Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Monday, 9 February 2015

In Darwin's Shadow: The Life and Science of Alfred Russel Wallace by Michael Shermer

In Darwin's Shadow: The Life and Science of Alfred Russel Wallace
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

In Darwin's Shadow: The Life and Science of Alfred Russel Wallace: A Biographical Study on the Psychology of History (Hardcover)

I cannot help but wonder what on Earth the founder of the Skeptics Society is up to in deploying utter flim-flam to dispose of the problem of Patrick Matthew's (1831) prior discovery of 'the natural process of selection'. Because, in this book, Michael Shermer presents a bogus argument against long-standing accusations that Darwin (in 1858 and 1859) plagiarized Patrick Matthew's (1831) unique and prior publication of the discovery of 'the natural process of selection'. To defend Darwin, Shermer relies upon the well known fact that in all fields of discovery a breakthrough is seldom a zero-sum game, because discoverers usually build upon the earlier work of their precursors. But this is complete flim-flam reasoning in the story of Matthew, Darwin and Wallace, simply because both Darwin and Wallace DID claim ZERO prior knowledge of Matthew's prior published discovery. In other words THEY claimed it was a zero sum game! Moreover, both Darwin and Wallace fallaciously created the self-serving myth that Matthew's ideas had been ignored until Matthew brought then to Darwin's attention in 1860.

Hi-tech research methods have newly detected the fact that seven naturalists (among many other writers) actually cited Matthew's (1831) book in the published literature. Moreover, three of those naturalists were associates of Darwin. Worse still, one of the three (Selby) actually edited and published Wallace's Sarawak paper in 1855, which famously laid his initial claim to the concept of Natural selection. Another (Loudon) edited and published Blyth's most influential papers on organic evolution and a third (Chambers) wrote the highly influential Vestiges of Creation. Knowledge contamination is proven. Darwin and Wallace are proven not to have "independently discovered" natural selection. Contrary to what all the "Darwin industry" textbooks say, Patrick Matthew is the only independent discoverer of his own prior-discovery!

Moreover, a wealth of new evidence proves beyond reasonable doubt that both Darwin and Wallace committed the World's greatest science fraud.

Despite Shermer's desperate Darwinian attempts to bury Matthew in obscurity, the ghost of Matthew just bit him in the very backside out of which he wrote the flim-flam portions in this book! With no malice, I sincerely hope the wound will turn Shermer genuinely skeptic. If so, as a promoter of Skepticism I think he needs to address a most telling question - perhaps in a second edition. Namely: Can a Darwinist skeptically judge the claim to scientific priority for the discovery of natural selection by anyone not named Darwin? Surely the conflict of interest is too great? What else would explain the desperate flim flam in this book?

Skepticism is a way of thinking, not a camouflage club for credulous toadies.

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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution by Rebecca Stott

Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This review is from: Darwin's Ghosts: In Search of the First Evolutionists by Stott. Rebecca ( 2013 ) Paperback (Paperback)
This is a very compelling read and provides a reasonably good synthesis of the known literature regarding Darwin's precursors. I see other reviewers, on Amazon, of this book, have identified that Stott has just made some things up in 'Darwin's Ghosts'. I can't comment on that with any degree of qualification. But there is a massive concern on my part about this book being passed-off as non-fiction, because, most unfortunately, Stott, weirdly, creates a brand new myth in her book where she writes the outrageous falsehood on page 12 that Patrick Matthew "...had conceded the throne..." of natural selection to Darwin, and that his final word on the matter was published in the Gardener's Chronicle of 1860. Where on Earth did she get such an idea? I think its possibly a unique falsehood of her own making. Hopefully she will retract this utter un-evidenced claptrap!

We know authors read these reviews so here is some news for Stott and her Editor and Darwinist advisers from a self appointed champion one of Darwin's ghosts, news that she obviously missed by not looking at original sources:

In 1864 Matthew published a political pamphlet that proclaimed him as "Solver of the Problem of Species. That was an act of defiance, one that we know, from his personal correspondence on the Matthew problem, really got under Darwin's skin.

