Saturday, 31 January 2015

Darwin by Desmond and Moore

DarwinDarwin by Adrian Desmond and James Moore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This superb book uses Darwin's letters, diary, notebooks and the literature to paint an honest and detailed picture of the man - some warts an all. If someone could ever do the same for Patrick Matthew, from whose 1831 book Darwin and Wallace are newly shown in my book Nullius in Verba - Darwin's Greatest Secret
  Nullius in Verba - Darwin's Greatest Secret by Mike   Sutton
to have plagiarized the discovery of natural selection then this book would take on an entirely different shade.

The authors correctly and in detail make much of the reasons Darwin held off publishing and why he kept a divine creator in the scheme of things. And for this compromise he was buried in Westminster Abbey. Why then, ignoring the fact that the literature contains Matthew's own explanation (see: that he could not promote his discovery in the early and mid 19th century, does the famous atheist Richard Dawkins ignore such historical facts to rhetorically insist that Matthew should have trumpeted his 1831 book from the rooftops when it, unlike Chambers's anonymous Vestiges, and unlike Darwin's 'Origin' bravely handed God his redundancy notice in its heretical appendix? Is it not because he worships his belief in the myth of Darwin over historical reality

The top Darwinist Richard Dawkins (2010 Seeing Further: Ideas, Endeavours, Discoveries and Disputes — The Story of Science Through 350 Years of the Royal Society infamously believes that because Matthew did not trumpet his unique 1831 discovery from the rooftops that the poor sucker never knew what he had discovered. Because Desmond and Moore reveal the Victorian age was still rife with prosecutions for heresy and blasphemy. It was an age when the great threat of social and scientific ostracism hung over unorthodox science. And so it was for fear of being associated with the heretical and seditious Matthew - most surely - that Darwin and Wallace never cited him. And such profit did the church bring them both, and misery upon the latterly bankrupt Matthew and his family of unmarriageable 'shamed' daughters - who burnt all his papers and had him buried in an unmarked grave.

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Friday, 30 January 2015

Naming Jack The Ripper: A case study in bad science

Naming Jack the RipperNaming Jack the Ripper by Russell Edwards
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Beginning at the end of the 2014 news story that underpins this book, Dr Louelainen - Russell's Edwards's scientific associate - made a scientific error in recording and analyzing DNA analysis results. The scarf that is the star of this book cannot in fact be linked by DNA to the Riper victim Catherine Eddowes.

I pre-ordered this book on my Kindle and read it cover to cover inside seven hours.

`Naming Jack the Ripper' is over 300 pages in length and fairly well trips along with background details of the Ripper's killings, the times he murdered in and the unfortunate social circumstances of his victims. At face value, I very much like the book and I like the author's voice. Its well written and will undoubtedly sell well.

The story in this book is essentially that the author - Russell Edwards, who is a businessman - obtained a shawl at the reserve price after it failed to sell at auction. The scarf was blood-stained, supposedly with the blood of the Ripper's victim Catherine Eddowes. To cut to the chase, DNA analysis of the scarf purportedly found that stains on it matched the DNA of Ripper suspect Aaron Kosminski and one of his victims named Catherine Eddowes.

However, there are some big problems with this book. Those problems all stem from the fact that many key scientific protocols seem to have been non-existent in the handling of the scarf and the modern DNA samples used to establish the provenance of supposedly old 19th century DNA on it. In this respect I am reminded of what led scientists astray in the case of the Piltdown Man fraud.

