Otto Schindewolf, a European paleontologist, is known for the "Hopeful Monster" theory he proposed in the 1930s.208 (See The Hopeful Monster Fantasy.)
Schindewolf suggested that living things evolved through sudden and giant mutations, rather than by the small step-by-step mutations advocated by neo-Darwinists. As an example of his theory, Schindewolf claimed that the first bird in history emerged from a reptile egg through a gross mutation-a giant, random mutation in its genetic structure.
According to the theory, certain large terrestrial animals might have suddenly turned into whales as a result of sudden and comprehensive changes. Schindewolf's fantastical theory was later adopted in the 1940s by the geneticist Richard Goldschmidt of Berkeley University. Yet so inconsistent was the theory that it was swiftly abandoned.209