Buckminster Fuller, Creationist

According to a 1991 Gallup poll, 5% of all scientists in the United States are creationists. R. Buckminster Fuller was a member of that elite group. All quotes followed by a number in brackets are from Fuller’s book Synergetics.

Fuller claimed Darwin’s theory of evolution was false. Fuller described Darwin’s theory of evolution as “going from simple -> complex; amoeba -> monkey -> man” [229.02] and “survival of only the fittest species (and individuals within species)” [000.108]. Fuller also described Darwin’s theory of evolution as “an illusion that as yet pervades and debilitates elementary education.” [229.02] “My speculative prehistory has assumed (since 1927) Darwin’s evolution of life from the simple to the complex, accomplished through progressive agglomeration of single-cell amoebas, to be in reverse of the facts.” [Critical Path, page 7]

Instead of Darwin’s theory of evolution, Fuller supported a Lamarckian style of creationism (he did not use those terms). Lamarckism is the theory that an organism can pass on characteristics that it acquired during its lifetime to its offspring. Creationism is the theory that humanity was created by God to fulfill a purpose. Fuller claimed that by Lamarckism physical characteristics could be bred into humanity but mental characteristics could only be bred out of humanity. Fuller also claimed it was possible for porpoises and whales had human ancestors who were particularly good swimmers.

It is easy to breed out metaphysical intellection characteristics, leaving a residual concentration of purely physical proclivities and evoluting by further inbreeding from human to monkey. (Witness the millions of dollars society pays for a “prizefight” in which two organisms are each trying to destroy the other’s thinking mechanism. This and other trends disclose that a large segment of humanity is evoluting toward producing the next millennia’s special breed of monkeys). [229.04]

We can comprehend how South Sea-atoll, lagoon-frolicking male and female human swimmers gradually inbred pairs of underwater swimmers who held their breath in their lungs for ever-longer periods, and after many inbreedings of largest lungers and as many outbreedings of general adaptability organic equipment, the progeny evolved into porpoises and later into whales. [Critical Path, pages 8-9]

Darwin was influenced by Lamarckism. After reading Robert Chambers’ 1884 book supporting Lamarckism, Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, Darwin determined to put more care into his work than Chambers had put into his. Lamarckism claimed that animals gradually changed over long periods time, that different species had common ancestors, and that one of the forces that caused change in animals was the environment. But while Darwin claimed that animals unable to adapt to changing environments perished, Lamarckism claimed animals able to adapt flourished. While Darwin claimed the agent of change in animals was random mutation, Lamarckism claimed the agent of change in animals was a drive toward perfection. The fossil record and contemporary observations confirm the theories of Darwin and discredit the theories of Jean Baptiste de Lamarck. In mistaking the non-random survival of random mutations as a drive for perfection (”Evolutingly we always acquire the means to come closer to the truth” [542.06]), Fuller was mistaken.

Whales and porpoises and humans are all mammals. Whales and porpoises have an ancestor that walked on land, as do humans. But the last common ancestor between these sea creatures and one that walked on the land died out fifty four million years ago. Humanity has existed for less than two hundred thousand years. It is not possible that whales and porpoises evolved from humans.

Fuller claimed we could guide Lamarckian change through applying our intellect to problem solving. He claimed humanity exists because the universe wants us to solve problems.

Since experience is finite, it can be stored, studied, directed, and turned with conscious effort to human advantage. This means that evolution pivots on the conscious, selective use of cumulative human experience and not on Darwin’s hypothesis of chance adaptation to survival nor on his assumption of evolution independent of individual will and design. [502.23]

Humans were included in the cosmic system’s design to fulfill critical functions in respect to maintenance of the integrity of eternally regenerative Scenario Universe. To arrive full-blown and functioning in its cosmic role, humanity has been given the capability to inventory its tactical resources progressively and to reorient its functioning from an omniautomated behavior to a progressively more conscious and responsible behavioral pattern.” [ 265.01]

“Principles are entirely and only intellectually discernible. The fundamental generalized mathematical principles govern subjective comprehension and objective realization by man of his conscious participation in evolutionary events of the Universe.” [220.02]

Darwin’s theory of evolution is an explanation for why humans (and all other life forms) exist that does not include a supernatural element. Humanity exists without any particular purpose and without any claim to be special among all other life forms. Fuller disagreed, and in so doing is a creationist. Fuller claimed that humanity exists because an anthropomorphic Universe / cosmic system / God created us. We may have been placed on the Earth by this cosmic integrity Fuller also claimed humanity among all living things exists because we have a function, and that function is problem solving. To reject this destiny is to guarantee that humanity will die out. Fuller claimed humanity was discovering the principles of Universe / God and is therefore able to evolve.