The author, Edwards, frequently has the entire shawl in his lone and sole possession along with modern DNA samples that are used to match allegedly old DNA samples on the shawl. Surely, with the shawl, being in two pieces, he should have begun from the start by securing one piece away with a trustworthy independent third party (such as a highly notable and entirely independent solicitor at the very least, but an independent and esteemed academic body at best). Furthermore, Edwards, the author, should not have been the one to collect and be in possession of the DNA samples from the victim's and suspect's modern day genetic descendants. Why Edwards's scientific collaborator, Dr Louhelainen, failed to stop this scientific faux pas requires public explanation. Because, most unfortunately, we learn, it is the author himself who collects a DNA swab from a surviving genetic descendant of Eddowes and also from the surviving genetic descendant of the author's sole chief suspect - Aaron Kaminski. Moreover - to repeat the essential point for emphasis - it is the author who has these DNA swabs and the shawl in his possession together for some time before handing them over to Dr Louhelainen to see if the blood on the scarf contains DNA matching that of Eddowes' modern genetic descendant, and the same for Kaminski's. The author clearly says he would not trust the SUSPECT's decedents DND sample to the post: see here and earlier he wrote that he had the VICTIM'S descendent's DNA in his own domestic freezer for several weeks at the same time he was in possession of the shawl - see here:

I'm no expert on DNA analysis, but since we are told that Dr Louhelainen took samples of his own DNA and Edwards's in order to rule them out, it seems that he was unable to tell the age of the DNA he was examining. If so, then this means that we cannot rule out the possibility that the author - Edwards - could possibly have taken small amounts of DNA from Eddowes's descendant's sample and used it to contaminate the blood stain on the shawl before he handed both over to Dr Louhelainen to examine. Moreover, since research proves that scientists do - most unfortunately - commit science fraud far more frequently than we would wish or imagine - we cannot rule out the possibility that Dr Louhelainen (who we are informed was working on the shawl alone and in his own time) might have deliberately or accidentally contaminated the blood stain on the shawl with the DNA sample taken from the victim's living descendant.

When it comes to the DNA sample from an unnamed descendant of the Ripper suspect - Aaron Kaminski - the book becomes rather unclear. We are told that a number of microscope slides taken from the shawl were collected from a possible semen stain that contained no sperm. The slides do nonetheless contain cells that may or may not have come from the inside of a male urethra at ejaculation, or else some other unrelated part of their body. We are told that one cell found, amongst others, on these slides was a very significant match to the DNA of Kosminski's surviving genetic descendant who gave the author, Edwards, a DNA sample.

Most importantly, what we are not told in the book, however, is whether as part of this analysis Dr Louelainen needed to take other samples from the shawl after Edwards was in sole and lone possession of both it and the modern Kosminski's genetic descendant's DNA sample. Moreover, we are not told whether or not it would have been possible at any time for the author to contaminate any of those slides, anyway, with modern Kosminski descendant DNA.

Finally, since Dr Louelainen was working in his own time and alone, we cannot, I'm afraid to say, rule out the possibility that he deliberately or accidentally contaminated the slides with modern DNA.

Acknowledging the possibility that the author committed a research fraud, or that his scientific associate did the same - or negligently contaminated the entire shawl - is not an act of character defamation. On the contrary, it is a reflection of the demands placed upon scientific discovery by the orthodox scientific community. Nullius in Verba is the motto of the Royal Society. It means we should not take the word alone of anyone that something is true. Researchers create or adopt specific research designs in order to ensure that their findings can be independently replicated. What concerns me - from what the author writes in his book - is that the question of contamination with modern DNA may now always hang over the shawl. If that is indeed the case (and of that I am far from certain) then the claimed results in this book cannot be independently replicated if expert DNA scientists cannot distinguish between modern and Victorian DNA.

I was drawn to read the book because Edwards himself and his scientific associate - Dr Jari Louhelainen - relied in no small part on the 'big data' science that facilitated the DNA checks, identification of victim and suspect modern day descendants and related research around the textile industry, fabric dying and other facts. I am, for reasons of my own recent research endeavours Nullius in Verba - Darwin's Greatest Secret very interested in the role of big data analysis in solving problems - including the detection of crimes. Consequently, I very much wanted to find that Edwards really had unquestionably cracked the case of who was Jack the Ripper. Unfortunately, the book has raised a number of questions that need answering before I am in a position to raise a glass to Edwards and Louhelainen. But I sincerely hope that one day I will.

