Photo of Günter Bechly

© Günter Bechly, 2015

  • Education: I studied biology (entomology), parasitology and palaeontology at the Eberhard-Karls Universität in Tübingen / Germany. I made my diploma degree (= M.Sc.) in biology in 1994 with the diploma thesis "Morphologische Untersuchungen am Flügelgeäder der rezenten Libellen und deren Stammgruppenvertreter (Insecta; Pterygota; Odonata) unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Phylogenetischen Systematik und des Grundplanes der *Odonata" under supervision of Dr. Gerhard Mickoleit (Inst. Zool., Univ. Tübingen). In 1999 I finished my Ph.D. in palaeontology with summa cum laude with the thesis "Phylogeny and systematics of fossil dragonflies (Insecta: Odonatoptera) with special reference to some Mesozoic outcrops" under supervision of Prof. W.E. Reif (Inst. Palaeont., Univ. Tübingen), also refereed by Prof. C. Brauckmann (TU Clausthal) and Prof. R. Willmann (Univ. Göttingen). Parts of this Ph.D. thesis have been accomplished at MCZ, Harvard University.
  • Previous Position: From 1999-2016 scientific employee as curator for amber and fossil insects in the paleontological department of the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart.
  • Current Position: Senior Scientist at Biologic Institute in Redmond and Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute's Center for Science & Culture in Seattle, WA, USA.
  • Research interests: Fossil history and systematics of insects (esp. dragonflies and damselflies, but also other palaeopterous pterygotes); Paleozoic fossil insects, and fossil insects from Mesozoic limestones and amber (currently with focus on the mid-Cretaceous entomofauna in Burmese amber); paleontological evidence against Neodarwinian evolution and for intelligent design theory (esp. the waiting time problem and discontinuities in the fossil record).
  • Other interests: Philosophy and metaphysics (philosophy of mind, philosophy of time, free will, metaethics, natural theology); philosophical interpretations and metaphysical implications of modern science (quantum mechanics, relativity, cosmology); intelligent design theory (with special emphasis on paleontological evidence); environmentalism, nature, and wildlife; simple living (homesteading, slow food, organic gardening, permaculture); digital photography; Apple Mac OS X and iOS; activism for a non-materialist world view and intelligent design theory (publications, lectures, website, Facebook, YouTube, etc.); reading books on science and philosophy; TV documentaries on nature and ancient history; fantasy movies.
  • World view: I strongly oppose atheism, naturalism, materialism, reductionism, and scientism. I have not become an immaterialist, supernaturalist, and philosophical theist in spite of being a scientist but because of it. My "conversion" was only based on a careful critical evaluation of empirical data and rational arguments, following the evidence wherever it leads. I am skeptical of the Neodarwinian theory of macroevolution and support intelligent design theory for purely scientific reasons. I strongly reject the modern surrogate religion of atheistic naturalism (esp. "New Atheism"), secular humanism (incl. the myth of progress), eliminative materialism, functionalist physicalism, mechanistic determinism, and reductionistic scientism as incoherent, irrational, empirically refuted, and thus absurd faith, which is mostly based on sloppy argumentation and shallow philosophy (esp. among internet infidels), and ultimately implies detrimental nihilism.
  • Favorite quotes:
    "The great majority of naturalist philosophers have an unjustified belief that naturalism is true and an unjustified belief that theism (or supernaturalism) is false." (atheist philosopher Quentin Smith in: "The Metaphilosophy of Naturalism")
    "Those who believe that it is wrong, always and everywhere, to believe anything on insufficent evidence believe that very proposition on insufficient evidence, indeed on no evidence at all." (theist philosopher William Vallicella at his "Maverick Philosopher" blog: here and here)

  • Scientific Publications:

    Published works:

    Manuscripts in press

    TV Features

    Radio Interviews

    Organized Exhibitions

    Scientific honorary posts

    New species described by me:
    A recent list 112 new species (status Aug. 2014) of fossil insects described in papers authored and/or co-authored by me, can be retrieved with this
    EDNA databank request [PDF snapshot].
    However, this list does not include the 48 new species described in JARZEMBOWSKI et al. (1998), FLECK et al. (2001, 2003, 2004, 2008), MARTILL et al. (2007), NEL & BECHLY (2009), BECHLY & STOCKAR (2011), BECHLY (2012), JATTIOT et al. (2012), NEL et al. (2012), KROGMANN et al. (2013), BECHLY & KIN (2013), and BECHLY & POINAR (2013). Otherwise, I have only described the fossil enteropneust worm Mesobalanoglossus buergeri from the Upper Jurassic Solnhofen Limestone in BECHLY & FRICKHINGER (1999).
    Consequently, I have described or co-described 161 new species and numerous new genera and higher taxa, incl. the new neuropterous insect order Schwickertoptera and the new palaeopterous insect order Coxoplectoptera (STANICZEK, BECHLY & GODUNKO, 2011).

    Eponymy (taxa named by other scientists after me):

    My Scientific Webpages:
    (Please note: the 2002 version of most of these websites are electronically published as offline-pages on the following CD-ROM: Schorr, M. & Lindeboom, M., eds, (2003): Dragonfly Research 1.2003. Zerf - Tübingen (ISSN 1438-034x)

    My Homepage of Odonatology

    My most recent views on odonate phylogeny are presented in this interactive hyperbolic tree made with Inxight StarTree Studio.
    (you can search the tree, and you can manipulate the tree with your mouse)

    My List of all known species of fossil dragonflies from the Upper Jurassic Solnhofen Limestones (99KB, PDF, in German)

    My Synoptic Time Table of Earth History (148 KB)

    My Glossary of Phylogenetic Systematics (106 KB)

    My phylogenetic tree of all life (incl. more than 23.000 fossil and recent taxa from bacteria to humans) presented as interactive hyperbolic tree made with Inxight StarTree Studio.

    Reports and Interviews on the Web:

    Interview "Kreationisten irren: Missing Links sind überaus häufig" with G. Bechly about insect evolution by the journalist Ernst Probst (published online on Nov. 30th 2007 in German)

    Interview about DNA in amber, made 2004 by Edda Schlager for "Scinexx - Das Wissensmagazin - Dossier" (in German)

    "Mensch oder Affe oder beides" German newspaper article of my public lecture about evolution (published in Nord-Rundschau on Nov. 28th 2011) (PDF)

    German newspaper article on my phylogenetic tree of life project (PDF)

    German newspaper article about a public talk on insect evolution

    SWR2 blog interview and mp3-podcast on my phylogenetic tree of life project

    German newspaper article on my Burmese amber research (PDF)

    Other sites that use my new phylogenetic classification of odonates:


    MIKKO's Phylogeny Archive (PDF)

    PALAEOS: The Trace of Life on Earth (PDF)


    Encyclopedia of Life - EOL

    Last Update: April 9th 2018

    © Günter Bechly, 2015