So it could be that human beings, wherever they occur in Universe, may be introduced as a means of coping metaphysically with the most complex kinds of local Universe problems, so that each one of us is where the problem-solving of Universe is being transacted. If we were to think of ourselves as things - as china dolls, as kinds of china dolls that would just get smashed up or would just get worn or eroded away - that wouldn’t be very good thinking. It would be much closer to actual Universe to think of ourselves as an absolutely continuous complex process. We are quite possibly the most complex of the problem-solving challenges of the invention that is eternally regenerative Scenario Universe. In this way each of us might be a department of the mind of what we might call god. [311.14]

Generalized design-science exploration is concerned with discovery and use by human mind of complex aggregates of generalized principles in specific-longevity, special-case innovations designed to induce humanity’s consciously competent participation in local evolutionary transformation events invoking the conscious comprehension by ever-increasing proportions of humanity of the cosmically unique functioning of humans in the generalized design scheme of Universe. [165.00]

Science must be seen as a tool of fundamental advantage for all, which Universe requires that man understand and use exclusively for the positive advantage of all of humanity, or humanity itself will be discarded by Universe as a viable evolutionary agent. [826.05]

Humans, like the honeybee, are born ignorant, preprogrammed with hunger, thirst, and respiratory drives to take in chemical elements in crystalline, liquid, and gaseous increments, as well as with procreativeness and parental-protectiveness drives. With their directly programmed drives humans inadvertently produce (what are to them) side effects, which results in their doing the right cosmic regenerative tasks for all the wrong reasons - or without any reason at all. This preliminary phase of preconditioned human reflexing, while lasting millions of years, is a gestative-phase behavior that becomes obsolete as humans’ metaphysical mind discovers the principles of precession and discovers - only through vast, cumulative trial and error - the pattern experience of both terrestrial and cosmic ecology; whereafter humans will progressively recommit their endeavors in support of the recycling and orbitally regenerative effects, precessionally interproduced by all independently orbiting cosmic systems. This abrupt 90-degree reorientation constitutes the evolutionary stage through which humanity is now passing, wherein humanity will progressively exchange its exclusive preoccupation with self-preservation for that of supporting omni-inclusive, cosmic integrity. [326.13]

As noted in the present author’s essay Inefficient Nature, Fuller was an advocate of teleology. Teleology is the interpretation of apparent order as deliberate design. The observation of apparent order in Universe is interpreted as evidence of an ordering agent, apparent design interpreted as evidence of a designer.

Fuller might have resisted the title creationist. He resisted most titles, unless they were titles he coined for himself. He might have been uncomfortable with the company of fellow creationists, or proud to be seen again as an outsider to mainstream scientific thought. How much being a creationist is a mark for or against Fuller is left to the reader. But the fact that Fuller was a creationist is demonstrated in his own words.

- Trevor Blake

Trevor Blake is the author of the Buckminster Fuller Bibliography, available at


Fuller, R. Buckminster: Critical Path. New York: St. Martin’s Press 1981.
Fuller, R. Buckminster: Synergetics. New York: Macmillan, 1975.
Fuller, R. Buckminster: Synergetics 2. New York: Macmillan, 1979.
Isaak, Mark: Index to Creationist Claims, Claim CA111.
Wikipedia: Cetacea.
Wikipedia: Human.
Wikipedia: Lamarckism.
Wikipedia: The Ancestor’s Tale.’s_Tale
Wilkins, John: Darwin’s Precursors and Influences.

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Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 Uncategorized

Buckminster Fuller and the Twelfth of July

All of the following occurred on the twelfth of July…

1895 Richard Buckminster Fuller was born.
1910 Richard Buckminster Fuller Senior, Fuller’s father, died.
1917 Fuller married Anne Hewlett.
1933 Fuller completed Dymaxion Car #1.
1938-1939 ‘the main system of general education instruction to go on the air and screen’ according to Fuller’s book Nine Chains to the Moon.
1938 Roger Hewlett wrote a poem for Fuller titled One Chain to a Room.
1940 Fuller vacationed with Christopher Morley and conceived the Dymaxion Deployment Unit.
1957 a United States Marine Corps dome was lifted by helicopter from the deck of the USS Leyte.
1957 Fuller received an honorary doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri USA.
1966 Fuller lectured at a NASA Symposium at Southern Illinois University Institute of Technology in Carbondale, Illinois USA.
1967 the Montreal Biosphère was dedicated by Fuller to Anne as a wedding anniversary gift.
1969 the first Public World Game was played in New York City, New York USA.
1970 Fuller received an honorary doctorate from Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois USA.
1974 Matthew Meyerson wrote a haiku for Fuller in the Synergetics Cookbook.
1976 Fuller received and honorary doctorate from the University of New Mexico.
1980 John Cage wrote a poem about Buckminster Fuller.
[R. Buckminster Fuller died in 1983]
1984 a commemorative exhibit titled In Memoriam R B F was shown in Singapore.
1999 Your Private Sky: R. Buckminster Fuller edited by Joachim Krausse published.
2000 Ron Campbell performed Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe at the Lorraine Hansberry Theater in San Francisco, California USA.
2003 the Artaud Theater in San Francisco hosted a Buckminster Fuller birthday tribute.
2004 the US Postal Service issued a stamp honoring Buckminster Fuller.
2008 Bucky’s Ge-Odyssey presented by The Center for Architecture Foundation in New York City, New York USA.
2008 went online.