In the meantime, whilst I most certainly recommend you buy and cherish this book, our skeptical alarm bells should sound, because in his quest for modern DNA to detect the Ripper Edwards most "fortunately", it so rapidly turned out, initially set about solely looking for a suitable genetic descendant of Aaron Kosminski - a Polish Jew who has been favored by only some Ripperologists, and allegedly others in the police service named by Edwards, as the most likely person to have been the Ripper. Edwards makes a fairly plausible case (in places creative, insightful unusual but not at all irrational) for why he focused first on Kosminski - and I won't give too much about that away here (you should read the book) - but, unfortunately, his initial choice of suspect should not be enough to allay our suspicions in light of the unfortunately undeniable multiple opportunities for science fraud that I believe existed.

I apologize profoundly to both Russell Edwards and Dr Jari Louhelainen for pointing my finger of suspicious skepticism their way. I sincerely hope that neither committed any kind of science fraud. Moreover, I sincerely hope that the forensic tests used were done properly and will be considered reliable by the expert scientific community under peer review.

Meanwhile, we have some facts that might allay all my horribly nagging suspicions if more research is undertaken. Firstly, we are left with the fact that Edwards tells us that before he bought the shawl that Scotland Yard's "Black Museum" took a sample of stained cloth from it. Secondly, we are told that, also before he bought the shawl, two other samples of fabric were cut from it and have been framed and that they remain in the possession of other parties known to the author. These "independent" other samples from the shawl provide one possible route for scientists to conduct a second round of tests, in properly controlled scientific conditions, to rule out the possibility of fraud or other route of contamination of the old stains with modern DNA from the genetic descendants of Eddowes and Kosminski. Until such analysis is conducted, I am afraid that we cannot yet safely concur with the final words of Edwards's otherwise excellent book: "Aaron Kosminski is Jack the Ripper."

In sum, this story - as it currently stands- is potentially (at least) not too dissimilar to the story of Charles Dawson supplying, by various clever contrivances, Arthur Smith Woodward of the British Museum with absolutely ALL of the forensic physical evidence - which he obtained and solely possessed - for Piltdown Man. And just look how badly that turned out. History has some hard lessons to teach us. We would be foolish to ignore them.

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Monday, 26 January 2015

Darwin Deleted: A book jam packed with juicy errors

Darwin Deleted: Imagining a World without DarwinDarwin Deleted: Imagining a World without Darwin by Peter J. Bowler
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

In this book, (Bowler 2013) Darwin Deleted: Imagining a World without Darwin, Professor Bowler - Professor emeritus of the history of science at Queens University Belfast - creates a counterfactual history of how things might have turned out had Darwin died aboard the Beagle and never written about natural selection.

His book is well written and entertaining once you get beyond the necessarily very thorough caveats about the usefulness of thinking counter-factually in the introduction. However, it contains significant and unforgivable errors. That I am no Darwinist and no science historian and yet the fact that I know them to be 100% erroneous does not bode well for Bowler or Chicago University Press and it's so-called "expert" peer review system!

A book such as Bowler's takes a lot of work - blood sweat tears and even bone marrow - but his credulous parroting of the Darwinian myth that Matthew's published discovery of natural selection did not reach the brains of either Darwin or Wallace is his utter downfall. An error of fact that, unfortunately, makes his entire book a fool's errand. All is not lost of course. He could bring out a second edition with Patrick Matthew as the protagonist.

In this review, I prove my point. On which note, what follows is a brief presentation of Bowler's errors and the published evidence in the literature that proves him to be 100 per cent wrong.

Error of fact 1:

On page 54 Bowler (2013) writes of Patrick Matthew:

`Patrick Matthew may well have stated the idea of natural selection as early as 1831, but he did nothing to explore its implications or to persuade his readers that it had the potential to revolutionize biology. His contribution is worth noting, but to suggest that is provides the basis for dismissing Darwin as the true founder of the theory is to misunderstand the whole process of how scientific revolution happens.'