As a matter of fact, all of Matthew's actions following his Gardener's Chronicle revelation of 1860 hardly constitute those of a man conceding the throne to Darwin.

Having been earlier snubbed by the Dublin University Magazine in February 1860, Matthew wrote back to the editor demanding an apology (see pages 717 to 718 of that publication). He demanded that apology in light of the fact that Darwin had, in the Gardener's Chronicle, accepted that Matthew had fully enunciated the theory of natural selection. What followed was typical Darwinist rank closing: David Anstead (FRS) , Lecturer for the East India Company, fellow graduate of Cambridge, personal correspondent of Darwin, fellow member of the Royal Society, former Vice Secretary of the Geological Society - taking up office on Charles Lyell's departure - authored a paper on the subject of Palaeontology where he fully supported Darwin's Origin and in a lengthy footnote replied on behalf of the magazine to blatantly refuse to accept that Matthew had written anything at all that was original.

By way of another example of Matthew's futile fight for recognition against the Darwinists, in a footnote to his letter to the Farmers Magazine, he wrote (Matthew 1862):

`The writer has not been has not been much used to speak of what he has done. For more than thirty years after the publication of "Naval Timber and Arboriculture" he never, either by the press or in private conversation, alluded to the original ideas therein brought forward, knowing that the age was not suited for such. And even now, notwithstanding the great teaching influence of our cheap daily press, such is the power of sham, bigotry and prejudice over the editors of these, directly by perverting their own minds, or indirectly by perverting their candour, honesty and truth in accommodation to the reader's prejudices, together with the subservience of the Editors to power and place that he is not sure the age is yet ripe. He was so far of this opinion, that he did not speak of these original ideas till driven to do so in protecting them as his.'

And we can see even further through the Darwinian myth-smog by way of another example. This one is a recollection by

Darwin's son Francis (Darwin 1887. p.302):

`Mr. Matthew remained unsatisfied, and complained that an article in the 'Saturday Analyst and Leader' was "scarcely fair in alluding to Mr. Darwin as the parent of the origin of species, seeing that I published the whole that Mr. Darwin attempts to prove, more than twenty-nine years ago."--Saturday Analyst and Leader, Nov. 24, 1860.'

Interestingly, years earlier, Darwin's wife Emma (Darwin 1863) used the same parent metaphor in a letter she wrote on Darwin's behalf to reply to a letter from Matthew that is - once again - unfortunately lost, which renders what follows rather cryptic:

`With regard to Natural Selection he [Darwin] says that he is not staggered by your striking remarks. He is more faithful to your own original child than you are yourself.'

Despite Darwin's defensive platitudes, Matthew had sufficient self-regard to continue asserting the truth for the publication record. In 1865, then 75 years old, he wrote to the German scientist Ernst Hallier to let it be known that natural selection was his discovery and concept and not Darwin's (Hallier 1866 p.382):

`Matthew himself wrote me about it in a letter of 6 October 1865, in which he first brought to my attention his book on naval timber and arboriculture, published on January 1st 1831, by Longman et Co London and Adam and Charles Black Edinburgh . He wrote: "I fully brought out the theory of competitive natural selection. This was about 30 years before Darwin brought out the same. In his preface to the edition of his work on the origin of species, Darwin states that I anticipated him by many years, and apologizes for his unintentional blunder. The fact is my work did appear before its time, when bigotry and prejudice were in the ascendant."'

