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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