In point of disconfirming fact for Bowler's argument:

Other great discoverers, such as Mendel, Fleming, and Higgs, did not take their ideas forward, but others did. The main issue, therefore, in the story of Matthew, Darwin and Wallace is simply to determine whether or not Matthew influenced Darwin or Wallace. Focusing upon that question, we do know that Matthew fully articulated his discovery of natural selection in a publication 27 years before Darwin and Wallace (1858) replicated it. And we know that both Darwin (1859) and Wallace claimed to have also discovered natural selection independently of one another (Darwin and Wallace 1858). Darwin (1860 and 1861) specifically claimed no-prior knowledge of Matthew's discovery and Wallace (1871; 1905) less specifically, simply claimed to have discovered it independently.

We now know (see Sutton 2014) that Loudon (1832), Selby (1842) and Chambers (1832) each cited Matthew's book before being at the epicentre of influence and facilitation of Darwin's and Wallace' published work on evolution. That fact alone proves that Matthew in fact did influence others of the importance of his discovery. And those others - via 'knowledge contamination' - must most surely have influenced both Darwin and Wallace.

So Nullius in Verba Charles Darwin! Because other naturalists who influenced you actually cited Matthew's book pre-1858!

(1) Loudon edited and published Blyth's (1835 and 1836) hugely influential papers on evolution - papers which Bowler mentions as having stated several key concepts of natural selection. And Darwin (1861) freely admitted the great contribution Blyth made to his own thinking on the topic.

(2) Chambers (1832) cited Matthew's book and then went on (Chambers 1844) to publish the Vestiges of Creation - a book which Both Wallace and Darwin admitted was a great influence on thinking about natural selection and organic evolution in general.

(3) Selby (1842) cited Matthews book many times and commented upon his key natural selection notion of power of occupancy. And Selby edited and published Wallace's (1855) famous Sarawak paper - which contained many examples of key natural selection ideas. Darwin also read that paper pre-1858.

That three of only seven naturalists, newly discovered to have cited Matthew's book in the literature, should have played such essential roles in influencing, editing and publishing the work of Darwin and Wallace proves beyond all reasonable doubt that Matthew did persuade his readers that natural selection had the potential to revolutionize biology. Bowler is proven wrong, because under the very criteria that Darwinists such as Bowler specifically created to exclude Matthew from his rightful place as an immortal great thinker of science, the new discovery of his certain indirect influence upon Darwin and Wallace, means that as both first discoverer and proven influencer Matthew now has full and complete priority over Darwin and Wallace for the discovery of natural selection. Perhaps Darwinists would now like to exercise their right to cognitive dissonance and invent some new `bury the Scot' criteria to protect their namesake from being knocked off the pedestal he fought to so hard for them to put him on?

Error of fact 2

On page 31 Bowler writes that Wallace missed the key element of using artificial selection to explain natural selection.
Bowler (2013, p. 31):

`Alfred Russel Wallace also conceived a basic idea of natural selection, although we shall see that he understood its implications rather differently. Wallace also missed key elements of the case Darwin presented, most obviously the analogy between artificial and natural selection.'

However, Bowler very conveniently fails to mention that Eiseley (1979, pp.71-73) believed Darwin plagiarised Matthew's (1831) prior use of the analogy of artificial selection to explain natural selection and even replicated a specific example of trees raised in nurseries in his unpublished essay of 1844.

Bowler has penned another absolute fallacy by telling us that Wallace did not deploy the artificial selection analogy. Because in his own Linnean Society paper, Wallace (see Darwin and Wallace 1858), whilst specimen hunting in the jungles of the Far East, in actual fact, does incredibly replicate Matthew's prior- discovery that artificial selection is the key to explaining natural selection. Wallace (1858) wrote:

`...those that prolong their existence can only be the most perfect in health and vigour - those who are best able to obtain food regularly, and avoid their numerous enemies. It is, as we commenced by remarking, "a struggle for existence," in which the weakest and least perfectly organized must always succumb.' [And]: `We see, then, that no inferences as to varieties in a state of nature can be deduced from the observation of those occurring among domestic animals. The two are so much opposed to each other in every circumstance of their existence, that what applies to the one is almost sure not to apply to the other. Domestic animals are abnormal, irregular, artificial; they are subject to varieties which never occur and never can occur in a state of nature: their very existence depends altogether on human care; so far are many of them removed from that just proportion of faculties, that true balance of organization, by means of which alone an animal left to its own resources can preserve its existence and continue its race.'