The publication record therefore proves that, despite the most embarrassing lack of genuine expert knowledge among all the leading Darwinian authors on this subject - Stott being their mere toady - Patrick Matthew never ever gave up on letting the general public and other scientists know that natural selection was his original discovery!

in 1874 Patrick Matthew went to an unmarked grave, somewhere in Errol churchyard in Scotland, having fought all his life, without success, for the recognition he deserved for discovering natural selection many years before Darwin and Wallace. For example, at the 1867 British Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Dundee, Scotland, which was attended by Darwin's friends Charles Lyell, Robert Chambers and Alfred Wallace - Matthew (1867), then aged 77 years, was platform blocked! He complained in the press that he was strategically prevented from speaking about his discovery. No one listened then, because Darwin and his adoring Darwinists had so cleverly, yet fallaciously, portrayed Matthew as a deluded crank.

So much for Stott's research. The literature she failed to read and synthesise on Matthew reveals many other examples of how the Originator of natural selection complained in the press and to other naturalists that Darwin was getting all the credit for his idea.

Had Stott researched and addressed the rank mythology that Darwinists have spun to fill the knowledge gaps regarding what naturalists really did with the great breakthrough that Matthew published (not just in the appendix), pre-1868 she would have produced a text worthy of the classification 'non-fiction' - as it is one has to wonder why on Earth she created the Happy Handover Myth?

Matthew, who was in 1860 bankrupt and impoverished when he wrote to the Gardeners' Chronicle to lay claim to his prior-discovery of the 'natural process of selection'. Incidentally Darwin uniquely four-word shuffled Matthew's unique name for his discovery into 'process of natural selection' (Darwin does that 9 times in the Origin 1859!). This and numerous other instances of clear plagiarism have now been discovered. Had Stott done any original research she might have discovered this for herself.

Today Matthew's ghost has returned from his unmarked grave to prove that he did influence both Darwin and Wallace.

Just Google: "Internet Dating with Darwin" to discover newly discovered facts - which always trump old rhetoric, no matter how eloquently written - The newly discovered facts prove why it is always best to search in original sources rather than replicate dreadfully biased Darwinist secondary sources. And as for just making stuff up. Surely no no-fiction writer expects to get away with that. Do they? Did Stott and Bloomsbury get their genres crossed?

By the way, I wrote to Stott's editor at Bloomsbury to inform them of the above facts, so that they might know that they are publishing complete fallacies. Unsurprisingly, they never even bothered to respond. Perhaps they intend to specialise in pseudo-scholarship?

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Saturday, 7 February 2015

Patrick Matthew

On Why Patrick Matthew has full priority over Darwin and Wallace for the discovery of the theory of natural slection: click here

Evolutionary concepts in the nineteenth century by William Dempster

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 Evolutionary Concepts in the Nineteenth Century: Natural Selection and Patrick Matthew (Paperback)

William James Dempster, the author of 'Evolutionary Concepts in the Nineteenth Century' (Dempster 1996) , died aged 90 years in 2008. The name W.J. Dempster has gone down in the annals of both the history of transplant surgery and, thanks to this book, the history of the discovery of natural selection.

It in in this book that Dempster ably champions the great contribution to knowledge that was made by Patrick Matthew many years before Wallce and Darwin replicated Matthew's discovery, his name for it and the examples he used to explain it.

Dempster unearths many examples of Charles Darwin’s poor scholarship, lack of integrity and unwarranted, yet self-serving, denigration of Patrick Matthew - the little known true originator of the theory of natural selection.

For the most part the Darwinists sought to bury Dempster and this book in oblivion by way of the silent treatment, but on rare occasion Dempster’s books did attracted scorn from Darwinists. One particular scholar of the history of science reveals his own bias in a laughable example of desperate muddled thinking and failure to understand the importance of questing for veracity in history:

Bowler (1983 p.158):

‘One writer has even gone so far as to hail Matthew as the originator of the modern evolution theory (Dempster 1996). Such efforts to denigrate Darwin misunderstand the whole point of the history of science: Matthew did suggest a basic idea of selection, but he did nothing to develop it; and he published it in an appendix to a book on the raising of trees for ship building. No one took him seriously, and he played no role in the emergence of Darwinism. Simple priority is not enough to earn a thinker a place in the history of science: one has to develop the idea and convince others of its value to make a real contribution. Darwin’s notebooks confirm that he drew no inspiration from Matthew or any of the other alleged precursors.’

