Jääskeläinen/CC BY 2.0 Right; Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA 2-0

By Gary Manners


Chiappe, L. M., & Dyke, G. J. (2006). The Early Evolutionary History of Birds. Journal of Paleontological Sciences: JPS.A.07.0001.

Darwin, C. (1859). On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. London: John Murray.

Futuyma, D. J. (2013). Evolution. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.

Hess, P. (2024). Tucker Carlson says there is 'no evidence' for Darwin's theory of evolution - and even his friend and boss Elon Musk says he doesn't agree. Daily Mail. Available at:

Joe Rogan Experience #2138 - Tucker Carlson. YouTube.

National Academy of Sciences. (2008). Science, Evolution, and Creationism. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

The Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium. (2005). Initial sequence of the chimpanzee genome and comparison with the human genome. Nature, 437(7055), 69-87.

‘The Fossil Record Fails to Defend Evolution.’ Evolution is a Myth. Available at:



Brent Daglish1's picture

Not only is there no evidence at all, the whole theory of evolution as a suppossed science based system is in fact the greatest ‘faith based’ beleif system in the world and as one who believes in creation, I am in real awe at the level of blind faith of those have who believe in the TBBT. 

Brent Daglish1's picture

Not only is there no evidence at all, the whole theory of evolution as a suppossed science based system is in fact the greatest ‘faith based’ beleif system in the world and as one who believes in creation, I am in real awe at the level of blind faith of those have who believe in the TBBT. 

Thank you Gary, a thought provoking article.

I tend to agree with Tucker, we have been programmed for centuries to accept “theories”

as truths when they often have not been fully validated.

Darwin was not an Atheist. He was a Theist. His God was Satan.

His theory cones from that. Like much that does come from that community, his theory is a half-truth taken beyond truth quite deliberately.

Micro-evolution exists. Today, we have almost a thousand terminal taxa of the genus Eucalyptus and the closely allied genera of Corymbia and Angophora as botanical taxonomy regards them. There could easily be at least six genera there, rather than three. Equally, there could be a few hundred species. Or even one hundred, depending upon whether one lumps or splits taxa.

Some of these species are so similar that even botanists cannot tell them apart. They hybridise and intergrade and confuse even the most expert.

However, clearly differentiation and adaption happens. Yet, this does not turn a Eucalyptus gum tree into a rose, for example. It is micro-evolution within a type, something that genetics wholly backs up.

One may compare a eucalypt with a myrtle and conclude they are part of the same Family, despite a myrtle having superficial similarity to a blueberry. Yet, this doesn't prove evolutionary theory. Neither does the fact that a eucalypt shares traits with algae, such as photosynthesis. Neither does a finch population developing larger bills so as to eat different food.

Nothing proves Evolutionary theory. I came to Evolutionary disbelief after coming into contact with religion, but I don't refer to my Christianity. I refer to the religion practised by Darwin which caused him to write a theory he knew full well to be false.

You ask a very good question.

I know who would finance Ancient Origins. They have both motive and means. They also have a track record of this type of activity.

Yet, most historians are oblivious to such activity.


Gary Manners's picture


Gary is an editor and content manager for Ancient Origins. He has a BA in Politics and Philosophy from the University of York and a Diploma in Marketing from CIM. He has worked in education, the educational sector, social work... Read More

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