By failing to discover who Matthew influenced, who in turn must have influenced Darwin and Wallace, Bowler's (2013) entire book is a fool's errand because it is based on the false premise that Darwin and Wallace were independent discoverers of natural selection. To compound that dysology Bowler, creates the fallacy that Wallace did not replicate Matthew's prior use of artificial selection as an analogy to explain natural selection. Bowler's deploys that specific fallacy to make the case that Darwin was an original thinker. Clearly, the hard facts prove that nothing could be further from the truth. Because both Darwin and Wallace both audaciously replicated Matthew's use of artificial selection.

Here is just one example, of many, that Matthew (1831) wrote in the main body of his book on this issue:

`Man's interference, by preventing this natural process of selection among plants, independent of the wider range of circumstances to which he introduces them, has increased the differences in varieties particularly in the more domesticated kinds...'

In his unpublished essay of 1844, Darwin wrote:

`In the case of forest trees raised in nurseries, which vary more than the same trees do in their aboriginal forests, the cause would seem to lie in their not having to struggle against other trees and weeds, which in their natural state doubtless would limit the conditions of their existence...'

We should not actually be in the least bit surprised to find Wallace replicating Matthew's artificial selection analogy to explain his discovery, because Selby, the editor and publisher of Wallace's (1855) Sarawak paper, cited Matthew's book many times in his own book on forest trees (Selby 1842), which is an irrefutable case of Matthewian knowledge contamination of Wallace's pre-Origin work. I made that particular discovery in 2013. It was completely undetected by anyone until I published it in (Sutton 2014). So much then for Bowler's uncritical parroting of the Darwinist myth that Matthew never influenced anyone with his discovery.

Error of fact 3: Bowler Deploys Darwin's sly Appendix Myth

Darwin knew full well that Matthew's unique ideas were in both the main body of his book and in its Appendix. Indeed he wrote to his friend Joseph Hooker admitting as much (Darwin 1860b). Yet still Darwin went on to lie (Darwin 1861) that Matthew's ideas were brief and buried in his book's appendix as an excuse for not having read them and for his fallacious claim that those ideas went unnoticed pre-Origin of Species. Bowler merely parrots Darwin's great lie, flying in the face of the fact that Matthew's ideas run throughout the book where they take up many pages - including Matthew's artificial selection analogy, and the unique name for his discovery. Indeed, as outlined above; the very artificial selection analogy that Bowler (2013 - pp. 56-58) admits Matthew used is in the main body of his book - not its appendix.

See Sutton 2014 for hard proof of how page after page of Matthew's (1831) text on natural selection is in the main body of his book.

Another Darwinian Myth in the Making

In the weird unscholarly Darwinist tradition of writing that you are personally naming or calling something, when it has already been thus named by others, Bowler gives the false impression that he is uniquely coining his own term and its concept (see my blog on Richard Dawkins doing the exact same thing). In this case, Bowler (2013, p 139) writes:

'The formalist perspective encouraged a more structured progressionism that I call "developmentalism". '

But Bowler never coined the term developmentalism, because its been used by natural scientists since 1869. For example, see the Anthropological Review (1869, p.ixxxix):

`He dissented from developmentalism, we believe decidedly it has been said by Professor Welcker that although he was sceptical upon the descendance hypothesis he reserved himself expectant but the readers of the well argued exposition of his views entitled. Some Remarks on the Succession and Development of Animal Organisation on the surface of our globe, in the different periods of its existence, would rather conclude that he had decided against developmentalism after careful and thorough investigation.'