Pentland Press’ the vanity publisher of this book collapsed with unpaid debts in 2002 (see Mirror 2002) yet new and second-hand copies can be picked up at bargain process here on Amazon. Snap yours up, because I expect them to become collector’s items now that Darwin's and Wallace's great science fraud was proven in 2014.

‘Evolutionary Concepts in the Nineteenth Century’ is essential reading for anyone interested in seeing further than the fallacious pens of biased Darwinists who, never having read a word of Matthew’s original book, insist on parroting Darwin’s snaky lie Matthew merely buried his ideas in one or two scattered passages in the book’s Appendix, when in fact Matthew’s (1831) ideas on natural selection run throughout the entire book. By way of fact-based example, it is in the main body of the book that Matthew used the analogy of artificial selection as a heuristic device to explain natural selection and it is where he called upon naturalists to conduct experiment to test his hypothesis. What Dempster failed to discover, however, in all three of his books on the topic, is that it is also in the main body of Naval Timber and Arboriculture where Matthew (1831) uniquely named his breakthrough the ‘natural process of selection’. That finding is important because, Darwin who started the self-serving Appendix Myth, uniquely shuffled those same four words into their only other grammatically correct equivalent: the ‘process of natural selection’. Darwin (1859) used that shuffled term – nine times in the Origin of Species. A year later, he claimed to have had no prior-knowledge of the Originator’s book (see Sutton 2014).

Where Dempster's valuable contribiton makes a ground breaking difference is in his reasoned arguments, supported with a multitude of his own new evidence, that Matthew should be hailed as the true discoverer of natural selection, simply because he most certainly did more than merely enunciate it, he worked it out and published it in detail as a complex and fully comprehensive law of nature. Moreover, Matthew got it right and Darwin wrong when it came to comprehending the impact of geological disasters on species extinction and emergence. Yet, from the third edition of the Origin onwards, Darwin (1861), a follower of Lyell’s erroneous uniformitarianism, jumped at the chance to denigrate Matthew by referring to him as a catastrophist. Dempster (1996) made this injustice abundantly clear, but if you can find a Darwinist, or any other biologist, admitting as much and citing Dempster then you've found one more than I have. Punctuated equilibrium – essentially Matthew’s discovery - is accepted science today but, as as Dempster (1996; 2005) noted its Darwinist purveyors sought to keep the originator of that theory buried in footnote oblivion. Rampino (2011) explains some of the detail.

However, as Dempster made clear, Matthew also accepted at face value, in print at least, Darwin’s excuse that he had arrived at the theory independently. Consequently, despite Dempster’s able championing of Matthew, Darwinists retained their solution to the problem of Matthew’s prior discovery by affixing him with their mutually approved status of obscure curiosity. Refusing to give the originator of natural selection his due credit for discovering it – no matter how good and complete his hypothesis - Darwinists stuck to their guns – in the teeth of Dempster’s superb scholarship - by claiming that there was no evidence that Matthew had influenced a single person with his discovery. Filling in the knowledge gaps as to what really happened to Matthew’s ideas between their publication in 1831 and Wallace’s, (1855), Darwin’s and Wallace’s (1858) and Darwin’s (1859) replication, Darwinists simply parroted Darwin’s Appendix Myth, Scattered Passages Myth and Mere Enunciation Myth as plausible devices to enable them to accept Darwin’s fallacious tale that Matthew’s ideas went unread by natural scientists until Matthew drew Darwin’s attention to them in 1860. All three of the above myths are uniquely bust (Sutton 2014).

It’s a crying shame too that only after Dempster's death did biologists such Dawkins (2010) and Bowler (2013), respectively, cite and treat more fairly Dempster’s classic ground-breaking work on Matthew's unique contribution to knowledge.