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Wednesday, July 1st, 2009 Uncategorized

Buckminster Fuller, Literary Critic

Among the many uncollected works of Buckminster Fuller are his book blurbs.  There was a time when Fuller’s social credit was such that an advertiser would use his words to promote anything from books on architecture to non-fiction to novels.  Here are some examples of book and magazine blurbs by R. Buckminster Fuller. - Trevor Blake

Architects on Architecture by Paul Heyer. “Your beautiful book is magnificently done.” New York Times 26 February 1967.  Paul Heyer is an architectural critic and author.

Future Shock by Alvin Toffler.  “Cogent… brilliant… I hope vast numbers will read Toffler’s book.”  Made into a film narrated by Orson Wells.  New York Times 5 January 29 and 31 August 1970.  Alvin Toffler, like Fuller, was associated with Fortune magazine.  Toffler is the author of The Third Wave and other books on futurist themes.

Watership Down by Richard Adams.  “One of those great ones that every once in a while lets us know that the universe has something really mysteriously great ‘going’ for humanity.”  Watership Down was made into film and a television series.  New York Times 26 February 1974.

Naked is the Best Disguise by Samuel Rosenberg.   The author “may overwhelm you.  His tapestry is beautiful.  It is incredibly logical.  I love it.”  New York Times 16 and 20 June 1974.  Rosenberg suggests that author Sir A. C. Doyle revealed his personal thoughts through his character Sherlock Holmes.

The New Yorker Magazine.  “I first came to Philadelphia in the navy, during World War I.  I was the commander of a small craft and was ordered to dock at the foot of Market Street.  It happened to be Halloween.  Not knowing how Philadelphia behaves on Halloween, I was astonished to find the whole evening I was kissed by beautiful girls.  They still have this wonderful community spirit here in Philadelphia.”  New York Times 24 October 1974.  The New Yorker is a magazine founded in the 1920s.

The Urban Predicament by William Gorman and Nathan Glazer. “I am in full agreement with you regarding the predicament… and I am all for the logical amplification of concern so effectively accomplished by your book.”  New York Times 13 June 1976.  A publication of the Urban Institute, founded in 1968.

The Human Cougar by Lloyd L. Morain. “… a warm, vivid appreciation of… a disappearing species… maligned by the masters of money and politics… ” New York Times 21 November 1976. Morain is also the author of the book Humanism As the Next Step.

Others Including Morstive Sternbump by Marvin Cohen.  “This book appeals to me so much that I do not want to make any careless quickie remarks.  Morstive Sternbump’s philosophy is congruent with my own.”  New York Times 12 December 1976.

The Clam Lake Papers by Edward Lueders.  “So spontaneously of interest that despite the priorities, we find ourselves stealing time that belongs to our committed responsibilities.  The Clam Lake Papers… certainly are for me.” New York Times 27 November 1977.  Lueders is also the author of Writing Natural History.

The Cousteau Almanac by Jaques-Yves Cousteau.  “The Cousteau Almanac is must reading for all those committed to the successful continuance of humankind in the Universe.”  New York Times 25 October 1981.  Cousteau was the inventor of the self-contained underwater breathing apparatus, SCUBA.

Mankind in Amnesia by Immanuel Velikovsky.  “Mankind in Amnesia is an extraordinarily important book, beautifully researched and devastatingly true.”  New York Times 11 April 1982.  Velikovsky was the founder of what has been called catastrophism, or the interpretation of ancient stories of world catastrophes as literal descriptions of past events.

Trevor Blake is the author of the Buckminster Fuller Bibliography, available at

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Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 Uncategorized


[1] The synchronofile is a private collection of printed work by and about R. Buckminster Fuller, owned by Trevor Blake and located in Portland, OR USA. Access to researchers available by appointment. [2] is a publisher of works by and about R. Buckminster Fuller.