By giving such a powerfully false impression that he has coined the term "developmentalism", Bowler engages in exactly the same type of Darwinist dysology that led so many Darwinists to go into print with their erroneous beliefs that Darwin coined the term and concept `natural selection' and that Richard Dawkins coined the terms and concepts of the `selfish gene' and, most ironically, `replicator'. Of course, Darwin and Dawkins did no such thing. But, just like Bowler in 'Darwin Deleted', they sure as hell gave the self-serving impression that they are being original by naming terms and ideas that are, in fact, pre-named and pre-owned.

Discussion and conclusions

Bowler's weird error of fact, in claiming that Wallace, pre-1858, did not use the artificial selection analogy first used by Matthew to explain natural selection, led him ultimately to draw the 100 per cent wrong conclusion to crucially inform his ultimate prediction about what would have happened had Darwin drowned pre-Origin (Bowler 2013, p170):

`Wallace would not have used the analogy between natural and artificial selection...'

Surely this amazingly massive error, and the failure of any Darwinist to spot it before I, is further evidence that leading Darwinists are suffering from dreadful bias when it comes to assessing the orignality of their namesake?

That Bowler's book passed peer review, and has been highly praised by fellow biologists and science historians, is indicative of a widespread and very deep-seated scientific monopoly on 'knowledge' that is facilitated by conflict of interest when it comes to judging who has priority for the discovery of natural selection. Failing to apply the scientific principle of nullius in verba (on the word alone of no one), it seems that Darwinists have been unable to see that their namesake is only their namesake due to their own failure to investigate Darwin's (1861) impudent claim that Matthew's ideas went unnoticed until he called Darwin's attention to them in 1860.

If Darwinists refuse to accept now that they are named after the wrong scientist, then we should not be surprised. It is important to understand that those calling themselves a Darwinist will have a colossal conflict of interest when it comes to judging whether someone not called Darwin should have priority over their hero for the very idea that made him famously their namesake. In light of the new discovery, that Matthew did influence Darwin and Wallace pre-1858, we should expect Darwinists to experience cognitive dissonance and set about making a number of implausible arguments along the lines that Matthewian knowledge contamination from Loudon, Chambers and Selby cannot be 100 per cent proven to have occurred. Failing that, we should expect them to create a new made-for Matthew excuse to deny his priority. Perhaps Darwinists will now newly create a third criteria for priority? Perhaps they will argue next that it is not the originator who influenced others to take a discovery forward that has priority for a discovery but whoever more famously convinced the wider world of the veracity of that discovery? After all that is exactly what appears to have happened by default in the case of Richard Dawkins and the 'selfish gene' and - with exquisite backside biting irony - the 'selfish replicator' (see Sutton 2013).

The Darwinist Bowler is very far from alone in creating his own and spreading old fallacies, lies and myths to keep Patrick Matthew buried in relative obscurity. One cannot help wondering, how Professor Bowler - an expert historian of science - could have unwittingly made so many glaring factual errors? More so, his book is published by the prestigious University of Chicago Press, which means that it will have undergone expert peer review. How could the reviewers possibly fail to spot those obvious errors of fact? Surely it cannot be because they serve to perpetuate the myth that Darwin and Wallace each discovered natural selection independently of Matthew, can it?

Bowler's 2013 dysology sits among many other examples, by other authors, publishing with prestigious scientific publishers, which confirms the Dysology Hypothesis that poor scholarship facilitates and encourages others to get away with publishing further poor scholarship. Moreover, it is yet another example from a long list of scientific publications, by major science publishers, which are written by Darwinists who have, since 1860, managed to contain the threat of Patrick Matthew by publishing numerous downright fallacies, lies and myths.


The Anthropological Review (1869) Volume 7.

Bowler, P. J. (2013) Darwin Deleted: Imagining a World without Darwin. Chicago. University of Chicago Press.

Blyth, E. 1835. An attempt to classify the "varieties" of animals. The Magazine of Natural History. (8) (1), Parts 1-2.