Dempster’s informed reasoning that Matthew should be duly recognised and celebrated as an immortal great of science, with full priority over Darwin and Wallace, is now confirmed by the newly disproven arguments of leading Darwinists such as Mayr (1982), Gould (2002), Shermer (2002), Hamilton (2001) and, most recently, Dawkins (2010). Because their biased Matthew denial opinions have their roots in Darwin’s, newly debunked, self-serving myths and lies (see Sutton 2014).

Most crucially, Dempster’s stalwart scholarship and excellent books on Matthew’s significant contribution to knowledge played a priceless role in helping me to finally set the historical record straight by proving that Darwin and Wallace were enormously influenced by Matthew’s prior-discovery of the natural process of selection before each replicated it while claiming to have discovered it independently.

By so by ably championing Matthew, against all odds, Dempster's stalwart scholarship rescues those who read it from the unquestioning mythical stories told by Darwinists desperate to keep their namesake from veracious scholarly dissection.

As Matthew (1831, p. vii) so presciently wrote:

'...the man who pursues science for its own sake, and not for the pride of possession, will feel more gratitude towards the surgeon, who dislodges a cataract from the mind's eye, than towards the one who repairs the defect of the bodily organ.'

Today, we can, if we so choose, read Dempster in light of the newly discovered facts about what really happened to the ideas in Matthew's book pre-Origin (Sutton 2014). By so doing , we can at last see further than the end of Darwin's fallacious pen, and further than the lingering Victorian smog of faux-skepticism born of adoring Darwinist propaganda.

Biblography and References

Bowler, P.J. (1983) Evolution: the history of an idea. Berkeley. The University of California Press. p.158.

Darwin, C. R. (1837) Notebook B: Transmutation of species (1837-1838)]. CUL-DAR121. Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker. Darwin Online.

Darwin, C. R. (1842) Unpublished Essay on natural selection. See Darwin Online.org.uk.

Darwin, C. R. (1844) Unpublished Essay on natural selection. See Darwin Online.Org.uk

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. (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.

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.

Dawkins, R. (2010). Darwin’s Five Bridges: The Way to Natural Selection In Bryson, B (ed.) Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society. London Harper Collins.

Dempster, W. J (1996) Evolutionary Concepts in the Nineteenth Century. Edinburgh. The Pentland Press.

Dempster, W. J. (2005) The Illustrious Hunter and the Darwins. Sussex. Book Guild Publishing.

Hamilton, W. D. (2001) Narrow Roads of Gene Land, Volume 2: Evolution of Sex. Oxford. Oxford University Press.

Hamilton, D. (2012) A History of Organ Transplantation. Pittsburgh. University of Pittsburgh Press.

Hopewell, J. (2009) Dempster, William James (1918 - 2008), Plarr's Lives of the Fellows Online. THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS OF ENGLAND.[...]
Hopewell, J. (2014) Early History of the Treatment of Renal Failure. British Transplant Society.

Joekes, M. Porter, K.A. and Dempster, W.J. (1957). Immediate post-operative anuria in a human renal homotransplant. British Journal of Surgery. Volume 44, Issue 188, pages 607–615, May.

Joekes, M. (1997) ISN VIDEO LEGACY PROJECT. Volumes 3-4. p. 280-295.

Mayr, E (1982) The growth of biological thought: diversity, evolution, and inheritance. Cambridge, Mass. Harvard University Press.

Mirror (2002) The Book Worm Turns Up Yet Again.

Rampino, M. R. (2011) Darwin's error? Patrick Matthew and the catastrophic nature of the geologic record. Historical Biology: An International Journal of Paleobiology. Volume 23, Issue 2-3.

Shermer, M. (2002) In Darwin's Shadow: The Life and Science of Alfred Russel Wallace: A Biographical Study on the Psychology of History. Oxford. Oxford University Press.

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

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. (1858) Paper presented to the Linnean Society in: 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.