Blyth, E. 1836. Observations on the various seasonal and other external Changes which regularly take place in Birds more particularly in those which occur in Britain; with Remarks on their great Importance in indicating the true Affinities of Species; and upon the Natural System of Arrangement. The Magazine of Natural History: Volume 9. p. 393 - 409.

Chambers, R. 1832. Chambers's Edinburgh Journal. William Orr. Saturday March 24th p. 63.

Chambers, R. 1844. Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation. New York. Wiley and Putnum. (published anonymously).

Darwin, C. R. and Wallace, A. R. (1858) On the tendency of species to form varieties; and on the perpetuation of varieties and species by natural means of selection. Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnaean Society of London.

Darwin, C. R. (1860a) Natural selection. Gardeners' Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette no. 16 (21 April): 362-363.(This is Darwin's letter in response to Matthew's in the Gardeners Chronicle where Darwin clearly indicates he had no prior knowledge of Matthew's book).

Darwin, C. (1860b) Letter to Hooker. 13th April. Darwin Correspondence Project. Darwin Correspondence Database.

Darwin, C. R. (1861) On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. (Third Edition) London. John Murray.

Eiseley, L. (1979) Darwin and the Mysterious Mr X: New Light on the Evolutionists. New York. E. P. Dutton.

Loudon, J.C. 1832. Matthew Patrick On Naval Timber and Arboriculture with Critical Notes on Authors who have recently treated the Subject of Planting. Gardener's Magazine. Vol. VIII. p.703.

Matthew, P (1831) On Naval Timber and Arboriculture; With a critical note on authors who have recently treated the subject of planting. Edinburgh. Adam Black. [...]

Selby, P. J. (1842) A history of British forest-trees: indigenous and introduced. London. Van Voorst.

Sutton, M. (2013)The Selfish Gene Myth is Bust: Richard Dawkins is an Invented Originator.

Sutton, M. (2014) Internet Dating with Darwin: New Discovery that Darwin and Wallace were Influenced by Matthew's Prior-Discovery.

Wallace, A. R. 1855. On the law which has regulated the introduction of new species. The Annals and Magazine of Natural History. Series 2. 16. 184-196

Wallace, A. R. (1871) Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection. A Series of Essays. New York. Macmillan and Co.

Wallace, A. R. (1905) My Life: A Record of Events and Opinions, Volume 1. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. Note: Taken here from digitally printed version (2011), Cambridge University Press.

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Review of "Victorian Sensation" by James Secord

Victorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Publication, Reception, and Secret Authorship of Vestiges of the Natural History of CreationVictorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Publication, Reception, and Secret Authorship of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation by James A. Secord
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

James Secord is without a doubt the leading expert of all time on Robert Chambers's "The Vestiges of Creation"

Secord tells us why Chambers' book was so successful, why it was criticized and why its author remained anonymous until after his death.

I recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand a major part of the story about why "evolution was in the air" in the first half of the 19th century.

But in writing this superb and brilliantly scholarly story, Secord failed to see the most important connection between Chambers and Darwin. Because, not only did Darwin meet Chambers, not only did they correspond and not only did Darwin know Chambers was the secret author of "Vestiges" - Chambers had - in 1832 - over a decade before he penned the "Vestiges" actually read and cited Patrick Matthew's 1831 book that contained the full theory of natural selection. It seems more likely than not, therefore, that some form of 'knowledge contamination' of Matthew's discovery took place between Matthew and Chambers and then from Chambers to Darwin. So much now for the self-serving Darwinist myth - started by Darwin - that Matthew's book failed to influence anyone!

If Secord had discovered this crucial fact about Matthew and Chambers then HIS book would have been an international sensation - because according to Darwin no naturalist known to him had read Matthew's book until 1860 - the year after Darwin's Origin was first published. Darwin lied!

Hopefully, we will see a second edition of Secord's excellent book now that Darwin's cat is out the bag. Before then, however, Professor Secord will need to come up to speed with the New Data by reading Nullius in Verba - Darwin's Greatest Secret
Nullius in Verba - Darwin's Greatest Secret by Mike   Sutton

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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Open letter to the Royal Society.

Date: 20.01.2015

Dear Royal Society
Charles Darwin (FRS), Alfred Russel Wallace, and Richard Dawkins (FRS) and others, among whom I include myself, acknowledge that Patrick Matthew (1831) - in his book On Naval Timber and Arboriculture - published the full theory of natural slection many years before Darwin and Wallace put pen to private notepaper on the topic and 28 years before Darwin and Wallace (1858) had their papers read before the Linnean Society.
Matthew uniquely coined his discovery the 'natural process of selection' and 29 years later Darwin uniquely shuffled Matthew's term into his own unique re-coinage the 'process of natural selection'. Darwin and Wallace each claimed to have arrived at exactly the same theory, used the same terminology and the same unique explanatory examples, independently of Matthew and independently of one another.
The purpose of my open letter, therefore, is to request of the Royal Society an official statement to explain whether the Royal Society will affirm that Patrick Matthew, by dint of his achievement at publishing first one of the greatest discoveries in science, should be officially awarded full priority over both Darwin and Wallace for his great unique breakthrough?
I presume the Royal Society has not unofficially changed its views on the rules of priority? In this regard I wish to remind the Royal Society of the Arago Effect to which it has adhered in all other disputes over priority for discovery in science - which is that being first is everything.
Ignoring the convention of priority, and specifically ignoring the Arago Effect, Richard Dawkins (2010)    and others have created a new, unique in the history of scientific discovery, "Dawkins' Demand Rule" , which is that Dawkins demands that Matthew should not have priority over Darwin and Wallace because it was previously their mere un-evidenced 'knowledge belief' that Matthew's unique views went unnoticed. And because Dawkins demands that Matthew should have "trumpeted his discovery from the rooftops" at a time of great social unrest and tension when his political ideas, linked to and including his natural selection discovery, were criminally seditious and heretical. However, newly available Big Data research techniques reveal solid evidence, from the independently verifiable published literature, that Matthew's (1831) book was, in fact, (all pre 1858) cited by other naturalists known to Darwin/Wallace - including Loudon (who edited and published two of Blyth's influential papers), Robert Chambers (who wrote the highly influential book on evolution - the Vestiges of Creation) and Prideaux John Selby (who edited and published Wallace's Sarawak paper). (see: my peer reviewed paper for this new evidence    ).
In sum, would the Royal Society please make an official statement regarding whether or not it has abandoned its former acceptance of the Arago Effect? (see for references to papers on it: )
If the Royal Society is quietly in approval of an unannounced exception to the rule of priority in the case of Patrick Matthew would it be so good as to explain why? And if so, could the Royal Society please go further than remaining publicly silent on this important issue of contested priority by making an official statement regarding whether or not they have adopted a unique and biased Darwinist 'made for Matthew' rule?
Yours sincerely
Dr Mike Sutton (Reader in Criminology and Sociology)
School of Social Sciences
Nottingham Trent University

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Top Contender for the Most Ironic Tweet of 2014?

Is it true that American's don't get irony?

Here is some uncomfortably confirmatory evidence for the old claim.

The newly discovered fact that Darwin lied when he claimed no naturalist known to him had read Matthew's prior-published theory of natural selection lead John Hopkins University Darwinist Science Historian Nathaniel Comfort to most uncomfortably refer to the peer reviewed paper containing the new findings - of which he was totally ignorant - as an "ignorant piece of crap".

The British Society of Criminology peer-reviewed paper that offered Comfort such cold-comfort for his prior mere "knowledge beliefs"  that are now totally disconfirmed by newly discovered and independently verifiable hard facts is available here. Readers are encouraged to judge its importance and veracity for themselves.

Dr Comfort was cordially offered the opportunity to put his disgracefully unprofessional public behavior behind himself and to engage in a scholarly debate about why he thinks my peer-reviewed journal article is am "ignorant piece of crap". Ignorantly, he crappily responded by blocking me on Twitter. Not much of an advert for himself or John Hopkins University is he.