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Thursday, 5 February 2015

A Rum Affair: A True Story Of Botanical Fraud by Karl Sabbagh

A Rum Affair: A True Story Of Botanical Fraud
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love this book and thoroughly recommend it. It is very detailed and I can imagine some might feel that it is rather overladen with detail. But the detail is necessary to do justice to the complexity and seriousness of the question of whether or not the eminent British botanist John Heslop Harrington committed science fraud by importing and seeding the field of scientific discovery with species of plant, beetle and butterfly in order to claim the unique discovery of their unexpected capture on the Scottish isle of Rum.

This is a scholarly book that is accessible to anyone of keen intellect with a tolerance for balanced evidence weighing, genteel writing and good manners. The author - Karl Sabbagh - has crafted his work well and written a gem-strewn masterpiece of the rare "did he do it?" science fraud genre.

Despite giving over many pages to assess the obvious bias of his accusers, it is rather clear, I think, before we reach the end of the book that Sabbagh is certain his protagonist - Professor Heslop Harrington - at least committed some of the science frauds he was accused of.

I must admit that after reading one sentence on page 93 that thereafter, and right to the end, I suspected a twist in the tale would be produced where we would learn that the Professor was in fact exonerated by the author's own discovery. But such heroic new evidence does not come.

Consequently might I beg a breach of etiquette and wonder whether perhaps, if this review is ever drawn to his attention, Karl Sabbagh could use the comments section below it to answer a simple question. My question relates to what Sabbagh tells us on page 93 about "Kinloch Castle" built on the island or Rum by the wealthy George Bullough in 1900:

'The estimated cost of the castle is said to be more than $20 million in today's money. Bullough thought nothing of importing red sandstone and soil from the Scottish mainland and workmen from Lancashire to build the house and establish the garden.'

About the second of those two sentences, I'd like to ask Karl Sabbagh the following questions:

Could the unexpected varieties of plant and butterfly that the Heslop Harrington and his associates found on Rum have been accidentally introduced by George Bullough importing their seeds and pupae in the said imported soil? Moreover, did Bullough also set up a fashionable garden water feature or dig a grand pond - complete with imported water plants from where foreign water beetles could so easily have have migrated to the islands lakes? What plants might have come to the island with the Lancashire gardeners in 1900?

Why was this Bullough Contamination Hypothesis not examined in your superb book?

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Tuesday, 3 February 2015

How We Got Here: From Bows and Arrows to the Space Age, by C. R. Hallpike

How We Got Here: From Bows and Arrows to the Space Age
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a well written book that provides a unique insight into human progress via anthropological insight.

Of particular note is Hallpike's evidence that human altruism has been overstated. He also alludes to the likelihood that Darwin was influenced by Matthew's prior publication of the theory of natural selection. The fact that Darwin did was proven in 2014 by big data analysis.

This is an excellent book that is very good value. The Darwin industry and much Dawkinsian dysology is put in its rightful place many times by dis-confirming expert analysis of facts versus mere wishful thinking and unevidenced knowledge beliefs.

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Monday, 2 February 2015

The Darwin Conspiracy by Roy Davies

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is actually an important Darwinist and Wallacist text because it is well and compellingly written by a truly skeptical and scholarly author who, unfortunately, did not know of the fact that Wallace's publisher and editor in chief of his Sarawak paper (Selby) had read and then cited (in 1842) Patrick Matthew's (1831) full prior published articulation of the complete hypothesis of natural selection.

Moreover, the author Roy Davies failed to discover that the editor and publisher of Blyth's two highly influential articles on natural selection (Loudon) had earlier reviewed Matthew's book in 1832 and actually remarked that it may have had something unique to say on "the origin of species" no less!

Davies never knew when he wrote this book that:

  1. Knowledge contamination form Matthew to Loudon then to Blyth and then the Darwin appears more likely than not, 
  2. Knowledge contamination from Matthew to Selby and then to Darwin appears more likely than not

I recommend this book for your skeptical scholarship collection.

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